Well it wasn’t “love at first.” In fact, we don’t have a “how we met” moment. I don’t even remember meeting Jon period. Legend has it that I was a newborn and he was a little over 6 months. My parents were new members of the church where Jon’s parents attended. And as a gesture of friendship my future mother-in –law attended a coupon meeting with my mom. It was there, amidst of group of coupon clipping ladies, that I met the love of my life. Although it would be some time before we reached that point.
We grew up together in the same church. Sharing toys in the nursery, passing off snacks at Vacation Bible School. Jon was a bit of an “energetic” child, very much like his son. He kinda got in trouble a lot during Sunday School. I specifically remember one time, in our 5/6th grade class, he asked to go to the bathroom … and never came back.
After graduating from Sunday School we were now old enough to participate in our church’s youth group. Well, I participated in Youth Group. Jon was busy with football and wrestling, but usually showed up whenever we were having a party. By the time we were teenagers Jon had gained a reputation as a church rebel. And since he rarely, if ever, spoke to me or my girlfriends, we quickly wrote him off as a stuck-up snob.
Jon was a year ahead of me in school and we actually attended rival high schools. (I would just like to point out that my school beat his school in both football and wrestling his senior year.) One time I went to his wrestling match at my school. I was sitting in the stands with a guy friend from my class and casually mentioned I knew that one kid on the wrestling team. My friend pointed his finger right at Jon, who I’m sure was looking our way, and said, “You mean that guy?” I was so embarrassed. I came home that night and wrote in my journal:
“I hope Jon didn’t think ___ was my boyfriend!” … “So we were waiting by the door and Jon walked out and I didn’t say “hi” or “bye” or anything, and now I feel really stupid because he probably thinks I’m rude and etc., etc. Ohhh, I don’t even want to think about it.”After that they were many more moments in our history. Jon doesn’t remember a single one. But I faithfully recorded them in my spiral bound journals. Okay, so not really moments. But as you can see, he was occasionally on my mind.
June 22 1998
Oh yeah, in the tent meeting today this guy across the tent seemed to be staring at me and I couldn’t tell who it was. Later I saw it was Jon! I hope I was just mistaken.
July 24, 1998
Took Jon and Jen home. Jon was so funny but he’s really not that great.
P.S. [She] said she doesn’t like Jon anymore. He’s too weird.
August 14 1998
Micah and I took Jon home from youth. He is so funny!
July 11 1999
Had a Youth party at the Park’s. It was fun. Talked to Jon a couple of times. He’s really fun to talk to although he was making fun of my job again. He works somewhere for like $9 an hour! I don’t like him or anything … yet. (sigh) Life is so confusing.
Jon graduated a year ahead of me and not long after was off at the Coast Guard Academy. I didn’t know what this meant. I didn’t even know what a military academy was at the time, much less what it meant to be an officer. All I knew was that he was away from home a lot. I was too busy closing out my senior year and investigating colleges of my own to give a second thought to the boy I once thought “would make a cool husband.” But I hadn’t lost interest completely, especially when he'd show up at church on a random Sunday …
October 7 2001
Went to church. Jon was there with his uniform and all his stuff on. Some things just can’t be explained …
November 4 2001
I wish Jon snowboarded and wasn’t so serious. Then I’d know I’d want to marry him.
December 30 2001
Went to church. Jon was there. Oh, he’s so stuck up!
January 1 2002
So we went to Jon’s parents house for dinner today. And right now I’m debating whether or not to write what I’m about to write next. If I’m wrong, I can always rip it out later. I don’t like Jon, I still think he’s arrogant. I don’t like the way he dresses or the way he talks. He watches a lot of football. He has short, blonde hair. He doesn’t make me laugh much. He wears Adidas shoes. He skis. He is big and built and will probably end up living in DC where there is no snow. His parents are extremely nice, very wise and godly and therefore intimidating. He is related to the pastors through marriage. So why can’t I get rid of this strange feeling? There have been times when I’ve almost foreseen what’s to come, but in this case I almost hope I’m wrong. It’s scaring me. I wonder if he can sing?
February 24 2002
Went to church. Erin really likes the wedding dress she found. *sigh* Speaking of marriage Dad told Jon’s dad that I have a lot of questions for Jon. Ah! I specifically said that I did not want to ask him! Yeah just what I need. He’s coming home in 12 days though. :)
See, I had picked Jon out from the start. But the strange part was I honestly believed I didn't "like" him. And Jon was most definitely not what I would have considered "my type." I was fairly anti-football player in my day. I loved to read and have (what I assumed were) "intellectual" conversations. I picked up snowboarding in high school and Jon skiied, which meant we were foes on the slopes. We hung out with different crowds. In fact, to this day Jon and I still say it's a good thing we didn't know each other better in high school, because we would have never gotten along. But at the same time it bugged me that Jon and I weren't acquaintances. Despite all our differences, he had my attention. Since he was the one guy in church I wasn't friends with, I found him mysterious and intriguing. We had a real Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet thing going on! But I've always loved a challenge, and I soon determined that I wanted to be the first girl from church that befriended the unfriendly Coast Guard Cadet. I guess you could say I had a crush on the guy, but didn’t really want to do anything about it. This is where my future in-laws come in. Apparently I had made a bit of an impression on them after the summer of 2002 (the year I graduated from high school). I later learned that they a scheme of their own to add a “boost” to our acquaintance...
March 3 2002
And the plot thickens … dun, dun, dun. Haha, first of all, in church, Rosie’s like “So Janny, when does Jon come home?” I was like, “What!?” And she said that Mel told her I went to his house for dinner. I was like “Um yeah, my family.” Then at the end of church Matt asked me how Jon was doing. I was like “OK, what’s going on here?” Micah said Mr. T. told Matt he wants Jon and I to get together or something. Oh my! This is too much! It’s so weird, and maybe someday I’ll kick myself for saying this but it’s such a God thing. I’ve never like someone without actually “liking” them before. Well, we’ll see.
March 10 2002
Johnny Football Hero was in church today. Unfortunately, I had to leave early for work so I wasn’t able to ask him all my questions. Oh well.
March 24 2002
All the time Mom and Dad used to bug me to take Jon to a dance and now when I’d actually consider it he’s not around. So help me God I need a prom date!
April 14 2002
This is the second night in a row Jon has been on IM all night. He must’ve got a computer. Hmmm. Well I’m not talking to him.
June 12 2002
… I’m beginning to think my current plans may not be such a good idea. Especially after talking to my girls. Jon just isn’t my type. I mean, I’d always figured that as I got more mature I’d change, but I don’t wanna change. I like my style. So sorry football hero, but you just ain’t cuttin’ it.
June 20 2002
Had a dream about Jon last night. It’s weird because right now I can’t picture exactly what he looks like, but last night it was clearly him. He had a picture of me in his wallet too.
June 23 2002
The T’s are coming to the beach with us. But not Jon. That is good because it would be very embarrassing. Although he would be something to look forward to. :)
July 17 2002
Erin said she didn’t invite the T’s to her wedding because she wasn’t invited to their daughters’. I told her she’d be invited to their son’s. :)
July 21 2002
Mrs. T. kept asking all these questions about me because “Jon needs a domestic wife … but feisty too.” Ahh!!
August 11 2002
Leslie does not understand how you can not like somebody and still want to marry them. She was a little concerned because she saw another girl talking to Jon. Oh well. I'm not.
I guess you could say I had a crush on the guy, but didn’t really want to do anything about it. This is where my future in-laws come in. Apparently I had made a bit of an impression on them after the summer of 2002 (the year I graduated from high school). I later learned that they a scheme of their own to add a “boost” to our acquaintance...