I was the ripe old age of 22, on the verge of turning 23 and felt like an old maid. I was the girl who wanted to meet and marry my high school sweetheart, but no sweetheart ever materialized during high school and here I was five years out of high school with still no sweetheart. Not only no sweetheart, but my last few tries at love had failed miserably.
I decided to give up on love, romance, and the hopes of a long term relationship and just have fun dating, so with that notion in my head I searched online and found a personal ads website. PersonalAds2000 to be exact. Very Y2K in 1998.
I uploaded a blurry low res picture of me in baggy sweats, a ponytail, and holding up the teensiest little fish that one could catch on a fishing pole unless they had been fishing out of a goldfish bowl. Although to be honest, my Aunt's gold fish were bigger than that sad little fish that I had caught.
*I cannot find that particular picture. Bummer.*
Along with the picture I added this poem:
Touch me - NOT with your hands, but with your soul.
Hear me - NOT with your ears, but with your heart.
See me - NOT with your eyes, but with your emotions.
Search for me - NOT because I am lost, but because without me, a part of you is.
Find me - NOT alone in a park, but within a crowd of people.
And that was all I put....oh I did also break the rules and write my homepage address on there.
*a homepage was sort of like a blog/scrapbook that was around before blogging was actually a thing.*That webpage has been lost to time and sadly you will never know how charming I must have been on it. It was called Terabinthia's World (Terabinthia was my handle for the internet chat rooms I chatted in....wow I really feel as though I am dating myself here.....). And the only thing that I can for sure remember what it said were the words, "there you have it, the jiffy lube of me" or something along those lines and it also talked about my goals for the future and where I wanted to be later on in life. Literary GOLD was written there, I promise you! Shame that it is gone.
That little ad brought in over 200 emails. Some I responded to and some were just your typical gross responses to a personals ad. Out of those 200 hundred I met 2 in person. I also met up with a guy who had his own personals ad that I responded to.
|You have to love the hair. Notice that difference|
between his fireman hair here and his Navy hair
in the wedding cake pics. =)
Steve, my now husband, was the other guy that I met off of there. I was also corresponding with some others, but those didn't last after meeting Steve.
Steve and I emailed each other back and forth for about two weeks before actually meeting. I lived in Federal Way at the time and he lived in Bremerton. They are about an hour apart from each other.
|Our reception at my parents house after our Justice of the|
Peace wedding. I had yet to hone my scrapbooking
I remember walking out of my Aunt's house when he got there and thinking, "WOW, he is really cute! He will never go for me."
We went and saw the X files movie, ate at Burger King, and then we went back to my Aunt's and laid in her yard talking for a long time.
The next day was the Fourth of July and my Aunt always had a big party, so I invited him to come. He came and met the whole family and extended Micronesian family on my Uncle's side. After that we were pretty much inseparable. Every free moment that he wasn't at the fire station he was at my house, or I was at his.
|Our baby pictures. No one thought that Katie looked|
like me then. Now everyone says she is my mini me.
We were married in March of 99 and had our oldest, Katie, that May. Whirlwind. It was a whirlwind everything.
My plan of staying out of a relationship made God laugh I think. I do remember at one point having a choice to make, because I knew that Steve wanted commitment and I wanted fun. I can remember hearing very clearly God telling me to "choose Steve".
There have been times when I have questioned that voice and my decision, because let's face it marriage can be hard. HARD with all caps. The kind of hard where all your breath comes out in the saying it and the D at the end is loud and harsh:
And this marriage has been that at times, for both of us. Trust has been mishandled, misplaced, and abandoned on both sides in various ways and to varying degrees. But we are still here, working through those hard spaces. Sometimes it can feel like a belly crawl army style through the mud kind of working at it, but even that slow crawl has moved us forward to today.
It is good to remember how we came together, because that gets lost in the hard and the hurts much too easily. It is good to remember how his early emails made my stomach butterfly and how he would drive me back home on the freeway going 45 miles an hour just to make the time last longer and it still felt too fast. It is good to remember, because honestly I fear that I forget too easily.
Thank you Karmen for suggesting that I do this and for helping me to remember.