1983. September. Thirty seven years ago. Thats a good bit of time no matter how you look at it. It was in fact September 1983 that a candy bar changed my life. It’s true.
You see, I love chocolate candy bars. Especially Snickers. I love football too. Little did I know that my my love of these two things would shape the entirety of my adult life. I dreamed of the day that I would be the starting running back for the Annapolis Fighting Panthers high school football team. As a high school sophomore in 1982 I was on my way. Made varsity my first year. Practicing pretty good. I was the second string fullback behind a senior, a mentor who I respected (what’s up Mo?). Not to be however. A rare heart condition cut my season short after just two scrimmages. There were those who whispered that I was cut from the team. Not true. I never disputed the rumors because I was more embarrassed and afraid of the truth. I was 15 years old going to cardiologists and heart specialists from literally around the world for answers. Surgery was discussed but thankfully never needed. It was scary and I kept it private until this moment.
I was devastated. For two years as a junior high schooler I woke up at 6am during August summers to go watch the high school team practice. All for naught. Or was it….?
I had an idea. If I transfered to another school where doctors didn’t know me I could play football. Ok, that’s what I’ll do. My mom lived in another school district (I stayed with my grandmother) so it was easy to transfer schools. My new school? Old Mill Senior High. Well, ok. We’ll see. Tough going to a new school after spending your whole life in one district.
Back to September 1983. My first days at my new school. I notice a whole lot of new faces. Some notice me. One day while in the cafeteria a young, shy girl approaches me. There is a fundraiser for the track team and she is selling candies, among them……..you guessed it! Snickers bars! She asked if I would buy one. I said I’d “buy” two, but “pay” for one…..lol. I did buy one Snickers. As time went on I noticed her maturity, her easy smile, her friendly personality, her athletically toned well-developed body, and her ability to be a part of the “in crowd” without needing to “follow the crowd”. I noticed. I may have bought more Snickers, but that first one lasted a lifetime.
I went on to marry that girl on November 23rd 1996. We’ve come a long way from where we started. Owning our own homes, raising good kids. So today November 23rd 2020 we celebrate TWENTY FOUR YEARS OF MARRIAGE! My wife has not aged one day. (I have done all of the aging for her……..) I’ve driven her as crazy as she has driven me. You don’t even want to know. (If you’re married you already do know!) But, remember the Snickers? Remember I said I like chocolate? Who knew it would provide 37 years of friendship and 24 years of marriage? Happy Anniversary Carla. We are just getting started.