The Last Love Letter Project is a series of hand-written love letters answering the following question:
If you could write only one last love letter to the person you love most, what would you say?
Participate in the Last Love Letter Project by writing your own letter and submitting it here.
It is an ageless story (or, at least as old as high schools have been around). The story of two who meet in their formative years, sharing the same classes and circle of friends. In our case, that was for the best. For us, being friends before being sweethearts was, is, and will always be the basis of our love.
For us, it was Chemistry and Algebra II, neither of which I was one-half as good at as she was. She was way ahead of me in those classes from the start. She was a sophomore, and I was a junior. She was straight A’s; I was a B+ student too busy with clubs and school activities. Everyone knew who I was; her circle of friends was much smaller. Day-to-day contact at school (and, luckily, a seat next to her in Algebra II) gave our friendship the time to sprout. Connecting on an intellectual level first, then learning of our similar backgrounds, brought us to know where the other had come from and where we thought we were going in the future.
They say that opposites attract and if you were to compare our personalities – her the introvert, me…not – that would be true of us. The reality was, and we came to know it soon enough, that our respect for each other intellectually and our common background and values demonstrated we were more similar than different, especially given that those attributes undoubtedly extend beyond high school.
I am sure that when we started dating we must have seemed the odd couple. It started inauspiciously enough; she wanted to stay at the school dance later than pre-determined with her mother, so she asked a mutual friend – her “pseudo-big brother” - to help her find a ride home, which turned out to be me. After introducing me to her mother and giving the appropriate assurances of a safe ride home, we spent the remainder of the dance together. So began the timeless story, our timeless story. The year was 1974, the sophomore class-sponsored Sweetheart Dance. We danced “Soul Train” style to Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s “Taking Care of Business” and drove to her house listening to Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” on the eight-track stereo in my blue 1971 Mustang.
Although I was not as smart as her, I was smart enough to ask her for a date for the following Friday, March 1, 1974. I was not smart enough, however, to pick a better song for our first kiss – Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling”. She would say that she knew I was the one by the hug I gave her at the end of the date. To this day, we laugh every time we hear, “Ouga Chaka, Ouga Ouga….”
Fast forward past the prom, college, marriage, children, tough times and better times, approaching forty years later, it is the laughing that keeps the love strong. Whether it’s good-natured fun at the other’s expense or, as we have developed quite the repertoire, inserting a favorite movie line into ordinary conversation, my heart sings when I hear her laugh.
She'll say, "Who forgot to close the door?" I'll respond, “Round up the usual suspects.”
Or, I'll ask, “What do you want for dinner?” She'll reply, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
Laughter + Loyalty = Love. Our Story.