Or “How I Met my Husband R.”
School, is the short answer. But I hope you were wanting more than that, hoping for more than that, expecting more than that. If not, quit now.
I’d been at Purdue for two semesters working on my PhD in Rhetoric and Composition. As one of the two best programs in the nation, it was a bit of a stretch for me in terms of theory. (As in, I’d never had any theory and they assumed a copious background in the subject.) I went to my folks’ house to spend the summer and decided to take in a rhetoric conference. (What was I thinking?!)
I hated it. Oh, it was awful. The most useful thing I learned was when I went to the mall to hideout from the conference and met a woman with my middle sister’s name. So my sister isn’t totally unique.
I left Dallas, where the conference was, and drove to Abilene, which is where my friends lived. (The ones who hadn’t graduated and moved away.) One of my friends suggested coming for classes, since there were so many single guys coming to the month long missions classes.
Now, you need to know that I did mission work after I graduated from college. And I have 18 hours or more of graduate work in Bible and missions. And I’d done classes in this month long class twice before.
So going to the class wasn’t that big a deal, except that it cost a lot of money. “Oh, we have scholarships.” And sure enough they did. I called my dad and asked if he’d spring for the books. Since he wanted me to have a positive school experience, he said yes. (He knew I was thinking about dropping out of my PhD program.)
I went to school. Two weeks into it, when we’re all living in the same dorm, I’m sitting in the living room of the dorm talking to a friend of mine who was on a mission trip with me to Brazil. He introduces me to a deceased friend’s fiancee. (The friend had just died the month before while doing mission work in Brazil.) And he introduced me to another friend of his- R.
We hung out in the living room and I was bored, so I untied R’s shoelaces. Then we went to Dairy Queen, the four of us, and got blizzards. Yum.
I sat with R in chapel one day when everyone else I knew was skipping.
Then we had a class together. R decided to make me paranoid by staring at me. But it just made me laugh. So I would hold up my hand next to the side of my face to block off my vision of him or I would laugh through class. And it wasn’t a humorous class.
Once we showed our complete maturity and had a pen fight. You know, where you each have a pen and you chase each other around and try to draw on them. When the head of the department got between us and confiscated our pens, I grabbed his right out of his pocket and swiped R with it. I won!
R had a crush on the girl sitting next to him in class, not me, and a crush on one of the girls who lived next to me in the dorm.
But it was fun talking to him. When I got invited to a party, I invited him along. It turned out to be a surprise birthday party for me. About 80 people, instead of the expected 20, showed up.
We exchanged addresses. I’m not sure either of us actually thought we would write.
An ex-boyfriend of mine came to town and asked me to marry him. Very odd. We hadn’t talked in about a year. What was he thinking? And he wouldn’t kiss me. So…
The last day before R was leaving for home, he called me at my friends’. School was over on Friday, this was Sunday. He said if I was going to come see him, and I had said I would, it would have to be that day. But I was kind of weirded out by J’s proposal and I was just hanging with my friends. R and I talked for several hours.
When I hung up E (the son) said, “I didn’t know you knew R that well.” I answered with, “I didn’t know I knew him that well either.”
I wrote to clarify some things we had talked about on the phone. And he wrote me an 8 page, front and back, letter. He said it was longer than any paper he’d written in college. (And he only had swimming class to finish to graduate, so I know it was the longest he wrote.) It was fun and sweet and at the end he said, “This doesn’t mean I want to mix gene pools.”
I went back to Abilene to get my car fixed and visited with him. We didn’t kiss at his apartment. I found out he was a picky eater. We did kiss in the parking lot as I was leaving town.
Then I flew back to Indiana and he finished his swimming class. We kept writing. At one point in August I wrote him a letter asking if we were dating and he wrote me a letter asking if we were dating. He got my letter first and called to say we weren’t dating. But he told me that he had written to ask the same thing, so we “discussed” it a bit more and decided we were dating.
That’s how I met and started dating my incredible husband. Thanks to Daring Mom for suggesting the topic to someone else.