How We Met: Part 2
It was September 2003. I was on the plane headed back to California after a weekend in Texas that left my mind racing. I had spent an unforgettable day with a charming Southern gentleman unlike any California guy I had ever dated. (Note: There are definitely quality California guys out there. At the time, I had scared off the realistic possibilities and reached my limit of really bad dates that left me hopeless for the selection of men in the state.) When I met Simon, I had graduated college, was working full time at a bank, and living with my parents. It was time for a change, something big. I had a small blog during that time with probably my mom as the only follower. I published the following post on September 19, 2003, shortly after Simon came back in to my life:
As I get older ( I didn’t say OLD, just oldER), the whole meeting someone and getting married issue becomes a bigger deal. I’m tired of the games we have to play to figure out if the person you like likes you back and vice versa. I’m rereading a book called “Boy Meets Girl” and the author thinks we should date fairly seriously with the goal and intention of marriage. If things aren’t working out, stop dating that person and move on. It’s pretty straightforward, but it sure saves alot of time fussin’ with all the standard rules (i.e. waiting 3 days to call before you ask a girl out, or saying no to a date if the guy asks you out less than 3 days prior, blah, blah).
Here’s my new philosophy. Boys, if you like a girl, send her one of those awesome first grade protoypes, with a few minor changes, you know, this one:
Dear So and So,
I like you. (and maybe I want to marry you someday)
Do you like me? (for reals, don’t be lyin’)
Yes  No 
If we all start doing this, think of all the miscommunication and heartache we’ll avoid.
Was the post cheesy and specifically written with the hopes that Simon would read it? For sure. But Simon read it. And responded.
Yes [X] No 
We talked every night on the phone and occasionally emailed. There was no Facebook or texting. We had to go “old school” and talk on cell phones, but not too much since those were the days of monthly caps on minutes used. We actually got to know each other before we ever had any sort of physical contact. And spoiler alert, we waited to be intimate until our wedding night. Sorry to gross anybody out, but it was something we both valued deeply. Moooooving on.
A few weeks after all of this phone chatting, Simon flew out to California to meet everyone – my family, friends, and church. It was his big chance to decide if he was all in or totally out. The weekend was pretty much googly eyes, heart fluttering perfect. During his visit, we watched “Sword in the Stone” for no particular reason. There’s a scene where Arthur becomes a squirrel and a female squirrel falls in love with him. Arthur is trying to get rid of her but Merlin informs him, “I’m afraid you’re stuck, Lad. When a girl squirrel chooses her mate, it’s for life.” Simon and I laughed, then smiled with that heart melting smile only young love can bring. We knew.
So if you’re still tracking here, I was in California, he was in Texas. This was a problem. Fortunately, I had a friend from college reach out, saying she needed a roommate and that I should move back to Denton. I went for it. Of course I told Simon it was something I had been planning to do anyway and that it had nothing to do with him. Lies, lies, lies. Just wanted to cover my tracks so I didn’t look like a total stalker.
Before moving to Texas, I flew in for his college graduation in December 2003. I met his entire immediate family and grandparents for the first time. Simon was so smooth (not) that he dropped me off at Cracker Barrel for breakfast, told me where his family was sitting, and went to get gas. No pressure or anything. Just gonna walk in and meet my potential future in-laws for the first time. Man, he’s lucky I tolerated that nonsense from him! During the ceremony later that day, I had to use the restroom and just couldn’t hold it any longer. Instead of shimmying in front of all his family with my bottom in their faces, I hopped over the stadium seats into the empty row in front of us to get out. His grandmother commented on my “agility” to his grandfather. Later, his grandfather, a retired orthodontist, noticed my straight teeth and we briefly discussed orthodontia. I knew I was in!
Two weeks after his graduation, Simon flew to California and drove with me to Texas for good. My family prayed with us and sent us surrounded in love. My mom, who is probably the un-riskiest person you’ll ever meet, actually supported this crazy idea of me moving halfway across the country. She said, at the worst, I could come back home. And at the best, I could discover the love of my life. The road trip was three magical days of meeting up with friends in other states, sightseeing, talking about everything, and continuing to grow our relationship. Somewhere on a highway in Arizona, with a Lyle Lovett song playing in the background, he whispered, “I love you.”
IYour love story is one of my favorites
Ugh! I am crying!
Love love loving this…
I’m crying, again.
After reading this & smiling at the Cracker Barrel thing (so Simon) & the orthodontia observation (so Pawpaw), it occurs to me that everybody should write down their love story. 1. It reminds us of the oogly-googly feelings of how it was to fall in love. 2. Our kids need to be able to go back & read it. Thanks for sharing. Love y’all!
When we came out to California for your wedding, at the dress rehearsal dinner, your mother told me how you and Simon were the perfect fit for each other!
Thank you for sharing your love story and keeping us updated on Simon!
We continue to lift up your family in prayer!
Love In Him
So much joy and so much love. You are bringing us to tears.
I wish I knew how to subscribe to your blog instead of randomly checkin to see if u have anything new :/
I have been reading (stalking) your blog since I heard about Simon’s cancer. You are a brilliant, beautiful writer! I love that you are documenting all of this for you, Simon, your kids, and all of the rest of us who want to know what is going on. Even if I didn’t know Simon, I think I would still be reading (stalking) because it’s such a beautiful story. I grew up with Simon in Atlanta. We have been covering him in prayer, but just like everyone, I wish there was something physical we could do. Please let us know what and when you need that. COVERING YOUR FAMILY in prayer!
Jennifer Ross (Simon will know me as Stribble)
Had to share my circa 2003 love story memory… It must have been November 2003, and I remember sitting in your bedroom (with the pink carpet) and you were bringing me up to date on all the goods about Simon Afterwards, I specifically remember asking you, “So, is he the one?” To which you replied, “YES!”
I can recall Simon saying that a Keith Urban song made him think of you at the time too. Could it have be “Who Wouldn’t Want to Be Me?” Maybe Simon can recall from his memory vault. After planning out all of our futures, we (you , Erin and I) finished off the evening by going to the theater to see ELF.
For the record it was Jack Ingram not Lyle Lovett. 😉