Picture this: a skinny, dorky 11-year-old, coming out of being a misfit in elementary school, finally finding some acceptance upon entering junior high. With two other elementary schools merging with mine, finally, I wasn’t the new girl any more. There were people who didn’t ridicule me, who liked me. I finally fit in (sorta).
And there were new boys to admire. Including Jeremy, one of the most popular kids from Niantic Center. He was also super skinny, but super cute and all the girls liked him. He played football but was sort of new wave preppy. He had golden skin and crystal blue eyes. He drew me pictures of frogs and leopards standing in for Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth, singing Jump. He knew how to flirt.
He “asked me out” on a Wednesday and gave me one of his football jerseys. As a declaration of our status and an early indication of my nostalgic ways, I wore his football jersey every Wednesday. Every Wednesday of sixth grade.
The relationship didn’t last the school year, but our love did. 26 years later, we—along with his equally incredible wife, Tiffany—got to spend two nights in Paris, drinking wine, overstuffing ourselves, reminiscing and laughing.
One of my favorite things about Jeremy is his lust for life and his heightened awareness of how lucky he is, how good his life is. More than money or a big house or a worn-out passport or 48-inch TV, it is this simple awareness and gratitude that will make you happy.
Love you, Jerem.