Boy Meets Girl, Part 1
Sara: I love stories. Some of my favorite stories are how couples met. And one of my all-time personal favorite stories is how Justin and I met, although we don’t always agree on all the details.
Justin: Sara has a really good memory. Sometimes, it’s so good she remembers things that never even happened. Sara can tell the story, but I’ll interject whenever she remembers it wrong.
Sara: In the winter of 2008, I started my job in Kansas City. I became very busy getting accustomed to my job and Kansas City. Several weeks after moving into my 45 year old cousin’s house, he unexpectedly went to the ER, and passed away several days later. To say his death was incredibly difficult for me would be an understatement. But by the grace of God, one day it stopped hurting so much. And eventually, I once again began to smile more readily.
One day, I woke up and realized I didn’t have any friends in the Kansas City area. So I decided to go to some “young adult activities” offered through our diocese for working professionals in their 20’s and 30’s. Unfortunately, as I can be somewhat shy, it was difficult to get to know anyone on a deep enough level after a five minute conversation and to really feel like I had friends. How do you say, “Hello, my name is Sara. I’m a loser and don’t have any friends. Will you be my friend?”
When I heard about a retreat offered through the group, I knew it was my opportunity to meet some new people. So, I signed up. The retreat was offered at a lakehouse in the middle of Kansas. Long story short, I ended up agreeing to carpool with four guys, none of whom I really knew.
As I went to “Ted’s” house to meet the guys for the carpool, I was somewhat nervous. Growing up in a small town in Iowa, my radar for danger is sometimes off. Only that morning did I start to consider the possible ramifications of going to a lakehouse in the middle of Kansas with four guys I hardly knew.
Justin: With four guys, she was safer than just one. And we were meeting others there.
Sara: Yes, you tell me that NOW! So, I pull up to Ted’s house after getting lost. I know from phone conversations that everyone is running late minus Justin. This makes me nervous, as I’ll be alone with a guy I’ve never met before. I ring the doorbell, and Justin finally opens the door. He invites me in, and makes small talk, including asking me where I had gone to school. He seemed a little slow.
Justin: The doorbell ringing woke me up! You always forget that part.
Sara: You didn’t let me get to that part. So, I later found out Justin had just woken up from a nap, which made sense because he didn’t seem slow later. Anyway, until the others showed up, we got to know each other a bit better by discussing our jobs. Justin was more interesting than any of the professors I had had in college, not to mention a lot younger. After Justin found out I worked at a church, we had a few lively discussions about his experiences working in campus ministry before the guys began to show up.
We packed the car, and headed to Kansas. As I began to bribe them to be my friends with junk food, I remember one of them asking me to name a book which I had read in the past year and how it changed my life. It had been a LONG time since I had had great conversations like this with my peers. The ride to the lakehouse passed rather quickly with everyone’s chatter.
To be continued…