Does anyone else love to hear how couples got together? My husband and I recently had our “Engageaversary” as I call it. We don’t do anything for it, I just remind him it’s the day he asked me to marry him, and then I make him tell me all his feelings from that day, how he decided it was time, and how he knew I was the one, etc. I do it partly because it’s fun to remember, and partly because he makes a face and pretends he doesn’t like talking about all that mushy stuff and it makes me laugh.
But it also makes me think about a springtime even before that, when my husband and I first met…
Picture it: it was a beautiful spring evening in East Tennessee, on a small rural university campus. I went with my roommates to the Bible study being held on the bottom floor of our dorm. We couldn’t help but notice that some of the guys there were good looking, and we said yes when the group invited us to their weekly after-study trip to the local Waffle King just across the state line in Kentucky. Somehow, I got lucky enough to be seated in the big booth next to one of those guys, and amidst the smoke filled, stale coffee scented air he was introduced to me by a friend as “Maddog.” (I was a little surprised at the dangerous sounding nickname, since he just smiled and nodded and didn’t actually talk the entire evening?)
Anyways, soon after that the semester ended, and everyone went home for the summer. I didn’t think much about this mysterious Maddog again until later the next fall, when our friend groups intertwined, and we started to get to know each other better. I would do laundry at his dorm since it was free, he tried to help me find a local job, and along the way we became friends. In fact, a girl we knew was pretty interested in him but I didn’t think they were right for each other, and I told some of our mutual girl friends that I was going to help him find someone who was a better fit for him. (Not that he needed any help with that!) Imagine my surprise when he ended up asking me on a date? From there it was history, and two years later he was asking me to marry him a week before graduation. And if you’re wondering where he proposed, it was right in front of my old freshman dorm, where we had had our first kiss after he walked me back one night. Pretty romantic, right? I never did think the high school baseball team nickname “Maddog” fit, since he is literally one of the calmest, most patient people I’ve ever met. But it’s still all people call him!
My favorite “how did you meet” story belongs to my grandparents on my dad’s side. My Grandma had just moved to Los Angeles, California from a small town in Missouri, and had never driven a car before. Not knowing this, her older brother asked her to drive his car across the street to the gas station and get some gas. She blasted across the road and directly into a gas pump, knocking it over, and the owner (a Marine who had just returned from Korea) came running out and swearing at her. She calmly looked right at him and said, “Fill it up!” My grandfather went back inside the station and told his buddy he was going to marry that girl; my grandma went back across the street and told her brother the same thing. Five months later they were married, and they must have done something right because they were married for almost 63 wonderful years. This story is such an accurate depiction of their personalities and never fails to make me smile.