You know the stories about love at first sight? The ones with a valiant prince who has his heart set on a princess that he defies all the odds to rescue and give true love’s first kiss? This isn’t one of those stories. The story of how my husband and I met and fell in love isn’t exactly the stuff of fairy tales, but it is unique and it is us and I love it for that. I know many of our family and friends don’t even know the full story. So here it is world, the tale of how Blythe met Kaitlyn.
We met the week before my freshman year of college at the Lutheran campus pastor’s house. You didn’t think I would get to it that fast, did you? Don’t get too excited, it wasn’t quite that simple.
He was a sophomore on the leadership team for the Lutheran campus group and was helping host a welcome party for the incoming freshmen.
I arrived to the party with a few friends from high school, slightly nervous about having to meet and talk to a big group of strangers. I say “slightly nervous” because I feel like that’s more socially acceptable than the truth. Honestly, the introvert in me was reeling at the thought of having to make conversation with anyone, especially all of the college kids inside who were older and wiser than me. I had no idea my future husband would be in the mix, but if I had, I probably would have been completely nauseous and might not have even made it into the house. As it was, I was able to (just barely) hold it together as my friends and I made our way into our first college get together.
But Blythe wasn’t there when I arrived. He showed up characteristically late about half an hour later. When he finally made it to the party he burst into the room with loud hellos, hearty handshakes, and an ear to ear grin. He was the kind of guy that the party swirled around and who controlled the mood of the group. The kind of guy that never met a stranger and was a friend to all.
I honestly don’t even think we spoke to each other that day, in fact I’m pretty sure I avoided him. Blythe is the type of person an introvert like me finds too intimidating to talk to, but very entertaining to watch from afar. I doubt he remembers meeting me, but I know he remembers meeting one of the friends I brought with me to the event.
My good friend Michael, another outgoing and loud extrovert, ended up violently ripping the pastor’s back door off of its hinges at some point during the party.* Talk about your first impression. That story has gone down in history with the Lutheran campus group. Blythe, who is also prone to destroying things, found a kindred soul in Michael that day and they became fast friends.
Needless to say, for Blythe and I, it was not love at first sight. He barely remembered me as, “one-of-the-girls-who-came-with-the-kid-who-broke-the-door.”
It just so happened that the next week I was assigned to the year long bible study group that Blythe led. We were going to be spending an evening each week together in a small group discussing deep theological questions. This was an area that both of us found extremely important and an area that neither of us had been particularly challenged in the past, but we challenged each other. Each of us was able to push the other and bring up points of view the other had never thought about. I had never met someone my age who was able to challenge my beliefs in such a profound way. I thought, and still think, that Blythe is one of the most creative and intelligent people I have ever met.
But all year long Blythe couldn’t remember my name. He couldn’t remember who was who between me and my also blonde roommate. Out of fear of getting us mixed up, he generally just avoided using our names altogether coming up with inventive ways to ask us direct questions indirectly or lumping us together in questions or comments.
I knew he didn’t know my name, but I still felt like it was a slight upgrade from, “one-of-the-girls-who-came-with-the-kid-who-broke-the-door.”
Now I was, “one-of-the-blonde-roommates-who-has-some-good-points-and-likes-toffee-coffee.”
I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, but we did not start dating during my first year of college. In fact, neither of us were particularly interested in each other as we were both in committed relationships with other people. Even if we hadn’t both been in relationships I’m almost positive we wouldn’t have found love with each other at this point in our lives. We were just casual friends that would say, “Hi” to one another in passing. I suppose we thought highly of each other, but that’s about as far as our friendship went.
However, leading into the summer I found out that Blythe was going to be my only assistant at a summer camp where I led the horse program. We were going to be stuck inside a barn all day every day with just each other for the entire summer… and I was going to be his boss.
Tune in next week for the continuation of our love story!
In the meantime, here is a picture of (much younger) us that first year! Aggies, can you name this place?
*I know many of you are concerned about the fate of the pastor’s door that was “violently ripped off it’s hinges”. Let me put your mind at ease. It was a complete accident. Michael didn’t know his own strength and opened the door a little too far causing it to pop off the hinges. The door was easily fixed not long after the event. However, every time the story is told in the group, the door breaking becomes more and more violent. Years down the road I’m sure it will be told with Michael in a bulldozer taking the whole house down instead of just the door!