In honor of our two-year anniversary, here is the story of How We Met.
Once upon a time, there was a girl named Lucy. She went to college in a particular state, where she learned all sorts of dramatic (and overly-dramatic) lessons about things like Life and Relationships and Knowing Herself. She learned a few lessons about teaching, as well. When she was nearly done with college (with only two semesters left to go!) and had just finished with learning a few particularly tricky lessons, she decided to get a tattoo.
Which isn’t really the brightest decision a person can make. But bear in mind, she was still learning.
The reason she wanted a tattoo, she said, was to have a permanent reminder of a lesson she had just learned. This is the truth, although I think we can safely say that in addition to that reason, she also just kind of wanted to get a tattoo. But officially, this tattoo was to remind her to always trust her intuition. Because, as she had recently learned, there is nothing pleasant that comes from knowing better deep down in your heart, and stubbornly doing something anyhow. Nothing pleasant whatsoever. She had found out that listening to that nagging intuition (which, she suspected, was really God’s way of nudging her in the right direction) instead of doubting it or ignoring it was probably a great way to save herself heartache. And while heartache happens to be a good medium for learning all those important lessons, it is no fun at all, and she wanted a little break from it.
So Lucy looked and looked, and found a little image that symbolized intuition. And on Thanksgiving break, she went and had it tattooed on. Which hurt. And also, didn’t really end up looking very good. Which is terribly ironic, if you think about it. Lucy accepted this with the resigned attitude that twenty-one year olds who make dramatic gestures while recovering from heartbreak will most likely end up looking a bit foolish. So you could say she learned yet another lesson, although she seemed to have a tendency for learning these things the hard way.
A few weeks later it was Christmas break, and Lucy traveled to a different state, very far away, to spend the holidays with some friends of hers. These friends listened to all her woeful stories of heartbreak and bad decisions, and decided that the thing for her to do was to go on some dates. Lots of dates! So they set her up on a blind date.
Lucy had been on several trips to see these friends, and so she had met this boy’s mother before. She had also seen this boy before, once, several years ago. But she thought he looked like one of those handsome, arrogant athletes. The ones who consider themselves to be Too Good For You and also, God’s Gift To Women. And since Lucy hadn’t had a very high opinion of herself at all, she avoided boys like that like the plague. And rightly so, because they are a plague. But what she hadn’t taken into account was the fact that people with very low opinions of themselves don’t always percieve others with much accuracy, because they are so busy having low opinions of themselves.
She might easily have gone through the rest of her life without knowing that he saw her then, too, and he thought she was beautiful. And even though he never approached girls (because they were always approaching him, unfortunately) he had gone up and introduced himself to her. And apparently, she completely ignored him. He insists that she was snobby and thought she was too good to even speak to him. Lucy insists that she never heard him at all. I have several theories about this, because usually Lucy has very good hearing.
One is that the boy failed to speak up or make sure he had engaged in eye contact.
Another is that God stopped up Lucy’s ears, for any number of mysterious reasons. Maybe Lucy needed to learn all of those difficult lessons before she would be ready to meet this boy. Maybe the boy needed to be snubbed by a pretty girl for once in his life. Who can say?
Whatever the reason, Lucy didn’t know that not only did this boy think she was beautiful (if snobby) but that for the past several years, whenever he saw a picture of her at their mutual friend’s home, he would think to himself that someday he was going to marry that beautiful (if snobby) girl. Which is why he agreed to take her out on a blind date that Christmas. Although he told himself, if she was mean to him again, he would take the $20 that their mutual friend offered him to pay for dinner.
So the boy (whose name was Joey) called Lucy on her friend’s cell phone while they were grocery shopping in Target (they were standing next to the shredded cheeses at the time) and asked her to go on a date with him. Lucy agreed, and immediately started planning what she would wear. She was still planning later that night, as she lay in bed. And then all of the sudden, a thought hit her so hard that she sat up bed and gasped. The thought was This Is The Person I Am Going To Marry. Which is quite a thought to have before ever having a conversation with someone, especially for a girl who was planning on running off to some exotic locale after she graduated, to live in a grass hut and educate foreign children (she hadn’t quite let the lesson about dramatic gestures sink in, I assume) but that was the thought she had. And she remembered her tattoo, and what it was supposed to stand for. And then she rolled over and went to sleep.
The next day, they went on their date, which started at three in the afternoon with a trip to the movie theater to see King Kong. And then they went to dinner, which somehow didn’t have any awkward conversational glitches. So they went to a bowling alley, where Joey showed her how to play pool, and very kindly didn’t laugh at her bowling disabilities. All in all, it was a very successful, very long date, and when it was over, Joey gave Lucy his phone number. She didn’t want to take it at first, explaining that she really hated all those confusing rules about if you are supposed to call, and how long to wait, and all that mess. Joey smiled and said that he wanted her to call him as soon as she felt like seeing him again.
Lucy went inside, feeling a little funny. When her friends asked her how the date went, she dazedly mumbled something about marrying Joey. The next day, she was trying to think of a good time to call him, but before she could, he called her, and they went out on another date.
At the end of that date, Joey kissed Lucy for the first time. And as soon as he did, a thought hit him so hard that he stopped kissing her for a second. The thought was This Is The Person I Am Going To Marry. Which is funny, because for most of his life, Joey had always asked God to let him know the love of his life by their first kiss. Which had always been very frustrating to his previous girlfriends, because he never thought he was in love with any of them. And so later that night, he told his mother that he was going to marry Lucy.
But he didn’t want to scare her off, since they had just met. They spent the next few days together, but Lucy had to go back to her school, several states away. Joey was worried that he would never see her again. Lucy was worried, because she was dating (not exclusively, mind you. She had established from the start that it was a casual thing and she would go on dates with other people if they asked) another boy there. She felt it would be unfair to date two boys casually when one of them was disadvantaged by being so far away, and anyhow, this other boy seemed terribly inconsequential compared to Joey.
Fortunately, when they had been seeing each other every day for about a week, they talked about it. Joey suggested that they try having a long-distance relationship, and was even big enough to say that she could go on dates with as many other people as she liked. Lucy agreed to the long-distance relationship, but offered to just stop seeing other boys entirely. Joey appreciated this greatly.
Lucy flew back to her school, and that night she told her best friends that she had met the man she would marry. They laughed nervously, and hoped it wouldn’t turn out as badly as that tattoo. She reminded them that she was Following Her Intuition now, like the tattoo reminded her to.
Joey called her that night, and they talked and talked. He made reference to almost saying something, but not wanting to scare her off. Which no girl can hear without demanding to know what the something was. Joey mumbled that it was something about being in love. Lucy laughed at him and said that that wasn’t scary, since she felt the same way.
“There’s more, though.” He confessed. “I’ve been telling everyone that I’m going to marry you.”
“Oh. But that’s what I’ve been telling my friends!” Said Lucy.
“Really?” Demanded Joey, sounding very relieved. “But it’s only been a week.”
“Apparently, that doesn’t matter very much.” Said Lucy.
“Well, will you marry me, then?” Asked Joey.
“Only if you propose to me in person, with a ring. But yes, I will” She said.
So they talked every day for hours and hours, about everything they could think of. Which was good, because they really didn’t know anything about each other. They found out that they agreed on practically all fundamental things, like Politics and Religion and How To Make Tuna Sandwiches, although they had few common interests or backgrounds. But most importantly, they found that it wouldn’t have mattered if they had nothing in common, because they loved each other so much.
Lucy went back to Joey’s state for her Spring Break, and they spent every waking minute together, and at the end of the break, Joey took her here:
And proposed to her Officially, with a ring and everything.
Although they had a few bumps along the way, most of which were due to Lucy doubting her ability to love and be loved, and some of which were due to Joey learning how to let her go so she could come to him freely, they got married two weeks after she graduated.
And it works, even though it probably shouldn’t on paper, even though all common sense says that you should not become engaged to someone after having spent a week’s time with them. Because while Lucy and Joey and very stupid about quite a few things, and are still learning all kinds of difficult Lessons, they know one very important thing. There is such a thing as soul mates.
You can’t force yourself to be someone’s soulmate if you aren’t, and you can’t bump into your soulmate right at the time you think you should. But if you trust God to lead you in the right direction, and are open to listening even when something isn’t rational, just because you know deep inside that it is better than rational (sad-looking tattoo optional for most, thankfully) then you will find your soul mate. And I think that even if they never learn anything besides that, Joey and Lucy will be happy, because they have each other no matter what. And that is all they really need.
Of that particular chapter.
Because the story really keeps going on and on.
Which is why I keep writing in this blog.