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My husband and I were eating at a restaurant when a tall, handsome waiter, not ours, came up to our table.

The young man said he had a personal question he wanted to ask us.

Sure, we said, curious.

“What did you think when you first saw her?” he asked my husband, David.

Not what we were expecting, and it took us both by surprise. For one, it wasn’t something I’d ever asked my husband.

“Hmmm,” David said, looking at me. “When I first saw her?” Well, David told the waiter, he knew who I was in college, but I didn’t really know him. He was in his last year of school, and I had just transferred there.

“She was definitely in the cute category,” he said.

We told the guy that we worked together at The Jonesboro Sun, sitting just inches apart, and that’s when we really got to know each other.

“So it wasn’t this overwhelming feeling?” the waiter asked.

No, we both said, shaking our heads. In fact, I would have laughed if you had told me I was going to marry him. Not my type, I thought.

He was tall and gangly and a little goofy. He wore hand-me-down wing-tipped shoes and a watch with a Velcro band that fuzzed up his polyester pants, as I recall. He was in the friend category with most girls.

I told the waiter I sat in the newsroom once and helped David decide what female employee he should take to a concert. I’m pretty sure we even wrote the candidates’ names on slips of paper for him to choose. I was not one of them.

But this skinny co-worker of mine with the sarcastic sense of humor made me laugh, laugh, laugh. And I figured out pretty soon that he was one of the smartest people I’d ever met. He was a really good guy. He was honest and laid-back. And he cooked.

He invited me to his apartment one night after work — midnightish — and I went. We talked and talked and, yeah, kissed.

We told the waiter our whole life story. I asked him if he had a girlfriend; he said he didn’t.

I told the young man that it all worked out, because David and I were about to celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary.

That’s today, Oct. 10, as I write this.

Thank goodness, I gave David a chance, and thank goodness, he kept putting up with me.

It’s been a great 32 years, although we’ve had sad and stressful times, because that’s life.

He slept on a cold concrete hospital floor when I was in early labor with our firstborn son, who will turn 30 on Nov. 1, and helped deliver our second son, who turned 26 this year, when he was born in the front seat of the car. That pretty much sealed my husband’s hero status, but to him, it was no big deal.

He’s the rock in our relationship; I trust him with my life. He talks me off ledges and puts up with my obsessive-compulsive personality. He lets me be me. And I respect him and am so proud of what a great dad, Pop and teacher he is. He’s still one of the smartest people I’ve ever known, and he makes me laugh every day.

First impressions aren’t always right, I told the waiter. It’s the lasting ones that matter.

David said to me as I was getting in the car today: “I’m glad I’m married to you. I’d do it again.”

Me, too. It’s the best decision I ever made.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-5671 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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