I was enchanted by him 21 years ago. So hard to believe. I met him over some pasta, breadsticks and *parsley* (inside joke) at the Olive Garden after the homecoming dance. We both had different dates. We were 14 years old. I was enchanted by him that night. He made me laugh. He was cute. He made my heart jump. I remember this like it was yesterday. We then went our separate ways. I met him again and was completely enchanted by him when we were 15. I fell in love. I would doodle "Erica Diane Halpin" all over my bookcovers. I was Enchanted.
After a few years, things changed, we both changed and we went separate ways. My heart was broken and I remember praying that he would come back to me. My mom gave me the greatest advice she could've ever given me. She told me that no matter what, always be kind to Joel. Never give him a reason to say "I made the right choice to walk away from her." My heart wanted to not be kind at all. I was hurt and 17 year old Erica wanted to see him hurt too. But, I followed her advice and was kind.
I saw him at a wedding a few years later. I had no idea he would be there, but as soon as I saw him, my heart began to pound and I was enchanted by him. I started asking my mom if I looked okay and started looking really nervous and she had no idea why until she looked back and saw him. After the wedding, I was backing out the car and I suddenly saw HIM. ENCHANTED. I smashed in the car behind me. I think my mind went blank when I saw him.
We didn't see each other again for several years, but when I saw him again, he had the same effect on me. And, obviously, he asked me to marry him, I said "yes" and here we are. 13 years. And still, I am enchanted by him. I am not a very lovey dovey, touchy feely kind of person. I don't daily let Joel know how much I love him and how much he means to me. But, I completely love him, am completely Enchanted by him and thank God for him every single day. I cannot wait to see where the next 13 years takes us. Happy 13 years!!!!!! You are the GREATEST!!!
(Elliot had no idea that this is me in this picture...guess that is what 13 years does to you!!) Cute, little 22 year old Erica and Joel!!! So young