Monday, August 6, 2012

A Story

Once upon a time . .

There was a girl who grew up in a small town, went away to college in a small town, and, upon graduation, moved to the big{ish} city.  She was poor for a while, working a couple jobs to make ends meet before - in a whirlwind of 24 hours - was offered her dream job as a second grade teacher in the school of her choice just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Meanwhile, there was a boy who grew up in a small town, went away to college in a big city, and, upon graduation, moved.  And moved.  And moved.  Aaaaaand . . . moved.  6 moves and 6 years later, he found himself in Knoxville, where one night after dinner with a co-worker, he decided he needed some new clothes.  So, he went shopping.

As fate would have it, he chose the clothing store which employed the best friend of the girl.  And as more fate would have it, the girl had been in the store the night before complaining about some douche guy she was dating.   And, as even more fate would have it, the same employee was working with the girl's bff as the night before.

Said employee retrieved the bff from the back, saying he thought someone the girl might be interested in was shopping.  The bff came up front, and because the boy {who is perfectly capable of carrying on a conversation with a wall} was chatting after his purchase, the bff asked the all important questions:

* Are you seeing anyone?

* Are you married?

* Are you an axe murderer?

When the boy replied no to all of the above {later the girl would discover not all of his answers were 100% true!}, the bff asked if he'd be offended if she set him up with a friend and 72 hours later, after the exchange of phone numbers, an unlikely phone call initiated by the girl {because the bff dialed the phone and handed it to her before walking out the door}, and the boy almost deciding to be a douche and stand the girl up, the boy, the girl, and the bff met for the most epically disastrous first date ever.

4 days after the first date, the boy and the girl went on their first unsupervised date and after dinner sat in the bed of the boy's obnoxiously large truck until 3 am because he was living in a hotel and the girl refused to go to his room without the  bff lest she might be maimed, raped, or killed.  Alas, she was not.  Obviously.

circa May, 2001.  Such babies!!
Almost 3 months later, in July 2001, the boy told the girl he loved her and the girl was hooked . . . and willing to overlook the boy's funky, post-wrestler ears {which were really not that funky at all but were going to be the girl's excuse to not like him if she needed one}.  True story.

There were 2 moves, one house purchase {with the accompanying threat that if she bought the house she was staying in it for 5 years. She didn't.}, several weddings, weekends away, and many highs and a couple very low lows.  But through it all, the boy and the girl persevered and the boy's 18 month long job turned into a little over 3 years.

Around rolls February 2004.  The boy's job was done, which also meant his time in Tennessee was done.  And not only would he be leaving Tennessee, he was leaving the country altogether.  On March 14, 2004 after the boy's sister's wedding, the girl boarded a plane bound for Tennessee while he finished packing and 24 hours later, the boy boarded a plane bound for Greece.

For 3 months, the boy and the girl talked every few days and looked forward to June.  As soon as school was out for the summer, the girl hopped on a plane . . . and then got back off the plane after 4 hours because of mechanical difficulties . . . and then got back on a plane and headed east.  27 hours, 4 planes, and 3  countries later, she had butterflies in her stomach and tears in her eyes as they were reunited.  And she knew. She knew that she needed a shower that he was the one.

The girl secretly hoped there was a ring and a romantic proposal during her time in Greece, but there was not.  Slightly disappointed, they returned home together, attended the girl's sister's wedding, and then . . . then the ultimatum came.  The boy wasn't returning to Tennessee with the girl and the girl wasn't going to be a forever, long-distance girlfriend.  The boy had decisions to make.  And he'd best make them quickly if he knew what was good for him, something the girl knew could back fire seeing as the boy usually did the polar opposite of what someone told him to do.

As his deadline loomed, the girl was certain the boy wasn't taking her seriously, wasn't ever going to commit, and she spent most of their weekend visits in tears.  Unbeknownst to the girl, the boy had been planning, plotting, and shopping for a ring and on August 6, 2004, in the back of a limousine in Wilkes-Barre, PA . . . the girl said yes.

The next 365 days were filled with excitement as they planned their perfect day, fear as the girl sold her house and quit her job, turmoil for a multitude of reasons, and procrastination as the boy waited until mere weeks before to finalize plans for the honeymoon.  But, alas, the day was upon them.

On a super hot August day in Maryland, surrounded by their closest friends and family who had traveled from near and far, they said "I will."  The day wasn't perfect: the air conditioning wasn't working correctly, the bridal party was sent down the aisle too early, and a couple groomsmen were not on their best behavior.  The boy and the girl were old enough to know these weren't omens of bad things to come, it was life.  Life isn't perfect, just as their marriage isn't.  But it is perfect for them.  And for the three amazing gifts God has blessed them with over the past 7 years. 

They say the number 7 is a lucky one.  I can't imagine being any luckier in 7 than we have in years 1-6, but I can't wait to see what's in store.

Happy 7th Anniversary to my boy.    

To be continued . . .

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