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This post was written for GenFab, (short for Generation Fabulous), a group for bloggers of a certain age that provides encouragement, information and blogging tips. GenFab sponsors a once a month Blog Hop. This month’s topic was “How I met my husband/significant other”. You can follow GenFab’s twitter hashtag at #GenFab. I get so many (absolutely zero) questions about my positively scintillating (if you LIKE mundane),scandalous (preposterously ho-hum) past. Today, I thought I’d reach into my (totally imaginary) mailbag, and answer a devoted (non-existant) reader’s question. I have some quotes posted on lifehacks.io whilom, and feel qualified enough to answer these questions.
“So, Sooze, how did you meet your husband, The Big Bison?”
In the days when Bison roamed the earth, and we only had black and white photography. Isn’t he CUTE???
So glad you asked!
This is an easy question for me to answer, Gentle Reader, and answering it has brought back a small flood of warm and tender memories, so, thanks for that, too.
(And for any new-to-my-blog readers, here’s the back story as to how he became known as The Big Bison in the first place.)
Back in my single days, when I was still wet behind the ears with primordial sludge, (and what a heady fragrance that is!), I moved to Nashville to attend graduate school at Vanderbilt. The Big Bison was a guitarist who moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music. (Because, as all Nashvillians know, what was needed in Nashville, more than anything, was one more guitar player.)
We attended the same church, a large one, that at the time had around 1500 members. It’s impossible to get to know folks at a church that large unless you plug into a small group, and we had each been invited to attend a Bible study for young adults that met on Sunday nights at the home of a mutual acquaintance.
The night the BB walked in, I still remember my eyes being drawn to the good lookin’ new guy with the gorgeous, big brown eyes, and the red flannel shirt.
There were about 25 people who attended the group on Sunday nights, and at the end of each evening, we’d break into small groups to pray. I ended up in his small group. So I knew him pretty well before we ever went out on a date, because I’d been praying with him, and for him, for over a year.
He was always praying for work.
After knowing him for close to 30 years, some things haven’t changed in the slightest.
“But Sooze, how did you move past being ‘just friends’, and start dating?”
I had been seeing a friend of his, and it was just after Christmas vacation, when all my friends were arriving back in town after the traditional home-for-the-holidays pilgrimage. I ran into The Big Bison at a restaurant, and the thought occurred to me that he might know when the guy I was interested in would be getting back in town. So I approached him, and turned on the charm (in order to worm the information I wanted out of him) and then oh-so-nonchalantly asked, “Have you seen so-and-so yet? I wonder when he’ll be getting back in town?”. I found out what I wanted to know, but knew, from the look on his face, that I would be getting a phone call, soon enough.
“Oh, crud,” I thought. “Must have accidentally had the old charm set on stun level. He’s going to ask me out.”
And sure enough, that night, the phone rang, and he invited me to go to a movie with him the next weekend. This was NOT in the plan, (well, not in MY plan, anyway). What girl wants to date a guy she knows is without a regular job, and not looking to get one? But, I had been doing a lot of dating since I’d come to town, (and let’s face it, Nashville is FULL of musicians without regular jobs) and I had been trying not to judge the “candidates” merely on surface appearance, and trying to actually get to know the guy a bit before I said “not the one”. So, I figured I’d give this guy a chance.
Besides, he was really cute. And I knew for a fact, from being his friend, and praying for him, that he was a really nice guy.
On our first date, he figured out the plot twist in the movie “Young Sherlock Holmes” before I did. This was the first date I’d ever been on where the guy beat me to the punch of figuring out how the movie was going to end before it ended. I was moderately impressed, and took note of the fact: he was pretty quick, intellectually.
On the other hand, when we went out for a cup of coffee afterward, I decided I’d try out some of my “active listening” skills that I’d been learning in my counseling classes. I thought I’d see if I could draw him out a little bit, since I knew him to be kind of a quiet guy.
All I can say is: Honey, my “active listening” skillz are good. Like, really, really good, Because, holy cow, this guy (who had seemed very fairly non-talkative in the past) would NOT shut up! He talked about himself for. ev. er. AND, what’s worse, he failed to ask hardly any questions about me.
My face HURT from smiling so much as we faced each other over those cups of coffee. I nodded like a bobblehead doll, as the torrent of his words rushed around me. In fact, I’m pretty sure I gave myself a mild concussion, with all the sloshing around in my head my brain was doing, from all the nodding and “mmm hmm”s.
By the end of the evening, I was exhausted.
“Phew! Glad that’s over!”, I told myself, as I got out of his car.
But, then he called again. And this time, he wanted to cook dinner for me.
Well…that was sweet…bonus points for being warm on the phone, too, about what a lovely time he’d had (talking about himself….) and how he enjoyed spending time with me. More points for being kind of funny. And a few more for acting like he genuinely cared about how my week was going. Well… OK…one more chance. Let’s see if he can cook.
It wasn’t a particularly GOOD stir fry, but, hey, it wasn’t that bad. The sauce was good, but the sliced potatoes he put in it were kind of gummy/gluey and undercooked. (Note to self: raw potato slices do NOT work in stir fries when thrown in with the carrots.) But I wasn’t much of a cook back in those days, anyway. And on this date, the conversation was a lot more balanced: he’d talk. Then I’d talk. As it should be. After dinner, we watched the Sound of Music, which has always been one of the movies that goes straight to my heart, and as we were watching that exquisitely poignant moment when Captain von Trapp and Maria dance the Ländler, the BB draped one arm over one of my shoulders, and the other arm came up around my other side, and he snuggled me back tightly against his chest, and I thought my heart would explode it was beating so hard.
And when he walked me to the car, leaned his head in the window to give me our very first kiss. and the sweetness and the heat were so intense that I beat my fists on the steering wheel as I was driving out of the parking lot, I knew, for a fact, that I was in big trouble.
A shared faith, we had. This I already knew.
Friendship, we had. And this was growing stronger, and feeling more real, and more personal.
But on this night, I’d learned that, chemistry? We had that, too. We had some strong chemistry.
But the dude was a musician.
Not exactly a good bet for a sound fiscal future.
“So…how did you finally KNOW for sure that he was the one for you?”
that’s not the subject of this post, is it, Gentle Reader?
That story might require another post, another day.