Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me?

Today is Paul's birthday! Isn't he handsome? I think he is, and I probably don't tell him often enough. And I don't tell him often enough how much I love him and how glad I am that we are together and what a great life I think we have.

Paul is an honest, hardworking man. A very experienced outdoorsman who has literally hunted from Africa to the Artic Circle, he is also a man who appreciates his home. He was a good son to his mother which I think is an indication of how a man will treat a wife. An extremely serious man, he's not always the easiest person to live with but I'm no box of chocolates to live with either so I guess we've found a balance in there somewhere. Never demanding, I could feed him a cheese sandwich for dinner and he wouldn't complain.


My husband is a rather unique person in this day and age. He says he was born about 200 years too late and he's probably right. He's not exactly a 21st century man but in most ways I think that's a good thing. He has rather old-fashioned values and can seem pretty crusty on the outside but I can tell you he can be very soft on the inside.

Like most fathers, he loves his children dearly but maybe they didn't always think so because he could be tough on them. I think that was his way of teaching them to be individuals and to stand on their own. He's done a good job of that, they are both amazing and successful people. He's a wonderful grandfather to our five grandchildren. They adore him; can't get enough of him.

Tammy has asked how Paul and I met and suggested I blog about it....it is a rather nice story, a love story of sorts....and Tammy says everyone likes a love story so I guess today would be a good day to tell. Hang in here with me, it's long.

I have known Paul for 37 years! Amazing to realize that. When I was a junior in high school I had an afternoon job in the office of a paper company filing, preparing mailings, answering phones, etc. A few months into the job I remember when Frank, one of the warehouse men brought his son in to the office to introduce him when he began working there. You guessed it, the son was Paul. When I tell you I remember that day, remember where he stood in the office when he said hello to everyone, I am not kidding.

Paul started out working in the warehouse and by the first summer was working the inside sales desk. That summer I worked full-time so we were in fairly close proximity.

Was he a flirt!! Okay, full disclosure here....I'm was a 16-year-old kid with a steady boyfriend and Paul was a 27-year-old married man with two kids, ages 7 & 9 (hi, Pam). Don't be jumping to conclusions yet; nothing went on. BUT every Friday afternoon Paul would say "What are you doing tonight, Sandy, what time should I pick you up?" Of course, he wasn't serious, he just liked to make me giggle and blush.....both of which I did really well.

So we worked together for several months, until I graduated and started college. I don't remember too many specific conversations but I remember that Paul was the first man who talked to me like an adult even though I wasn't quite. The age difference was huge at that point but we still had things to talk about. I guess I must have talked about Paul at home because my father was not pleased that a man so many years older was paying attention to me.

I graduated, left Central Paper, married my high school sweetheart and started my life. But sometime down the road I called Central Paper to see about buying some special envelopes for the company I was working for. Guess who was still working there and now an outside sales rep? If I tell you that this was all coincidence, will you believe me? Don't, it wasn't.

So Paul made a sales call to my office and guess what? He'd never forgotten about me either. When I was in high school I collected business cards (I know, dork) and he knew it then. In the ensuing years....he had kept a file card box of business cards he collected along the way for me! Be still, my heart.

So I bought 1500 envelopes I didn't need and he made regular sales calls for a while to say hello. Also in the ensuing years he had divorced. So now I'm married and he's single. Still the age difference but less of an issue now. So still just flirting and nothing more. I was married.

Fast forward a few more years (I know this is long) and my marriage came to an end. One day on a lunch break I was walking downtown and who is coming toward me? I recognized him immediately but didn't expect he would know me. It had been 9 years since we last saw each other.

As he got along side me I said Paul......and he claims he said my name, too, but I still don't think he knew it was me. We stopped and chatted. So, there we are 14 years later and no one is married. He asked me out right on the spot. I said no....but gave him my telephone number. He called me two days later, we went out that Friday and the rest, as they say, is history!

We bought a house together about 6 months later. We talked about getting married but I said no. I knew I was there for the duration but just didn't ever want to go through another divorce and the only way to ensure that was to never marry.

Six months after moving into our house, we did get married. His daughter was engaged and I thought I might be more comfortable being more than Dad's Girlfriend, so we set a date. In the meantime, Pam postponed her wedding. We got married anyway and then Pam and Geoff were married a few months later. I was right, it was so much nicer being the bride's stepmother rather than Dad's live-in girlfriend.

So here we are, 22 years later and I can't imagine another life. With Paul came two talented, loving children, Pam & Paul, Jr., the 7- & 9-year olds I'd heard about years earlier. They both married good people from nice families and now we have five fabulous grandchildren to whom I am 'Grama Sandy.' A family I would never have had without Paul.

As Pam said in her Father's Day post, Paul is someone who lives life to the fullest, and I am so happy to be part of that. So if he asks "will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64," my answer is YES! Happy Birthday, Darling.



78 comments:

Badass Geek said...

What a great story! Thanks for sharing, and happy birthday, Paul.

Kathy B! said...

That is a great story! I am so glad you shared it. Got any more goodies like that?!

Tammy Howard said...

Oh, great googly mooglies I'm glad I asked!!!

That's an amazing love story, rife with kismet.

Thank you so much for sharing, and happy happy birthday to Paul!

Pam said...

What a great tribute and a great love story. I knew most of it, but not about the business cards. How cute is that? Doesn't sound like dad at all. But then again, I've always said you bring out the best in him. I attribute my good relationship with dad to you and your relationship with him. We do have a special family. We're luck. Happy Birthday, Dad. Katie is all set to make you a birthday dinner tonight. See you then.

Delaney said...

Great story and it just shows that true love will happen when it's meant to be and obviously yours was. Happy Birthday Paul and hope you all have many, many more years together.

Michele said...

Sometimes the good things are worth waiting for. Great story. Happy Birthday Paul!

New England Girl said...

Awww, what a GREAT story! I am so happy you feel that we are important enough to be let in on such a lovely story. :)

Happy Birthday to Paul! I hope you two have a wonderful celebration together. :)

carolyn said...

Thank you for sharing Sandy but are you sure it's been 22 years? Feels like the first! "Uncle Blackbird", as my daughter (Robin) "Bluebird" has known him has always been a special part of our lives........and if that wasn't good enough, he brought Sandy to us on a beautiful, sunny Sunday to ride with a bunch of silly people in canoes down a slow, winding river. Thank you, "Powers that be" for these two great people and keep them safe. Happy Birthday Blackbird.......and many more. We love you very much.

Sandy said...

No fair, Carolyn, now you've got me crying! :-)

Maddy said...

Happy Birthday PAUL!! I have to admit, I can't believe its been that long and Carolyn beat me to it - I remember that Sunday on the river... I thought to myself (oh my god, she's so normal!!) Of course, I was much younger then... I remember meeting Paul for the first time at Joe & Evelyn's house before she put the addition on (at the little table in the kitchen). I wonder if Paul remembers that day. I thought he was a flirt, but that was PAUL!! Well, Happy Birthday Paul - enjoy your dinner tonight and have a toast to many great years. I'm glad we're back in touch and we'll have to have a belated birthday dinner together.

Love, Maddy and Chris

Laoch of Chicago said...

This is a nice story. Good wishes to you both.

Kathy Garmus said...

Yup, that was a great story all right. Paul sounds like a keeper! (And, obviously, you agree.) Happy birthday, Paul.

BONNIE K said...

I enjoyed reading this. And happy birthday, Paul!

Shauna said...

What a great story you have to tell. He is certainly handsome. I agree with you about how a man treats his mother, that is so true. Happy birthday Paul!!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

You brought tears to my eyes. Happy for you two. Such a good story to read. Thank you for sharing it.

P.S, (I won't tell you called him crusty.)

Stacy said...

That is an AWESOME tale...I hope I'll have my own story like that someday!

Jeanie said...

This is a GREAT story and you're a terrific looking couple! So glad we found each other via MamaK! (And I used to have a Jack Russell, too -- great dog!)

Jeanie said...

PS -- In that comment I ALSO meant to say belated happy birthday to Paul! Our guys are about the same in the birthday date department!

Alex the Girl said...

I can't believe I missed this post! You wrote it when I was MIA, no fair. Excellent love story (with a few holes in the middle...hello? Where'd you guys go for the honeymoon???)! I'm glad you finally put pen and ink to it all.

Sandy said...

Alex, had there not been a few 'holes' in the story, it would have seriously gone on and on and on. But since you are so kind to ask, I may write a follow up!

Mikki Black said...

That is so sweet! What a nice gift to one who sounds like a fantastic guy! I loved the title of your post over on the SITS roll call, and just had to come see what it was all about.

I'm glad I did.

BPOTW said...

Such a wonderful tribute! And, yes, he is gorgeous!

Notes From the Grove said...

Hi! Well I just read your story and now I see WHY you told me I should. Lots of funny similarities! AND, we're both strawberry blondes. Also, Brent's mom's name is Sandy! LOL! Maybe we're actually related?

Happy very belated birthday to Paul!

Turquoise Diaries said...

Thanks for sending me to this post. I love hearing stories like that. Maybe we should establish a club:)) I wish you many happy years with Paul. True love deserves that..

Debbie in Nashville said...

Hi,stopping by from SITS. What a beautiful post!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year!!

Oh, and many many more wonderful years with Paul!

marfmom said...

What a beautiful story!!!


*from SITS

Amie said...

Stopping by from SITS - thanks so much for sharing. I hope my husband and I are still as in love with each other as you two are when we've been married that long.

Suzi said...

Stopping in from SITS. I love hearing heart warming stories like that. Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

That's a great story! Gives me hope for a happy ending.

Melissa Papaj Photography said...

Great story! Such nice words :)

Maria @BOREDmommy said...

Great Post! Stopping by from SITS!

Mary said...

What a story! Hope you have a fab SITS Feature Day.

Marshmallow Circus said...

I enjoyed reading your love story!

Leiah said...

Such a sweet love story! Stopping by from SITS.

Joy said...

He does rock a mean beard AND moustache!

Congrats on your SITS day!

Sara Plays House said...

Aw this is such a sweet story!!! What an amazing amount of coincidences that brought you together--Fate, indeed. :)
Stopping by from SITS!

mom2kmjx2 said...

AWWW!! What a cute story. You where meant to be together. Congrats.

cat said...

What a sweet post! I would love to know where you hunted in South Africa.

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Wow, that is a huge age difference! I'm glad to hear things turned out well for the both of you. Interesting story, thanks for sharing and yes, he is handsome!

Visiting from SITS.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

What an amazing tale! Your paths just kept crossing. I don't think you have a lot of years between you. I have two friends that married guys 18 years older.

Stopping by from SITS!

Elizabeth a.k.a. Type A Mommy said...

Awwwwww! What a sweet love story! Sounds like something that could be made into a movie, all the times your paths crossed. Thanks for sharing, and happy SITS day again to you. :)

Herself said...

You're right, everyone does love a love story! Happy SITS day!

Judy said...

You're a lucky lady and it sounds like it was just meant to be! That's how I look at life, anyway. Take good care of him!

becca said...

Oh how I love a "meant to be" story! It proves, nothing is a coincidence and timing is everything... So sweet. So romantic. And you look like and sound like you make a perfect couple!

Happy Sits day!

Melissa @ Cellulite Investigation said...

So sweet, Sandy. What a love story.

Mommie Daze said...

Aw, I always like a happy ending. Great story!

sweetjeanette said...

What a precious story! I'm the older woman in "our story". LOL I'm 1 year and 9 months older (can't bear to say I'm TWO years older - that would freak my mother out), but he is the "mature" one! LOL Congrats on YOUR DAY, stopping by from SITS.

Anna Lefler said...

What a great post!

Enjoy your SITS day and happy birthday!

:-D Anna

Salt said...

This is such a beautiful love story. You two truly are soul mates! :)

CaneWife said...

What a beautiful story. You guys make a fabulous couple. Here's to many more years of happiness.

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Awwww! What a sweet story and wonderful tribute to your awesome hubby! Gave me goosebumps! :)

Happy SITS Day! :)

Tsquared417 said...

What a beautiful story!!

Treasia Stepp said...

What a wonderful love story. The two of you look great together. He truly sounds like a keeper. The old fashioned ones seem to be the best!

Dee said...

Beautiful story. How wonderful you have each other.

Eva Gallant said...

What a great story! Stopped

So Not Mom-a-licious said...

You are right, everyone likes a love story!

AmericanTribal said...

Great story! :)
Congratulations, again, on your SITS Day!

Alley said...

I find this so endearing. I joke that my husband was born in the wrong century, but I love it that way :)

CCW said...

what a love story :-)

ConnieFoggles said...

It's so nice to read about a real love story. Many more happy years together!

simplysandi said...

What a great story!

withoutadornment said...

Yours is such a cute story! I wish you both many more years of happiness together! :)

Oh yeah, Happy SITS day, too! :)

Ali said...

It was meant to be! What a beautiful couple you two are!

K a b l o o e y said...

That's a great story. Who would have thought a box of business cards could be romantic? I loved that detail. Happy bday and happy SITSday to you. (Hallmark doesn't commemorate the latter... yet.

Shana said...

I love how fate works out so nicely sometimes. What a great story.

Elise Sara said...

What a great story!!! Happy Birthday and SITS day!

Elise

Lisa said...

What an awesome story. It is so neat to hear how people meet :-)

Stopping by from SITS...

B said...

I just love a good love story!

Katie said...

Oh what a sweet story!!

Heidi said...

What a lovely story.

Heather said...

that is a nice story

Lourie said...

What a sweet sweet story! I loved it.

Kristy K said...

I love happy endings! What a sweet story!

Mrsbear said...

Heck yes everyone enjoys a love story. What a sweet tale. Of course it was fate. At least luck. You guys are adorable together.

Unknown Mami said...

That truly is a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing.

Eileen said...

What a beautiful love story!! :) I started crying at the business cards and haven't stopped yet! I can't stop smiling, too! :)

Sabreena said...

That was a really sweet story. Talk about kismet. Sorry I am the late SITS arrival, I have two toddlers and a needy husband.

Marie said...

Yeah, a happy ending, loved reading about your love story. :)

 

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