Matt and I met the first week of our freshman year of college. We lived in the same co-ed dorm, I was on the first floor and he was on the third floor. I had seen him several times in passing coming to and from our dorm but we’d never spoken until the day Matt got a cold and went around the entire dorm begging for medication. I took pity on his poor, sniffly self and helped him out. When he was recovered, he took me out to dinner and a movie as a thank you.
You know that moment, when you just know that this was the person you were meant to be with? I had that moment and I wish it was a classier story but you know I keep it real around here. That moment came just a few weeks into our relationship when I had food poisoning and Matt spent the whole night holding my hair back while I puked and prayed for death. When it comes to sizing someone up for future baby daddy potential, any man who doesn’t run screaming from vomit gets a point in his favor.
We had the best dorm on the campus, it was one of the only co-ed dorms and the RA’s were usually the first ones at all the parties. Matt walked me to every one of my classes, holding an umbrella for me if it was raining, and he was always there waiting for me when my class ended unless he was in class himself. I wrote all his English papers and he did all my calculus and statistics work. Negotiation at its best. Christmas break of our freshman year was terrible. Almost a month away from each other, on opposite ends of the state. It was torture. We racked up some super high long distance bills- this was before the age of unlimited long distance and cell phone coverage. Fortunately neither of our parents received the actual phone bill in the mail until after we were already back at school.
We got engaged 3 months later- 8 months after we first met. I wish I had a syrupy sweet, make you gag, engagement story for you- but alas, that is not how it happened. We were at the mall. I was shopping in American Eagle and Matt was supposedly a few stores down checking out all the crap he didn’t need in Sharper Image. I was in the dressing room trying on clothes when all of a sudden, a ring appears under the door of my dressing room. I stared at it for a minute trying to figure out what was going on. Then I heard, “So….you wanna or what?” Insert sarcastic eye roll here. I was half dressed, trying to put my shirt back on before he opened the dressing room door that had a broken lock. Accepting a proposal in my bra in front of everyone shopping in American Eagle was not the fairy tale I had imagined but we never did do anything the predictable way.
We knew we wanted to be married before our sophomore year started which only gave us about 4 months, a fact that gave my mother heart palpitations and night sweats during the planning phase. I knew I didn’t want a big church wedding, there was no question about that. I wanted to be married in an outdoor ceremony, I didn’t want a big wedding party and I absolutely did not want a formal, stuffy event. I wanted our wedding to be fun. I wanted to enjoy my day and not feel the pressure of putting on a grand, elaborate show for other people. In fact, we would have eloped if not for the death threats issued by both of our mothers.
There was a lot of negotiating, a lot of compromising, and a lot of eye rolling. But we managed to plan an outdoor ceremony and reception for a couple hundred people in just over 4 months. This is something I do not recommend, it is not good for your health. We wanted to get married in my hometown so there were a lot of trips back and forth to choose a caterer, flowers, DJ….you don’t realize how much goes into planning a wedding until you only have 4 months to do it. Luckily for all involved, I’m a very decisive person and Matt did not desire to be involved in every single decision. He had only 2 requests- a buffet instead of a sit down dinner and an open bar. Both of which I was in perfect agreement with.
We got married on August 4, 1996 in an outdoor garden ceremony at a gorgeous gazebo overlooking the most beautiful and serene lake. I chose a vintage style gown that had a long train and lots of beading. It was a dress that was also worn by someone close to me and it had very special meaning for me. I knew it was the dress I was meant to wear when I tried it on the very first time and it fit perfectly. It didn’t require a single alteration, which was amazing considering I only weighed 98 pounds and was a size 00 on my wedding day. But that’s a story for another day.
It was supposed to be in the high 70’s on my wedding day. Bob the weather man was wrong. Boy was he wrong. It was 98 degrees on my wedding day- hot and humid! My dress, although gorgeous, was also long sleeved. The men were wearing tuxes….it was HOT. Did I mention that it was hot?! Because it was H-O-T. We chose to have a small wedding party, mainly because all my close friends were spread out across the country and they were all poor, college students. They did all come together and throw me one heck of a bachelorette party before the wedding though. I would love to share the stories of that night but we have all sworn a vow of silence about that party. That’s how good it was. Ha! My sister was my maid of honor and Matt’s older brother was his best man. We had a gorgeous ceremony complete with handwritten vows, it was everything I had ever hoped it would be. Then we spent hours partying under our reception tent before heading to a quaint B&B for the night.
So that is the story of the beginning of us….