Harry and I met during our junior year of college at IUP in the fall of 1993. He, a marketing major, and I, an English education major, ended up in the same Spanish II class.
“Hola, Señor,” Harry greeted the professor. “Dónde los tacos?” he asked.
“Buenos días, Señor Smith. Me llamo Donna Snyder. ¿Cómo está usted? Me gusta libros y tu lessons.” I introduced myself to Professor Smith.
I immediately determined that Harry was a wisecracker, and he coined me as a teacher’s pet. Both of our assessments were spot on. I knew I wanted to be friends with this handsome, silly guy in spite of the silky dark hair flowing down the middle of his back. I never dated a guy with long hair before.
We got to know each other better while working part-time at the Indiana Burger King near campus. I worked there since my sophomore year. I walked two highway miles, donning my dorky uniform, until Harry got hired his junior year. He owned a car, so I asked for a ride whenever we worked together. I wanted extra evening hours once a week and asked Harry if he’d be willing to close with me and drive me home. I didn’t want to walk that far alone in the dark.
Harry was great about picking me up, even when I was running late according to his earlybird clock. Our concepts of time haven’t changed since, but now he is a little grumpier about my: Just a minute; I’m almost ready; Quit rushing me! We still get where we need to go together.
I loved being around Harry. He was such a breath of fresh air and made me cry with laughter. I wished to shrink him into a three-inch friend that I could carry around with me everywhere I went. I imagined how much better life would be if I could just pull him out of my backpack while studying at the library or watching Seinfeld during a homework break.
As our friendship became stronger, I knew I was falling for Harry and started to get butterflies in my stomach when I got to be with him.
After I went to his Halloween party and met his roommates and friends, he realized he “liked” me too. We didn’t reveal our feelings right away.
Then, one wintry night, when I was working the drive-thru and he was in the backline, making Whoppers, it hit me. Harry threw a frozen chicken tender at me, nailing my elbow. I was smitten with his poultry pass, his flying flirt, and treated it like Cupid’s Arrow. That was the beginning of us.
We had a blast going from tacos to burgers and dating for four years. We got married on October 11th, 1997. It was the perfect Pennsylvania backdrop for our autumn wedding day.
Twenty years later, I’m thankful for the continued uncorking of laughter, outpouring of love, toasting of true promises, and the drinking in of our genuine friendship. Cheers to being wild about Harry and the life we share as a couple and to our most precious commitments to each other, our daughters, Cara and Elena.