A couple weekends ago, we celebrated our 5th anniversary. I can't believe we have been married for 5 years! But really, it does feel like we've been together for a long, long time. I can't remember what it feels like to NOT be married. Our lives are so intertwined now, and I love that comfortable familiar feeling of sharing my life with my best friend. I know it's mushy but it's true, and I think I'm allowed some sap once a year! So, in honor of our anniversary, I decided to finally share the story of how and when we met. It is unnecessarily long and detailed, so much so that it's divided into 2 posts. So read at your own leisure :)
I met Michael on a Thursday night in the fall of my freshman year in college, while walking over to our campus coffee shop with a group of friends. He spotted a couple guys he knew, and couple girls he didn't, and he figured it would be in his best interest to meet said girls. One of them was me. I don't remember a lot from that night, but I remember thinking he was funny and nice and he had a great smile.
After a few times of seeing him around campus, I said to my friend, "Michael's really cute but I don't think I would ever date him because he's too much of a flirt."
A few months went by, we both dated other people, and come spring we started hanging out with the same groups of friends. One night a big group decided to drive down to the river and build a bonfire. Michael had parked his Jeep right by the bonfire to play music, and somehow I ended up sitting on the hood of the Jeep with him and another friend. We got lost in conversation, and eventually the friend sitting in between us figured out something was happening and she scooted on out of there, leaving the two of us talking for the next couple hours. I remember leaving that night feeling different. I had seen a new side of Michael, a side that was not only funny but real and genuine, and it gave me butterflies in my stomach to think about him. I quickly realized that that was not how I was feeling about the guy I was currently talking to, and I ended things with him within the next couple days. And then I waited. I waited for what seemed like an eternity, for us to have more moments like that, more chances to see each other and get to know each other. Our paths crossed a lot that spring, and I got to know him not only on a personal level, but also from afar. I saw how he interacted with friends, and what his reputation was. I had no idea what he thought of me, or if he was feeling the same way. I did my best to show interest in him whenever I saw him, but I also really wanted to be pursued. I wanted him to make the first move.
So I patiently waited.
One night he got stuck in a situation with my good friend Sarah, where they were waiting on a group of us to get back from doing something off campus, and they had about half an hour to kill. Sarah started probing, in the tactful way that only she knows how, trying to get a read on his feelings about me. Michael is a go-getter, but sometimes he lacks confidence when he's unsure of the outcome (MEN). When he expressed the fact that he liked me but didn't know how I felt about him, Sarah told him, "Let's just say that she wouldn't be opposed to you asking her on a date." That was exactly the encouragement he needed. I am forever indebted to that girl.
He finally, FINALLY, asked me out on a date just in the nick of time. We had roughly three or four days before finals were over and everyone would pack up their dorm rooms and head home for the summer. He asked me to go get coffee at Starbucks and then we walked over to sit on top of the War Memorial Chapel that overlooks the big drill field on campus. I don't remember much of what we talked about, but we had a great time and it just felt right. I felt more comfortable with him than I'd ever felt with anyone. I'm not going to officially use the word "magical" but I'm throwing it out there. It was that good.
We saw each other a few more times before the end of finals, and then we parted ways to return home for the summer - him in Charlotte and me in northern Virginia. Not the greatest recipe for a budding relationship.
To be continued...