It is my wife’s birthday today and to be honest she doesn’t get excited about celebrating her birthday. It’s not that she doesn’t appreciate birthday wishes from family and friends she does. She is an introvert and introverts don’t like to be the center of attention and birthdays definitely make you the center of attention. I am an extrovert and you can about imagine how much extroverts love celebrating their birthdays and being the center of attention.

When Roxie reads and edits my blog and realizes that the blog is about her it will give her some anxiety. Because once again, she doesn’t want to be the center of attention. My reason for writing this blog about her is to let everyone know how we met and how our relationship began and to make this blog a birthday present to her. You may be asking why write a blog about her if it gives her anxiety and stress? Good question. It’s what I do as her husband. She is use to it by now. This blog won’t surprise her. You need to keep reading and you will know why.

I first met Roxie in October of 1972. We both were starting ninth grade. Her family moved from Ruthton Minnesota to Madison. It was early morning on that October day and I was in Mr. Besonen’s class. The door opened to the classroom and in walked a blonde girl holding books. It was the new girl in our class. Mr. Besonen welcomed her to the class and instructed her to go sit next to me in the back of the room. It was the first time I laid eyes on my future wife. She sat right across from me and for the rest of the class I don’t remember a thing Mr. Besonen said. I just kept looking at the new girl with blonde hair and thick glasses. I thought she was pretty cute.

Years later she would tell me that she remembered that day and remembers me sitting across from her. She recalled that I was wearing a jean jacket and looked too old to be a freshman in high school. She also noticed my long sideburns and thought to herself, this boy must be a senior flunky taking a freshman class. Freshman boys don’t have sideburns! Our relationship started almost right away. She didn’t like me at first because I wouldn’t leave her alone. I pursued her with a passion. I would chase her on my bike and call her Roxanne, which she hated.

Our relationship grew as we both hung out at the Youth Center, we spent a lot of time there. It was located where the Prairie Arts Center is now. We talked a lot and we talked about everything. I would walk her home many nights from the Youth Center. Our first kiss was on one of those nights after walking her home. We were in the alley by her house standing next to a telephone pole. To my surprise she initiated the first kiss. It was the sideburns that did it! That telephone pole is still there and sometimes when we are driving around now I make a point to drive in that alley and reminisce with her about our first kiss as I stop by the telephone pole.

The rest is history, four kids and six grandkids later we are still madly in love with each other. We have known each other for about 50 years! We have a great life together and hope for many more years. Introverts and extroverts can get along. They can coexist together for many years. Isn’t that fascinating? People who can be so different can live together peacefully and get along so well. Happy Birthday dear! I will try and make it a low key celebration today just for you!

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