I’ve known my husband since I was eleven years old and he was twelve. My family ran onto some hard times and had to move to the po’ side o’ town. That’s where Jason lived too. He was sweet on my sister for a while, and would bring her roses he’d stolen from somebody’s flowerbed. I stayed inside watching Golden Girls and Cagney and Lacey with my Grannie and didn’t give two thoughts to boys.
We went to Middle School and High School together where he was a year older than me. We hung out in different crowds, but said hello in passing.
I was in my early adulthood when I figured out that I knew everyone in both the police record and the wedding announcements. Early adulthood is when society dictates that you should get married. I wasn’t married, nor was I anywhere close. There’s a sort of panic that sets in when you figure out that you aren’t on the same time frame as the rest of the world.
Being a single girl in a small town is not an easy thing to do. Up until I found and married Jason, I was constantly being asked who I was dating, why wasn’t I dating, or someone was trying to fix me up. Eventually I think people decided I was probably a lesbian and left me alone.
One day in 1998 I went to the grocery store to buy Fruity Pebbles and Ramen Noodles, probably. As I was walking out, a girl I knew stopped me in the parking lot and told me someone’s truck had just rolled into my car. In small towns everyone knows what everyone else drives. I rolled my eyes. This turned out to be my third wreck in a parking lot! In my experience, you’re pretty much out of luck. The police won’t do much because it’s considered private property. You just have to hope the other guy has insurance and is a respectable dude who will take care of it. I walked a little further and noticed that this old, green, beat up Ford pickup had rolled out of gear about fifty feet and slammed his taillights into my headlights. Neither of us were in our vehicles at the time. This old, green, beat up Ford just so happened to belong to Jason. I knew that the minute I saw it. Small town stuff.
So I waited on him to meander out of the store. He was all apologies, promised he’d take care of it. And he did. He called me up and asked me to take it to a certain body shop, the car got fixed and life went on. And that was that.
For five years.
Dates with crazies came and went.
Then I became a recluse.
I would never go out. People would tell me I needed to be out meeting people. But I had met people, and they turned out to be daddy’s boys or killer cops and I’d rather stay home and watch Survivor alone. If somebody wanted to date me, they were going to have to knock on my door. That was my mindset.
Then one day I came home from work to find Jason’s name on my caller ID. That was curious, but I assumed it was a wrong number. He called back two days later and asked me out. We talked for three hours. I was teaching school and a parent of one of my students, that happened to be a friend of his, had suggested he ask me out. He remarked that I was too sweet for him, which is true, but decided he’d get his nerve up anyway. I’d had my experiences with cowboys, not to mention their dads, and didn’t figure it would go anywhere, but I agreed. Eating Ramen Noodles was getting pretty old by this time.
It worked out pretty good.
He wore a yellow shirt.
We had a second date.
He took me horseback riding.
He had to give me a boost on the butt.
I was petrified.
We got married.
He still has to give me a boost on the butt.
A much bigger boost on a much larger butt.
But sometimes, when I get nostalgic, I’ll think about the wreck. I found out later, that of course that poor boy didn’t have any insurance and ended up breaking a horse for the guy to pay for my car repairs.
It’s a funny story I guess. Maybe even a coincidence.
Perhaps it was Fate.
Or the cosmos aligning perfectly with Mercury in the Sixth House.
But if you really want to know the truth, I believe it was God.
I believe that he intended for that collision of two unmanned vehicles to be the beginning of Jason and Angel. A collision of love.
And we just weren’t listening.
That was probably one big gigantic move on His part to create His will for two dumb pilgrims down here, and we missed it. So he went to Plan B. He works around our goofs.
Because He’s cool like that.