If I were to tell you the story of how I met your father, you would probably laugh. It’s not your everyday, typical romance story and we definitely weren’t high school or college sweethearts – in fact, we lived hundreds of miles away from each other and didn’t even know each other back then. Our love story starts on July 17, 2006 – the day I started at Barnes and Noble.
I graduated college in May of 2006. I had a boyfriend at the time, someone I met in college, who lived in Southern California. We had been dating for about a year at that time and I thought he was “the one”. We had talked a lot about what would happen after college since my family lived in Northern California and his in Southern California. Now the distance between the two is not really that much. It was definitely something that we could make work except… he wouldn’t be in Southern California next year, he would be in Michigan, at law school. WHOA. Not only was he moving across the country to a different time zone, but we would be in totally different places in our lives – him still in school and me starting my first adult job. But still, we thought we could make it work, which is why I moved to Southern California, to be closer to his parents so when he came home, we could see each other. And it did work… for a little while. And then, something just happened. I began to make friends at my new job (your dad included) and I just came to the realization that I didn’t miss my boyfriend anymore, that I was having more fun without him. And while that sounds harsh, I just knew that long distance was not meant for me. I needed someone to be around, that I could see whenever I wanted (within reason, but I mean, close enough to see every couple of days at least). So, I broke up with him.
At this point it was late 2006, almost 2007 and your dad and I were friends. We hung out often, but in a big group of friends. I had no romantic interest in your father. A few months after breaking up with my old boyfriend, I started dating one of my friend’s friends. This lasted a little while, maybe half a year, because I had finally started to see your dad in a new light. I don’t know why it took so long, but thankfully he waited around for me to “see the light” since he apparently had liked me since the first day he met me (and I thought guys were the oblivious ones?? But nope! That was me!).
Your dad and I officially started dating in April of 2008. We had gone to an Angels game with a big group of people and although we were practically acting like boyfriend and girlfriend, we hadn’t officially had “the talk”. We were just in that awkward middle ground of knowing that we were only seeing each other but we were too chicken to ask if that’s what it really was… making it… official. But somehow as we were walking to our seats, holding hands, I mustered up the courage to ask… “so, what are we?” to which he responded “boyfriend/girlfriend” and wouldn’t you know it, my sweet little, innocent 23 year old face lit up like a Christmas tree. However, the problem with that was… technically I was his boss… and you’re not supposed to date your employees. See I was a Merchandise Manager at Barnes and Noble and he was a receiving clerk. I wasn’t technically his direct boss (that would be the Receiving Manager) but I was definitely one of the managers so we started dating in secret. Normally I’m TERRIBLE at secrets, but somehow it worked! Nobody knew!
A few weeks later, it was our niece’s (back then, just his) first birthday. She was the first child/grandchild on that side of the family and her first birthday was a huge deal. Of course your dad invited me to the party and I excitedly said yes. What I didn’t know though was that I would be meeting his whole family – WHOLE EXTENDED FAMILY. To say I was nervous was an understatement. I met aunts and uncles and cousins and second cousins and anyone that he was related to that day. It was a bit overwhelming but exciting at the same time. Everyone was SO NICE and immediately welcomed me. It was that day that I knew that I would find a place in that family and I would be home. They took me in as one of their own and were the best family to me when mine was so far away.
Months went by and my lease was up on my apartment. Your dad lived at home at the time and we decided that it was a good time to move in together. By now we had been dating for almost a year and things were getting pretty serious and we thought it would be good to live together. A few months later we started talking marriage which both excited me beyond belief and scared the heck out of me too. One day in September 2009, we went to look at rings. I always thought I knew what I wanted, but when I tried them on, I was so wrong. We went to Robbins Brothers and the lady there was so sneaky. When they say love is blind, they must be right, because they told me to go sit in the other room and watch Sweet Home Alabama while they “talked to Seth” aka he bought the ring. I had NO CLUE. A few weeks later, I thought we were celebrating my birthday with an Angels/Yankees game, but your dad had other plans. He had brought his family and flown my brother down from Northern California to be there when he proposed. It was so special and so surprising that I am so thankful that my friends and family were there to take pictures for me. I still remember that day and that moment.
We were married a little over a year later, on November 7, 2010, at Strawberry Farms in Irvine, CA and the rest is history.
Mason, what I want to tell you after all of this is that life is crazy. You never know where you might meet your future wife! You could be at the doctor and she’s the receptionist. You could be at the bank, depositing checks for your work and she is the teller. You could be starting a new job and she is your boss. You truly never know where love might happen and what I want you to know about this whole story is that you should always be open to meeting new people and to love. You might meet her when you are eight years old, sitting next to you in your second grade class or you might not meet her until you’re twenty-five. But regardless of when and where you find her, I know you will find her, and I can’t wait for you to write a similar story to your child(ren) one day, telling them how you met their mother.