There's nothing quite like being 16. And in the fall of 1994, I was thrilled with two things.
1. Cruising in my white Eclipse with friends, while blasting the Cranberries, on the way to football games on crisp Friday nights.
2. "Overtime" concerts that were put on by my church youth group program.
Each Friday night was just like the next. Except for one night when my friend, Erin, and I headed to "Overtime" after the game. As the band jammed inside, kids munched on juicy In-N-Out burgers and salty fries while mingling outside.
(Leaving the house the night I was about the meet Kevin)
It was then that I saw H-I-M. I saw this guy with a shaved head. I knew by how he was dressed in distressed Levi's with a flared bottom, funky cardigan over a white T, and Birkenstocks, that he was either an artist or musician. Being a drama girl, as in theatre, not just drama (although I was that too) I knew he was my type.
He was encircled by a group of people. His smile drew them in and his laugh was infectious. Others wanted to be near him. I did too.
I immediately asked Erin if she knew who THAT guy was. She nonchalantly replied, "yeah, that's Kevin Spencer."
With total disbelief, I gasped, "Noooo! That can't be Kevin Spencer!"
For the Kevin Spencer I remembered was from Potter Jr. High School. He had scruffy long hair and a rebellious reputation (in a junior high way) to go with it. When he'd walk by my group of friends on campus, we'd whisper, "there's Kevin Spencer. He's sooo bad."
So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered this guy I was salivating over was the Kevin Spencer.
I begged Erin to go over with me and talk to him. She casually asked, "so Kevin what have you been up to?" He smoothly replied, "just strumming my guitar."
For a moment, I heard angels singing and saw unicorns prancing over rainbows! I had always said I had 3 must have's in a boyfriend:
2. Shaved head (don't ask, it's just one of those things, you know?)
3. Good at math
But heck at that moment I didn't care about his math abilities! I just knew he was musical and had a shaved head. 2 out of 3 must have's would work. Turns out he's great at math.
As Erin talked with him, I stared. I then proceeded to stalk him for the rest of the night. Wherever he went, I was a good 15 feet behind. I could have been reported.
Then I went into super crazy stalker mode. I knew I had to find a clever way to get to know him. So a few friends and I started a guitar club.
Of course we asked Kevin and some of his friends to join. Guitar club led to weekly night games on the weekends, and night games led to being asked out on our 1st date.
So on November 18th, 1994 I nervously picked up Kevin and we headed to Claim Jumper. You may think it was strange for me to drive. Yes, it sort of was. But, Kev was "alternative" and didn't believe we needed cars. When pressed about this a few dates later, I asked, "what are you going to do when you have kids and need to take them to soccer practice?" He simply replied, "well, we will all get on our bikes and go to practice."
Turns out that a lot of things have changed over the last 16 years. One of them is that we both have cars.
We had fun dating for two years in high school...dances, youth group, double dates, etc.
After high school, I truly didn't think we'd stay together. After all, how often do high school sweethearts last, right? But, we both went to college in San Diego and it kept on working.
With a few break ups lasting a day or two, we made it through. It just worked well. There was no magic formula. We were buds and wanted to make it work. On one clear, picture perfect day in Carlsbad, Kevin proposed. I found the box under a stack of my favorite homemade cookies. I have to admit that the control freak in me sort of (really) hacked the engagement, but Kevin did his best to throw in some surprises along the day. He rolls like that.
On November 20, 1999 I tightly, yet confidently clutched onto my both of my parents as they calmly led me down the aisle at Fallbrook Presbyterian Church...the very church where I swooned five years earlier on a cool fall evening as I stared at a tall, smiley, shaved head musician.
And to this day, I still love his shaved head, listening to him strum on his guitar, and watching him do math homework with our oldest son. Turns out my 3 must have's were right on target. God is good like that.
Happy 11th anniversary, Kev. As it is engraved on your band, I'm forever your ballad.