Thursday, August 2, 2007


Believe it or not, that's the first thing I noticed about my husband. I was sitting in my Southern History class, and my eyes drifted from the teacher to the floor. My hand was doing that sprawling notes thing it does when I am almost asleep -- you know, the thing where you look at your notes later and they say something like, "drafted a charter to soooo boring boring BORING" and each "boring" is written in a different way: bubble letters, mirror writing, circles on the end of each letter... I was trying desperately to stay awake, when my gaze wandered over to the left and landed on a pair of forearms that even Popeye would have envied. They were huge. There were muscles outlined that I didn't even know existed outside of comic books.


I looked to see whose they were and was surprised to see that they belonged to a guy with whom I'd had several classes. I don't know what kind of blinders I'd had on to not take notice, but they were certainly removed that instant.


The professor called on him to answer some Charlie Brown teachery "Wah wah wah wah wah" question, and he gave this clear, well-thought-out-but-not-groveling answer in a deep, soft voice. I remember my face getting hot and flustered at the thought that if he looked over, he would see how intently I was looking at him.


At the time, I was living with some very well-meaning friends who were both engaged. For some reason, engaged people seem to view unengaged people as, well, unengaging, and they do their best to remedy the situation. They had given me a book whose thesis was that if you wait patiently, doing all kinds of marvelous deeds of housewifery like ironing your sheets and learning to crochet window treatments, and keep your gaze on God, He will provide a dashing husband. The irony of this book was that it used Ruth as the biblical model of a lady in waiting.




I called my mom and told her that I had just met the most outstanding man in the universe. He was good-looking AND could stay awake through Southern History! Her advice? "Ruth lay down at Boaz's feet!" With this theological argument at the helm, I thought out my battle plan.

  • Talk to said history professor (I MUST STAY AWAKE! I MUST STAY AWAKE! I MUST STAY AWAKE!) to find out everything I can about ... what's his name? Nathan. Or Ethan? Maybe Ian. Report: He is not dating anyone and is said professor's favorite student. He works at the library, in addition to being a history grader. He is a member of the history club. His name is Ethan.

  • Join history club. Report: attended the field trip to the Holocaust Museum. Vacuumed out car just in case he rode with me. Ended up riding with four giggling girls. He rode in pickup truck with only 1 other person.

  • Go to Christmas party local community history society is hosting at the museum. Report: Ethan was the person you were supposed to RSVP to, so I called him to say I would be attending (and woke him up: "That's OK. You make a nice alarm clock." Oh, the things said in that hazy place between dreams and reality... I now have to regularly remind him that I make a nice alarm clock.) Bribe another girl to go with me. Ethan does not go; my friend and I are the only two people under the age of 72 at Christmas party.

  • Take brownies up to his dorm floor. One of my good friends had a crush on the same floor, so we decided to make brownies and take them up there during the "open dorm" hours (4 hours on the weekend). Report: neither my friend's crush nor mine were there. Give brownies to my cousin (on same floor) and play 3 1/2 hours of some African card game (this was the Missionary Kid floor) with every male on the floor. Listen to 3 1/2 hours' worth of bush and jungle stories. Thank them for the "wonderful" evening and leave with empty brownie pan. Meet Ethan on stairway where he is returning from a bike ride, bike and helmet resting on massive forearm. Manage a frazzled, "You missed some great brownies!" through clenched teeth and roll my eyes at his puzzled expression.

  • Check out theological and intellectual books from the library. Report: in a strange twist of irony, this was the one that got his attention. So guess who had to read up in order to carry on the discussion? And I thought Southern History was a snoozer... This plan of action resulted in many, many nights spent reading heavy books at the back of the library. Well, many, many nights with my head lying on heavy books at the back of the library. But at least he had to come over to wake me up in order to close the library...


I laugh heartily when people make assumptions and ask me my "courtship" story. I stalked him! How's that for courtship?


On Sunday, we will have been married for seven years. I won't be naive enough to say that I don't know where the time went, because I know that's not a very long time. But what has amazed me is how much richness a short seven years can bring. When we started going out, I thought of all those people, books, etc. that advise you to make a list of what you want in a husband. I had made my list(s), and he far surpassed them all. I didn't even know God made guys that good. And with every year (month, day) that passes, I am even more amazed at his "goodness": in important ways (godliness, intelligence, humor, sensitivity) but even in the "unimportant" ones (making me laugh at myself, knowing the perfect thing to say or do to snap me out of my selfishness or uppityness, knowing the places all of the kids like to be tickled -- which is no small feat -- just ask them -- "Mama's a terrible tickler.").


And tomorrow is his birthday. This is the beginning of the glorious 10 days of the year when we are the same age. The other 346 days, he loves to rub in that I am older than he is. Respect your elders, I say.


But I love him. And I don't know anybody who doesn't.



  1. Nothing wrong with that missionary kid floor. My husband is from there too and I listened to some of the same stories I am sure. Anyway, Happy Anniversary and good luck with that newest crawler in your house (Jamie told me).

  2. and tag, you're it. See my post at:

  3. kerri

    Did you ever crochet any curtains?

  4. Kerri, ha! I have learned to crochet but have definitely steered away from crocheted window treatments. You are funny :)

    And carpebanana, I'm gonna write that post soon. Just got back from Maine.



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