By Michelle Petroccio
I first met my husband when he was eight years old and I was 16 and dating his cousin quite seriously. We used to hang out at his grandmother's house and the little boy wouldn't leave us alone. He was always touching my long blonde hair and saying, "I like your hair." I remember him being a real pain, but having the cutest smile and beautiful blue eyes. But most of all, I remember asking his cousin to make him "get lost!" After some time the cousin moved to Florida, and the relationship fizzled.
About 20 years later, I had just come out of a very painful relationship and was living on my own, working fulltime and going to school at night. My best friend Tammy and her fiance wanted to introduce me to this guy named Bill, and I basically told them I had no interest and I was fine on my own!
One Friday evening, I was taking care of my neighbor's apartment and pets while they were away and when I returned home, I found a message on my answering machine. It was Tammy telling me that she and her guy were on the way over with this guy Bill. Now I had a blind date I couldn't escape and it was in the day before cell phones, so I couldn't contact her. I took a quick shower and changed into a cute denim skirt and tank top and put some music on the stereo.
The doorbell rang and in they walked with this really great-looking guy with the most amazing blue eyes and smile. After they introduced us, I couldn't believe that it was "Little Billy."
The conversation and the wine flowed. We kicked aside the coffee table in my tiny living room and put on some John Secada to dance to. That was on June 10. By July 9, he told me he loved me and I just couldn't respond because I knew if I did, it was all over for me. But he was "The One." Ten days later, he asked if we could move in together, and I gave him the "Crossed Witches Fingers" and told him, "If you want to live together, you have to marry me." He asked, "When?"
We set a date for Nov. 19 of that year and put the plans in motion for the most romantic red velvet Elvis wedding! On Sept. 19, he gave me a ring on my birthday. We were married exactly two months later.
Nine and a half months to the date of our wedding, our first child William II was born. Almost 17 years and three additional children later, we are still married and very much in love. He is my best friend and we do almost everything together and with our four amazing children, William, Dalton, Olivia and Daniel.
We have shared sickness and health, life and death, laughter and tears, but most of all, we still share love. Fairy tales do come true; love at first sight does happen. And to all of those who doubted us, we proved you wrong. So to my Billy, as Elvis sang to Ann Margaret and as in our wedding song, I love you, "Today, Tomorrow and Forever, You'll Always be My Love."
Michelle Petroccio lives in East Haven.