Last week I started telling you the story about how I met my husband. (In case you missed it, here is the link to my previous post) Let’s see, where did I leave off. Oh yes, THE AWKWARDNESS! So the day came for me to go pick him up at the airport. L.A. traffic was so horrible that I was actually 30 minutes late picking him up, but he seemed as happy as ever to see me when I came pulling up. Ok, so we’re off to a good start. I was so nervous that I was weaving in and out of traffic like a madman and am not quite sure how I’m alive today to tell you this story. That evening, we went on our first official “date” which consisted of us going to a less than spectacular mall, eating even less spectacular Chinese food at the food court. I’m not sure why we thought that would be a good idea. Broke college students, I guess? Conversation was SO rough. I kept trying to keep it going, he was NOT. I had all these expectations of how we’d have really deep conversations and walk away feeling like we had gotten to know each other more. That is not what happened. I actually got sick of trying to initiate conversation, and just let us sit in passive aggressive silence… waiting for him to do something, anything, in the middle of this gross mall… anger welling up inside me. “Why does he not care to get to know me more?” This. Sucks. Did I mention I was still a teenager and clearly still immature?
We left and went to a dollar theater across the street from my campus, and I was a little relieved that there wasn’t any pressure to talk anymore, but was stressing the whole time because I was stuck with this person the rest of the weekend. Is this how the rest of the weekend is going to go? I’m not sure I can live through that much awkwardness. I dropped him off at his hotel, made no plans to meet up the next day, went back to my dorm, wearily crawled into my bed, and cried. My roommate Emily tried to console me, but I had visions of how this night was going to go, and not one of those scenarios involved horrible dates. I told myself I just had to get through the weekend and then I could cut off all ties with him. It’ll be easy to do because he lives in Illinois and I don’t have to see him again if I don’t want to.
I woke up the next day, feeling refreshed and thought that maybe I was just being dramatic. This weekend could still turn around, right? I tossed my expectations out the window because this wasn’t going to go how I’d dreamed it would. When does life ever follow your idealized version in your head? I also needed to accept him for him and not try to mold him into what I assumed he’d be. (This was something that took me a while to learn. But this was day #1 of trying.) I ended up just showing him around MY California the rest of the weekend: stayed at my parent’s house, went to the beach, hung out with a few of my friends, shopped, went to all my favorite food places, walked around my favorite beach towns, and ate some more. He seemed to loosen up after that first day, as did I, and we started to get used to being around each other, making the weekend turn out better than it had started. Thank. God. By the last day, he asked me if he could make me his official girlfriend, which by this point that first night was long gone in my mind and I agreed to be this guy’s girlfriend. My first boyfriend. I wasn’t sure how this was going to work long distance, or work in general because this was all new to me. I was actually pretty skeptical but I was willing to give it a shot. Also, I’d like it noted that he didn’t even try to hold my hand, so baby steps was how this was going to go. Such a gentlemen and so patient with my wishy washy self.
We baby-stepped our way through a 2.5 year long distance relationship, taking turns flying back and forth every 2 months, as well as talking, texting, and emailing every day. It was around this time that my little sister, Kait, decided to go to Illinois State for college which was in our hometown where our older sister, Tara, (and Isaac) lived. This meant I’d be the only sister still in California, and they’d be living together, having a bunch of fun that I’d be missing out on. Being the middle child, I didn’t want to be left out, and decided to move back with Kait. Tara struck a deal with our parents and they (reluctantly) allowed Kait and I to move across the country into a house with Tara. (Looking back now, I think this was the best thing we could have done because it helped bond the three of us together and has really helped us in the long run with running a business together.)
But anyways, Isaac and I were finally in the same city! That meant we spent pretty much every waking moment we could together because we couldn’t do that before. However, we were immature, and fought a lot about stupid things and fought a lot about big things, and were navigating how to be in a relationship in person. For me, this is where the rubber met the road because feeling the weight of impending marriage, my expectations of the picture-perfect relationship were being shaken. You probably see a pattern here, and it’s probably couple’s counselling 101 where the woman has unmet expectations and is super passive aggressive about it. Haha! But I learned a lot during this phase of our relationship and we made it out alive. I took a step back and I realized through all that, he calmed me, he took care of me, he was the most loyal person and stuck it out with me, he respected me, he was a live and let live and accepted the mess that I am. We were far from perfect, but he was exactly what I needed. We got engaged two days before Valentine’s Day, a few months after I had graduated (I graduated a semester late due to credits not transferring), and got married a year later, approximately 5.5 years after that first awkward date. I can tell you, with everything inside of me, that he is my person, and I couldn’t do this marriage thing or raising two little rascals without him. God knew that all along, and I’m so glad that hunky guitar-playing dude caught my attention so long ago and never let go.