Our Love Story – How I Met My Soldier

May 18, 2002, was the day we were married. But our love story began August of 2000.

our love story wedding photo

On page 14 of my book I share a measly paragraph. “I met my John while working at Olive Garden. He was a waiter and line cook, and I was a hostess. Within a year we were engaged, moving to Dallas so I could start grad school, and a year after that, married.”  That doesn’t even begin to tell our love story.

I first saw John while sitting in the bar watching training videos on day 1. He walked in and asked the hostess training me who I was and what she knew about me, all in Spanish. It was a full week before I discovered he even knew English. We were completely set up, both of us unaware of our co-worker’s plans. Yolanda decided immediately that we were right for each other. What she didn’t know was that I hated men, I had recently decided after a terrible breakup that I wouldn’t date another one of them again.

About a week into working there Yolanda began harassing me between customers.

“What do you think of John?”

“Who?”

“John, he’s in the green section.”

“I guess he’s ok but I don’t think he speaks English. I haven’t talked to him any.”

“What? Yes, he does and he is interested in you.”

“Ok?”

“You should go out for drinks with him tonight.”

“No thanks. I don’t date.”

“Everybody dates.”

“No. I don’t. Men suck.”

“How do you make friends?”

“I don’t need any more friends, I’m good.”

For at least two more hours she questioned me, letting me know he was planning on asking me to join him for drinks after work. I finally caved and said just drinks and it’s not a date. She just smiled.

Next, she went after John. “So what do you think of Hope?”

“She seems nice.”

“You should ask her out for drinks.”

“Maybe in a few months, we’ll see.”

“Well, she already said yes to drinks with you tonight so you’re going.”

The “not date” that neither of us had planned was across the street at Chili’s. Before we even sat down I said, “This isn’t a date. Also, I know I’m hot and you don’t need to spend all night telling me so let’s just move on.” I have no idea why he stayed. But he did and he put up with a lot. He put up with me telling him to pencil himself into my schedule because I just didn’t have the time. He found the space and did (we started with grocery shopping, carpooling to work, and trips to the gym). He put up with me taking him home to dad to figure out what was wrong with him so I could use my father’s disapproval as an excuse to not date him (that didn’t work, the family loved him). He even put up with me claiming Mondays were no contact days because they were days for me to focus on me. I even paraded him in front of my best friends and roommate hoping they’d find some annoying little trait I could use as an excuse. I fell for him fast and I didn’t like it.

He put up with it all. And here we are graduate school, 3 children, a cancer battle, 9 years of military life, two deployments, and many lessons later. 15 years we’ve been married next week. It went by fast, the good and the bad, and I’m thankful for every moment. There is so much more to our story that hasn’t even begun yet. Changes are on the horizon, as they are with every military family. I can’t wait to see what this crazy life will bring us.  I’ll savor each moment as they come. Our love story isn’t perfect, but it’s perfect for us.

Now that I’ve told you our love story, I’d love to hear in the comments below how you met your significant other. 

I’d also love to chat live! You can join Ambassador Int, Carrie Daws (author of The Warrior’s Bride: Biblical Strategies to Help the Military Spouse Thrive), and me Friday (May 12) at 8pm EST on twitter. There are some great prizes in honor of Military Spouse Appreciation Day! Register here: http://bit.ly/2r0cv1g

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