Twenty years ago, on December 31, 1991, I had my last first kiss. Did I know then it would be the last first kiss I would ever have? Subconsciously, I think I did.
John and I had met about four months earlier when I was hired as a file clerk/fill-in receptionist in the radiology department. In those four months, I saw what a wonderful, kind, generous person he was, and I began to look for reasons to go back to the control room in the department. Do films need to be hung? I'll do it! We're out of film jackets. I'll go get them! Can somebody bring the film jacket for Mr. Smith? I'll take it! Even though it might mean only catching a glimpse of him, I wanted that glimpse. If it was a slow day, it might mean a couple of minutes to talk. When we were busy, I was constantly listening for his laugh.
One thing I noticed not long after I started working in the department is that John was always giving out hugs. Oh, he wasn't just walking up to women and accosting them with hugs. (That would be sexual harassment!) They were coming to him and asking for hugs. Techs, nurses, clerical...One day, after one of the other file clerks asked him for a hug, I told him that I needed to know what was so special about his hugs, so he gave me one. And I learned that when John hugs you, he gives you a REAL hug. His hugs aren't those one-arm-kinda-pulling-you-to-him hugs. He envelopes you and you can tell he is sincere.
Right after I was officially hired at the hospital, I moved out of the slum apartment I was living in and moved into a MUCH nicer (and less expensive!) apartment. It had a washer/dryer hook-up, but I didn't have a washer or a dryer. It turned out that one of the ultrasound techs had recently moved, and the house she bought had a set. She had her own and didn't need them, so I bought them. (Well, Mom bought them for me.) Somehow, John was volunteered to move them for me. I remember him standing in my kitchen with a glass of tea after he'd gotten them in and hooked up. As he stood there in his overalls, I thought to myself then that I really wanted to kiss him, but I didn't. I mean, I didn't want him to think I was this incredibly forward girl, did I? That was around the end of September/first of October.
Fast forward to New Year's Eve 1991. Vicky, the full-time receptionist, had volunteered John's house for a small gathering. (Funny how John gets volunteered for a lot of things. LOL) I started the evening with a little adult beverage before I got there, and then I indulged in a little more after I got there, so I was just a touch...tipsy. I had gone to the kitchen to refill my wine, but I ended up breaking the cork, so John came in and got the rest of the cork out. After refilling my glass, we were standing face to face, and I really wanted to kiss him. In just a matter of maybe two seconds, this is the conversation I had with myself and my good/bad consciences.
ME: I really want to kiss me.
Bad Trina: Go ahead!
Good Trina: NO! You can't do that! He'll think your being too forward.
BT: Oh, shut up! It's New Year's Eve! Nothing wrong with a little kiss!
GT: You do this, and you will REGRET it!
ME: Oh, what the heck!
So I kissed him! (And he kissed me back.) And that was my last first kiss.
It was a couple of days before we both worked at the same time. I remember being so nervous about seeing him again. How was he going to react? Was he going to ignore me? Pretend it never happened? Was he going to think I was this slush who went around kissing guys? I was afraid to even look at him, but I shouldn't have been. Over the next few weeks, I began noticing that he was making his way to the front part of the department a bit more frequently that he had been before, and he always came through before he left for the day.
About a week and a half after "the kiss", he called and asked me out. By Valentine's Day, we were "unofficially" an item. In mid-August, we were engaged, and on December 20, 1992, we were married. Sometimes I think it would have been neat to have had our wedding on New Year's Eve since that was when our love story really started.
Sometimes I still feel so amazed that out of all the people in the world, John chose me for his wife. I look at him, and I realize how very lucky I am to have such a kind, loving, and supportive man to share my life with.
Twenty years ago, our love story began. I can't wait to see what the next twenty years holds!
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