In honor of Brian’s and my upcoming 4 year wedding anniversary on April 30, 2009, I have decided to honor our life together by sharing our personal love story here on My Living Canvas. I promise this wont be sappy. We both decided earlier this year that our relationship is an amazing God story and we want to share it with others for his Glory and to tell a different love story than most of the love stories being told today. Its a little unusual and a bit out of character at times, but God works in mysterious ways and I am pretty sure he had some good fun bringing us together.
This is not your typical love story. But this is our story and we wouldn’t change a thing.
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
New Years Eve, 2003. I along with friends Patra, Aaron, Chris, Julie, and Thomas attended the Tennessee and Georgia State Societies “Black Tie and Flip Flops” New Years Eve celebration at Cantina Marina – a dock bar and restraunt on the DC Waterfront. A few weeks earlier, I remember being torn over whether or not I should even go to the party. I think the tickets were around $100 a person, I was going with friends (no real date), and I was scheduled to leave for London with 4 girlfriends shortly after the new year and wondered if I would rather have an extra 50 british pounds in my pocket or another night out in DC for $100. I am not sure what exactly made me sign the check and send it in, but I did… one week before the party… and had to mail it back to DC from Memphis where I was home visiting for the Christmas holiday. Talk about procrastination. Even as I licked the stamp to mail that check, I wasn’t sure I had made the right decision. London is expensive! Was I being foolish blowing $100 bucks on a party when I needed the extra cash for my trip? Oh well. Once the check was in the mail there was no turning back. I was going to that party and planned to get my money’s worth!
Our party of 6 met up at Patra’s house on Capitol Hill for a pre-party champagne toast and then cabbed it over to Cantina Marina. I am pretty sure we were the first 6 people there, the place was empty when we arrived… at 8 pm! (we were early.) So the 6 of us found seats at the bar and waited for the party to get going. As we sat chatting about nothing in particular, I noticed a guy walking in to the party. I noticed him because of his attire… he was way under dressed for a black tie event! Brown sweater and jeans, he made his way to the bar and sat directly across from us. While I first noticed him because of his sweater and jeans, I kept noticing him because he was super cute! So I immediately pointed him out to Patra and we fondly dubbed him “sweater guy.” As my group of 6 chitchatted away, more people began to arrive, the band started to play, but I maintained my station at the bar, checking out sweater guy. Eventually I got busted checking out sweater guy, and we exchanged an embarrassed laugh and look or two, a bit more than I typically would in such a context, except for the celebratory liquid courage fueling my quest.
The night danced on, and I did my darnedest to send all the mind signals I could to sweater guy hoping he would come talk to me. Little did I know that hanging out with my friend Aaron hurt my game, as it appeared I was on a date when really we were just there as a group. So with Aaron at my side chatting me up most of the night, sweater guy never came to talk to me and I wasn’t going to go talk to him because that would break all the southern Rules I held so dear. If he didn’t make a move, I certainly wasn’t going to. But I was disappointed that he never did.
As midnight approached, I found that my girlfriends had each found a gentleman to help them ring in the New Year. I had not, and my good friend Aaron had already decided he was done for the night and took a cab home around 11:45 pm. I was left lonely, and feeling really out of place, so I went outside to ring in the New Year alone. The Cantina Marina is right on the Potomac and has a nice view at night with all the boat lights and rouge fireworks shooting up from neighborhoods around the city. So as the countdown concluded I called my mom to wish her a happy New Year. We chatted a bit and I somehow ended up telling her about sweater guy. She asked me why I didn’t just go talk to him and I was all “MOM!! I cant do that, he is supposed to come talk to me!” And my wise mother pointed out that no guy would come to me if I appeared to be on a date with another guy (thanks Aaron!!!!) and that I should go in and try to talk to him. Really? Well, ok…
Skeptical, yet oddly hopeful, I went back in to the party to find sweater guy, yet sweater guy was no where to be found. I looked everywhere, dance floor, bar, stalked the hallway outside of the men’s room, NOTHING. So I gave up and went back to my original perch at the bar and waited, impatiently, for my girlfriends to be ready to leave. While I sat there I met a girl named Christy, she had just moved to DC from Tennessee, so we hit it off right away. We chatted a bit and I ended up telling her about sweater guy and she insisted that I try and find him saying, “Its New Years and romantic, what if he ends up being the one? You need to take a risk, take a chance, be brave! What do you have to loose? Did you see who he was with? Lets go find his friends and see where he went.”
So now, with my mother’s blessing to break the “Rules”, and at my new friend’s urging, we set off to find the friends of sweater guy.
Once we found them, we asked them what had happened to the sweater guy. They looked at each other puzzled at our nickname for sweater guy, then one of the men realized and said “oh you mean Brian? HES SINGLE!!!”
Now we know sweater guy’s name, Brian, and that he is single. Good start. But where was Brian the sweater guy?
He left early.
So to make a long story short (too late) Brian the sweater guy’s friend Nick (who also happened to be the owner of the Cantina Marina) gave me Brian’s number on a scrap piece of paper and said to me, “If you want to meet him so bad, why don’t you just call him?”
Ok. So I picked up my phone and dialed him up right there. 12:45 am January 1, 2004. Of course I got voicemail. So I left a message and said something to the effect of, “Hi, I was at the party tonight and I thought I caught you smiling at me a couple of times. I was disappointed that you never came to say hello, so after you left I asked your friends if you would be back and they gave me your number instead. So if you want to get together for a drink sometime give me a call…”
Yes, I broke all the RULES and I left that message. I had never done anything that audacious in my life. And never have since….