Thankful Thursday/ Episode 60

It was Halloween of 2004 when I found myself dressed as cupid (foreshadowing, maybe?? eh? eh?) and attending a costume party accompanied by Andrea (one of the besties I was talking about HERE). That night, dressed as a hot chili pepper, Andrea met Jeff. The two hit it off and Jeff began to stalk, in the very best and most respectful sense of the word, Andrea. Jeff was looking for opportunities to reconnect with the hot chili pepper that he had crossed paths with that Halloween night. He would casually appear at social events hoping to “run into” Miss Andrea again so that they could fall in love, get married and have lots of babies. (I put that last part in there myself, I'm not sure he would explain it that way… probably… but I'm not certain he’d use those exact words.) Well, whenever Jeff would come to these events he didn’t want to come alone. So, he’d bring his friends along as wing men.

I wasn’t aware that Jeff was stalking my friend. But I did notice that these new guys were becoming members of my social circle. At a super bowl party one Wingman and I ended up sitting near each other during the game. We were doing the small talk thing when I asked what he did for a living. When he answered that he was pilot, I responded, “Oh, too bad. I had hoped we could be friends.” Having spent a year working as a flight attendant and I had developed a deep hatred distaste for pilots. I found them to be, as a breed, arrogant and self-important. And slimy.  Did I mention slimy? Surprisingly enough, my comment didn’t end the conversation. I guess Wingman thought it was witty banter. We continued to run into each other socially and I decided that he might be worth re-visiting my anti-pilot stance since he didn't seem arrogant, self-important or slimy.

Fast forward several months. Jeff had finally caught up with Andrea and the two were dating and well on their way toward marital bliss. I had assembled a team for a trivia night and included them as my sports buffs. When something came up and they weren’t able to attend, they suggested that I invite Wingman and another friend to fill their seats at my table. Andrea conspiratorially advised, “Wingman is very knowledgeable when it comes to sports trivia. You should invite him.” I wasn’t sure. We had spent some time together, but I certainly didn’t know him well enough to feel completely comfortable inviting him. BUT, I needed sports knowledge at my table. Without it, I would not have had the perfect team.

Well, Wingman was gracious enough to accept my invitation and sharp enough to answer questions correctly when called upon to do so. The fact that he barely knew anyone else at the table also gave us an opportunity to talk a bit more. That evening, I could tell the topics being discussed strayed from the usual small-talk-get-to-know-you realm. Even during a bathroom break, I asked my girlfriends what kind of vibe they were getting from Wingman. I remember this night being the first time I could see our relationship developing into something other than casual acquaintances.

(Yes, the tongue sticking out thing is a signature move and happens frequently. Lucky me.)

When I asked Andrea what she thought of/knew about Wingman, she squealed and said, “I knew it! I don’t know…. What do YOU think of Wingman?” (Wait, go back and read that in a sing-songy, best-girlfriend excited to see her friend interested in a boy voice…because that’s how it was originally said.) Apparently Wingman had already had a similar discussion with Jeff. I'm pretty sure Jeff and Andrea had decided we were to be a couple. Sure enough, I got a call a few weeks later from Wingman (Look, he’s a deliberate decision maker and doesn’t move hastily. Which is a whole other post) asking me if I’d like to have dinner.

Episode 60: “Today I am thankful … that Jeff is a big stalker.”

As you’ve probably guessed, the dinner date went well. Wingman soon changed his identity to boyfriend and not too long after he became known as the handsome hubby. As far as I'm concerned, if Jeff hadn’t been a big stalker none of that would have ever happened.

And that, my friends, is the beginning of our love story. From day one our friends have been incredibly important to us and to our relationship. We're blessed that they (Andrea & Jeff as well as others) continue to be involved in and supportive of our marriage. We are fortunate to have caring people invested in our love.

So, today I am thankful.