Eight Years!

Eight years ago tonight I talked to John on the phone for the first time.

In case you don't already know, we met through match.com. He never could have found me because my profile was hidden (unless I saw someone who interested me and shared it privately). But the other reason he never would have found me was because he wasn't even looking at profiles. A friend talked him into signing up and creating a profile. But, once he did that, he did nothing but wait for someone to contact him. And he was pretty ho-hum about the whole thing. I, on the other hand, was a compulsive "shopper" in that I enjoyed reading profiles. However, I was only interested in Christian men who did not smoke and I didn't want anyone to see or contact me unless I initiated it. (I did not want to be "shopped.")

On May 29 I saw John's profile and sent him mine, along with an introductory email. I also sent him a picture. He told me later that he had pretty much decided not to renew his subscription to match because even when he received emails of interest, he didn't feel inclined to pursue them. He'd been set up on a few dates as well and he wasn't sure he was even interested in dating. But (I later learned) when he read my email and saw my picture, he had a feeling there was something different about me. And he responded right away. (I, of course, had no idea at the time what his frame of mind was or that he had any such feeling about me.)

On the night of May 30 we were talking back and forth online (through instant message). I type 100 wpm and John uses only a few of his fingers. He couldn't keep up with me. So he sent a message with his phone number and: "Call me!" I was living at my dad's at the time and my dad had already gone to bed. So I went downstairs and called him. He had a good sense of humor and there was interest on both our parts. And after a fairly lengthy conversation, John said, "Well, I guess we should meet in person at some point. When do you think we should try to do that?" I said, "What are you doing tomorrow night?" And the rest is history.

May 31, 2003 was our first date. We met at Famous Dave's in Hermitage. He asked me what was good (since I had been there and he hadn't) and I suggested we share The Feast. He tells people to this day how I ordered a meal that was served on a trash can lid on our FIRST DATE. LOL. (Nobody who knows me is one bit surprised.)

I love to remember that first date. John has a silly side and he was as much himself that night (being goofy) as I was (being a foodie). He listened so attentively and laughed so easily. I knew I had made a really good friend. I could picture us hanging out. But I didn't have a clue how important he would become in my life or how quickly our relationship would deepen. Every day after that date he wrote me sweet and funny emails. And he called me every night. By our second date the following weekend, I was smitten. If you've read my book, you know the story. My love and adoration for my amazing husband has only grown ever since. And I have never stopped feeling like Cinderella. I am really, really blessed.

John came home early this afternoon and spontaneously suggested we take a drive. I was expecting him early but wasn't anticipating going anywhere. So I quickly put some makeup on and we hopped in the car. We wound up at Arrington Vineyards (gorgeous place). And then we went to J. Alexander's for an early dinner in Cool Springs. On the way home, I was "thinking out loud" and telling him how unbelievable it still is to me that he is my husband. But not only that. Of the two of us, my life has changed the most since we've been together. Life is different for both of us in that we are finally so happily married. But when I moved to Murfreesboro to be with John, I'm the one who started fresh (and John teases me that I'm the one who needed to). I didn't know anybody in his world eight years ago. I remember thinking I would never connect all the names and faces of the people I was constantly meeting. But today it's very different. Not only are all of his friends my friends; these days I even introduce John to people he doesn't know on occasion. (Which always makes me smile.)

When this time of year rolls around, I always enjoy remembering our first date; how I didn't have a clue that I had just met the man of my dreams or how much my life was about to change. I will always remember John's facial expressions that night. There is an expression he has when he's listening intently and slightly amused. He raises his eyebrows and his eyes open wide. I saw that expression a lot during our first (hours long) dinner date. (Maybe that's why it has stayed with me so vividly.) I remember thinking how genuine he seemed. And I was right. He is such a genuinely good man.

Every time I see that expression on his face, I am taken back to our first date ... to that first clueless night when I met God's best for me. I am so thankful for the last eight years (the most rewarding and joyful years of my life).

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