People are always asking me how I met my husband since we didn’t go to highschool together yet we met before college. Our eleven year wedding anniversary is this weekend, so I thought I’d share the story with you. I mean, I did tell you the story about how our marriage almost didn’t happen, I might as well share how it all began too.
How it All Began
Back in 1998 I’d just graduated high school from a small town. A friend of mine, who was fairly new to the area decided she wanted to get together with some of her friends from the neighboring city she used to live in to go camping.
She wanted me to go with them, but I refused over and over. It was going to be a whole bunch of teen couples, overnight in the dark at a lake, and single me.
Not going to happen.
I am not putting myself in an awkward, and somewhat lonely position. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I have social anxiety, and in my head that situation would have been nightmarish.
Somehow she won the battle and I found myself crammed in the backseat of a small car with her, her boyfriend, her sister, and a Saint Bernard drooling all over. Don’t forget all of the camping gear.
It’s possible I was having second thoughts.
We took the hour drive to the neighboring city and started collecting friends. We told them when and where to meet. By the way, this was back when cellphones were still fairly new to the teen scene, so no one carried one. Seems like a lifetime ago! With no cell phones we had to rely on those old fashioned methods of word of mouth and locating people at home, work or with other friends.
How We Met
After everyone was notified we dropped off the majority of the group at our campsite. Then I joined my friends sister to go pick up a couple more people from the city.
We were en route to pick up one of their guy friends as the first stop. Driving up and down a street in an area of the city I’d never been in she couldn’t find his house, but she knew it had to be around there somewhere.
She had almost given up hope, when I noticed we were on Oak Street. “Didn’t you say he lived on Vine?”
We were a block over. She adjusted and found his house.
His name was Nick. He had long hair, wore a dog collar, and for some reason I liked him right away. Not, liked as in I want to date you, but liked as in hey I have social anxiety and you’re someone I instantly feel comfortable around. We instantly started talking and laughing.
I found out his girlfriend couldn’t make it. Awesome, on a couple of levels. The yay, this makes me happy awesome and the sarcastic awesome of disappointment. Now I have someone I can talk to when all of the other couples start moving off on their own, but if I’m clicking this well with this guy, he has a girlfriend and I can’t even consider dating him. For someone who was wanting a boyfriend but was too anxious to go out and meet new people, this was bittersweet.
Maybe this camping trip wouldn’t be such a lonely adventure after all, or maybe it will. Most of me was happy to have some people around I felt comfortable with to take the anxiety edge off, then there was the part of me wishing this guy didn’t have a girlfriend.
We finally found our way back to camp and a group of people I didn’t know started building a fire. At some point tents were put up and sleeping bags were laid out. I don’t remember much from the time we arrived at the lake to the time I found myself laying out under the stars on my sleeping bag with a beautiful view of the lake at night. It was fantastic and I didn’t have to worry about people because everyone found their own little spaces to make out or whatever else they decided to do.
When I was worried about the social part of this trip, I’d completely forgotten about the peaceful time I’d get to spend under the stars. In hindsight, I’m glad it wasn’t raining because I didn’t have a tent!
Eventually that cute guy whose girlfriend couldn’t make it found me and asked if he could hang out because another couple had claimed his sleeping bag and he wasn’t sure he’d want it back. I don’t blame him and I’d lie if I said I wasn’t excited that he’d come back over to me to talk some more.
We spent the entire night talking about music, interests, life, philosophy, and of course getting to know each other better. Honestly I don’t know what we talked about, but we filled the hours with conversation. Orion moved across the sky and eventually I decided to roll over to sleep. Nick realized I didn’t have a blanket and didn’t want me to be cold so he put his arm around me and slept next to me.
Um, wait… you have a girlfriend! Yes, this thought crossed my mind, but I was warm and felt a connection I’d never had before. For a teen mind this was a conundrum, but a happy conundrum because I was happier than I’d ever been in my life. Besides, nothing was going to happen right?
After the Camping Trip
The next morning everyone packed up and went their separate ways. Sadly I had to say good bye to my new friend. I didn’t have his contact information and I wasn’t giving him mine because he had a girlfriend and that wouldn’t be right. But I spent the rest of the day, and the following week thinking about him. A lot.
Eventually we found each other again. Well, I knew he worked in the mall, so I made some special trips to see him, even if it was just so he could serve me a slice of pizza. Soon he came to visit my friends, and of course we spent the majority of that time together talking.
He kissed me.
Woah, wait, where did that come from.
Yep, he has a girlfriend and he kissed me. Yes, I loved it. Yes I was excited he liked me. But, girlfriend. As much as I hated it, I told him, nope, you have a girlfriend and that’s not fair to her. If you want to be with me, great, but you have to break it off with her first. You can’t have us both.
So he did. In the most awkward way possible for me.
How We Started Dating
He took his girlfriend to the county fair, I attended with another friend of mine. We all walked around for awhile, then got in line for the ferris wheel. I was to ride with my friend, he was going to ride with his girlfriend.
That’s not how it went.
He grabbed my friend and took off out of line, leaving me to ride the ferris wheel with his girlfriend.
The entire ride she worried that Nick wanted to break up with her to date my friend. At least I could honestly respond with, no, he doesn’t want to date my friend. It was the truth. I wasn’t giving any more information than was needed. It wasn’t my place, nor did I want to be stuck at the top of the ride with her knowing the other half of the story.
Finally the ride ended and we all walked around for awhile. At some point he took off with his girlfriend and left my friend and I to wander alone.
When he found us again, he was single.
But not for long.
And that’s how we met and started dating. Seven years later we were married, took a balloon ride on our honeymoon, and that brings us to the present. Eleven years of marriage going strong, with many more to follow.
Do you have a fun story for how you met your spouse, significant other, or even just a best friend? I’d love to hear your story in the comments.