Sunday, February 24, 2008

Young Love, The Rest of the Story

(see yesterday's post for the first part)

College really opened my eyes to the world, intellectually, as well as emotionally. I began to gain confidence in myself and decided to become a teacher. While I waited for My Guy to come home from the military, I carried a full load of classes and worked two jobs, keeping busy. And even though I let everyone know I was "taken," I still got asked out now and then. One of the guys who asked me out was a tall, blue-eyed charmer named Mark. He was cute, very funny, and attractive, if you liked that type (which I did not.) I was more into dark, gloomy, short guys, and this guy was tall, gregarious, and confident. I was all about fixing guys, and this one wasn't broken, so I simply was not attracted to him that way. Add to that the fact that I was fiercely loyal to my boyfriend, and you have a terrific friendship that developed over a couple of years.

Mark and I had so much fun at school. I worked in the library, and he would come up and visit me all the time, making me laugh and helping the shift go by quickly. We had a class or two together, and we'd study now and then. He would often give me a ride home. My buddy Mark was so sweet and loving, just the friend I needed to help pass the time waiting for my boyfriend to come home on leave and sweep me off my feet. Mark was the best guy-friend a girl could have, listening to my sob stories about my guy and sharing a few of his own. We maintained our friendship until he had to take a semester off (to make some money to pay for school).

Mark interjects here (in 2008) to say that our entire friendship in college was a farce; he was just plain stalking me. He knew I wouldn't cheat on my boyfriend, so he pretended to be "the friend" in order to spend time with me and wait for "just the right moment" to "swoop" in on me! He even told his friend Wes (before he had even met me) that I was going to be his next next girlfriend (I told you he was confident!)

The Guy and I broke up one summer while he was home on leave. We both knew our relationship had been over for a while; it was mutual. For the next six months, I dated on and off, but nothing serious.

On New Years Eve in 1984, I was in a bar. Anyone who's ever been single on New Year's Eve knows that it stinks; creepy strangers trying to take advantage of the midnight kiss thing...yuck. Just before the stroke of midnight, I snuck into the bathroom and waited it out. Shortly thereafter, I emerged and decided I might as well go home. That changed when I looked across the bar and recognized the smiling face of my old buddy, Mark, who I hadn't seen in months! We rushed to meet each other, and I gave him a huge hug. We talked and laughed and caught up. He said he'd been skiing recently, and I told him I had always wanted to learn. A slow song came on, and he asked me to dance (it was Lionel Richie's Truly). I can still remember how good it felt to be in his loving arms. I prepared to leave, and he suddenly remembered something, "Hey, we're going skiing next weekend. Would you like to come with us?" I said yes, and the rest is history.

I do have to tell you that Mark later admitted that he had made up the skiing story; it was total bull. You see, he knew I was a "10," and he didn't want me to get away! That was 23 years ago, and our wedding anniversary is coming up soon. In a way, I'm glad I spent so much time being miserable in the beginning; sometimes in life, you have to go through some bad times in order to truly appreciate the good ones.

P.S. The photo was taken at a friend's wedding in 1984


  1. Marrying a friend is the best! Great story, thanks for telling us.

  2. :) interesting that you said yes to a snow date. deep down i bet you knew you loved him lots. :D

    i knew it was love for me when i was washing bran's dishes in a huge, deep claw foot tub (he had no kitchen sink) when he was packing to move. i'm pretty sure that the university would've loved to have some of the cultures of mould that were in those dishes...yep...that takes lerve!

  3. oh, yeah, i forgot. i *hate* doing dishes a whole lot.

  4. Interesting point, Dykewife. I think you're right; I was willing to consider a snow-date because I didn't want to let him go, either.

    I'll assume your hubby does the dishes nowadays... :)

  5. Wow...LOVED the story...and LOVE that both of yalls bangs...match the sleeves on your dress! TOO CUTE!! =-)

  6. Wow, what a persistent guy! Of course we all knew that you were a 10! Funny how we are so insecure at that age... I am so glad that he hung in there as your "Friend". Who could blame him? He knew a good thing when he saw it. It's awesome to watch how God works out everything, not the least of which is Mark saving one of our cousin's sons from drowning at the reunion awhile back! Hmmm, if you hadn't gone to a bar that of our cousins would be minus one son, not to mention your son, and daughter. :0 Everything can be used for good!

  7. What a great story and it sounds like Mark is a wonderful guy to you. Glad you put an end to fixing guys and decided to stay with the one that wasn't broken. You can now put all your energy into "fixing" students before they turn into the likes of your old boyfriend. :)

  8. That is a great story! I love the pic too :)

  9. Geri, you're so right! There are no "accidents" in life; I do believe everything happens for a reason.

    Tnkerry, your comment made me laugh right out loud! That really makes sense--that I may be able to "fix" someone else's future husband, haha (I'll surely do my best!)

    Jax and Jane: thanks. It's one of my favorite photos. We sure look happy!

  10. Thanks for sharing a great story. I too believe that in life, you have to go through some bad times in order to truly appreciate the good ones. I can not believe how much Mark and Kyle look so much alike! Congratulations in advance on a great marriage and an awesome family.

  11. I loved your story and seeing this picture again. Happy Anniversary!


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