My sailor and I met when I was in high school. He was home from school for the summer and dating my friend’s older sister. I fell for him about the first time I looked into his dazzling blue eyes. He had the irrestible combination of being a worldly older man (he was in third year university) with a gregarious personality that complemented my bookish introverted ways.
When he joined the Navy after graduation and his dad showed me a picture of my sailor in his dashing white uniform, my innocent school girl crush solidified. I was hooked and fatasizing about our happily ever after. I was a wholesome girl (read boring), so my focus was on our future family life. A recurring day dream involved my sailor visiting a perfectly groomed and made-up version of myself in the hospital where I had just delivered our beautiful baby boy. My sailor, of course, was in his striking uniform.
When it actually happened, the experience was more Survivor Tribal Council than Hallmark card.
My skin was sweaty and blotchy; my unruly curls a frizzy mess. My sailor wore a Canucks T-shirt that had been washed a few too many times and faded jeans rather than his full dress whites.
In spite of that, the reality was far superior to my girlish fantasy because we had made a healthy baby. He was better than anything I could ever have imagined.
Real life is often messier than fantasy, but so much more rewarding.