|Our first official date in February of 1997, a Valentine's Banquet|
So I was reading on The Dose Of Reality, how they are going to have some memory lane type Q&A with their spouses on Valentine's Day. I was thinking that was a pretty awesome idea, and when they asked what question(s) I would add to the list to ask your spouse, I said, "What was your first impression of me and why?" Why did I want to add such a question? Well, they say first impressions are everything...but they aren't always the end all.
You see, my hubby and I met under...unusual circumstances to say the least. First of all, my first memory of him: He was trying to dunk a basketball in short 80's shorts in the gym at college and failing miserably! I took it as him trying to impress the ladies in the house and not doing so hot! The shirt he had on was a weird Mountain Dew one, too, that totally looked like a Budweiser Frog shirt to me which made me do a double take because we were at a Baptist College that did not allow those things (FYI, neither one of us drink and never have - but I didn't know that about him at the time) so I wondered just who this yahoo thought he was! Needless to say, I left the gym laughing about "the guy in the shorts who had that shirt that looked bad but wasn't and who so can't dunk!"
Just days later, if not the next day, we were playing sand volleyball on the same court and ended up on the same team. The game was horribly one-sided, and our team was winning and the other team had a horrible time serving. My hubby (who then was just "that guy") decided he was going to plop down on the ground and start building sand castles in the middle of our game! Not only that, but when he got the chance to serve the ball, he nearly took my head off - TWICE! Seriously! I asked another girl on my team who this idiot was, and she said, "Oh, that's Bob!" I decided then and there that I did not like this "Bob" very much, and went away from the game hopeful to not see him again!
Fast forward to the next semester (our second semester of our Freshman year), when there is a Valentine's Banquet coming up. I don't have a date and my friend, Andy, who I'd helped fix up with the girl of his dream (they are married with 4 girls, I believe, now) decided that he simply MUST repay my kindness by finding me a date to the banquet. Well, I blush and stammer and hem and haw and tell him that that's totally ok, I don't need him to do that.
His response? "Oh, Julie, you need a date! I'll tell ya what! The next guy that walks through that door is going to be your date!" Did I mention that we were in the cafeteria full of mostly guys and that it was a small college so everyone knew me more or less and everyone heard his announcement? Oh, yes...Embarrassment knows no bounds here!
The next words out of my mouth were my mixed blessing, "No way, Andy! You wouldn't do that to me!"
That, to Andy, screamed one thing: CHALLENGE! I saw his eyes twinkle. I saw his smirk. Oh, boy! I'd done it!
And who do you suppose was the guy that walked through those doors? The college hottie? Nope. The college jock? Nope. The guy formerly known as Bob who, I learned in that moment, was really named Aaron by Andy's declaration, of course! It went something like this:
Andy, jumping out of his seat and looking like a crazed mad man, way too giddy to be human: "AARON! Roomie! Buddy! You know Julie, right?"
Aaron, nodding a little while turning the same shade of red as me, while we both were so stunned and powerless to stop it all.
Andy, plunging ahead without waiting for a proper response, the rest of the room silent and watching, whispering to each other: "A little? Ok. Cool. You don't have a date to the banquet and she doesn't have a date, so why don't you go together?"
Oh, yes. It happened. Time stood still, the world waited and watched Aaron, waiting for his response. What was it? Wait for it...
Aaron licked his lips, fidgeted a little and looked like a deer caught in the headlights and said, "Um...I think...I think I have to work that day," and RAN out the door. Worst part? He didn't have a job! (Not a paying one, anyway - he did do odd jobs for experience/school credit, but no one knew that. All anyone knew was that he was an unemployed guy who just said he had to work to get out of a date!)
Oh, the horror! He didn't just leave, he high tailed it out of there like he was on fire, too! Ugh!
The laughter that erupted. The redness of my face! The look of "Well, I tried!" on Andy's face and the shrug! I tell you what, I felt like the ugliest and most unwanted woman on the planet at that moment. I wanted to kill Andy. I nearly did! He did apologize for making me look bad and all that, told me it was Aaron's loss, etc. - all the proper things to help a girl feel better, but it still hurt.
Over the next week or so, interesting things happened, though. Aaron had asked Andy if I'd really wanted him to ask me. Andy said, "I dunno. You'll have to ask her!" When I asked Andy if Aaron (who was actually kinda cute, even if he was kinda color blind and didn't always match and seemed a bit nerdy) really wanted to ask me, he'd say, "I dunno. You'll have to ask him!" The frustration that is that man! LOL :)
Andy must've known what he was doing, though, because that wondering lead me to start asking questions about Aaron and finding out he was actually a really nice guy. Aaron was also asking question about me, and knew my sister (who had actually gone out to dinner with him - he'd taken her as a "thank you" because she'd helped find him a ride home at Thanksgiving, nothing romantic) and thought I was kinda in her shadow and wondered what I was really like, and suspected I was pretty cool. Anyway, one thing lead to another, and I determined that IF he was the first guy to ask me to the banquet, I'd say yes (like any guy would ask me after what Andy had done in the cafeteria, but I digress).
Word must've gotten back to Aaron, because the next Chapel day (I believe it was a Wednesday) he asked to sit by me, which I agreed to. He showed me pictures of his sisters (Don't ask - I still don't know and neither does he. An attempt to break the ice, I guess.) and then said, "Did you want me to ask you to the banquet?"
I said, "Um, sure," and he said, "Ok," and then there was silence. I was waiting for an official asking, but it didn't happen. I was left wondering if I had a date or not when Chapel begun and we could no longer talk. I figured that at least I got to hear him sing (he has a lovely baritone voice), and I could figure out a way to ask if it was a date or not when it was over, but before I could get a confirmation and as soon as Chapel was done, he was gone and I didn't see him for the rest of the week!
Obviously this was NOT ok with me. On Saturday, I found Andy with the help of his girlfriend, Heidi, and pretty much let all the anger out on him that I'd pent up from the cafeteria debacle. I got in his face and pointed my finger and shook it at him and said, "There is NO way I'm going to the banquet with a guy I can't even TALK to and never see. You got me into this, so YOU'RE fixing it! Fix it, Andy, or I'm done!" Oddly, enough, the guy blinked and stammered (Vindication!) and told me that a bunch of them were getting together to play sand volleyball later, so I should invite Aaron and see what happened.
With Heidi's help, we tracked Aaron down, and I told him about the sand volleyball. He had a few things to do, so he wasn't sure, but he'd try. I felt in the pit of my stomach that this was going to be another cafeteria scene, but it wasn't. He showed up to the game later, and we spent the whole time talking and getting to know one another (he even bought me a cappuccino - SCORE!).
The rest, they say, is history. :)
I later made him officially ask me, which he did, and we did indeed go to the banquet together, by the way (see top picture as proof). Years later, I also found out that we had almost met so many times before that (we'd been to the same Tigers game just feet away from each other when we were in Jr. High, and he'd offered to carry my luggage at college because he'd thought I was cute, and a few other times, too), but I think that God knew what he was doing with the timing. If we'd met in any other way, at any other time, things simply would not have worked out like they did. That imperfect meeting was what was needed to make college sweethearts who dated throughout college, got married the May after finishing said college in December (13 years this May, all!) and now have 3 amazing children (ages 10, 8 1/2 and 2 1/2)...and a cat! Who knew, right? God, obviously!
This time of year, especially today, Valentine's Day, reminds me of all those things; how an imperfect start can lead to an amazing finish, how first impressions don't have to be the end all and how love knows no bounds...and how guys named Andy are so NEVER to be trusted! ;) All in all, I'm glad we met like we did - it's one of those stories you just can't forget and is so great to pass along! :)
|Us in January of 2013|
~*~ Happy Valentine's Day, all! ~*~
If you'd like, take a moment to leaving me a comment about how you met your spouse or some other memorable moment. I'd love to hear about it! :)
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Thankful Thursday on There's Just One Mommy