After reading Black Heels to Tractor Wheels I feel like our love story is not that romantic, but it's special to me. And that's what's really important, right?
I was going through a pretty crazy time in my life when I met Hubs. I had somewhat recently broken it off with my college boyfriend, considered another proposal from a sweet guy in Canada, and eventually decided to move back home to sort out my messed up crazy emotions. I was able to get a job leasing apartments, which included an apartment for myself on-site. So I was finally on my own, entirely. Supporting myself, working hard, getting paychecks. It was good! But I was also very lonely and lost feeling. I prayed a lot. My ultimate desire was to please God, but I also knew that my ideal life was getting married and having children and becoming a homemaker.
So I decided to take matters into my own hands. Not sure if I'd recommend that move by the way, as always it's best to wait on the Lord. But God was working in my life even when I thought I had it all under control on my own. I decided to meet as many guys as I could, cast my net wide as it were, and hopefully find someone half way decent. I really didn't have very high expectations. I was actually very very skeptical about it. I was pretty convinced that I'd never love again, but I was also open to the idea despite myself. I know, totally contradictory. But that's how I was, sort of at war with myself on the inside. A battle between what I wanted out of life and how hardened my heart had become.
Going to clubs and bars was totally not my thing. Honestly, unless you count a cruise ship I've never actually been to a dance club. Well... there was one time I went swing dancing, but that's really about it! I'm just not into loud/crowded places. Not my thing. At all. They freak me out. So the only other way to meet many guys seemed to be church, work, through other friends, dating service, or online. Church? Granted that's a good way to meet like-minded people, but seriously, how many single guys do YOU know who attend church on a regular basis? Seems to me most men usually have to have a female prodding them in order to attend church. There are certainly exceptions to that rule, but I'd say that's generally true. Sad, but true. Work? I've generally thought it was inappropriate to date people you work with. Friends? I could think of nothing more humiliating than to ask around, "Hey, do you know any cute single guys with stable jobs and a good sense of humor?" Talk about embarrassing! Dating service? Too expensive. So that pretty much left Online. And since I'm also a total nerd that seemed a very probable way for me to meet someone.
So I posted a personal ad on a site that no longer exists without a picture of myself, and it said something like this:
Christian college graduate, getting over serious heartbreak, looking for fun and friendship. NOT interested in a serious relationship. Interested in reading, travel, missions, music, movies, etc. DO NOT respond if you are not a Christian. ONLY interested in a nice Christian guy.
I sounded like a total train wreck!
The first day after I posted that I had over 30 emails in my Inbox! Even more came over the next several days, and I suddenly spent a LOT of time sorting through them and making snap judgments about each and every one of them. Kids? Sorry, I don't date guys who already have them. Divorced? No thanks, not interested. Over the age of 32? Nope, not gonna happen. Ten year age difference was too much for me. Outside of the Portland area? Nope, not gonna do long distance. And on and on my qualification list went.
After I did lots of sorting and judging I started meeting them in person. I was very safe about it, always met in public, always told a friend where I was going and who I was meeting, etc. I met 6 guys this way over the course of several months, all of them very nice, no complaints, just not for me.
And then I got Hubs' email which went something like this:
Hi! I'm an officer for the Port of Portland, and in my free time I go snowboarding nearly every weekend. Fun and adventure is what I'm all about! I'm about 5'10", blonde, blue eyes, and I have a tongue ring. I'd love to get to know you, you sound very interesting!
Ugh... firstly, my brother is a snowboarder... I know what they're like. Total adrenaline junkies and pot smokers! SO not my type! And tongue ring??? Yucko!
So I wrote back, I always wrote back, it's rude not to right? And I politely put him off. I told him that it sounded like he really wasn't my type at all, that I'm pretty straight laced and since I don't have any piercings or tattoos that I'm probably not his type.
But he kept persisting! He kept writing me, daily, kept sharing more about himself, kept trying to break the stereotype I had put in my head. We wrote back and forth for several weeks, him always insisting that we have common ground, and me always backing away saying, "That's nice, but no thanks." Finally I thought, Ok, fine, I'll go forward with this, prove to him that I'm just not for him, and then I'll go on my merry little way. I'll meet him, and then that'll be the end of it. I really didn't take him seriously, at all.
And because I didn't take him seriously, I started getting messy with my rules. I allowed him to come pick me up at my place. Really dumb of me, but that's what I did. I realized later that I had somehow forgotten to ask him all my qualifying questions such as, "How old are you?", "Have you been married before?" etc. And because I have ADD, I sort of figured that I had asked them already, he'd answered, and I'd just forgotten. And I was too shy/embarrassed to ask AGAIN, and admit that I'd forgotten. Obviously I was trying to juggle too many guys at once! If I had known the answers to those simple questions, I never would have agreed to meet him, and I would have missed out on the very best date of my life.
What made our first date different then all the other guys I'd been meeting? Well the typical first date's I'd been on would consist of driving around with the guy asking, "So, what would you like to do?" And me saying, "I don't know, what would you like to do?" My date with Hubs went more like, "Wanna go play some pool?" "Sure, I haven't done that in forever and I'm terrible, but it sounds like fun!" Hubs had a PLAN! Later I found out he had it all written out, and if plan A didn't sound appealing to me, then he had a plan B, C and D! Whereas most dates I had been on consisted of dinner, and possibly a movie. With Hubs, our first date was dinner, pool, a walk on the waterfront, and drinks w/ live music at a jazz club! And our conversation was non-stop! For whatever reason, the guy who I supposedly had nothing in common with suddenly had lots of things we could talk about. He had the gift of gab! He also revealed to me his age (almost exactly 10 years older than me) and that he had been married twice before. So I was still a bit leery about him, skeptical, but he was breaking down the walls of my heart chip by chip.
The next day we happened to see each other online via instant messenger. Later on he told me that his "rule" was to wait a day or two before communicating after a first date. But since I was right there, we chatted, and ended up making plans to see each other again that very afternoon! Why? Because he told me about this magical place called Frys, a land filled wall to wall with computers and everything to go with them, and it was a place I just had to see for myself, and he promised to take me. LOL It was nerd love. Hubs and I had found our common ground.
We pretty much saw each other every day thereafter until we were engaged 6 months later. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Remember to get those recipes ready for Mystery Spice Monday! I can't wait to see everyone's recipe using a Mystery Spice from their cabinet/rack!