Once I was home, I regained control of my dog Hero. He needed toothpaste, so I innocently went up to the vet's office to get some. A mild step back in the story: I had always thought I would be a vet and had worked through high school and the start of college at a local vet office. I still knew pretty much everyone who worked there and was friends with a good many of them. Well, this day as I walked in and said hello, everyone jumped up and acted strange. The receptionist, Lynne, told me to hold on a moment - there was someone I needed to meet.
She ran back and grabbed the newest veterinarian to the office: Dusty. Poor Dusty was literally dragged by the arm up front in the middle of the work day to meet me. Luckily, I actually cared what I looked like a bit back then and had worn a tank top and my favorite army green skirt. We stared awkwardly at each other while exchanging greetings and listening to Lynne spout off all the ways we were so similar: you both love to hike, Sara, did you know he kayaks as well?, obviously you both like animals, etc...
I can't recall how I extricated myself from the world's most awkward attempt to keep good canine oral health, but I left without any numbers being exchanged.
|Not sure why it scanned in blurry. No digital cameras back then.|
I would love to say that this meeting was less awkward, but that would be a lie. We sat and ate while he regaled me with stories of vet school and I secretly wished I was doing something else. We left again without exchanging numbers.
Our third meeting was on the river. Amanda called again to see if I was free to hit the river. It had been a while since I had kayaked and I thought it would be fun to go. When I arrived Dusty was there as well and I said hello. It just so happened that Dusty and I were left behind at the put in while the rest of the crew drove the shuttle to the take out. Huh, wonder how that happened? We went down the river and had a fun day with everyone hanging out and laughing. I really don't think I talked much at all to him during this outing. Still, no numbers were exchanged.
Another few days went by and I got another call from Amanda. I'm sure she was quite exasperated at this point. Would I want to go down to the local piano bar that Friday night with a group of friends? Oh and by the way, you are single, right? I said sure since I had always wanted to go. Friday afternoon I got a call from her saying that everyone backed out and she couldn't go either, but hey Dusty and I should go together since we both already made plans to go. So very subtle.
I agreed to still go and heard my brother talking about a group of his friends going as well. I asked if he wanted to ride down with me so he could hang out with his group and sorta watch out for me on this now very apparent date I was going on. He agreed and we met Dusty at a local Target to all drive together.
As it turned out, we had a lot of fun. The dueling pianos were great and stayed until close. Since I had rode down with my brother, I couldn't abandon him at the end of the night and ended up dropping him at home and then taking Dusty over to his truck.
I have no clue what we talked about (and yes all we did was talk), but we stayed standing in the parking lot for hours until the sun came up. At the end, he winked at me and got my number. I still clearly remember my confusion over the wink, no kiss, no hug. I drove home and woke my parents up to ask them WTF a wink meant at the end of a date. They were just as confused.
I basically just wrote this weirdo off at that point and figured I wouldn't hear from him again. Two days later I was leaving for the Outer Banks with Christy for a week, so I put him out of my mind and started packing for the trip. But then he called me on his lunch break to ask how tired I was from being up all night and if I was free the next night to go out again. Unfortunately, I was leaving for a week and said that we would have to wait until I got back in town.
He called me while I was in NC nearly every night and when the trip ended early (another really long story for another day) we got together at our favorite dive bar, Tilts, for a night of drinking and karaoke. It was a blast and from then on we barely spent any time apart when not at work/school.
You would have to ask him when he first knew he wanted to marry me, but he proposed one day in my bedroom when I came home from a crappy day of classes in January. We had only met the previous July and started officially dating in August. Pretty insane at 21. I said yes and we chose the following October.
The time flew by and everything pretty much fell in line. The original date was October 9, 2004, but the venue flooded and we had to choose another one. It worked out for the better though. The new venue was the place my grandparents got married and I had fallen in love with it earlier. They had a very high minimum guest list and we only had 75 people at the wedding. Since we were now booking an empty Saturday within a month of the date, they gave us a break and ditched the minimum. The opening was for October 2, 2004 and so w had to order all new favors and redo all the invitations which my dad had hand written, but it was a pretty smooth transition.
I am not going to lie: the first year was hard. We were in a near constant fight about everything and had we both not been so stubborn we would have walked away form it all. As it was we stuck it out, made a last second vacation to Boston for the 4th of July in 2005 that saved us from ourselves, and eventually settled into a life together.
Now, 11 years later, we are still going strong and have built a life around us that works. I am glad that we didn't give up all those years ago and hope for many, many more years together in the future.