Saturday, November 3, 2007

My Love Story

~For my girls, Kasey and Korey~

This is a story that I wrote many years ago about the meeting of and first date with your daddy. Looking back on how I wrote and phrased this story, I could change a lot of it. But I will leave it as written, grammatical and spelling errors and all........even though it sounds pretty silly when I read it now. But this is how it all happened......

It all started on Valentines Day 1994. I felt so silly putting a small valentine with a roll of Lifesavers attached on the windshield of that truck. I had written on it: To Marvin Lee, Jr. From Sandy 743-2399. I was hoping for a call back but wasn't sure if I would get one because I had no idea if he had a girlfriend or not but I thought what the heck. It was worth a shot. He was very cute!

Actually, I should start at the very beginning. I became divorced in August of 1993. I thought at first, that being on my own was going to be a blast, since I married right out of high school and had never had a chance to live by myself. I had a little fun decorating my own place the way I wanted, staying up as late as I wanted, going to Taco Bell at 1 a.m. if I wanted. But soon I realized I was the type of person who needed to have someone close to me to talk to, go places with or just sit and cuddle in front of the t.v. with. I don't like being alone very much. I need someone I can show things to and will show me things. Someone who likes the same things I do and also has their own interests to show off.

My "dream man" has always been the type of guy I had hope to marry. Why I didn't wait for him before I got married the first time, I don't know. He is described as big, tall, strong, handsome, intellegent, funny, very caring about himself and the person he loves, and last but not least, OUTDOORSY! I love being outdoors. I have always wanted a beautiful old farmhouse with a pond, a garden and lots of animals. A place to run around and be me. A place to learn to make bread. A place to server huge meals to my "dream man" and a few friends who just came back from a long day of whatever. A place to throw a bar-be-que for friends and family and someday have everyone over for Christmas. A place for my dog to run his little paws off all day and come inside for a drink and to lay by the fireplace. A place to plant flowers all the way around the house. A place to walk through the woods and have a picnic with my husband. That's all I ever wanted was a beautiful man, a beautiful house and a beautiful place to put it all.

Anyway, after a while of being without someone who I could care for and that really cared for me, I started getting interested in finding someone to date. At 26, you don't really feel like you know what to do anymore. It's not like you were in school again and you had a friend who would go ask the person you are interested in if he likes you or not. And it's not like you are so old that you need to resort to the personal ads in the newspaper to find a date. And if you aren't really the bar-hopping type or you feel uncomfortable about going to the singles meetings at the local church, what do you do? Well, lucky for me, I have an Aunt Cathie!

My Aunt Cathie is my mother's sister. We have always run around like best friends for as long as I can remember. We have done everything together. She is like the side of me that would never reveal itself. I mean that in a good way I guess. She can do the most unbelievable stuff that would embarrass the tar out of me and never think twice about it. Cathie has that "I won't be run over by anyone." attitude. I'm not saying that she is a snob or anything, but more along the lines of she knows what she wants and how she wants it. She is a very strong-willed person. She is also one of the most caring and giving people I know. I can just about talk to my mother about anything and she will try to help me out the best she can. But I know I'm not the only one who has ever felt that there are just some things you feel silly talking to a mother about. So I have always turned to Aunt Cathie about the "other stuff". She has been there for me when I need to talk about something serious or stupid. Cathie knows how I am. Somehow, I guess she thought I needed help in finding a nice guy to date. You won't believe what she did.

One day in February of 1994, Cathie and her husband, my uncle Gary, went to a little town outside of Springfield called Elwood. This town has no Post Office or school. It is basically just a strip of highway with houses on each side. I had never been there before and it really isn't that far away from where I lived. They went there to go to a store called Marvin Batsons Dog and Archery Supplies. Gary had to get some dog collars made for his hunting dogs. Cathie went in with him. She said she walked around for a little bit looking at all their stuff for sale. She saw behind one counter a guy who was about my age and very nice looking. So she put two and two together and decided on my behalf to ask this guy if he was married or had a girlfriend. He said no and she said she had a niece who was looking for someone nice to go out with. He, probably joking at the time, said, "Well, send her my way!" When Cathie came back and told me what she had done, I just about fell over from embarassment! I thought, geez, how desperate does that sound? Then she proceeded to tell me what this guy looked like. You have to know Cathie. Sometimes I can't tell if she is exaggerating to get my hopes up or if she is just pulling my leg. But she described this guy as a hooter. That's what we call good-looking guys. So, knowing Cathie, I took just the opposite of what she told me he looked like and pictured this big, gut hanging out, long-haired, back woods, Jethro type, looking to go out with anyone he could. But she did say his eyes were incredible. I thought how could she lie about eyes? Anyhow, I just blew it off. I thought to myself, even if Cathie wasn't exaggerating about this guy, how in the heck was I going to meet him in a dog supply store? I didn't need anything in there. What was I going to do, go in and buy one dog collar?

Well, that's what I did!

I was so nervous, I thought I was going to pass out. I got all "dolled" up and drove over there. When I got there, I had to drive by four or five times until all the customers were gone. I didn't want to go in and have someone else wait on me. I wanted him to. Finally I walked in the door. He was to my right when I went in. We looked at each other and said hi at the same time. I couldn't quit staring at him as I proceeded to walked right past him and up to another man behind the counter. Stupid me! I asked the guy (which happened to be his dad) for one dog collar with an i.d. tag. I can't believe he even heard me because I said it so quiet. I really felt like a ding-a-ling now, because I had already seen what he looked like (which was my whole purpose for going there) and now I had to go through with the rest of my plan (which was silly in the first place). I got my collar and turned to leave and he had his back to me straightening shelves. Please turn around so I can see you one more time! He didn't, so I left. I was so glad that whole five minutes was over. And I was so excited that he turned out to be nothing I expected. He was better. Very handsome and very squeezable. And just as Cathie had said, incredible eyes! I must have drove 75-80 m.p.h. all the way back to Cathie's house to tell her about what happened. By the time I had got to Cathie's, I had already been going through the "what if I had done that, what if I had said this" stage. I didn't say anything to him except hi. How was I going to ever see him again? I was not going in there again for another dog collar. No way! Besides, I thought he was so cute, he had to have a girlfriend.

Well, a little more than a week had passed and it was getting close to Valentines Day. I was a little bummed out about not getting a valentine this year, but it didn't bother me that much. Not much, until my Aunt Cathie came over. She wanted me to help her make some valentines for some little kids she knew. Now I was in the mood. I wanted a valentine and also wanted to give one away. We started talking about HIM. She suggested I fix up a valentine and leave it where he could find it. It sounded childish and silly to me at first and I said I wouldn't do it. But the more I thought about it, it would be the perfect way to at least get my phone number to him without having to go back and embarrass myself again in that store. O.K. I'll do it. But if he doesn't call, I'll know he also thought it was childish and I will never bother him again.

It was Valentine's Day. The day I was also going to give away a valentine, a special valentine. I drove to Elwood as fast as I could with that little valentine with a roll of Lifesavers attached. I didn't realize until I got there, where I was going to put this thing. I'll put it on the windshield of his truck. Which one was his? Aha, the one that says, 'Marvin Batsons Dog Supplies' on the side. I ran up to it and just set the valentine on top of the windshield wiper. He was sure to see it before he drove off. I left. I had to get home as quick as possible in case he called.

I stayed home all night. Waiting. Every time the phone rang, I just knew it was him. I kept telling myself, now, don't giggle like a little girl or yak about yourself the whole time. Ask him lots of questions about himself. That way he'll call back later wanting to know more about you. Sounds like something my mother would say. If it wasn't him on the phone, I would just get that more depressed because he hadn't called yet. He probably threw my valentine away or his girlfriend found it and now he's in big trouble. I went to bed that night with no important phone calls.

By morning I had just blown it off. I figured he had already found my valentine and had blown me off as a weirdo. Oh well, another day, another red face. How childish anyway.

Work that day was kind of depressing. I had been so excited about the night before that I exhausted myself. The day was over and I went home. About ten minutes after I got home, the phone rang. It was him! I couldn't believe it. He was calling me. He didn't think my valentine was silly. He said that his dad had put it on the windshield of his truck the night before. I had put it on the wrong truck. He said his dad didn't notice it on his truck and drove all the way home without the valentine falling off. Is that fate or what? I did exactly what I told myself not to do. I giggled so much while I was on the phone with him, that my face hurt by the end of the call. He told me a little about himself and I told him a little about me. He had a very nice voice. He said he might call me back later in the week and see if I wanted to go do something the next weekend. I said, sure, that would be nice. We hung up. I was ecstatic. He sounded like a real cool guy. I called everybody. My mom, Cathie, my sister and my grandma. I couldn't believe it all worked. He called. He called, he called. HE CALLED!!!

I was flying high for two days. That's all I could think about, was him calling me to go out. I was already ga-ga over this guy I hadn't even seen him but once and I really didn't know that much about him. I started thinking "am I this desperate that after all this time, the first person I talk to turns me into a love sick puppy? Or is it just that he might be the one for me and I want more of him?" I don't know. If he called back and wanted to go out, what was I going to wear? That's the big question!

By Thursday night, he hadn't called yet. I was worried that he decided that he didn't want to go out, so he wouldn't call. I always think the worst about things and I thought if I don't at least talk to him and see if he's still interested, I'll sit here all night going over our first conversation wondering what I said to turn him off. I'll go nuts. So I decided I'll just call and see what he's up to.

I called and he answered the phone. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was getting ready to call me. I felt like such a ding dong! If only I had waited an hour or so, I wouldn't have just made a fool of myself. The phone call was short and consisted mainly of "How are you and do you want to do something Saturday night?" I said yes and that was about it. We hung up shortly after that. I was so excited that I just had to make my rounds of phone calls again. I called my sister--"Let's go shopping!"

After a few hours of shopping the next night with my sister, I was ready. My first real date since I was divorced and was I nervous.

He walked in my front door, smiled and said hi. He was so much taller than he seemed in the store. I got my coat and we left off for the nicest date I have ever had in my life. It was obvious we were both a little nervous by the contents of our conversations, but that was to be expected. He was such a gentleman. He opened every door and was real polite and actually had some decent table manners. Very hard to find these days I'm told.

The date ended back at my house later that night. He walked me to the door and we told each other how much fun we had. I felt silly standing there talking because I knew he knew what I was waiting for. A goodnight kiss. After a little more saying goodnight, he said he thought he better go. Then he slowly bent down and planted a BIG ONE on me. Right on the cheek! I thought I was going to faint. My heart was pounding so much, I could hardly say goodbye. He left.

I melted all over the house. He is such the Perfect Gentleman, he kissed me on the cheek. Just like in the old days.

Well, of course, I had to call someone. I called Cathie. She was the only one I knew who wouldn't care if I called her so late. It was only 2 a.m.

That was our first date. A lot has happened since then. We have never had any arguments between the two of us. Everyone I know seems to really like him alot. I've met most of his friends and everyone seems real nice. I have never had so much fun with one person in my life. He treats me like a princess and is always concerned with how I am. I love him like I've never loved anybody before and he is the world to me.

After 8 months of going out, we signed the loan papers on a house in Elkland, Mo. on Halloween Day, 1994. That night he asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes and plans are to get married on May 6, 1995. We have big plans of our future together. I'm sure we are going to have kids someday. He will make a great father. I'm in no hurry though. I want to have him all to myself for as long as possible. Right now, we'll just stick with fixing up our house in the woods the way we want to. So far, my dreams are coming true. A beautiful man, a beautiful house and a beautiful place to put it all.

I'll never stop dreaming.

So that's it, girls. The only thing that really changed is that we got married on May 13th instead of May 6th.

I love your daddy so much! And without him, I couldn't have had you. I love you both! I'm so blessed and lucky to have you all.

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