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My Hunka Burnin' Love

By: Christina Harlin

On June 27, 2008, my husband and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary and the 19th anniversary of our first date. Today’s blog is in tribute to him because he’s my big sweetie. I met Bruce in 1989. We both worked in our college textbook department. We were assigned together on an inventory project and we clicked immediately. I was a sucker for those dark bedroom eyes. I was so interested in talking to this funny, cute guy that I made several mistakes while working and it took us twice as long to complete the project as it should have. Duly noted: crushes are bad for the workplace. Real-life romance isn’t the same as it is in the idealized world of romance novels. In some ways it’s a lot simpler (for example, it seldom occurs in the middle of a murder mystery or a heist) but in other ways it’s a lot more complex, because none of us have the beneficial guiding hand of a narrator.

I must have been sending out some powerful ice-queen vibes because Bruce, who later confessed that he really wanted to ask me out, refrained from doing so for fear of rejection. Here is a short dramatization of poor Bruce trying to crack through my cold exterior:

Christina: I see that Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is playing at the theater.

Bruce: Yes, it is.

Christina: Have you seen it yet?

Bruce: No, I haven’t.

Christina: I haven’t, either. I love Indiana Jones movies.

Bruce: Oh, really?

Christina: I am really looking forward to seeing it.

Bruce: Yeah.

Christina: But I’d like for someone to go see it with me.

Bruce: Oh.

Christina: So I don’t have to go alone.

Bruce: Hmm.

Christina: I’d hate to go see it alone. My roommate doesn’t really like adventure movies.

Bruce: Oh, really?

Christina: So . . . I wonder if I’ll go see it, sometime soon.

Bruce: Yeah.

Christina: If someone would go with me.

Bruce: Hmm.

Christina: Is my bludgeoning you over the head with this mallet painful? Should I bludgeon harder?

Men. Though I have paraphrased a bit, that mini-play was an actual conversation that we had. I had never so blatantly and obviously pummeled someone with hints in my life. When I told him about this conversation from my perspective, much later, he admitted that he never picked up on the fact that I was inviting him to ask me out. But we can’t hold Bruce entirely to blame for this. The logical next line for Christina, rather than mallet-bashing (which I admit is the one fictional construct in the mini-play) would have been, “For crying out loud, let’s just go see the movie together.” At the age of twenty, I guess I just wasn’t that practical. Luckily, Bruce and I somehow surmounted our communication barrier, and got around to someone asking someone out. Obviously I don't remember how we managed it because it's more fun to tease Bruce about the first try.

(Little sneak preview here: Next time my turn rolls around, I’m going to let romantic-advice-columnist Eustacia take the blog again. Since her first blog, she has received several letters from romantic heroines in desperate need of her services, and I fear the consequences if these poor women don’t get some help soon.)


  1. What a lovely story, Christina! Sometimes it does feel like you have to hit someone over the head to make them realize there's an open invitation :)Glad to hear it worked out. Congrats on your anniversary!

  2. Great story, Christina!! :) Happy Anniversary! :

  3. Happy Anniversary! Hope you're communicating better these days!

  4. Happy Anniversary! Wow, that's a Mars/Venus conversation if I ever heard one:-) Thanks for my morning laugh!

  5. Happy Anniversary Christina!

    Guys are so dense at times.


  6. Happy Anniversary Christina! I swear, I think our husbands are related.

    After several "I'm going down to get a soda, anyone want one?" and him saying "Sure, I'd love one" instead of, "Gee, let me help you." I knew he hadn't a clue, so the next time I offered to do a soda run, he offered to buy. I said "No, I'll cover the sodas, you take me to lunch."

    He took me to lunch the next day because he'd already eaten. It was 11:30! Who eats at 11:30? When I blurted that out, he said he'd been up since 4AM. I should have known our relationship was doomed. I usually didn't go to bed until 4 AM.

    Despite our opposite circadian rhythms, we celebrated the 19th Anniversary of our first date on April Fools Day - which explains soooo much.

    Robin :)

  7. Thanks for the Happy Anniversaries, everyone. You all are sweet! Yes, Bruce and I are communicating better these days. I learned to just say what I mean, and he learned that he's my idea of the perfect catch. Now we do that annoying thing where we complete each other's sentences and bug our friends with our in-jokes. Still, someday on the blog I may tell the tale of "the song that reminds him of me." Which was a whole 'nother comedy of miscommunication.

  8. Great story Christina!!! When my husband asked me out the first time, at work BTW, I asked him "Do you have ANY idea how old I am?" LOL, I'm 10 1/2 yrs older than he is. Although I have to give him credit, he said to me: "If it doesn't matter to me, it shouldn't matter to you." And so we went out...

  9. Happy Anniversary, Christina (and Bruce)! What a great story and a few other great stories from some of our blogging friends. My husband likes to tell everyone we slept together on our first date. Such a freaking LIAR! But you know how a lie takes on a life of it's own? After 16 years of telling the same lie, I think he honestly believes it!

  10. I love all these shared stories of meetings. It's interesting to tell the stories of how you met someone, so many years after the fact. My mother says that the first time she saw my father, she knew she was going to marry him. I didn't know that right away, but I did know I liked this guy. Plus everything that happened with him was easy (after that first crossing of wires, I mean). BTW, I have offered my hubbie the chance to submit a rebuttal and tell his side, but he declined feeling the need. Apparently I got the details right enough.


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