Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Our Story (Part 7)

So where was I? Oh, yes. Boss had just informed me that he wanted me to fly to Ohio with him to meet his family. Next week. Ahh! This was getting really serious, really fast. I determined that we were either crazy in love, or we were just plain crazy, and I hoped it was the first one. No, I knew it was the first one, so I said yes, I will go to Ohio with you. Like it was the most normal thing in the world to ditch my classes, hop on a plane, and fly to a state I had never been to with a man that I had only been dating for a month. But it felt right, so I agreed to go.

The first thing I did? I went shopping, of course. Meeting the parents required a whole new wardrobe. Not that there was anything wrong with my old wardrobe, it's just that it wasn't new. And a trip like this required new. I remember I wore a white button down shirt (very sophisticated and mature to impress his mother), jeans (hey, I am a Texas girl, there is no other form of leg attire), and brown boots with a three inch heel (no real reason for this choice, except for the fact that I was sure his family would like me better if I was taller) on the day we flew to meet his family. It was a very cute outfit, but a very bad choice for a day of travel. I was sweating up a storm and my feet were killing me before we had even boarded our first flight. The saying that love hurts had never rang more true. Being in love was literally hurting me that day. But I pressed on.

We reached the area surrounding the airport quite early, so Boss suggested that we have lunch at a nearby mall before we headed on over to catch our flight. I thought it was a superb idea, because my feet clearly needed to move more in my three inch heels. We grabbed a quick bite and then headed to a pet store to browse before we had to leave. Pet stores always made me depressed, and I never made it past the first cage of sweet little kittens in that particular shop. I could have stared at them for hours, but Boss startled me with his next words.

I think we need to get a cat together.

Huh? Come again? First you want me to meet your mother, and now we are going to raise a cat together? Should I remind you that you are newly divorced, you are five and a half years older than I am, and that we have only been dating for a month? Are you insane? (Of course I did not say all of those things. That would have been rude). Instead, I turned to smile at him, and meeting his eyes was all it took. While looking deep into his eyes, I would have agreed to raise five hundred cats with him if he had asked me too. Suddenly it sounded like a brilliant idea. The best idea in the world. So we agreed to buy a kitten the day we returned from our trip. And that was that.

Both flights to Ohio went smoothly. Back then I was not afraid of flying (now, some days I am afraid to cross the street. Becoming a mother has done something strange to my soul, and suddenly the world has become a much scarier place) and I was simply excited to spend the day with Boss, soaring high above the clouds. We talked a lot that day about trips we wanted to take, and where life might lead us. I made sure that everyone around us knew that he was my boyfriend, because to me it was the best news in the world and I wanted to share it with everyone that I saw. Others might have found me obnoxious, but if they did I did not notice. It was just my man and I on our way to Ohio to meet his family.

After we landed in Columbus I made a beeline for the nearest restroom so that I could brush my hair, reapply my lipstick, and wipe the excess sweat from my armpits. Just keeping it real. Meeting the family was quite a stressful ordeal for me, and when I am stressed I either sweat, rash, or throw up, so the sweating was actually preferable. It could have been much worse. After I deemed myself presentable, I mustered up my courage and we headed to meet his mom and his sister in baggage claim, and I am happy to report that they were both pleasant and completely normal :). I began to relax immediately. We grabbed our bags and hopped in the car for the hour drive to his parents home. I am not sure what I was expecting Ohio to look like, but what I saw was not it. It looked just like Texas, only more green with more hills. And there was not an Amish buggy in sight. That was a disappointment for sure.

An hour later we pulled up to his parents house (a charming little home in a charming little neighborhood) and I instantly felt at home from the moment that I walked in the door. It was a wonderful week, for sure. Boss' mom showed me pictures of Boss from when he was a baby, we visited his old college campus and spent an evening with his mentor (the same guy who brought him to the church I was attending in the first place), we went to the Pumpkin Show (festivals fast became my new favorite thing), and I met about a bazillion of his relatives. There are seriously that many. But I think the best part was getting to spend so much uninterrupted time with Boss. We talked, and we talked, and we talked. Late at night, after everyone else went to bed, we would sit up and talk. He told me more about his past and his first marriage, and everyone that I met reaffirmed what I was beginning to know for sure in my heart. That Boss was the real deal. That his divorce was not his fault, and there was nothing that he could have done to save his first marriage. He was genuine, hard working, loyal, and caring. And most importantly he was committed to Christ. By the time we left Ohio, I was head over heels in love with this man. For me, there was no turning back.

To Be Continued.

P.S. We did head to the animal shelter and pick out our kitten the day after we returned from our trip. We had wanted a male cat, so that we could name him Frank (after Frank Sinatra, because he sings our song, The Way You Look Tonight), but we ended up selecting a female kitten instead. I was walking past her cage to get to the cage that I was told held a brand new litter of tiny, fuzzy kittens, when out of no where a scrawny black paw swatted my arm. When we peered into her cage, she was the ugliest little kitten that we had ever seen. But we immediately knew that she was ours. She had chosen us. Since she was a girl we named her Franki with a heart dotted I, and she is still with us today. Our first, hairy, black baby. She lived with Boss until we were married, but she has really always been my girl. Shh. Don't tell. Boss thinks that she likes him best.