Last week as I picked our Valentines winner I promised that I would share with you how I met my own sweetheart. It's a long but juicy story so take a load off and enjoy my mini chick flick (lit?).
Let me take you back to the year 2005. I had been on and off dating this guy for about a year while in college. I was hopelessly in love. He had a set of abs like an Adonis, blond hair, blue eyes and really great bone structure (remember artist here). Plus he was well read, very confident (L A T E R A R R O G A N T), and seemed to be going places. Well New Years rolled around and ring was placed on Left hand and a wedding date was set for the beginning of April. I was on cloud nine to say the least and very blind to a lot of signs that our happily ever after was all in my very cloudy head. For starters A L L of my closest friends hated my fiance (B I G sign), he wasn't very affectionate at all, and when I was really really badly sick the only time he popped in to check on me was after a volleyball game accompanied by a very cute and overly flirtatious team mate.
As the months progressed and the date to our up and coming nuptials grew closer, I would have all these sleepless nights where I would be crying my eyes out and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why. When I would call my soon to be husband he would very sleepily reply that it was all in my head and everything was perfectly fine. Weren't brides supposed to be neurotically happy all the time aside, of course, from the stress of planning a wedding? To make matters worse since all my dearest friends couldn't stand him I barely saw or talked to them at all and when I did it was very brief and somewhat akward. So I was very alone much of the time.
Since it's Valentines I'll add this. Valentines Day came around and he did absolutely nothing. This was very minor in the grand scheme of things but it'll be relevant later. As the night ended and I ever so gently asked him if he had forgotten (Red heart shaped balloons and young men carrying roses had dotted the town all day) he replied that he hadn't forgotten he just wasn't about to support some greeting card company derived holiday.
Well not to get into too much detail (and make this post much too long to read) but obviously we didn't end up getting hitched. About a week before the wedding everything blew up. Ridiculously so. Let's just say that any affections he had displayed for me were fake, in that he had been cheating on me the whole time.
I was hurt and crushed and angry and above all I HATED men! I went back home to New York to cry out my summer break while working two waitressing jobs to pay back my parents for all the deposits that had been made and a dress that had never been worn. But I did keep the ring... then when tried to sell it to help pay off the debt found out it was fake. Yep glad I threw that fish back in the pond. That summer was one of the greatest of my life, heartbreaking, hard and full of days where I was on my feet from 10 AM until 10 PM, it was also a time of great reflection. My mom had bought a skull (long narrow rowing boat with two great long oars) over the internet and as we lived on beautiful Lake Champlain I would begin each morning rowing on the mirror like surface of the lake about five miles round trip to the bridge and back. I cant describe to you how glorious those mornings were. (Plus I started to develop a six pack of my own!)
As the summer came to a close, as well as the tourist season in the Adirondacks and my job, I began to contemplate where I should work next. As you can imagine Jobs aren't really plentiful in the off season. Contemplation grew to prayer and I prayed every night that I would be able to find some job where I could make enough cash to help pay for the next semester at college. One night as I closed my prayer and was about to fall asleep I literally heard someone say "You need to go to Jackson WY." Never had anything like this happened to me so I chalked it up to being overly tired and quickly fell asleep. The next morning I woke up at 5 AM (anyone who knows me knows I'm not a morning person so this is all the more impressive) and couldn't get Jackson out of my head. I had been there once for a day with an ex boyfriend to see all the touristy stuff so I didnt have too much experience with the town other than the large stuffed moose in front of a tourist shop and the antler arches we took pictures under at the square in the middle of town. I very impatiently waited about two hours and then called a friend who lived in Idaho I knew worked there during the summers. Realize he was still 2 hrs behind me so it was still 5 AM for him. Groggily he told me that there were plenty of jobs open during the off season still and that he could probably get me his old job. Well within a week I had a job, an apartment, and a plane ticket. Friends and Family thought I was crazy for going across the country to a place I had only visited with no real friends or connections to help me out. But ignoring all that I went anyway.
About three weeks after I had gotten there I met this tall, dark, handsome Latino who was quick to laugh, completely kind hearted, and the goofiest man I have ever met. After three dates I knew he was the reason I was sent to Jackson and impatiently I waited until around New Years of 2006 (yes almost 1 year to the day from my first proposal) when he asked me to marry him. We planned our wedding (Yes) for April 7 2007 and on that day I happily wed the love of my life. Almost five years, his bachelors degree and two kids later here we are as happy as we've ever been and I can't help but feel incredibly blessed to have such an amazing man beside me who constantly supports me in all the things I do and puts up with my own special version of crazy. I love him so much and I hope a day never goes by that I don't tell him he means the world to me.
P.S. And by the way our first Valentines together he took me to a gazebo at night where he had the whole place lit up with candles a picnic dinner and Sinatra playing on a boom box! I definitely picked the right fish!