It was September 15th, 1997. Just another day at work. I started walking down the software aisle…and there he was. The new guy. Let me rephrase that – THE new guy. I was introduced to John and I was certain my face was as bright red as our hideous Office Depot uniforms were. His eyes…..sooooo blue. And that smile. WOW.
I remember thinking to myself there is no way I could date this guy. I was looking at going to Bible college and he never went to church. We were the exact same height – which meant if I was wearing heels, I was taller. Not good. And his feet? They were HUGE…. For the record, I hate feet, even my own. But I especially hate really big man feet. EWWW. So this obviously would never work.
Just a few weeks later I was giddy, blushing and constantly trying to find ways to be down the technology aisles of Office Depot. I was SO obvious!
It was December and time to plan our work Christmas party (back when companies still encouraged team morale.) Somehow I was thrown into the party planning. I’m not really sure why nor do I remember how it came about, but someone thought John and I should plan it together (of course). And somehowI was given his *cough* PAGER number, lol (remember those!?!?) I remember turning bright red the first time I paged him thinking he would surely not call me back and I would feel stupid. He called back immediately. We talked for almost an hour. And I didn’t sleep for days.
At our party, it was suggested that we should all go out bowling the next weekend (this was back when you liked the people you worked with..). So, we ALL made plans to go bowling the next Sunday. I had no idea what to wear. I was so excited and so nervous. I mean.. I LOVED bowling :) I get to our meeting spot…and find out that hmmm no one was coming, except ME & HIM. I’m guessing that wasn’t coincidental..but I’ve never been able to prove it. I told him I would just head home and he suggested we go out anyways. We both agreed bowling with just us two would be weird, so we decided to go to – wait for it – – – to Meijer. Yes, I said Meijer – as in the GROCERY STORE. We went back to his house and talked. For hours. About what? About the Bop-It game I convinced him to buy at Meijer. I know…totally hot date, right?
I paged him almost everyday after that. And we spoke for hours…seriously, like 4 hours, EVERY.day. He started dating someone and I talked to him about HER. I would give him advice, while trying not to sound jealous. Everyday the conversations became more deep and I couldn’t help but want to know everything there was to know about this man. My days revolved around his calls – hearing his voice. My stomach fluttered everytime he called. We became the best of friends. So when he became newly single just a week before Valentine’s Day, it made perfect sense for us to go out together – as friends….
He opened the car door for me. There was a pink rose on my seat. We went to dinner, drove around for hours, and then we went to Meijer. (Don’t ask what the fascination was with Meijer, ’cause I have no freaking idea.) We laughed and talked about everything under the sun. I remember he couldn’t believe I knew the words to an Alabama song (apparently I didn’t appear to be a country fan since I was always blasting rap from the 12-inch subwoofers in the back of my purple Cavalier, lol).
We went out the next night, the next night…and the next. On February 23rd he asked me, “So..what exactly are we right now? Are we dating or not?” To which I replied, “I guess so?”
13 years later – we’ve been married for 8 years, our youngest just turned 1 and our oldest will be 5 in May. We’ve moved 6 times, bought 2 houses, owned 14 cars (not all at once!), have went through countless jobs because every company he works for seems to leave MI, almost moved out-of-state 5 times and we haven’t killed each other yet. In fact, we still get along pretty well. How, you ask? Because we were best friends FIRST.
This post was inspired by Mama Kat’s Writing Prompts. You can join in on the fun, by clicking here: