In honor of Valentine's Day I thought I'd share how Joe and I met. To give a little background info, I was engaged for several years before I met Joe. I had accepted that engagement with the unspoken idea that it would be a long engagement because I didn't really want to get married right then, but I assumed one day eventually I would. Obviously this is an awful and completely unfair way to accept a proposal and I'd do things differently in that situation knowing what I do now. Eventually I started feeling the pressure to actually follow through and get married and I found myself asking everyone I knew how do you know if you're supposed to be with someone for the rest of your life. Every single person gave me the exact same answer: you just know. It was like some awful, annoying conspiracy. I wanted details, facts, something specific and tangible that I could measure my relationship by. After about a year of asking around I finally had an epiphany and realized that people who "just know" aren't going around questioning their relationship, and so we parted ways
About seven months later, during mine and Joe's birthday week, I met Joe when he interviewed me for a job, which, spoiler alert, I got. A few weeks before that I was working for awful bosses at a job I hated and one day one of the bosses yelled at me while he was eating lunch and food flew out of his mouth. It was super disgusting and the last straw and I immediately started looking for a new job. At the time it seemed like the worst day ever, but looking back I think it was fate.
After a few weeks working together Joe and I planned on seeing a movie together as friends but the power was out and the theater was closed. We wound up driving around Pasadena just talking and Joe showed me all the landmarks from his childhood. In hindsight maybe the power being out was fate too because I'm sure we got to know each other much better than if we'd been sitting silently watching a movie.
Another one of our first dates involved hiking at one of Joe's favorite spots. Instead of following the trail like normal people we took what Joe called a "shortcut". His shortcut just happened to lead straight to a cliff, and once again we decided we'd be better off making our own path and trying to hike up the side of the mountain instead of backtracking to the trail. Long story short I wound up stuck halfway up the mountain which I decided was too steep to climb up or down any further. I was just clinging to a rusty old pipe and a tree branch that happened to be growing out of the side of the mountain, praying that no snakes came slithering along. Apparently snakes are more scary to me than plummeting off a cliff. Joe had to run all the way back to the trail at the top where he threw his backpack attached to a dog leash down to me so he could pull me up. Of course I was like hell no, there's no way that leash is going to hold me. He assured me the leash was made for 150lb dogs and it would hold. Also, my options were pretty limited, so I took a leap of faith and held on. When I was safely at the top he told me he made up the whole 150lb dog thing. Depending on how you look at it, Joe either saved my life, or nearly killed me. We'll give him the benefit of doubt though ;) I'm not going to call this fate, this probably falls more in the category of dumb luck, but thankfully it all worked out.
After that things progressed really quickly. While I wouldn't exactly call it love at first sight, it was pretty close. Four and a half years later and we're now a family of four. It's been a crazy ride full of so many laughs, surprises, adventures and so much love.
Here's wishing a very happy Valentine's Day to my one and only. To the person who finally made me understand all that "just knowing" stuff. Cheers to one day sitting in our rocking chairs on our porch watching our great grandchildren laugh and run around the yard.
And Happy Valentine's Day to all the rest of you other lovebirds out there!