What I Learned From Dry January
What Is Relationship “Popcorning” And Am I Guilty?
The Fifty-First Official Friday Night BeerBlog
The Seventy-Fourth Official Friday Night BeerBlog
What’s With The Friday Night BeerBlog (FNBB) Anyway?
The Seventy-Second Official Friday Night BeerBlog
Married 26 Years Last Month – The McShane Secrets To A Successful (ish) Marriage.
You’re a Savage. Classy. Bougie. Ratchet.
The Eighty-Third Official Friday Night BeerBlog
The Eighth Official Friday Night BeerBlog
I Can See Clearly Now The Dirt Is Gone
The Twenty-Third Official Friday Night BeerBlog
Half My Life Feels Like Forever, But In A Good Way
March 26, 2021 – The Ninth Offical Friday Night BeerBlog
26 years is a long time. It is half my life. When I was younger, I never could have imagined doing something or being with someone 26 years. That is mainly because when you are 26, you feel that you have already lived, you know everything, and that doing something that long or being with someone that long must mean that you are old or that your life is nearly over.
This past week Mike and I passed the 26th year anniversary of our first date. Actually, was it a date? Mike always says we never dated, but that we “hung out”. So we just had our 26th annual “Hanging Out” anniversary. And if you guessed that we went to a bike race on our first date then you absolutely know us well. And we didn’t go alone. We went piled in Dave Sommerville’s minivan with a bunch of other people and bikes. This was a first date with not only Mike, but all of these people who I was in very close proximity with.
I had known Mike since 1989, but he had moved to Cincinnati after we both graduated from UofL in 1991. He had just moved back to town when I ran into him in Cherokee Park in 1995. I had been working crazy hours for years building a career and was feeling that I was short-changing myself of a balanced life of a twenty-something. Agreeing to go to that bike race with Mike and his friends turned a page for me. It was a game changer.
I’m not good with most memories, but I remember that day clearly. Never mind that I had had a crush on Mike for a while, but I had pretended to race bikes while riding around downtown Frankfort growing up, so going to see a real race was pretty epic.
I wore homemade cut off jean shorts and my generic white cheerleading tennis shoes. Or Ferrys as Mike called them. (That means Fake Sperrys, btw) But the pièce de résistance were the Vuarnet sunglasses that I went out and specially purchased for this day because that’s what they wore in the Tour De France. I mean, I would have done anything to make sure Mike and his friends think I was cool. Those Vuaranets with the purple Croakie were definitely going to do it.
At the race I met so many other people, other significant others, children. It was a family atmosphere. After the race we all piled back into the minivan and went to Wick’s pizza. Once seated I took off my prized sunglasses to reveal a severe raccoon eye sunburn. The points. The laughs. Then I saw my face in the bathroom mirror. I figured “Oh well” because there was nothing I could do about it. I think the fact that I took their shit forced Mike’s friends to give me the stamp of approval right then and there. The Vuaranets worked, but not in the way I intended.
You never know when something is going to work. I had no idea that Mike and I would click after some of the shitty relationships I had. There was that three week courtship and first marriage before I was 21. Then there was the guy I dated for two years that I thought I might marry, but who, after seeing the movie Sleepless in Seattle, left me convinced that the Walter character had been based on him. Why would this one work? Who knows, but it did.
Twenty-six years ago. Twenty-six of my fifty-two years. Exactly half my life ago. It’s been 26 years for me and Mike and 26 years with all of these people I met that day and in the year we dated. We share this “hanging out” anniversary with all of them. I had no idea that that one date would change the rest of my life, but it did.
So, needless to say, when you start to date someone, you also start dating their friends. They, too, are going to see you at your best, at your worst, and love you anyway. There will be no better cheerleaders that are able to push your buttons and get you in trouble sometimes. They are eventually going to be the people you have important bonds with, on your own, in your own adult life.
I remember when I dated someone for a year I thought it was forever. Well twenty six really feels like forever. It’s hard to imagine having spent so many years this close to one person and this many years literally growing up with so many that are still such great friends. Over the years I’ve seen these people get married, get divorced, have children, turn forty, turn fifty, and now turn sixty. So many memories filled with dinners, parties, living room dancing, bike races, grottos. Way too many to mention.
So cheers to this milestone with Mike, but a bigger cheers to all our friends that accepted me when I had raccoon eyes and who still love and support me today.
If you wish to listen to this blog in podcast form read by Me and Mike: