I had this great track record in my early 20's of dating a few really great guys for a significant stretch, getting the boot, and then learning that they married the women following me. I sort of took it as a compliment.
So, by my mid-20's, I decided that I was done dealing with relationships. I was accepted into a Conflict Resolution graduate program (ironic, I know), working full-time, and focused on taking care of me.
And then he came...back into my life...sort of. Ray and I had one class together for one semester in undergrad. We weren't really friends and after his abrupt transfer back to his home university, I never saw him again.
But like clock work, every two years or so for almost a decade, I would receive an email that went something like this..."How are you? How's the heartland? How's the latest schmuck treating you? When are you going to come out west? You're amazing. Take care of you."
It was definitively a "When Harry Met Sally," experience. When I was in a relationship, he wasn't. And then when I'd gotten dumped, he was with a girl. We lived over 1500 miles away and could barely remember what the other one looked like. We just enjoyed smart, effortless, funny, virtual banter every few years and reveled in the fact that there was a good person on the other side of the country.
And then it came. I had a conference in San Diego and he left me a voice mail. "I booked a ticket...I'll see you on the beach." Three months post the trip, he quit his job, sold most of his belongings, and drove his car to Nebraska and a very dear friend sublet her apartment to him. Six months later, we were engaged and the rest is our history.
It's crazy how beautiful love stories play out. Each year on our anniversary, he finds out the symbolic connection of the year and inscribes our vows on the material. On the year of wood, he found a vintage jewelry box and inscribed them on the inside. He's found amazing ways to utilize paper, glass, cotton, iron, and this year pottery...a gorgeous platter that he painted with the words.
Eight years ago today, we both said, "I do." I'm so glad.