Wednesday, January 19, 2011

how i became a mrs. (part 4)

Warning: this is long. Also, if you need to catch up, you can get the first parts of the story here, here and here.

I guess I should back up and say that I had met Andrew before. I don’t actually remember the first time I met him, but I do remember the first time I saw him. We were both in Campus Crusade for Christ and all the leaders would get together in August to map out the year ahead. All I remember is that he gave an announcement at one of the meetings that weekend.

I’d love to tell you that it was love at first sight. That the world stopped and we were the only two people in the room. That the Lord struck me with lightning and told me that he was my husband. Believe me, I’d love to tell you that. But here’s what I thought: he was BOR-ING.

As is typical for the love of my life, he’s all business. And I was all, “Hey, do you have any cute boys that can take his place? Because this guy isn’t making any jokes and he’s not wearing flip-flops and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t play the guitar. So if you could swap him out for someone a little more dreamy, that would be great.” I’d love to tell you that I’m lying. But I’m not.

The first time we actually met was apparently at the dining hall, where Seth (a mutual friend) introduced us (my posse) to his new roommate (boring leadership retreat guy). I have no recollection. What Andrew remembers, however, is that Martha and I were very chatty and probably in our own little world where our sense of humor didn’t jive with his and I’m pretty sure he uses the word “annoying” when he tells this story.

Annoying? Eh, whatever. He’s boring.

Fast forward to February. A bunch of us (the posse) had the same lunch break on Fridays so we’d gather at the dining hall to share a meal. The weather was starting to get warm, so we’d pile onto some picnic tables in the back, eat lunch and go through the crossword puzzle. Par-tay. Andrew had been there for a few weeks, but we hadn’t interacted. This one Friday, we put our stuff down at the table and ended up side-by-side walking into the dining hall. I mentioned something about not knowing what to eat. He said that it was turkey and dressing day at Lenoir. I like turkey and dressing, so I followed him. When we were in line, I said “This better be good or I’m going to hold it against you.” He gave me a fake/nervous laugh. Wow, this guy is definitely boring.

We went about our lunch and for some reason, I remember noticing him more that day. He was super smart and was killing the rest of us at the crossword. He was talking and laughing, so maybe he wasn’t boring? At least not enough to be written off completely. We all talked about going ice-skating that night, packed up our stuff and dispersed. I was headed to psychology and he was headed to the bus stop. He ran to catch up with me and told me that I should go ice-skating. I told him I’d think about it, but by the end of the day had decided to go shopping for a new notebook and some index cards instead. I’m cool like that.

That night, I finished my shopping, picked up some Bojangles and headed to Kristi Lee’s apartment, which happened to be in the same complex as Seth and Andrew’s. They were all in the posse. KL and I had decided to pass up ice-skating and reorganize our notebooks instead. (Yes, it was a Friday and yes, this is a true story.)

Everyone else who was going out was gathered in the living room waiting to head out to ice-skating. I will never, ever, ever forget my interaction with Andrew that night. I was sitting on the sofa, sitting Indian style (crisscross apple sauce?) and Andrew was sitting on the other side of the room in a chair. He was sitting back, but leaning to the side, resting on the armrest. Our conversation went like this:
Andrew: What did you get?
Me: A four-piece supreme.
Andrew: mmmm. With fries?
Me: Yes.
Andrew: mmmm. With honey mustard?
Me: Yes.
Andrew: mmmm. Did you get sweet tea?
Me: Yes.
Andrew: Alright! That’s what I always get.
And he smiled and it was precious. I realized then that he wasn’t boring, he was real. He was unassuming. He wasn’t shy, he wasn’t flirtatious, he wasn’t showy. He was Andrew Wilson Castrodale, take it or leave it. And my heart did a funny little dance.

They left, they came back and we all sat around and talked. A few people left for bed, but some of us decided that we’d like a snack. A midnight snack. A Waffle House snack. So we piled into Andrew’s Isuzu Trooper (his dream car that he’d saved for and purchased that summer) and headed to Waffle House. I sat in the front, because Seth wanted KL and Art to get married and secretly, but awkwardly, forced them in the backseat together.

Here’s what I remember about that night: he listened. If I said something that got lost in the crazy conversation that comes with a group setting, he’d ask me to repeat it. He asked me questions to find out more. He smiled and laughed and followed along and he listened. And I was immediately struck by that.

I also remember that when we got on the subject of dating and turn-offs, I mentioned that I’ve always been insecure dating guys who were shorter than me. And Seth awkwardly subtly pointed out that Andrew was tall. Noted.

We finished up (quickly, after the line cooks started fighting, which is never good at 2am. In Durham.) and headed home. Seth announced that he was spending the day at his apartment studying and I decided to join in - for no other reason except that I really needed to study for my psychology test and I didn’t feel like going to the library. So I went back to my dorm, went to bed and wondered why I was hoping that Andrew would be studying there, too.

Note: I will not keep you waiting long for the fifth installation. But this mug is long and I’m trying to break it up for the sake of a) my fingers and b) your eyes. I’ll be back for more in a day or two :)

4 friends said...:

  1. So sweet...I think delayed fireworks are always the best kind -- they last!

  2. I'm gonna cry. I love these stories. They're always new; they always stir me. Gracias! (And I love the southern flavor.)

  3. When you wrote that he said "Alright!" I totally heard Laura's voice saying it. I can tell just by the use of that word they are related.

    Waiting on the edge of my seat for the next episode of "Days of Page's Life"


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