Let's travel back to 2011. It's late August. August 21st to be exact. At this time, I was working in Searcy, Arkansas running a non-profit organization while Lee Ann had just finished the 2nd year of her Ph.D. program.
On this particular night, I had borrowed a friend’s SUV to take a group of volunteers down to Little Rock for an appreciation dinner. Well, that night was a bust. I mean how was I supposed to know that Chipotle would be closed on a Sunday night. Who knew that they were having some salmonella issues. Anyway, I drove back to Searcy early and had the opportunity to return the vehicle that night. Looking back on this, I actually think it was meant to be that Chipotle had salmonella problems that day. Because had it not, I would not have met Lee Ann that night. Sorry to all the stomachs that suffered, but know that it was not in vain.
Back at the ranch…
I head off to return my friend's SUV-refilled tank, vacuumed, and washed. My friend answers the door, obviously surprised to see me back so soon.
Now this is where the fun really begins.
My friend opens the door and takes the keys. It was also at this moment that I saw someone sitting on his couch talking to his wife. Razorback sweater, torn jeans, blonde hair….that’s all I knew.
Let's talk about Southern culture for a moment. In the South, there are signals to indicate whether or not you are actually welcome into someone's home after the door is answered. In my defense, I had given my friend a heads up that I was coming over to return the keys.
You'd think I would've been invited in. You thought wrong. But did that deter me? Nope.
In the doorway I stood resolute for what seemed like an hour making conversation until I got the invitation to come in. I mean you can only let the cold air out during the summer for so long before you get yelled at. And I knew this. And I had all the time in the world.
The moment had come and I was invited in, out of total obligation of course but still it counts. Now keep in mind not one word had been spoken to the Razorback wearing sweater girl on the couch. So here I was obviously a bit of a bother to the homeowners. But I had made it into the foyer. Level 1. It was here that I made conversation for another hour until I was finally invited to the sitting area to be a part of the conversation. Level 2. 2 hours in and finally my chance had come to speak to the Razorback sweater girl.
30 minutes into couch conversation and Chris tells us that he has to go to bed. Any normal person would take the hint to leave at this time. I’m no normal person. I was on a mission at this point. Lee Ann and I sat and talked all night, until about 5 A.M. actually. Never a low moment, never any awkward silences. She told me about her 3 1/2 months of preparation for a full distance Ironman. How she learned how to ride a road bike during that time. And run. And swim. I told her she had a screw loose, and that I dug it. I myself had ridden 100 miles in the August heat that day. Even our crazies were meant to be.
At 5 A.M., I decided it was time to head home. I told her that I had no idea if she was seeing anyone and that if she was, I really didn’t care. I wanted to take Lee Ann out on a date because we were going to be best friends.
Lee Ann responded by nervously punching me in the stomach with an excited "Yes!". Life made.
Fun note…..Lee Ann texted her sister right after I left telling her that she had just met her husband. We went out two nights later and have been next to each other ever since. She’s my BFF and I love the fact we get to work together every day! I couldn’t imagine doing life any other way.
So gentlemen, know that I chased and importantly, still do. And this is the most important part. I continue to chase her. I continue to date her, even through our busy schedules. Our ups and downs. During our arguments and during our times of bliss, I chase. I chase because she's worthy of being chased every day and I want her to know how adored and treasured she is. If you're reading this, YOU are also adored and treasured. Your worth as our brother or sister is already established. We will reinforce your immeasurable value for as long as we are on this earth. It's what we love to do, it's what we're about, and it's something that Lee Ann and I are grateful to do together through Jolly Bodies.
So there it is. That’s how we met. I’ve been better every day for it. ©2018