For this week’s edition of Flashback Friday, I promised Red of “Doesn’t Speak Klingon” that I would tell the wife and I’s story since it is somewhat similar to hers and Brett’s of “The Transformed Non-Conformist”. So here it is.
Cheri and I actually went to Jr. High for a few years together and half a year of our Senior year. She moved after 9th grade, then came back for half of our junior and senior year but she graduated early, hence the half a year. But we come from a school with over 2000 kids in it. We were in different circles and needless to say, we were not friends. We both remember the other from Jr. High but not High School and neither of us ever remembers talking to the other one, ever.
Well, once Facebook came along, I went through a period where I approved all friend request from anybody that graduated from the same school and same year as myself. I approved Cheri along with a few hundred other “classmates”. I talked to a few of them here and there. Cheri was along that line, we commented on each other’s status’ once in awhile, but nothing much. I ended up signing up with Twitter, and Cheri had one of those as well so she tweeted me a welcome to Twitter and that was about it. She lived in Virginia (600 miles from me) so it’s not like we could hang out anyways. Then that fateful day came. I was working 3rd shift at the time, and I tweeted this (yes, I actually went back and found it)
I was changing a filter at work and the O ring didn’t seal and blew out when I turned it back on. My arm was right in front of where it shot out at. Here’s the afore mentioned chemical.
Not long after I tweeted that, Cheri tweeted back saying something like, “ I think you should go to the hospital”, and that’s where it started. We tweeted back and forth that night. She was a night person so she stayed up late, I worked 3rd shift so we kept tweeting back and forth for a few days. We finally swapped phone numbers and started texting, figured that would be better considering I was going to get fired if I got caught on the computer. This was back before we had smartphones so I couldn’t just access my app like I could now.
We started texting back and forth during any waking hours, instead of just at work. Neither of us would go anywhere without our phones. We got to know each other, we could tell each other anything. We even stopped using LOL in our texts. You know how you say something sarcastic or trying to be funny but you don’t want them to take it the wrong way, so you put LOL at the end of it. We were using it way too much and we knew each other so well that we felt we didn’t need to use it. If one of us was offended we would just say so. We actually made a pact not to use it anymore with each other. The texting went on for months. I eventually made it back to 1st shift and we started getting on Yahoo Instant Messenger every night and stay up to 2-3 in the morning just talking all night long. I would go to bed and get up at 6:00 to go to work, she would get up around the same time to get her daughter off to school. We’d text all day.
Now through all this, I thought we were just great friends. I wouldn’t admit to myself that I was in love with someone 600 miles away. She says she figured it out right away, she just had to wait on me to figure it out. I’m a slow learner. Through all this, we never talked on the phone, we hadn’t met in person, all we’d done is text and IM and look at each other’s pictures on Facebook. She was having some medical issues where her body would just get so weak that she couldn’t move. It had happened once before. I was walking my kids down to the local library to get some books/DVD’s and had gotten a text from her saying that she had another episode. Without even thinking, I called her to make sure she was ok. That was the first time we talked on the phone. Just a real quick conversation just to make sure she was ok and then I got off to go in the library. I think that might have been the time it really sank in with me. Even after that, we still didn’t talk much on the phone. We continued to text and IM.
Then it came, May 22nd. That was the day we were going to meet. She was driving up here for Memorial Day weekend. Some classmates were going to meet at Hacienda on Friday night and we were going. We spent the whole evening together and I didn’t want to go home that night (early morning). She ended up spending Saturday with her sisters, who still live in the area, and then we spent most of Sunday together. Monday, we had our “Lakehouse Moment”, but that’s for another day.
You could tell from Friday night on that we were in love. We loved each other’s company and couldn’t get enough of just holding each other. It was a great weekend. We ended up officially announcing that we were dating right after that weekend. She ended up coming up again a few weekends later for her nieces graduation and I met the Indiana family.
After that, she would come up here for a weekend, or I would take a week off and go down there. If we only have Friday night thru Sunday night, we would get a room in Cincinnati which was just about half way. We’d meet on Friday night and take a crock pot and groceries because we were too broke to eat out all the time. We’d plan free or cheap things to do around town. Go hiking at Big Bone Lick Park, the Cincinnati Zoo and even took walks along the river at night. Then Sunday’s we just killed time, not wanting to leave each other. The drive home just sucked, we hated it.
Our whole relationship was out there on Facebook. Everybody knew when we were getting together and where. A bunch of our classmates were always shouting out encouragement’s and telling us how cute we were. Anytime one of us drove all the way to the other, everybody on Facebook followed the trip until we were together. Then neither of us were online all weekend.
The plan was to wait till her kids were out of school then she would move up here. My kids were still young and I couldn’t leave them, so that was the plan, but we couldn’t do it. I was so ecstatic the day she told me she was moving up here. She couldn’t stand being away and we thought it would be better for everyone. She moved up here in May of 2010. We got an apartment and combined are families.
We knew each other so well from all the talking online and texting, that when we moved in together, it was like we had known each other for years. We felt like we were married, so we decided to go make it official. Unbeknownst to anybody, we met a Pastor back where we had our “Lakehouse Moment” and within 15 minutes, we were married. We called the family and let them know. They were surprised we got married without telling anyone, but not that we got married. We’ve been happily married ever since.
Cheri and I have discussed what would have happened if we had dated when we were younger, and we’d both tell you that it wouldn’t have worked out. We were 2 different people and we wouldn’t have gotten along. So we both believe that our lives were meant to intersect when it had. I think it worked out so well because we got to know each other before we had actually met. We were in love before we had ever met in person. And like I said, when we got together, it was like we had known each other for the 20 years that we were 600 miles apart.
This is “Our Song”