I’m going to need everyone who has posted a Facebook status along the lines of, “Happy Anniversary to my best friend and the love of my life!” to form a line, so that in an orderly fashion, I can walk down said line and thump each of you right in the middle of your foreheads.
It was the summer of 1997, I was 19 years old and spending the break working in the office of a church my mother had started attending.
My parents had just gone through a shocking divorce, and by shocking, let me just say that to this very day, almost 20 years after their divorce, I’ve never heard my parents argue. Ever. They woke us up one fine Saturday morning and told us they had gotten a divorce a few weeks earlier and my dad was moving out. There was no warning shot fired, no attempt at counseling or reconciliation, just that one sucker punch when we weren’t paying attention. A year later, I broke up with my boyfriend of four years and my heart was still tender from both events.
Before I headed back for the next semester, my older brother Matt and I decided to go to Texas for a motorcycle rally with a friend’s family.
We borrowed a tent, loaded Matt’s car and joined a caravan of cars following the O’Bryant family to Texas. One of their sons, Zeb, was a year younger than me. Even if I was looking (which I wasn’t) I wouldn’t have looked at him twice.
Zeb wasn’t my type. My type was clean-cut, the kind who wore lots of Polo shirts and khaki pants, possibly played golf. Zeb rode a metallic blue 1976 Harley-Davidson everywhere he went, had a goatee that was a little longer than I thought sanitary and his naturally brown hair was bleached blonde and spiked in a manner not unlike Edward Cullen’s — or Edward Scissorhands’, for that matter.
Regardless, meeting Zeb began a weekend-long love affair with his vintage Harley-Davidson and winding back roads. Every time Zeb jumped on his bike, he’d give me a nod, I’d hop on and we’d take off. The rumble of the Harley and the twisting roads through the Hill Country almost hypnotized me. The wind blasted my face and ratted my hair as the sun warmed my jeans.
We were sitting in a church meeting when I had a crazy thought:
“My husband is here somewhere…”
My eyes scanned the crowd and as they did, they fell on Zeb, who was sitting to my right, ripped jeans and motorcycle boots propped on the chair in front of him. Now I’m not saying I heard an audible voice, but something deep inside of me clearly shouted, “It’s him.”
I knew from that moment on I would marry him. And it’s a damn good thing I was hearing voices that night – otherwise I would’ve totally missed it.
Robin O’Bryant and her husband Zeb.
Zeb is my polar opposite. He’s an extrovert; I’m an introvert. He loves nature and the outdoors; I’ve wondered if I could get a PhD in iView. He’s calm, steady and always in a good mood. I’m creative, a roller-coaster of emotions and quite frankly – prone to hysterics.
But, Zeb isn’t my “best friend.”
I want a best friend who will tell me I need one more pair of shoes and a man who will remind me to save for my retirement account. I want to call my best friend when I feel I’ve been wronged and hear her say, “What a b*tch! I can’t believe she said that to you!” I want to be married to a man who says, “Who gives a sh*t what she thinks?” And I want to get into bed at night with a man who ignites things in me no one else can.