Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends! I’m not particularly hooked into celebrating this holiday (though I did grab the girls a few goodies at Target- books, beach towel, new notepads), but I love any excuse to look back through pictures. In fact, recently David successfully hacked into our college computers and retrieved all the pictures from a few years in the early 2000’s that we thought had been lost. They are not all fit for viewing (thank GOODNESS Instagram wasn’t a thing in my early college years), but there are some gems hidden among the crazy. I enjoyed sorting them so much that I figured it would be fun to walk down memory lane of how we met and our dating saga, in the spirit of the day, and hope you don’t mind being subjected to it. So here it is, volume one in the story of us!
Let’s start in the beginning.
The date was November 29, 2003. The place? Georgia Tech campus. The Sigma Chi fraternity house to be exact. My friend (shout out to you, Hew!) had dragged me out of bed that morning, forcing me to get dressed and come with her to the tailgate our sorority sisters had set up with a fraternity at GT. I had recently broken up with my boyfriend of the past year and so, begrudgingly, I agreed to go along. College girls in the south dress up like it’s prom for football games, so our feet were hurting in our heels and we were looking for a place to sit. We wandered right into a room in the fraternity house with a couch, sat down, and when we looked up, a young gentleman was just getting out of the shower, towel around his waist. He laughed and waved at us and joined us shortly after (with clothes) for some old fashion tailgating fun. That gentleman was David and though we officially met that day and he asked for my number, we didn’t hang out for long, as Kristin and I ran off later to meet friends for the game and despite his attempts, he couldn’t track me down afterwards.
It could have all ended there (with a winning Georgia of 34-17, might I add), but a week later I received a phone call from David inviting me to his Christmas Party Date Night. Truth be told I wasn’t going to go. Athens is about 1.5 hours from Atlanta and I was rather “eh” about the whole situation, but I talked a friend into coming with me and so we went and there, David and I had our first “date.”
The night was chaos, as most college parties are, but I remember vividly how attentive David was to making sure I had a fun time. I also remember his good friend telling me all the wonderful things about David (should we call you his wing-woman, Jordan?!). Whatever it was, something clicked that night and I fell completely head over heels. I called my parents the next day and told them I had met the guy I was going to marry. Six short years later (lol), that vision came to fruition!
So after that first date night, we started dating. He’d come to Athens, he took me out in Atlanta. One of the more memorable date nights was when we took me to the The Sundial Restaurant (a restaurant in Atlanta that rotates at the top of a building). I wasn’t 21 yet, but they didn’t check my ID, so we got a drink, had a meal, and the night ended with David playing the piano IN the restaurant! For Valentine’s day he surprised me with a trip to the mountains. Later in February we went to his fraternity formal (in Charlotte funny enough). I was smitten.
I was a sophomore in college during all of this and David was, shall we call it, a “super senior” (5th year). As his graduation approached, his mind got set on job searching and the real world. Shortly after graduation, he literally fell off the face of the map. I don’t remember all the details, but he graduated, took a job in Florida, and was gone.
2004 was a tough summer for me. I was sad and confused as to what the heck had happened, so imagine my shock when in late August I got a call from David, just to catch up. Me now (in my 30’s) would have said “what the heck dude?!” but me then (21) was so excited to hear from him that we chatted for hours. We continued to do so on the regular and in December he flew me down to visit him in Fort Myers. The weekend was a blast, but the reality was we were still a plane ride away from each other, him in the real world and me, a junior in college. So though we talked often and a strong spark remained, we were “just friends.”
Things remained that way for months, we’d talk by phone every week and my friends and I had nicknamed him my “ultimate” (lol) but we stayed just friends.
By early fall 2005, David had moved to Memphis. I was now a senior at UGA. He came into town for alumni weekend at GT and invited me to join him. You know I liked him because I wore GOLD for him, which is basically a crime within Athens city limits.
As always, we had a blast together at the football game and at the dinner event.
note to self: never attempt bangs again
After that, our phone call frequency increased and in December, David invited me to visit him in Memphis. I met his brother and sister-in-law during that trip (introduced only as David’s friend, which we all now laugh about). We visited Graceland and ate ribs at Rendezvous.
We never defined the relationship, but it was so obvious that we weren’t just friends. In early 2006 I joined him on a work trip to Whistler, then he came to Athens to be my date for my senior KD formal.
Around this time, March-ish 2006, I got the urge to define the relationship. I was head over heels. I knew he felt the same, yet I hesitated to call him my boyfriend. So I demanded clarity and definition, and when I didn’t get it, a late night phone call between Athens and Memphis resulted in me telling him I couldn’t do it anymore and to please never call me again. I meant it too. If we couldn’t officially be together then I had to be done. He reached out a time or two, but I never responded. I graduated, moved to Atlanta, and got on living life in the big city.
This was when MySpace was a thing and though I had called it quits and refused to touch base with him, I still checked in on his MySpace page every so often because that’s what girls do. Though I had decided to move on, I was never quite able to let go.
Then in late July 2006, he called. I answered. He asked to come visit me. I said yes.
It was during that visit that we made amends and he made it clear he was serious about dating me seriously. I knew he was sincere because he let me take him to Six Flags, a place I love and he despises.
My outfit though…
From right then and there, I could tell things were different. We picked up right where we left off and started dating seriously. He had moved to Charlotte by this point and every weekend either I would drive the four hours there or he would make the trek to Atlanta.
The long distance was tough and in early 2007, I decided to move to Charlotte. I knew there was no promise of marriage, but I knew the long distance was getting too hard for both of us and wasn’t in love with my job, so I figured I’d just go for it. So in June 2007 I moved to Charlotte!
That is David carrying the giant “Love Sac” into my apartment. The same one that’s in our homeschool room today!
I took a job with CBS radio, we got Koda, and we kept dating.
It was soon clear to both of us where this was heading. After a secret trip to visit my parents and ask for my dad’s blessing (this still means the WORLD to me), David proposed to me on the Blue Ridge Parkway on June 20, 2008. I said YES and then he whisked me off to Hot Springs, North Carolina for the weekend to celebrate.
I moved into his house as we planned the wedding.
Then on May 2, 2009 we got married in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Georgia next to Lake Chatuge.
To this day I still like to joke about our SIX years of dating after I knew he was the one after our first official date. But looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.
So though we’ve been married 8.5 years, I’ve known him for almost 15. That’s crazy to me, especially because I’m still crazy about him and can’t imagine doing life with anyone else.
And there you have it- way more than you ever cared to know about our road to marriage, but it sure was fun for me to walk down memory lane!
Now I’m so curious–
How did you meet your significant other?
Was your path to love smooth? Or were there some detours along the way?!