After Jeremy and I burned the midnight oil on our first date, I raced home to tell Terri with absolute certainty that I'd met the man I was going to marry. I know, I know, there's no such thing as love at first sight, but I'm willing to say there is such thing as love at first real conversation.
I had no explanation for this certainty, but I WAS CERTAIN. This was a kind of certainty in the area of romance I'd NEVER encountered. It was the kind of certainty I'd bet everything I had on. (Granted, everything I had wasn't much, but if you imagine it was........) Now, how to convince Jeremy that this should be the case was my obvious dilemma.
The next evening, I arrived home to a card from Jeremy tucked into the doorjamb. It happily contained an invitation to get together again later that night. Perhaps we hadn't exchanged numbers? I don't recall, but I do believe it's safe to say that this may not have been typical behavior for him, given that he was exceedingly shy with girls.
Please keep in mind the sort of woman that I was while I explain this next bit. Meeting Jeremy was not quite the same as waving a magic wand and making me into a good girl. I was the same girl I'd always been, with the only difference being that I was now exclusively dedicated to Jeremy.
Right after informing Terri of my impending engagement, I promptly reported to the various fellows I'd been seeing my permanent lack of availability. I couldn't see them any longer. And I didn't.
With that taken care of, I focused on getting to know this man who seemed to me to be nearly a god. You may be wondering why I would say that, after all, I was no stranger to men. But Jeremy was unlike anyone I'd ever dated before. I'll try to explain what was different.
First of all, among the many men I'd dated, none of them had stood out to me as particularly physically attractive. You may think that is shallow, but I believe God designed us to be visually stimulated by the person we end up with. I suspect that if that isn't part of the relationship, there will likely be some issues down the road.
Secondly, Jeremy was kinder to me than any male I'd ever known and had a way of listening to me that made me feel I could share the vulnerable places with him. It seems as though I must have shared my story, at least some portion of it, with those who'd come before, but if I did, I can't recall ever feeling as though they knew me or cared about me as a result. Jeremy, on the other hand, wanted to know me.
Thirdly, Jeremy was a responsible young man who was on his way to typical 'American' success. He was a student in a promising field that would likely result in his being able to earn a good wage. (Jon and Cole had fit that part of the description too, so Jeremy wasn't the first to have this quality) Other's I'd dated tended to be somewhat lacking in stability. In hindsight, it's what I'd grown to expect from men as my father might have been the poster-child for fatherly instability. Jeremy was the exact opposite. Not only was he personally stable, he was also personally able to accomplish anything he set his mind to. He is the poster child for 'Jack of all trades' as he can do anything and do it well.
Fourth, and this is one of the most important bits, Jeremy came from a family who strongly believed that Jesus Christ is the Living God and they lived in such a way as to proclaim that to those who came under their influence. Jeremy himself wasn't terribly convinced that this needed to be given much heed, but it was part of his family legacy and that legacy would eventually transfer to him personally.
Fifth, Jeremy gave me evidence that he wanted to spend time with me. I didn't feel like an afterthought. I can even recall times when we'd talk about the future and what we'd do together. That was a new experience. It seemed as though he saw a future for us.
I'd go on to say that Jeremy was not primarily interested in sex, but I suspect Jeremy himself might debate that point. He was, like most young men his age in the 90's, certainly open to and hopeful for a physical relationship.
Since that was my typical MO, I didn't waste any time with him. I invited him over that second night and before he knew what had hit him, I was snuggling in his lap. He didn't exactly refuse my advances and so we began our relationship as I had each of the others before.
The two of us aren't so proud of that. We've often wondered how things might have been different if we'd waited, but at that point in our lives, we couldn't really understand why that was important anyway.
By the time two weeks had passed in our burgeoning relationship, my assurance hadn't slipped a bit. The fact was, I was beginning to feel impatient, perhaps even a little desperate. I didn't know Jeremy well enough to understand that he always took his time with decisions and when he hadn't told me he loved me by the two week marker, panic began to set in.
I decided I needed to spill my heart's desire to him. I needed to DO SOMETHING!! But what?
I settled on writing him a letter. I can't recall what all I said in that letter and I've never seen it again so I assume it found it's way to the trash. What I can remember is that it was several pages long and that it very likely sounded desperate (have you ever read your journals from when you were in your teens?! Yikes!!?? I'm pretty sure it was like that!). I'm sure I poured out my love for him and my desire for our relationship to be serious, monogamous and well..........I was likely angling for a proposal.
The anxiety I felt as I waited to hear back from him was excruciating!! What did he think?! Does he agree?! Will he still want to be with me?! What is he THINKING!!!!!!?????
How long it took in actuality to respond I can't say, but I do know that it seemed like forever. Amusingly, I doubt he picked up on the gravity of my feelings or my desperation. Whether that is because he's super logical and, at that time, not terribly emotional or because he's male and I'm female and that means foreign, I am uncertain. At any rate, somehow, as a result of that letter prompting things to move along, we became serious about one another.
I loved him and he loved me and all would be right in the world as a result.
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