For part one of Meeting, Marriage, and Memories, click HERE.
After our extra inning bickering, FringeMan and I seemed to often find ourselves thrown together. We didn’t immediately begin dating, but we played in the same social group and found ourselves gravitating to one another. In reality, I couldn’t escape him. He’ll tell you that I didn’t want to escape, but I’m not letting him tell this story.
He had decided to marry me early on and although he kept that decision to himself for a short time, he was on the hunt. I may as well have been covered in long brown fur with honey dripping from my mouth. He may not have gotten a bear on his hunting trip that fall, but he was determined to capture my heart.
I was hesitant. I planned to fall in love with a suit and tie a few years down the road and FringeMan was anything but a suit a tie. He was rough, slightly reckless, and very exciting. I never quite knew what to expect from him. Being seven years my senior, he preyed on my youth. At least that’s what I tell him. He said he needed to find a young wife so she could bare him many babies. Obviously he hadn’t yet experienced 2 am feedings.
After church one Sunday a group of us single and desperate adults decided to meet at a Chinese restaurant (this was before my chinese food aversion) and FringeMan quickly offered to give my cousin and I a ride home. FringeMan, Jenn, and I squished into the front seat of his work truck and he toted us 45 minutes out of his way. I must have been shot with one of Cupid’s arrows, because for some reason unknown to me, I told him to drop Jenn off at her house first, giving FringeMan and I an extra 10 minutes alone. He took that as a good sign.
I wasn’t sure I could ever ride his truck again. It was filthy, but I had yet to see his apartment. My first mistake is that I was wearing a winter white skirt and navy blazer. It made me afraid to sit anywhere. The local dry cleaners got rich after I began dating FringeMan. I didn’t realize electrician’s could get so dirty and that they transferred half their dirt to their trucks.
I don’t remember what my fortune was that day, but it should have said, “You will find love while wearing washable fabrics and hiking boots.”
Time was moving quickly. The world series game was October 26 and I had tickets to spend a long Thanksgiving weekend in Florida. I had attended college in Florida and was returning to visit friends. FringeMan was as convinced that I was returning to see a guy as he was convinced that I should stay in New York for Thanksgiving. He tried everything short of water torture to get me to spill this imaginary guy’s name, but I was having too much fun keeping him guessing.
The one thing he managed to squeeze from me was a promise to write him from Florida. It didn’t matter that I was only going to be away for 5 days and would probably beat my letter home.
A quick note sounded easy enough, but it was a decision almost as momentous as choosing a name for my firstborn. What would be appropriate? I didn’t want to write him an actual letter, surely not a love letter! Would a postcard convey wary interest? I flipped through ‘thinking of you’ cards, blank cards, postcards, notecards, and out of desperation, birthday cards. My friend convinced me the stationary from the hotel she worked at would hit the perfect note.
I was more than speechless, for once in my life, I was wordless. I don’t remember what I wrote in that note, but FringeMan still has it squirreled away.
I had hoped some time away from New York and FringeMan would help clear my head and I’d make a decision to date or not date FringeMan. It was a tough decision because I knew that casual dating wasn’t an option. It would be my whole heart or nothing. After all, I considered FringeMan an ‘older man’. Although he didn’t say it, I was certain he had marriage on the mind.
I left Florida undecided…must’ve been a hanging chad, but I think my actions betrayed my heart. Despite FringeMan’s fears, I didn’t go to Florida to see ANY guy; however, there was one guy I secretly hoped to see at least one more time. I got a message saying he wanted to see me and to give him a call before I left for New York. As I made the decision not to see him, I think I also made the decision to see FringeMan. I just didn’t realize it at the time.
to be continued…
This post is part of a Meetings, Marriage, and Memories carnival at Musings of a Future Pastor’s Wife. Go visit for more love stories!