How We Met: Part One
I always love reading everyone else’s love stories, and had been meaning to write ours out eventually. After reading a few recently, I decided to follow Grace’s prompting and finally do it. There’s more to be read over at her link-up.
I guess our story starts in January of 2006. Joe had just returned from a semester abroad, and I survived the first half of my freshman year and was excited for my first trip to the March for Life in DC. For all you non-Frannies, our university would get a dozen or so charter buses to take all the zealous pro-life students to the March and back in about a 24 hour trip. My friends and I hopped on our bus around midnight, and naturally started taking photos – because that’s what freshman girls do. I vaguely noticed a group of mostly guys who were seated behind us, but didn’t pay much attention to them. Well, not much. My friend Lauren, who was next to me, later confessed that she remembered Joe because she thought he was hot. So, anyway, a friend goes to snap a picture of me and this boy who was behind me said, “Hey, can I be in the picture?” I gave the affirmative, made a goofy face, and this was the result:
And that was it. No names exchanged, nothing. We just went on like nothing happened. Two friends posted the photo, and both of them were captioned along the lines of ‘Francine and some boy we don’t know.’ Also, I’m pretty sure Ana‘s (future) brother-in-law was on that same bus and conducted a Bible study on the way back to campus.
Fast forward to July. Joe and a bunch of friends go to a small town on a lake in western NY to celebrate their friend Mike’s birthday. (Mike’s parents have a lake house, and, being the most hospitable people ever, loved having Mike’s friends come visit.) Over the weekend, they start playing a game on Facebook. Keep in mind that this was way back when Facebook was much smaller, there weren’t actual games there, and only college kids had it – so privacy controls weren’t that big of a deal yet. Anyway, the game went something like this: start on your profile, click on the first friend’s profile who was there, and keep clicking on their first friend to show up until you got to someone you didn’t know, then look through that person’s photos. It all sounds creepy now, but you know you did the same thing back in the day (or now). Actually, come to think of it, there might not have been an option to hide your profile from people at your school, anyway.
So, long story long, Joe, Mike, and company find the above photo while going through some innocent’s pictures. It just so happens that Mike is the guy in the picture, so it was especially hilarious to them to find all of the comments saying, “Seriously, who IS that guy?” that my friends and I posted – because, to them, it was Mike and some random girl.
Moving on. In October, somehow someone had the idea for my household (Children of the Lord) to have a joint commitment with Joe’s household (Disciples of the Word). (Again, non-Frannies: households are the basic equivalent our school had to frats/sororities, only faith-based. We had weekly commitments that varied, and sometimes would schedule them together for fun, to meet people, to branch out a bit, whatev) I had just gotten over a break-up at the beginning of the semester, and sometime after that had noticed this tall, cute guy around campus. (Fun fact: my ex is now married to someone Joe used to hang out with around that time. Small world, smaller campus.) I knew which household he was in, and can’t say I minded when I found we were having a joint commitment. (Lord’s Day, in case you’re wondering.) I ended up being seated between my friend Lauren (same one as before) and her parents, who happened to be visiting that weekend. I remember being the one to read the Gospel readings for that weekend, and we all laughed as we realized that it was ironically about Jesus admonishing the disciples and welcoming the children. Ha. We kind of made introductions as we went around the room, but Joe and I didn’t actually converse. I do remember that when we went around to share prayer petitions, the first six people or so prayed for their fiance, which was funny. I paid attention to see if Joe had a girl he was praying for, and was relieved to find he didn’t. (Yay! He was also single!) Apparently I wasn’t the only one noticing him, because Lauren’s mom whispered that Joe had intense eyes and she should hook up with him.
Anyway, that joint commitment paved the way for us girls to be friends with those guys. For instance, I was walking to my dorm from class, talking on the phone, and one of the guys was along the way. He stopped talking to the girl he was with and interrupted my conversation to reintroduce himself to me. Anyway, when I’d see Joe around, I made a point to say hi and chat a moment. Apparently, that tactic worked well, because as I walked into the student center to study one day, I saw him, we talked for a few, then I went and found a corner to settle in with my notes. A minute later, I saw him striding over to me, when he asked if I’d like to get coffee sometime and for my number. He left, and I’m pretty sure any thoughts of studying went with him. I went back to my dorm later, freaked out with my roommate, who ultimately gave him three days to call before he got shunned for life.
And that seems like a good stopping point… click here for Part 2!