Fourteen years ago
I met Sean by accident.  He had other plans and I was hanging out with my siblings.  It was a New Year's Eve party.  There were drinks and music and he drove a spectacularly unspectacular car which we filled with the trash and took to the dumpster.  We kissed by the trash.  He was nice.  I had fun.  I had no expectations to see him again.

I met Sean by accident and then I emailed him with purpose.  He was in Kosovo.  It seemed far away and vaguely dangerous as 2000 became 2001.  I wanted to be supportive of someone far from home doing something for the greater good, even if I had no idea what that entailed.  We emailed, which used to be for personal correspondence rather than promotions and sales.  He was nice.  I had fun. I thought it would be great to see him again.

Big things happened in the world.  Lives were lost and rearranged.  I hit send on a sad and bewildered email.  My phone rang, people used to use phones for talking, and I heard a sad and bewildered voice.  This was not a way to start anything related to romance, but it did anyway because he was grieving but still nice.  I learned a lot about him.  We made plans to see each other again.

I met Sean by accident.  We emailed and then talked.  We saw each other again.  I got on a plane.  He tripped on my brother and sister-in-law's threshold when he picked me up for our first real date.  We talked more.  It was easier than I thought it would be; I'm not good at talking or small talk or social situations.  Sean is good enough for the both of us.  He was nice.  I had fun.  I thought he lived too far away to get too excited.  I went home.  I was pretty sure we'd see each other again.

He met my family.  I met his.  We met each other's friends and made some together.  We lived apart and saw each other.  We emailed and talked.  I met him by accident and fell for him in the same way.  We got engaged.  We found out he'd be leaving for Iraq.  We got married earlier than we'd planned.  He was nervous.  It was fun.  I had the best time.  I knew I'd get to see him for the rest of my life.

We got a puppy, had kids, moved, spent time apart, spent time together.  We had losses.  We had great fortune.  We learned some hard lessons.  We were never perfect at whatever we were doing, but we always had each other.  It's been 14 years and we still don't know how to do this perfectly.  But Sean's still nice.  He's still kind, fiercely loyal, and earnest with his intentions.  He still smiles wide and laughs easily.  He is better than the man I married 14 years ago because he keeps the lessons we've learned with him while he keeps his heart and mind open.  He is nice.  I'm still having fun.

I met Sean by accident.  What a lucky, lucky thing.


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