so j and i met in june of 2000. we were pretty much boyfriend and girlfriend from the very beginning. none of that "dating" or "getting to know each other" stuff.
we knew we wanted to be together. we really liked each other right away and we were pretty much inseparable right from the get-go.
i'd had two serious-ish boyfriends. one who was TOO nice to me and let me get away with too much, and one who was just the opposite. not nice to me. mean, actually. didn't let me get away with anything at all.
like the lyrics to that jo dee messina song...i needed a man to stand beside me. not in front of or behind me.
and in june of 2000 i met him. now let me point something out. i looked at college as a time to date. a stepping stone for finding the one i wanted to marry. but i was NOT like those girls at baylor who were there for their "MRS" degree. and there were lots of them. at a conservative baptist school in the south? you betcha there were lots of them.
but not me. i was having fun. a social butterfly.
flitting from this boy to that boy, and not trying to "marry" any of them.
until i met james carr howell.
the first night i met him i was...um...besotted (to borrow a word from jane austen and from my friend may flaum). seriously. and how could you NOT be. have you seen his eyes? his smile? the cleft in his chin? his olive skin? okay, i digress.
i met him at a stop light on the way home from work. yes, you heard right.
do not fear, i was not a "working woman" or "woman of the night". not that kind of work. that's NOT what i mean when i said that college was for having fun.
i was driving home from work (a place called sea and ski) when my friend luke pulled up in his pickup with a cute boy in the passenger seat. he asked where i was headed. i said home (getting increasingly more flustered by the moment-flustered by the boy in the passenger seat) and he said they were headed to watch a hockey game at beverly's, a local seedy bar that we all adored.
beverly was a redhead who'd had a bit of a hard life. she was truly kind of like betty from army wives. a bit "grizzled" and a recovering alcoholic. but not recovering well. she was known to secretly hit the sauce and then pull out her portable karaoke machine and carry it around all night singing maudlin love songs. i sang backup to brooks and dunn's neon moon with her one night, and she loved me from that point on.
lots happened at beverly's. gossip about boys, breakups (one, over the phone, right after my grandfather had died...that boy was NOT very sensitive) , crying in bathrooms (after said breakup), and even the viewing of the very last 90210. bev's was a big part of my college experience. but i never expected to meet the man i would marry there.
that night, after work, i walked in wearing jeans, flip flops, a tank top, no makeup except for a smidge of lip gloss, and my hair in a bun. cute, huh? not.
but he didn't care. believe it or not, the new boy only had eyes for me. he flirted with me. he stood up for me when luke made fun of the fact that i'm not well-endowed in cup size (it's true. i've always been an "almost a", and i've always been a bit sensitive about it). luckily, i met a "legs and booty" guy. so, like i was saying...he stood up for me.
he looked at me all night long. all.night.
while we sat around a big table talking. while we played pool. while we played shuffleboard. at my friends house, later, where we talked more. and laughed and laughed and laughed.
funny thing is, i didn't really think he went to west point. i thought he was a UT boy who was acting like he went to west point. he had mentioned he was on his way to austin the next day. he kind of looked like a UT boy, but way more laid-back. the guys kept ribbing him, saying things like "cadet" howell, but he did not seem like a soldier. so i just thought it was a joke.
turns out he was a cadet. duh. ;)
and the trip to austin was to see a girl he'd been dating off and on since high school.
but let me tell you this. he never went to see her. ever again.
because that night, under the stars, i may or may not have pushed him up against a brick wall. and kissed him until his head was dizzy.
but let me say this. i'd NEVER done anything like that before. i was not a hussy, a tart, a tramp,a trollop, a broad, a floozy, or any of those old- fashioned, southern words for HARLOT.
heeee. i loved him. or at the very least wanted to make out with him for the rest of my life.
i mean, really. have you NOT seen those eyes, that smile...... i could go on forever.
and please forgive me for my moment of trollop-ness.
who would have EVER thought that i'd credit beverly's and the dallas stars when talking about how i met my husband.
next time, how i ended up telling him i loved him as he was walking out of the bathroom.
always so romantic, i am.
happy wednesday. xo