Thursday, July 1, 2010

Reality Check

Since starting this blog, a lot of people have shared their fairytale beginnings with me about how they met their Caydens. I love reading these because it's not too often that we hear these true stories. We grow up watching cartoons about royal princes and evil stepmothers and dwarfed mine workers.

Then as teens and young adults we get sucked into romantic comedies about the best friends who realize they're meant to be lovers (I tried that, and it soooo didn't work out. Would have been a good movie, though). We read books about star-corssed lovers or vampires and werewolves (Yes, Twilight at first, but then we move on to Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series and suddenly we ditch Team Edward for Team Jean-Claude).

We know these things aren't real-life, but we walk around secretly hoping we'll Win a Date with Gerard Butler or fall in love with our best his wedding. I'm not saying that stuff doesn't happen, but it just looks better on a 60-by-85-foot movie screen with dramatic music and make up artists. But one of my readers recently told me a story that really hit home.

I met my Cayden while I was on vacation with my two best friends, Dina and Jody. We all worked at a bank together in Illinois when we decided to head down to Jody's dad's vacation home in Clearwater, Florida. At 22 years old, we had no other plans than to get drunk, tan, and maybe even laid (Note from Whitney: yes, boys, we girls think this way, too). With drunk and tan crossed off the list, we went to a local bar called the Bicycle Club to scout out our potential vacation flings.

As luck would have it, three local guys were out on the prowl that night as well: Raul, Phil, and Hal. Raul glanced my way, but had eyes for Dina. Dina had eyes for Phil. Jody and Hal decided, 'oh what the hell.' And I looked around for other prospects.

Later that night, back at the vacation home, Dina and Phil called dibs on the master bedroom while Jody and Hal claimed the guest room, leaving me and Raul to share the couch in the living room.

We were the odd men out, but we had absolutely no interest in each other. Regardless, we fell asleep together, Raul on his back, and I laid on his chest. We didn't even kiss.

Raul drove us to the airport a few days later, and I thanked him with pre-flight make out session. No, not because I was interested, I just wanted to say thanks.

The pilot walked past us, mid-smooch. As the girls and I were buckling our seat belts on the plane, he came over the loudspeaker and said, "This is your captain speaking. Thank you for flying with us and I hope you enjoyed your stay in Clearwater. I know at least one person on this plane had a good time." I turned bright red and we cracked up laughing.

Raul sent me flowers. Not in the romantic way, just in the it-was-nice-meeting-you way. I sent him a letter. He sent me Ziggy comics. I sent him jokes. This went on, back and forth for a year. Nothing mushy, we were just having fun. That next May I went back down to Clearwater with the same friends. Raul, Hal, and Phil picked us up from the airport. But this time it was different with Raul. There was something there.

One day we spent the all day talking at a picnic table in a park. The next day we were messing around in his parents bed when they came home. We stayed really quiet and eventually they left again. I didn't know this yet, but Raul's parents had told him to never bring another girl home unless it was the girl he was going to marry because they didn't want to get attached to his girlfriends if they were only going to be around short term.

By the time I had to go back to illinois, we both knew it was something serious. Something we wanted to pursue. There was just something comfortable and natural about us. Kind of the way the describe what it's like when you and Cayden are together. But long distance was hard, so the flowers and jokes continued, but we both also dated other people casually. But I'm not recommending you do this.

That October I decided to go down there by myself, without my friends, to see what it would be like just the two of us. It was kind of make-or-break for us, like your trip to see Cayden. We had a wonderful week together, and my last day there, we were sitting on the couch talking and he proposed. Just like that.

I laughed.

Eight months later we were married.

That was 27 years ago, and now we're the proud parents of four brilliant, talented, beautiful, admirable kids who have become our happily ever after.

OK, so I may have embellished the part about her amazingly bad-ass kids. But that's because I'm one of them.


  1. omg that's so so so so sweet!!!

  2. that's a pretty amazing story. i love how things work out sometimes.

  3. Your mom rocks! Esp since she was so open with you about sowing her oats.

  4. Ok have to admit, didn't see that one coming! Gave me goosebumps! So sweet.

  5. OMG! Honestly beyond the fact that your story is just too good to be true, your writing is incredible. I feel like I am reading a book that I am hooked on. What a total shocker in this post! SO cool!

  6. Glad yall like my parent's story! It's crazy how much it's like my sitch with Cayden. I hope it ends the same :)

  7. Oh my gosh! That's great! Totally didn't see that one coming. I love it.