Linda Medina Martinez – 3,062 Days and Counting
Couple’s Love Song: We Belong Together by Mariah Carey
It is rare to say that you met your significant other in elementary school…but that is exactly how Sergio and I first met. Well, we didn’t officially meet. It was more of he has cooties and she has cooties – gross! We had been in the same school district since 2001. Yet, it wasn’t until a warm, fall football night that we actually met and began our love story of almost 10 years and counting.
But before we both formed our polar-opposite high school identities, we shared a familial story similar to many immigrants who call America their home. Both our parents had us at a very young age. They had family support, but being young and naïve with the responsibility of being a parent is challenging. Our parents made the tough decision to leave behind family, traditions, culture, and all they knew to give us a better, more fulfilling life. They bravely travelled with their oldest child to a new land of opportunity and hope. Separated by 410 miles in our birth land, Sergio and I closed the distance in 2009 during that warm, fall football night.
Sergio was a charming, popular guy who was known for his flashy style and being the first of his friends to have a car. He was not at the top of his class but his teachers enjoyed his charisma even though he had his share of lunch detentions. He was a great athlete; soccer was his life. I was a quiet, brainy freshmen who was known for her stylish hair and academic performance. I was the future valedictorian and held a reputation of a perfect school record. I excelled in volleyball and participated in many extracurricular activities and held leadership positions.
It was 2009 and “I Gotta a Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas was blasting at our high school football game. And yes, we both had a feeling…a feeling of genuine connection. Although we both proved to have extrovert qualities, when it came to talking to the opposite sex, Sergio and I relied on our friendships to ignite the spark of our future relationship. His friend and my friend planned an improv meet-and-greet session during that football. I was anxious, and even though he still doesn’t admit it, Sergio was just as nervous as me. So we said hello and introduced ourselves, even though we both knew each other’s name and a little about where we stood in the hierarchy of high school politics. As our conversations flowed, things felt more at ease. He was as charming as his teachers had described him and the more we talked, the more we found out we had in a lot in common.
We lost track of time and didn’t even realize that our football team had been crushed. He offered me a ride home, but I knew that arriving in a boy’s car at night would be the end of me in my household. So I made up some excuse and gave the good ol’ “I’ll text you” catch phrase.
So I actually met my significant other at a high school football game. He asked me to his girlfriend at the following football game and I said yes! We had only known each other for a week but it was enough to know and feel the genuine connection we had. We were also young and naïve, just like a pair of couples we both know and love.
The rest is history.
Well, not really – the rest is filled with complicated, lovey-dovey, sad, amazing, over-the-top, exciting, epiphanic learning experiences that shaped who we are and our love story. Our story is unique because of time and its relativity to our worlds. Sergio and I were born 865 days apart and met 5,344 after I was born. We started our relationship 7 days after we met and have been together for 3,062 as of today. We spent 600 days in high school together and 135 apart during first semester of college. We grew up and developed as young adults all while being in a relationship. We learned from each other and from our mistakes. We discovered new things together and shared many firsts.
But all of these dates and numbers and days don’t mean anything without the beautiful and life-changing experiences we have gone through together. Let me briefly enlighten you…
In 2009, we embarked on an unknown journey.
In 2010, we celebrated our first birthdays together.
In 2011, we celebrated Sergio’s graduation.
In 2012, we became neighbors.
In 2013, we celebrated my graduation.
In 2014, we felt the impacts of being in a long-distance relationship.
In 2015, we learned the value of communication and mutual-respect after our first break-up.
In 2016, we became doggie parents.
In 2017, we got engaged and moved out.
In 2018, we are getting married!
In 2019, we will continue to love each other, respect each other, empower each other, motivate each other, cheer on each other, and grow together.
P.S. If you are a visual learner see below for a pictorial description.
P.S.S Our song is the first song we danced to. It was at our first homecoming dance on September 19, 2009.