Friday, Jun 22
It seems I’m a bit starry-eyed this week what with all the posts about dates and weddings and anniversaries. Let’s keep the love fest going, shall we? A reader recently asked how The Hubs and I met. This really is a great story.
The year was 2000 and I was a new college graduate. I had just begun my second year of teaching at a school with some college friends and things were getting a bit sticky. I quit along with six other teachers, and, with the help of a guy I was long-distance dating at the time, was introduced to the principal of a catholic school here in Northern Virginia. I was a bit nervous about quitting and moving to a new city, so I did an express novena to St. Therese, my patron saint. I started the novena on Wednesday, November 1st and told her I only had until First Friday, November 3rd — that was the day I was flying to Virginia for my first date with the long distance BF and an interview at the school in NOVA. Well, as usual, my dear friend delivered. I arrived at First Friday Mass, and while I was waiting for my students to arrive, I leaned over to pull down the kneeler. There, on the floor, was a little tiny piece of pink paper. I saw it, left it there, knelt down, and prayed. I cannot remember exactly what my prayer was that morning, but I am certain I never could have anticipated what was about to happen to me. I sat down and noticed the paper again. I picked it up and promptly saw on one side of the paper the following typed words:
“Hand-made by the Carmelite Nuns of Port Tobacco, Maryland.”
Then I turned it over.
There was a rose drawn on the other side.
So I took the job.
The guy I was long-distance dating, well, he’s married now. And each time I tell this story, I thank him for helping me to move to the city where I would meet my future husband.
In August, 2001, we met at a mutual friend’s engagement party. I really wasn’t up for a party, but the hostess convinced me to come by saying, “I just have a feeling you’re going to meet someone tonight. You have to come.” The Hubs called ahead to see what he could bring and when he walked in the door with his bottle of wine from Napa Valley, I was immediately attracted to him. We talked for three hours that night. He even gave me a ride home.
The next day I went to daily Mass on my lunch break at the flower shop. Sitting in the last pew, in work clothes covered with pollen, I spotted The Man up front. We spoke outside after Mass where I promptly threw my phone number and email address at him. He emailed me about getting together with some folks from the party the night before. They all conveniently declined, so we had a few pints at Murphy’s Irish Pub.
After driving home to New Jersey to pick up some furniture for the new place I was moving into, The Hubs came over to help my parents and I haul it all in. He offered to help me move before knowing that my folks were going to be there. How funny to introduce him to them so soon after meeting each other! We went out for coffee after they left and talked about everything under the sun, getting to know more and more about each other and discovering just how many important things we agreed upon.
Pictured above, we are on our first “official date” at Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles. What in the world was I wearing?! I got to meet some of His friends, and they got to meet “the flavor of the month.” I’m not even kidding. One of the girls I met said to me that night, “So will we be seeing you again, or are you just the flavor of the month?” Turns out, I’m the flavor of a lifetime. Booyah.
Dating was so much fun! We never missed an opportunity to have fun together.
Leading up to our wedding day, friends, family, and students from my school held showers for us, gifting us with the many things we would need for our new life together. Our first little rental was perfect for us. It was just the right size for having the in-laws over for dinner, and maybe a baby or two. Getting away from the Northern Virginia rat-race was a welcome opportunity that we seized every time it presented itself. After our engagement we flew out to Vail to go skiing with friends. And during the Old Town flood caused by Hurricane Isabel in September 2003, I hopped on a train to sunny and dry NYC to spend a few days there with The Hubs while he attended a conference. We road-tripped to Boston for a wedding in October. I was baptized into the Red Sox Nation that weekend. Don’t ask.
Saturday, June 21, 2003.
What a gorgeous day it was. It had been raining for weeks and weeks, and on our wedding day, the sun was shining! We were surrounded by friends, family, and students in a very full church. We partied at Woodlawn Plantation with all of our guests and danced the night away until we were whisked away for our first night together.
We stayed at the Secret Harbour Resort on the island of Grenada in the Winward Islands of the Carribean. It was a very private little bungalo on the southern side of the island, overlooking the Moorings Yacht Club. We ate out at many beautiful restaurants, snorkeled with a native Grenadian, grilled conch meat with a Rastafarian, sailed, hiked a waterfall, saw a nutmeg plantation and banana groves, and drank lots and lots of rum. It was a relaxing and exotic honeymoon, the vacation of a lifetime and just what I had always dreamed of!
And, well, the rest is history, as they say.
I told you it was a great story!