I met my wife in the summer of 1994 when I moved to Georgetown, Texas (just
north of Austin). We attended the same college-age Sunday school class at
church, and we hung out with the same group of people all summer long. During
that time neither of us had any desire to spend any time alone together.
She thought I was a dud with no personality, and I thought she was an okay
girl who happened to be friends with some pretty cool people. When summer
ended, though, all those cool people went away to their various colleges
across the country, leaving her and me to attend The University of Texas
at Austin (Hook ‘em Horns!!!).
During the first week of classes, I ate lunch alone every day. One day,
though, I saw her in the parking lot. My overwhelming loneliness overcame
shyness, and I ran after her. I caught up with her and asked her if she’d
like to eat lunch with me. She agreed. (She told me a couple of years later
that I kind of freaked her out. She was afraid I would hit on her, and that
was the last thing she was interested in.) We ate lunch that day and had
such a pleasant time that I suggested we eat lunch together every day. We
compared schedules and found that we could only eat together on Monday, Wednesday,
and Friday, which we proceeded to do for the rest of our time at UT as far
as our schedules would permit.
At that time, we both attended the weekly meetings of a ministry for college
students at Southwestern University in nearby Georgetown, Texas (closer to
home). That group met on Friday evenings. We generally hung out with each
other and some mutual friends on Saturdays as well. We also continued attending
the same church on Sunday mornings. We grew to be friends, then good friends,
then best friends, never spending less than 15 hours a week together, and
eventually sharing each other’s company for 40 hours or more on a weekly
basis. I grew to absolutely adore her. I treated her like a queen. I could
not stand being away from her for any length of time. And for her part, she
never passed up an opportunity to be in my presence. People close to each
of us began suggesting that we explore the possibility of moving our relationship
to a deeper, more intimate level. We, and especially I, would have none of
it. I had in my head a picture of romance, gleaned mainly from TV and movies,
and it bore no resemblance to our relationship. So I looked elsewhere for
love while I felt more comfort in our friendship than I had ever known before.
I chased romance anywhere I thought it might bloom. I dated one girl seriously
for a time. I went out on other dates. I flirted (or, more accurately, attempted
flirtation) with other girls I knew. I stared at pretty girls from afar.
Strange as it may seem, none of it amounted to anything. I shared my frustrations
with my one true confidante, and she empathized, having similar problems
of her own. People started asking us why we weren’t dating. We told them
we didn’t have that kind of relationship. We were best friends, not life
mates. And it went on like that until the spring of 1997.
It was around that time that I decided to follow her everywhere she might
move. If she were to move away from Texas, I would pack up all my worldly
possessions and move right along behind her, and perhaps I would even meet
a compatible woman in the new city. It took my thick head a while to realize
that I was actually in love with her, and that the best way to stay with
her was to marry her. She still wanted no part of it, but I persisted. After
several tortuous months (two or three, actually, though it felt like an eternity),
she consented to try being a couple. We "dated" throughout the
summer. I proposed in the fall of 1997, and we married on May 23, 1998.
We’ve never stopped being best friends.