14 years ago today, I married my best friend. But 1 year and 8 months earlier, I met the man I would marry; the man who would ruin me for all other men. It was my senior year at Purdue. I should have graduated 2 years prior, but due to taking time off and various life circumstances, I was in the right place at the right time to meet the Big Guy. I shouldn’t have been there but I was and I am convinced it was meant to be.
I turned 25 on September 25, 1997. I had a boyfriend. That night we broke up. I was done. After almost 2 years of not knowing where I stood or where we were headed, I decided that it was over. Life’s too short for wasting a minute of it. We had broken up many times before but it never stuck. This time was different.
Four days later, I met my the Big Guy. I call him the Big Guy because he is 6’5″ and towered over my 5’7″ frame. We were introduced by a mutual friend. Her name was Debbie, too. It wasn’t a set up. He was “like her brother” and she just wanted me to meet her best friend. Honestly, I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about.
I wasn’t supposed to be at Harry’s that night. I was supposed to be in class. We met. Neither of us was very impressed or interested in the other. Later, we ended up at a party together. I had an exam to study for. I should have been at my apartment studying. I wasn’t supposed to be there. My friend disappeared, as college girls sometimes do when boys are involved. I had no idea how to get back home. I should have known how to get home.
The Big Guy offered to walk me home. I never would have said yes but I did. I wasn’t supposed to be out that night. I should have been studying for an astronomy exam. I should have been sleeping. Instead, I was walking home from a college party on a Monday night at 3 am with a complete stranger. It was a stupid thing to do. It was not something I would do, yet, there I was walking the streets of West Lafayette.
He could have driven me home. He didn’t. He could have taken me the direct route home. Instead, he took me the route that covered the complete circumference of the campus. We could have just walked but we stopped in the soccer fields and lay in the grass looking up at the stars, talking, for what seemed like forever. This was crazy and dangerous. This wasn’t something I would have ever expected myself to do. Yet, there I was looking at his profile in the moonlight.
We could have talked about anything in the world. He told me about his grandmother who had recently died and I saw and heard a vulnerability in him. I saw past the eyebrow ring, the bleached blonde hair with blue tips, I saw past the condescension he used to mask his insecurities. I saw the real him and I think I fell in love with him right there in the grass looking up at those stars on the first night we met.
Shhhh, don’t tell him. He thinks he fell in love with me first.
He walked me home and he kissed me at my front door, as the sun came up and the morning birds sang. He looked me in my glazed over, exhausted eyes and saw me, the real me. No one had ever done that before. His steel blue eyes took my breath away. It felt like the beginning of something, I just wasn’t sure what it was or maybe I was just delirious from the lack of sleep.
4 months later, he asked me to marry him.
Some may say that my life changed as the result of a series of happy accidents but I say that I wasn’t lucky or in the right place at the right time, I was in the exact place I was supposed to be at the exact time God had planned for me to meet the perfect man for me. Somehow, I was at a place I wasn’t suppose to be, doing something I shouldn’t have been, newly single and open to life. There were so many circumstances that lined up for us to meet that would not have worked even a week earlier. I am convinced, if there is such a thing as meant to be, we are.
I love you baby! You changed my life for the better and saved me from myself. Thank you for the 14 most amazing years of my life so far and our beautiful little girls.Thank you for loving me through the good times and bad, the fat and the skinny of life and even when I am at my worst, you see my best. I look forward to growing old with you and watching our children and grandchildren be in the exact place they are meant to be at the exact time God has planned for them to meet their one true soul mate. Thank you for always seeing me and allowing me to see the real you, since that very first night beneath the stars. Your love truly is better than ice cream. XOXO