Friday, April 23, 2010

Time for the rest of the story

Every Friday over at Kelly's Korner she has something called "Show us your life" and this week the topic is how you met your husband. I've never participated, but this week I thought I would since I've never posted about meeting Steve. And it's a fun story (if I do say so myself.)

Fall of 1999 I found myself moving half way across the world to Shanghai, China. That's a whole other long and fun story that I really should post sometime. But I digress... I was moving from New York City where I had spent three fabulous years living the good life, in Manhattan and generally loving life. My first year in China was rocky. It was hard to adjust to the culture, the language and being back in school (I found myself as a foreign student there studying the language.) Because of my rocky first year, I thought I'd stay for a second now that I was relatively adjusted and might have a shot at enjoying it. Lucky for me I stayed, because word on the street was that there was a cute single new guy joining us. And after a year in a foreign country, fresh meat was good news! (This picture was my best group of friends over there that year. Steve is the guy on the far left in the red -tucked in shirt- and I am in the middle with the black hoodie doing the sorority pose.)

Steve entered the picture my second year and quickly became a fast friend. As it turned out we had TONS in common. We had even grown up in the same town. His family moved away in 7th grade, but we had several friends in common. I had even taken one of his best buddies growing up to a dance my junior year of high school. My college roommate's mom and his aunt were sorority sisters and stay in touch to this day. Our dads had grown up in the same polish neighborhood in Toledo. After a bit of research, we found that we are NOT related. (whew.)
But I had made it a policy to not get all crazy about a guy unless he asked me out. I was 28 years old and had learned the hard way not to get all crushed out, only to have them like your roommate- youknowwhatimean!

Good thing too, 'cuz he never asked me out. I ended my second year and was asked to stay a third year. It was a hard decision, I was ready to go back to NYC, but in the end I decided to stay in China for a third year. Over that summer while I was home, I started to date a guy. Little did I know that as we took that photo above, Steve was getting ready to ask me out. But right after that picture, my friend Lisa said to him, "Hey Steve did you hear? E's DATING!" From what Steve's told me, his heart sank and he asked me how the dating thing was going. According to him I was beaming and excited (hey, what can I say, I hadn't dated anyone in about 8 years at that point.) So, after 2 months in the States we all got on a plane and headed back to China. My long distance relationship with that other guy only lasted another month or so when we got back. It was October 1st, 2001 (Liberation Day in China) that I told my friends I had broken up with the guy back in the States. Steve later told me it was HIS liberation day too. Although it took him another month and a half to finally get the guts to ask me out.
My parents had come to visit me over the Thanksgiving day week so I was already having a great week. And right before they were getting ready to go back home, my phone rang. It was Steve "checking in" on how my time with my folks was going. Of course I thought it was so sweet of him to call and check in. After about 5 minutes of me going on and on about something stupid I'm sure, he finally just said, "OK. Why I really called is... do you want to have dinner with me?"

Speechless. Ummm... hello?! YES I'll have dinner with you! I had only been hoping for this for a year and a half. I had gotten rid of that other guy because I kept secretly comparing him to Steve the whole time. Even if he had never asked me out or asked me to marry him, Steve is the kind of guy that sets the bar high for all guys out there. He is a man of God, full of integrity, handsome, funny, smart, a good question asker, a good listener and has finally learned to NOT tuck his t shirts into his shorts!

We went out at the end of November and he left China at the end of January. We had a long (and I mean L.O.N.G. distance relationship) until I came home in July. Then we were only 2 hours apart. We saw each other every weekend. We got engaged on December 23rd, 2002 and we got married May 3, 2003 (a month away from my 31st birthday). Nearly 7 years ago.

God took me half way around the world to meet the love of my life who had grown up 10 minutes away from me as a child. Ridiculous I tell you.
And that is my real life fairytale!


Danielle said...

Awesome story...God is such a miracle worker. I read back through a few of your posts...we too are trying to sell our house. And Holy Cow is it hard trying to keep it "show ready". Stressing me out a bit...but I know someday will be well worth it.

Joyce said...

Hi...I just hopped over today from Kelly's Korner. I love your blog and just added you to my blogs I like to read list. I read back quite a few posts...all the way to the post where you mention Sprees : ) I had to laugh because I just returned from the grocery store and I had searched high and low for Sprees...I don't know what made me think of them today.

Anyway, very random but it was a funny coincidence.

I love your have a great 'how did we meet' story : ) Have a nice weekend!

cindy said...

Don't forget that Ross told Steve that summer 2001 that he needed to pursue you and that the other guy wouldn't go anywhere! We were rooting for the two of you.

Eli Miller said...

Thanks for sharing the story, E, I never really knew how you guys got together. In fact, the only time I ever met Steve was when you guys came to Korea for a retreat of some sort, and we all went to the sauna together... and I have to agree, I knew from the little conversation we had that he was a quality guy, so it was great to hear about your guys' relationship develop and then even happen to be living in the same part of the world again when you guys got married!

Lisa said...

Yay!!! Loved reading this and reliving the drama. I totally forgot that I GLOATED to Steve about you dating, but I kind of remember that. Stupid me! Anyway, the picture I really wanted you to post (at least I'm pretty sure you're both in this picture) is when the two of you and some others did a murder mystery dress up dinner - didn't you dress up in traditional Chinese dress? I think that was before you were dating. Classic! (That is, if you're both in that picture I'm thinking of). Love you and so glad we got to talk today!