The Rest Is History

Back in the spring I wrote about how Todd and I met twenty-three years ago on April 5th. If you didn’t read it or want to refresh your memory you can read it HERE.

My plan was to write about our next meeting the following month, however, as is often the case with me, I forgot. I’m guessing the rest of you forgot as well and could have lived out the rest of your days without the rest of the story. But I found it written and need something to post. So without further ado, here is the long awaited (or not) post.

May 4, 1984 was a very warm Friday in Southern California. I ditched my classes and met a friend at the beach. From 10:00 until 4:00 we sat in our beach chairs, toes wiggling in the sand, catching up on all that had happened since our high school graduation nearly 12 months before. The only real movement was to either turn over or move our chairs into perfect, hedonistic position. I suppose we probably ate some sunflower seeds and drank some soda somewhere in there, too.

When I got home I rushed upstairs to shower and get ready for my Friday night. Cathy and I were going to go see the Rick Springfield movie, Hard to Hold. Since Cathy loves me for me I forewent any type of fashion or make up. I had on an old pair of sweats and a sweatshirt with the bottom ribbing ripping away, my short hair dried with no rhyme or reason and a sunburned nose.

Before Cathy got to my house my mother informed me I had received a phone call while I was at the beach. A guy named Todd. “Todd?” For some ridiculous reason the name didn’t register, even though I had talked about him with my beach friend just hours before. “You know, Eddie’s friend,” she called up the stairs.

“Oh!! Todd!!” It had been an entire month since I met him at Eddie’s house and I hadn’t seen him since. Still, the realization of who she was talking about sent a jolt through me and I couldn’t have wiped the silly grin off my face if I’d tried.

He hadn’t left a number, but said he’d call back later. Just as Cathy and I were walking out the door the phone rang. I looked back at my mom, her hand on the phone, and she asked, “Are you still here?” It took me about a half a second to say, “Not unless it’s Todd.” It was.

He and Billy had been playing basketball and wanted to know if I wanted to come over to his apartment and watch the Lakers’ game with them. I told him I already had plans. He persisted, but come on. Lakers?? Or Rick Springfield?? It was a no brainer, though I certainly liked the idea of seeing him again. Finally Billy got on the phone and he apparently has superior persuasion skills because he coerced me and Cathy into coming over to Todd’s apartment to pick them up so they could go with us.

Now if you read the post where I explained how I met Todd you’ll know he was in an unstable relationship when we met a month earlier. Two weeks after we met, however, he broke up with his girlfriend. Coincidence? Or something else? Like being smart enough to recognize his best chance for a happily ever after. Anyway, since he’d removed that obstacle I felt no compunction about going to the movie with him even though it wasn’t a date.

So Cathy drove us to Todd’s apartment where the four of us then got in his car for the ride to the movies. As I said in the other post, he was really cute. As soon as Cathy saw him she called shotgun. And she was supposed to be among my very best friends. But since this wasn’t a date or anything I guess he was fair game. Besides, I had that kind of, sort of boyfriend. But he was on the other side of the world and frankly, I kind of, sort of forgot about him. Cathy hadn’t forgotten about him, though.

I pretty much figured my chances for this hunka hunk were out the window as soon as Cathy showed up anyway. She was tall (taller than me, anyway), thin, blond. I was short (relatively speaking), healthy (I should be half as healthy now), and brunette. But when we got to the theater I was very encouraged. Somehow Todd managed to arrange the seating so that I was sitting next to him. Very slyly, too, I might add.

The film was showing at The Strand – a 1930’s theater across from the Redondo Beach pier. The beauty of this old movie house was that they usually showed a double feature. This particular night’s double feature was Hard to Hold preceded by that underappreciated gem of the big screen – Seven Doors of Death. Or something like that.

Now we’re getting to my favorite part. The cheesy part. The part where I think I started losing my heart. During one of the tenser (or would that be more tense?) scenes of the first movie Todd grabbed my shoulder to enhance the scary factor and make me scream. Yeah. But that’s not the good part. THIS is the good part. He then gave me a “watch this” look, reached around me and scared Cathy in the same way. But the BEST part was that he left his arm there on the back of my chair for the rest of the movie. How “Happy Days” is that?? It still makes me giggle just to think about it.

The next day was a Saturday and Todd was busy with his family, but we had made arrangements to go watch Cathy’s softball game Sunday evening. After the game we went for pizza with the team and hung out for a while. When he drove me home we stood out on my front porch for what seemed an eternity and just talked. Finally around 2:00 in the morning he gave me the kiss I’d been waiting for.

After that we saw each other just about every day. The rest, as they say, is history. And what a history it is!


  1. April on October 3, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    Sweet Jen. I just love to hear these kinds of stories. It is fun to know the history too. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Gretchen on October 3, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    I needed to read a still crazy (about each other) after all these years post. Very sweet. You both came out winners, I’d say. 🙂

  3. Mama P on October 3, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    Ah, that’s romantic! I love stories like that. I miss feeling like that these days, too. But sometimes I get a tinge of it still. Thanks for the feel good feels!

  4. Rosie on October 4, 2007 at 1:11 am

    My courtship was a tornado it happened so fast and was long distance ta boot! I love this sweet romantic story of you and Todd.

  5. Lori on October 4, 2007 at 1:35 am

    Awww. I loved Rick Springfield too. And I love The Strand!Great story 🙂

  6. Becky on October 4, 2007 at 2:49 am

    Awwww…that’s so sweet, Jenster. Love hearing people’s personal romance stories. LOL on the “Happy Days” moves…sounds like he 2 o’clock ROCKED your world, huh? (Okay, that might have come off a little better if you’d stayed up til 4 am, lol) ;o)My husband first asked me out from a security van he was driving on our college campus…while pressing his arm against the van door to make his muscles look even bigger, lol. Sappy as it was, it worked to impress me.

  7. Sherry Smyth on October 4, 2007 at 8:44 am

    Isn’t it wonderful to go back in time and recapture those special “first” moments?? Thanks for sharing your happiness with us.

  8. Dev on October 4, 2007 at 10:35 am

    Awww, nice romantic story Jen. Your “cheesy” part made me smile.

  9. Monnik on October 4, 2007 at 11:18 am

    Oh, man. I love this! The part about him scaring Cathy and then leaving his arm there is so cool. I love thinking about those days when touches were electric, and there was always a part of you focusing on him.

  10. The Daily "B" on October 4, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    So sweet!

  11. Shauna on October 4, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    *sigh* I love a good romance story. That is just tears-to-your-eyes sweet!Whatever happened to Mr. Marine?

  12. Shauna on October 4, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    Or was it Mr. Navy?

  13. Jenster on October 4, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    April – Thanks. I think it was pretty sweet, too. :o)Gretchen – Yeah. Who knew all those years ago that we’d end up where we are now. God is good.Mama P – It’s good to remember how it was in the beginning, doncha think?Rosie – Todd and I dated for two years and then he moved to Arkansas. We then had a two year long distance romance until we got married. But that’s another story for another day. And speaking of which… I’d sure like to hear your story!Lori – Is The Strand still there? I thought they tore it down. That would be sad. :o(Becky – Cheese makes everything better. lolSherry – Yes. It’s good to remember.Dev – Me too! lolMonnik – Electric. That’s the perfect word.Deb – Thanks. :o)Shauna – He was in the Navy and I had to write him a “Dear John” letter. Turns out he was a lot more serious than I was, but the heart wants what the heart wants. And my heart wasn’t even engaged where he was concerned. lol

  14. Carolanne on October 5, 2007 at 5:38 am

    Awwww.That is so sweet!

  15. CindyS on October 5, 2007 at 6:26 am

    Awwwww, I love it! And I want to hear more! Two years separated? That would be really hard.cindyS

  16. So now everyone knows how Jen became the love of my life!! I am still trying to figure out if I am offended by the remark “…, he was really cute.”. Does that mean that I am not any longer? Am I only the man that keeps her living in the lifestyle to which she has become acustom to???hhmmmmmm….Todd is still thinking….

  17. radioactive girl on October 5, 2007 at 10:59 am

    I love this story! So beautiful!

  18. Lynilu on October 5, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Nice story! Aren’t you glad you have that to share with your kids and grandkids? 🙂

  19. Lynilu on October 6, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    Back to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings to you and all of your loved ones for the next year!!

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