After our first date, we spent much time talking on the phone. I invited him to my sorority’s date party just two week later. We spent only a small amount of time there and then went to see Dan in Real Life. Sitting close together in the theatre, I willed him to hold my hand. And he did. Thankfully, he linked his fingers with mine only five minutes into the movie. I would have concentrated only on the fact that he wasn’t holding my hand otherwise. And then he didn’t let go for the whole movie.
Thanksgiving was approaching quickly. I would return to Houston to see my family, and he would remain in Oklahoma City with his family. The week away awakened butterflies in my stomach. We barely spoke during the week, though I looked at my phone hourly to see if he had called or sent a text message. He was enjoying time with his family, who had traveled from Florida and California for the holidays, and I spent time with my family, who I rarely saw and who had also traveled from California for the holidays. We had plans once we were both back in school. It would be the first night I would meet his friends.
It was a date party for his fraternity. We would eat at Sonic in Edmond and then make our way to Chickasha to watch “Grease” at the drive-in theatre. The night started when he gave me a single red rose, and then it was the first time we held hands, sitting in the back of the car. At the end of the night, we had our first kiss: a quick peck on the lips in the parking lot after he walked me to my car.
After that, things sped up, and our separate lives slowly became one tangled life. He spent time at my apartment, watching movies and laughing on the couch. I spent more gas money than ever before driving to Edmond for dinner dates to Wendy’s and study sessions at I-Hop.
The first time I met his family I planned on getting to know his parents and his twin brother. Instead, we walked into his parent’s church, and he pointed at two (or was it three) pews of people. I went from knowing only him and speaking to his brother to suddenly meeting aunts and uncles and cousins, second cousins and grandparents and so on.
We had lunch with his parents and his brother at Chili’s. I was nervous and wondered if they would like me. But it was easy, or as easy as meeting your future in-laws can be. Months later, one of his cousins told me that she knew as soon as I walked into the church that I would become part of the family.
Christmas was quickly approaching at this time. We both became inundated with papers, tests, and ice storms. I was working part-time at a daycare center as well as teaching reading and math at a men’s substance abuse recovery center and also interning at the United Way. We continued our waltz of studying, seeing movies, and ordering in pizza at my apartment.
I didn’t want to think about Christmas and being away from him for over two weeks. We had known one another for just a little while, but already it felt like this was it. We had no plans to celebrate the holidays together due to distance and cost, but his parents surprised us with a one-way ticket to Houston for him, just in time for New Year’s Eve. And his sister was scheduled to land in Oklahoma City the day before I drove to Texas. We would make it through our first holiday season having met one another’s families.
(title from "god gave me you" by dave barnes)
This post is part of a series. It is a snapshot of how I met (and married) my husband. To read the entire series, click here.