In seventh grade I had simultaneous crushes on two different Cindys. One was in history class and the other in English. I’m not sure why I’m remembering them. Except, I was thinking about how I wasn’t really in their social circle but if I had run into one of them in a store, out of the realm of her friends and school environment, then perhaps our relationship could have moved forward—if even slightly.

Do you ever remember that? Encountering another kid—one above you in the hierarchy that is junior high—and you were almost forced to acknowledge one another. Maybe you even chatted as you waited for your parents. Back at school then, something shifted. Who knows, maybe you even became friends.

I remember when Cindy—mine today, not either of those others—and I crossed a milestone of sorts early in our relationship. We’d begun as friends and then started dating a little, but nothing too serious. Then, some friends of ours (mostly music majors) wanted to feel sophisticated, so they threw a dinner party. All the invited guests were expected to bring something. So I asked Cindy, “What should we bring?”

She remembers that. How suddenly she and I were a we. I don’t remember saying it, but I do remember what we took to the dinner party.

We spent the evening at my house­ (well, my parents’ house) botching what we’d decided on: devilled eggs, highly sophisticated fare. The initial recipe called for dry mustard. But it didn’t quite have the zing it needed, so I added Miracle Whip. Not a good choice. We had to make a second trip to the grocery store to purchase more eggs. Into the wee hours of morning, we worked on our eggs. But even more, we worked on our relationship.

Sort of. It just happened. Like it never did with those other Cindys.

If you’re married, do you remember that moment (or moments) before you married when your relationship took a big jump forward?

If you’re not married, do you happen to have a good recipe for devilled eggs? I’ve got a hankering for some.

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