Nine years ago today, Michael asked me out on a date. At the tender ages of 16 and 17 we never would have guessed what the future held for us.
In honor of our anniversary, I’m going to share our love story. Before we get to what happened nine years ago today, we need to back up a little bit to establish background…23 years to be exact.
Twenty three years ago, when I was two (and Michael was three), my family moved from South Carolina to Tennessee. We started going to church where Michael and his family went to church. There was no “how we met” moment for either of us, because we can never not remember knowing each other.
(If I were a good blogger I’d have some cute pictures of us at ages two and three to insert here, but right now I’m a blogger who is about to start back to work and has no time to be hunting down old pictures…and who really needs to quit typing and get to work…so apologies for the lack of visuals today)
During our primary years we weren’t really friends, weren’t really enemies, just two kids going to the same church (and later the same school) – often at the same functions at the same time, without really acknowledging each other. Once we hit the youth group, where you aren’t separated by grade level as much and attend many activities outside of church, we spent more time together. Our relationship changed from merely knowing who the other person was to a brother/sister-type relationship. As in he teased me and I annoyed him. I mean, what do you expect out of 7th and 8th graders? But at that point, I would have never in a million years thought that I would ever like-like him. Ewww….
The summer after my sophomore year of high school and Michael’s junior year (we were 16 and 17, respectively), we went to Mexico on a mission trip as we had every year for the past several years. At some point on the drive home we ended up sitting near each other in the church van. Being crammed in a van for days on end with people sort of makes you either grow to really like them or really hate them…
We talked a lot on that trip. Not really lots of one-on-one conversation (is that even possible in a crowded 15 passenger?), but there was plenty of time for us to sit around with our friends and chat. He was acting as if he had a bit of a crush on me, and at first I was a little “I think Michael likes me…that’s so weird”. But as we spent time together I started to realize he might not be as much of an annoying, gross, pesky, older-brother type as I thought.
After we returned from Mexico we went back to our normal youth group-y routine so we saw each other a lot, but now instead of just being two teenagers at the same functions we found ways to sit together, talk to each other, and occasionally ride together. We flirted and our friends started to notice that we sure did spend a lot of time together. But I’m not sure if either of us thought anything would really happen at that point.
Our parents must have also noticed (or else there were just some happy coincidences) because Michael’s parents invited me to go skiing at the lake with them one Saturday. Michael had no idea they were going to do that, he hadn’t asked them to ask me or anything, and I’m not entirely sure that he was too pleased about having to give up his skiing time to teach this awkwardly clumsy girl how to water ski, but we had fun and I certainly knew by then that I liked him a lot and hoped he like me as much.
Still, it took us about two months to get to that ride home from Sonic where he finally asked me out…but you’re going to have to come back and hear that story in part 2….