April 12, 1992: I wrecked my car (and someone else’s — sorry dude) on the way to our first date. Went on the date anyway — no sense crying over a totaled Firebird — and the rest is history. Mr. Wonderful and I had that date, and many more.
April 12, 1996: He surprised even me with a surprise wedding day. (After a two-year engagement he got tired of waiting for his Save the Date, I guess). So he lured me to my own wedding under false pretenses, used the license we had for quite some time waiting for us to set the date, and we got hitched. We then called our family members and told them. All were thrilled.
Every day since: I would marry him all over again. Twenty four years married. Twenty-eight years together. Four houses. Two beautiful children. A lot more dad jokes than he started out with, and I am now under the influence of Pinterest, which is also very hard on him.
When you have been married as long as we have, it is natural for people to ask what your “secret” is to finding your person. The secret? There isn’t one. I am hardly the authority on all things. I am one person who found one person.
What I do know is that in order to find ‘the one,” you have to actually talk to people. Meet people. Most importantly, be open to new people. I cannot stress that enough. Sure the world is full of stories of people who met the boy or girl “next door.” However, there are equally if not more tales of fate and kismet.
With that in mind, go places you don’t normally go. Accept dates with people who don’t look exactly like “your type.” Don’t set roadblocks for your heart based on “type.” I mean, it’s okay if your type is “not a meth addict. Not a gambler.” That’s a good rule to have. However, if you refuse to even consider X, Y or Z as not your type, you are leaving out some quality connections.
You only like tiny, red-headed people with green eyes who are left-handed? Okay, that’s very specific.
I met Mr. Wonderful in a country dance club where I had gone with my mother. It was the least likely place I should have been at age 22 on a Friday night, yet, there I was. He came up, asked me to dance, and the rest is history.
I was only there because I was dodging a potential suitor who would not take no for an answer, and I knew he would stop by my house if he saw my car in the drive. These days, we call that “stalking.” In 1992, it was still considered a perfectly acceptable way to get a woman to go out with you.
Regardless, I ended up in that country dance club (a musical genre I absolutely hated at the time) and met the man who would set me on course for the rest of my life. I firmly believe the Lord sometimes puts you in the place you don’t necessarily want to be but really need to go.
What I mean is, do not let your own limits trip you up. He isn’t your type? She is nothing like the women you usually date? Good. Maybe that’s the point. Get to know people. Call. Chat. Text. Learn about people in different walks of life. From backgrounds that differ from your own.
You might not — in fact probably will not — make a love connection with the majority of them. You will, however, expand your horizons, meet some interesting people and have a few great lessons.
In more than one instance “the one” isn’t the one you date — but the friend you meet through them.
One of my only bits of advice in finding the “one” is this: choose someone kind. Kind to you. Kind to their mama. Kind to children and dogs and wait staff. Even if they drive you crazy sometimes, it’s a lot harder to justify the jail time murdering someone who is fundamentally kind.
Now remember at the beginning of this column (and my marriage) when I told you we did not have a big wedding? I am not anti-wedding. In fact, I truly hope both our kids have them. I like dancing and I love cake. I also love the idea of pledging your love in front of family and friends.
What is most important, however, is that too often couples don’t plan enough for what happens after the big day. Don’t spend so much time preparing for your wedding that you forget to focus on the marriage. Always, from day one to year whatever, take each other for better or for worse — but never for granted.
STAY INFORMED. SIGN UP!
Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!