It was on June 1, 1997 that I first met my first wife. It was pouring down rain and when I first saw her, she was wearing a stripped polo shirt with overalls. Apparently in the late 90’s overalls were all the rage but don’t feel bad, I missed that fad too. All I knew was that chick was hot.
We met at a Christian youth camp we both worked at that summer. My job was to hire the summer staff and so that spring I started reviewing applications. For whatever reason the camp’s application form required applicants to submit a picture with their application, and when I opened Heather’s I fell in love. Not only was she the perfect applicant but she was also drop dead gorgeous. I told the staff she was hired and it was their job to help her fall madly in love with me. For my part it was love at first sight, first site of the picture she had submitted.
For Heather’s part, she had just finished her freshman year of college and was looking to get away from home and a small camp in the middle of nowhere Indiana seemed like the best place to do it. When she first saw me, the word “geek” flashed through her mind and the words “I’m not leaving my daughter here” flashed through my future mother in laws mind.
My heart a twitter (that meant something different back then) I set my plan in action. I abused my authority and told folks if they wanted paid they needed to convince Heather what a great guy I was. I event sent out reconnaissance to learn everything about her and then my master plan hit a snag. She had a boyfriend. Now I not only had to convince her I was awesome but that I was better than the guy she was already dating. Thanks to some wonderful friends, the snow job of the last century began. After a while I’m sure Heather figured out something was going on but she continued to play along nicely as my minions worked the plan.
Further intelligence revealed the boyfriend was more of a childhood friend. They had grown up together, their families were close, so they hung out a lot, but they were not a serious couple. Perfect. Now it was time to make my move.
With all the pieces in place, I knew it was time to see if the snow job had worked (and if I should pay the staff). 17 days after we met, I asked her out on a date. To my surprise, and probably everyone else’s, she said “Yes.” Mission accomplished. Now everyone else was off the hook but I had to deliver on whatever truths I’m sure they told her about me.
We got to know each other pretty well that summer before she returned to college. We both returned to the same camp the following year and on July 18, 1998 I proposed and again to everyone’s surprise she said, “Yes.” The rest, as they say, is history.
As for that picture I first fell in love with, I stole it from her application file and put it in my wallet, where it still is today. Ask me to see it sometime.