Hello Meltingpot Readers,
If you’ve read my memoir, Kinky Gazpacho, then you already know this story. I apologize in advance. But yesterday was el esposo‘s birthday and that fact always takes me back to the beginning of our relationship. Here’s why.
So, just to recap, I met el esposo many moons ago when I was a college student, spending my junior year in Salamanca, Spain. Even though I strongly professed that I wasn’t interested in having a Latin lover, I wasn’t above crushing hard on the cute Spaniard in my German class. (Yes, Ms. Meltingpot was crazy enough to travel all the way to Spain to immerse herself in the Spanish language, but chose to continue her studies in German while there.) As it turns out, the cute Spaniard was crushing on me as well. We spent many wasted months crushing from afar and only managed to hold our first conversation with one another about six months into the year.
Knowing I had to return to the United States in about four months, our relationship went on fast-forward. We were officially ‘in love’ by the time June rolled around and it was time for me to go home. Part of me knew that our love affair was the stuff of college girl fairy tales and that what we had was a common cliché. Deep in the rational part of my brain I knew that in a matter of time I would forget cute boy and the memories of our romance would be just that, memories. After all, four months is hardly enough time to really know someone. But the hopeless romantic in me, and I admit ‘hopeless romantic me’ is much bigger and stronger than ‘rational me,’ kept asserting herself. And here’s what she kept pointing out.
Besides our mutual attraction, cute boy and I shared some otherworldly connections that could not be ignored. First, and foremost, we both loved the song Africa by Toto. Second, we were each other’s first real love. And then these were the reasons we felt the gods must have been involved in our meeting: 1) Even though cute boy grew up in a small Spanish town, where Black people were rarely seen, he confessed to his grandfather at a very young age that when he grew up he was going to marry a Black woman. And when I was an angst-ridden teen, I scribbled in my journal that I just knew Spain was going to change my life somehow and I believed in that statement like a second religion. 2) Cute boy and I both have a sister named Elisa. Seriously. And that’s not a common name or spelling in English or Spanish. 3) Cute boy and my father share the same birthday! That’s kind of weird in a Freudian kind of way, but also it seems to suggest a connection.
So, when cute boy and I said our tear-soaked goodbyes at Madrid’s Barajas International airport on that early summer morning way back in 1993, rational me meant goodbye forever, but the romantic me knew cute boy and I weren’t done with each other. Call it kismet or karma or cool coincidence, but I knew he was the one.
Now, dear readers, that is a nice story right. And I should end it there, but I want you to know the whole truth. Knowing that cute boy was ‘the one’ didn’t make our romance easy. It took seven more years, tons of trans-atlantic flights and a whole lot of bilingual bickering before we made our romance official. Three kids later and a few gray hairs, I can honestly say though, I’m glad romantic me fought for cute boy. He will always have my heart.
Dear readers, I don’t usually get this mushy on my blog. I don’t know what’s come over me. Please feel free to share your own real life romances so I don’t feel like I over shared. I’m listening.
And meanwhile, you can listen to Africa, by Toto.