I’ve known my husband since I was eleven years old and he was twelve, that’s how it is in a small town. My family ran onto some hard times and had to move to the po’ side o’ town. That’s the poor side of town for those who aren’t from there. You’ve heard the joke…..we were so po we couldn’t afford the ‘or’. Jason lived 2 blocks away to the right. We did not have a love at first sight experience. Actually, he was crushing on my sister instead and would bring her roses he’d stolen from somebody’s flowerbed. They were outside sitting on the porch and I could be found next door watching Golden Girls and Cagney and Lacey with my Grannie, not giving 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. Small town stuff. 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 the well meaning townsfolk 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, staples in my single-girl diet. 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 and groaned. 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. When I got into eye shot, I saw this empty, avocado green, beat up Ford pickup had knocked out of gear and rolled about fifty feet before slamming his taillights into my headlights.
It belonged to Jason. I knew that the minute I saw it. Small town stuff. Neither of us were in our vehicles at the time. It was almost as if this old, green, beat up Ford truck saw this fancy, new, bluish purple Mustang and said, “Hey there, wild thang with the 4 cylinder. I think you need a better look at my rear end.” I leaned against the side of my car and waited for 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 more 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. And that was that.
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 a few days later, we passed each other on the main road in town and waved, and prompted him to call. 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.
I ordered chicken.
We had a second date.
He took me horseback riding.
I needed a boost on the butt.
He happily obliged.
I was petrified.
We had a third date.
At a comedy club.
His truck started breaking down on the way home.
A few months later he proposed to me on bended knee.
We got married.
He still has to give me a boost on the butt.
A much bigger boost on a much larger butt.
Sometimes, when I get nostalgic, I’ll think about the wreck we had in the parking lot both in unmanned vehicles. I learned later that of course that po’ boy didn’t have any car insurance but knew a guy who could fix my car. They did a little bartering and Jason broke a horse for the body shop man in exchange for payment. Small town stuff.
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 a 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.
This entry is #15 on a list of 30 things. How I fell in love.