How I met your father is an interesting story because it happened so many years after we should have actually met.
In February of 1976, my mom took me to my first doctor’s visit at one week old. The receptionist was the sister in law of my pediatrician. The minute that my mom went into the office she was greeted. This started and these two ladies fostered an epic lifelong friendship. Each visit led to more sweet conversations, until the first time one of them invited the other with her husband over for dinner. Then years of dinners, holidays, birthdays and anniversary celebrations alongside the tougher moments of loss and illness that life brings as well. That receptionist became a grandmother type figure for me, that was so significant that she and her husband, walked in my wedding. Somehow her niece has been working with your father in the same department of the hospital for the last 13 years. And somehow your dad and I never met.
In June of 1995, I began my second year as a camp counselor in the middle of Florida. Being a camp counselor was definitely my jam for a lot of reasons. I loved being silly, goofy and full of energy all day long in the hot, humid, shorelines of Lake Griffin. I loved working with campers helping them make new friends and learn new things. But one of the great parts of being a camp counselor is making friendships that somehow transcend time and place.
There are some camp friends that I haven’t seen in 20 years but seeing them today would somehow transport us to a moment in our young adulthood where we stayed up way to late talking all night about deep things. Or that one time, where we dressed in crazy clothes and got Slurpee’s at 2 am! Somehow your dad was friends with three of my camp friends in high school! And somehow your dad and I never met.
In September of 2000, I moved the farthest from home that I had ever lived. I moved to Atlanta, Georgia to attend graduate school. The city is notorious for terrible traffic, I wanted to live as close to campus in Decatur. However, it was a pricey area to live in, so my roommate at the time and I found an apartment just northwest of I-85 near a gas station and a run-down Kroger. The apartments had various perks such as it was centrally and cheap. Your father moved to Atlanta the same year, lived right off the same exit just southeast of I-85. We lived there the same few years. Shopped at the same shabby Kroger, got food at the same tiny hole in the wall barbeque place, and somehow your dad and I never met.
In November of 2008, I purchased a little house which coincided with the advent of online dating, I decided to give it a real shot. I filled out what seemed like an application for foreign service but instead was my dating compatibility profile. The first picture that came up was of a guy that seemed pretty interesting. He loved to travel, he was educated, played tennis, loved soccer and his family too. I sent him a message. He responded. And we began to communicate via email.
When we decided we should met in person, we made plans to go to Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. As I walked to meet him, I had a flutter in my stomach and the thought crossed my mind, “I am going to marry this guy!” The museum led to coffee and coffee led to snacks and the conversation very staled. He gave me a copy of my most hated band of all time, showing early on his sardonic humor. That was the day I met your father.
After six months, we were engaged. We married a year later. Then we brought you each home, to that little house. And next year, we will celebrate a decade of marriage, but more so a lifetime of love. And that’s the story of how I met your father.