A lifetime ago, when I started this blog, it was actually titled "Writer Chic and Lawn Boy." Do y'all remember that?
Obviously, I'm the Writer Chic -- the girl with the English degrees who talks too much and tries to channel that blathering onto this tiny piece of internet real estate. But the Lawn Boy -- he doesn't get too much air time around these parts, so, today is his day.
My current relationship is ..... MARRIED.
Happily, for 5 years, 8 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days.
And here is an abbreviated (okay, an attempted abbreviated) story of how this Writer Chic met her Lawn Boy.
Once upon a time, I worked for the advertising department of a small private college. I had a great boss, and great co-workers, but up the ladder rungs of the chain of command sat a matriarch who was smart and talented .... and, honestly, well past the point of retirement.
She was hard to work for. And by hard, I mean impossible. And by impossible, I mean, I-was-so-stressed-out-that-I-started-having-severe-migraines-that-put-me-in-the-hospital impossible. So, I sucked it up and toughed it out and held my breath til I'd reached my one-year-anniversary in my position, and then I resigned. I resigned, and ran back home (home being, litterally, my childhood home of 20 years, in Ohio), sick, and broken, and defeated.
I was 22, and I had no idea what I was supposed to do with myself or my degree.
And then I met Jim and we lived happily ever after, la la la la la.....! =)
Not really, but we'll get there eventually.
It was early May, 2003, and I applied for a handful of jobs that I was either over- or underqualified for, and was offered none of them. At the time, the hours of availability that I was proposing to prospective employers put me in a less than desirable position, because I was taking the opportunity of my free time to chauffer my mom back and forth to the University of Michigan for post-bone marrow transplant appointments.
But one day, the perfect job found me.
I'd applied for a cashier position at the Kohl's department store that was just up the street from our home, and was asked to come in for an interview. I honestly didn't feel very confident, because I'd never run a register (underqualified) and I already had a college degree (overqualified). But I met the manager, Wendy, and over the course of our conversation, she came up with a position much better than cashier: regional recruiter.
Basically, I got to work my own hours, report to Human Resources, screen applicants, maintain personnel records, and conduct orientation and training classes at my convenience. (Score!!!)
And I know you're probably thinking, what does any of this have to do with Jim? The answer: nothing. But I promise, we're getting there.)
So, I accepted the job at Kohl's, and went on my merry way, which involved not having to work weekends, which meant that I had a standing movie date with my dad every Friday night.
On our way to the movie theatre, we would pass the church that my family had started attending while I'd been away at college. I was joining them on Sunday morning, but hadn't really branched out more than that. But each Friday, we'd notice from the interstate that the parking lot would have upwards of 20 or 30 cars.
"You should go check it out, hon," my dad would say each week (it being the Friday night singles' group gathering), and each week I'd reply, "I'm not ready." And this back-and-forth continued pretty much for the whole summer. Until I gave just a little an agreed to attend a Wednesday night small group meeting instead.
And then I met Jim and we lived happily ever after, la la la la la.....! =)
Ok, well we're not quite to the "happily ever after" part, but the "and then I met Jim" part is true.
That night at the meeting there was Chris (the guy my dad worked with who led the study); his wife Julia (who I actually went to high school with); Chad, whose house we were at; Joshua, Chad's one-year-old son (mom Melissa was out of town that night); Christie; John; and, last but not least, Jim, whose arrival was heralded by Joshua's exuberant "Dim, Dim, Dim!!!" at the roar of Jim's approaching motorcycle.
Now, a few pieces of history: my "type" is typically: intelligent-in-a-geeky-scholarly-way; muscial; white-collar; talkative; and dramatic.
Jim? Not so much those things. I mean, please don't get me wrong. He is smart. Smarter than me in a lot of ways. And he likes music -- but more to listen to what he likes, not necessarily perform, like me. And owning your own lawn care business (hence the moniker Lawn Boy) is about as blue-collar as you can get. And he's not really a talker. In fact, I'm not sure I know anyone who more aptly fits the "man of few words" description. And he isn't dramatic at all. I'm not sure I'd ever met someone so mild mannered and even tempered. And did I mention he had a motorcycle? He had a motorcycle.
Basically, what I'm trying to say is: he's not my type.
Anyways, seeing as how Jim was not my type, it was anything but love at first sight. I mean, I wasn't appalled or anything, I just wasn't interested, in Jim, or anyone, for that matter.
But time went on, as time has the tendency to do, and summer turned to fall, and fall to winter, and sometime in the cold month of January 2004, my heart tripped just ever so slightly, and landed right at the feet of Mr. Not My Type Jim.
Nothing dramatic had happened to get my attention. I'd just gotten to watch him, and know him, from a distance, and I liked what I saw. My interest was piqued. His? Not so much, it seemed.
So, I kept my feelings entirely to myself, and began to pray that (a) he would "notice" me, or (b) my feelings would change. In the meantime, I just went about my life, applying to grad school for the following fall, and making plans to spend the upcoming summer in Santa Cruz, CA, working at a camp/conference facility.
And 15 days before I was supposed to leave for California, I got an email.
Asking me to go to the movies (Shrek 2, to be exact).
And I said yes. And went. And broke EVERY first date rule out there, in that I told him I'd been interested in him for months; that I was still leaving for California, but that I was hoping I'd have a reason to come home at the end of the summer; and that I felt more strongly about him than any logical reasoning would warrant.....seriously, I'm surprised he didn't throw me out of the car and hightail it out of there.
But he took it in stride. He told me he'd been interested back in the fall, but that he thought there was someone else in the picture (on my end), so he just didn't pursue it. But here we were, so now what?
Well, "now what" turned out to be a LOT of dates in the two weeks we had before I left for Cali. I met his parents, his best friend and his wife, and we parted on June 3, bascially committed to each other.
Now, there are more initmate details that I'm not going to take time to share at this point about how remarkable it is that I didn't scare off Jim that May -- deatils that would only highlight his incredible character and show what a selfless, generous man he is.
But I'll instead just try to wrap it up.....I went to California, got a full time job offer there, turned it down to come home to Jim and grad school (Jim worked out, grad school didn't), worked through a couple differences in opinion (and by worked through I mean Jim was gracious enough to put aside his opinions for me), went to a Brad Paisley concert (where Jim will tell you he would have proposed if he thought I'd say yes), went to Florida to visit the rest of my family, and on February 11, 2005, he asked me to marry him, and I said yes.
So we got married, moved around, bought a house or five, had some babies, built a life....and I can say, after all these years, Mr. Not My Type turned out to be a pretty good type after all.
And we're living happily ever after....