Monday, April 14, 2008

The Hubby Part 3

Okay, the last part of the story left me reading an e-mail sent to me by Brandon back in May 1997. It was inviting me to call him if I ever wanted to "talk or something", if I recall.

My first thought was: Um, could the guy just not pick up the phone like a normal person and call me?

My second thought was: Is this some kind of weird joke orchestrated by Friendly Tommy? Ha-Ha, Tommy.

So I called Tommy, only to learn that he was at work at Schlotsky's that day. I had spent the better part of 2 years during high school bugging Tommy while he was at work, enjoying a small ham and cheese for the bargain price of $1. I was feeling a little hungry, all of a sudden. So I went to Schlotzky's, and between bites, tried to get him to fess up.  I was convinced he had sent me the e-mail with hopes I would call poor unsuspecting Brandon and embarrass the pants off of myself.

No such luck. Tommy actually told me that Brandon had talked to him about me, and asked his permission to ask me out.

Um, ask his permission?? I barely knew this guy, having had approximately 2 conversations with him EVER. And now he's getting Tommy's permission to ask me out? (Which he didn't actually do on the e-mail, by the way, he was just INVITING me to call him.) Tommy went on to explain to me that there is a "Guy Code" that dictates that you discuss it with your best friend before asking out his ex-girlfriend.

So I called him.  And we planned a "date".  The date itself is a little fuzzy.  I remember that we went with a big group from my church out to eat somewhere, and then Brandon, me, and one or two other people came back to my house and watched "Jerry Maguire".

I do remember a couple of things very clearly from this first date. Brandon used to drive a bright orange 1978 Chevy Laguna (or something like that. Big orange car with black vinyl seats and no A/C).

Now, those of you who know my sweet husband, know that he sweats. A lot. He's a warm-blooded fella. I can't remember exactly what he was wearing that first date, but going from pictures taken of us that summer, I can wager a pretty good guess. Something like: blue jeans, a white t-shirt, and a long sleeve button up shirt, unbuttoned and with the sleeves rolled up.

Because that's how he rolled.

But, it was summer, and it was hot. So there we are in the big orange car, sweating like there's no tomorrow, with the windows rolled down for the 30 minute trip from the restaurant back to my house. And my hair was lookin' awesome by that point. And all the wind noise made it too loud for us to actually talk to each other, so it was shaping up to be a very quiet first date.

We get to my house to watch the movie, and there was this girl from my church who had tagged along. We'll call her Megan (name has been changed from "Amber" to protect her privacy.) Megan was the other girl from my youth group who had dated all the same guys I had. She was cute, and VERY flirtatious. You pretty much just had to be breathing and accidentally glance her way and she would pounce on you.

Well, who did she decide to pounce on that night at my house? You guessed it. Poor, unsuspecting Brandon. (Did I mention he was really hot?) She's flirting like crazy, scooting up closer and closer to him, practically sitting on his lap, and I was getting pretty irritated by the whole situation.  Reinforcements are needed STAT.  So I do what any mature college girl would do.  I call my ex-boyfriend (Friendly Tommy to the rescue).  All I had to say was "Megan is here." and he was in his car and on his way.  No explanation needed. (He had also dated Megan at one point, I think.) Quick story--when we were all in high school, our youth group would take a trip to Six Flags every year in July.  One summer, Tommy was dating Megan, so we were all going around the park together. Well, poor Megan was very hot and tired, being at Six Flags in July and all. So sometime mid-afternoon, I start hearing the whining: "Tommy, carrrry me! Carrrry me, Tommy! So Tommy CARRIED this girl on his back half the day.  At Six Flags.  In July.  In 112 degree heat.  Because he's just a good guy.

So Tommy arrived, and provided adequate diversion and soon Megan was too busy scootin' up to Tommy to pay any attention to Silent Brandon.   Most girls would not welcome the presence of the ex-boyfriend on a first date with the soon-to-be-new boyfriend, but these were special circumstances.  This is really all I remember of our actual first date.  Our following dates were not too terribly different, except we didn't have Megan along for any of the other ones.

Some of you are going to have a hard time picturing this, but Brandon used to be unbearably shy.  Our first dates were a lot like awkward job interviews, with me asking questions, and him providing the briefest answers possible.  Followed by long periods of silence.  Repeat.  He intrigued me because he was so different from any other guy I had ever dated.  There was no flirting, yet I was sure he was interested in me.  He was very honest, even when it didn't benefit him to be.  And he made no secret about his faith and his desire to be a youth minister.  I had dated "guys who wanted to be a youth minister" at ACU, but they were ultimately all the same. This one was definitely different.  He wasn't coy, I didn't have to analyze everything he said and try to figure out what he meant.  He said exactly what he meant.  We spent a lot of time those first few dates just talking, and we found out quite a lot about each other.

The end of the summer was nearing, and we both knew I was returning to Abilene for school, and he would be staying in the Dallas area for college. There was a weird conversation to be had, and neither one of us wanted to have it. Finally, one night in August, we talked about what was going to happen with us when I went back to Abilene. It went something like this:

Me: What's going to happen when I go back? Do you think we should date other people?
Him: I don't want to date anybody else.
Me: Neither do I.
Him: Good.

Little did I know, the sweaty guy in the big orange car would several years later, be this guy:


4 comments:

Brand al Thor said...

Man times sure have changed...now she wishes there were a few moments where I would shut up!

andy said...

this was a good one. all three parts that is

Izzy, Valerie and Joel said...

I love this story...

BrooksFamily said...

Holy Cow! I don't konw when the last time I cried that hard was!! I love you guys!