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2005-04-24 - 1:45 p.m.
Why I'm so happy:
My husband and I have been together for a long time now. We met the second day in the dorms freshman year of college (1997). I was 17, he was 18.
At our college, the dorms were segregated by floor. I was on the 3rd floor in my hall, and so the second day we were there a couple of us decided to head up to the fourth floor and "cruise for guys" as we said. We had walked down one hallway and were starting to explore the other when a very-cute-but-frazzled guy walked quickly toward us and said to me, "Have you seen my backpack?" "Umm... no?" "Okay, well, if you see it will you let me know? I'm in 402." He then ran off hunting for his backpack and I was standing there confused. How was I supposed to know if a random backpack was his? Why did he think I would have seen it?
Later that day, a large group of us were headed for the cafeteria for dinner. We saw the same guy with another guy coming down the stairs and someone from our group said, "Hey, want to eat with us?" They did, and on the way to the cafeteria that guy who had confused me earlier (let's call him... R.) quoted Monty Python. I finished off the quote for him, and he was thrilled (thanks, ex-boyfriend from high school who introduced me to the joys of Month Python...). We talked and talked and talked until late at night. Then started again the next day. Two weeks later, he told me that even though he originally hadn't wanted to start another relationship so soon after his high school ones ended, he wanted to date exclusively. Here's what happened in my head: "WHEE!!! HE LIKES ME! He's so cute. I wonder what our babies will look like?!?" (okay, that last part is a small exaggeration, but I really was pretty thrilled) The thing that made me feel really good about the relationship was that R. had lost his Chelios (this is back when there was an NHL and when Chelios was on the Blackhawks) jersey that night and yet was STILL willing to think about me. If I had lost my Yzerman jersey, I can't guarantee I would have been so loving...
We had our ups and downs over the years in college. Mostly ups, but some pretty rough downs too. I'm grateful for it now because I am fully confident that we're right for each other.
After college, he was starting grad school in Fort Collins. We knew that we would be getting engaged at some point, so I followed him out to Colorado. After a miserable four months living in Denver (I hadn't been able to find a job in Fort Collins, and eventually gave up and started working retail which I HATE. I'm good at it, but I hate it beyond reason) in which my car was broken into 3 different times and I developed a deep hatred for the city (sorry, Denverites), I moved up to Fort Collins that November.
I was starting to wonder when the proposal would be happening. I was getting thoroughly sick of people asking me why I was out in Colorado and having to answer, "I followed my boyfriend." It just sounded so much less REAL than saying that he was my fiance. I was getting grouchy, but keeping it inside because I knew that he would do it when he felt it was right and whining would not help me at all.
Since I was working retail, I had no Christmas break. I couldn't go home to spend Christmas with my family for the first time in my life. And because he's so kind and wonderful, R. was planning to wait to fly home until late on the 24th so that I could join him and at least spend Christmas with someone's family, then fly back late on the 25th so I could get to work on the 26th. I was getting miserable the closer it got to Christmas. Working retail during the Christmas season had sent my stress level skyrocketing. I would cry every day in the car on the way home from work -- the entire 30 minute drive. Then some more at home until I pulled myself together and R. came over or I went over to his apartment. I was a tough person to be around. I wouldn't have blamed him if he had avoided me entirely. But instead...
On December 22nd, R. came over with his baseball glove. He poked his head in my door where I was on the couch, depressed, and said, "Hey, want to play catch?" I was a bit confused (it had snowed earlier that day) and looked at him for a minute. He explained, "It's the end of Winter Meetings today. You know, the meetings where baseball general managers trade and stuff. It kinda kicks off the next year's baseball season, so my friends and I always played catch that day in celebration." "Oh, okay." I got up, took my glove out of the closet, and followed him out to the parking lot of my apartment complex. He threw me a baseball, I caught it (I was mildly surprised -- with all of my baseball love, I'm not particularly coordinated), and threw it back. He threw again and I missed (big surprise there). When I went over to pick it up, it had, "Will you marry me? I love you!" written on it (see below for a picture -- and it's clickable!). I stared at it for a bit, very confused. Then I looked up at him and he had walked over, gotten on his knee, and offered me the beautiful ring I mentioned yesterday. So of course I said yes. Then cried. We went inside (I still hadn't let go of the baseball, of course), had some Australian champagne to go with my beautiful ring that had just come from Australia, and cuddled. He had called my dad to ask permission to marry me, so we called my family and told them it was done. Then called his parents. Then called our only friend who was still in Colorado (it was Christmas break, remember), and went to a microbrewery to celebrate some more. I learned that night that he had ordered the ring a couple of months ago and had wanted to propose -- but couldn't until the ring came. It had come 3 hours before he was using it to propose.
We got married a year and a half later in June of 2003, and the time since has been the happiest in my life. I love spending my life with him, and I look forward to the future more every day.
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