January 24, 2014

Chapter Twelve: Our Love Story (Jill's side of the story)

Picture yourself as a divorced woman who also had just broken off an engagement from your boyfriend of 2 ½ years; that was me April of 2011, and if anyone would have told me at that time, I would be married by August of that same year, I would have laughed really hard. 

It was the first week of April 2011 when I received a phone call from a friend who told me she wanted to set me up with a great guy named Joseph, a friend of her husband.  She described him as a bit eccentric, divorced with three children, and he had “different” facial hair.  I had just broken up with a man who some would describe as eccentric, and I was married before with stepchildren and one of those ex-wives that insisted on being involved in my marriage - my marriage not the children’s lives, my marriage.  My first question to my friend was, “what is his relationship with his ex-wife like?”  I really didn’t want to deal with another bitter ex-wife who would brainwash her children to hate their dad’s new girlfriend.  But, I agreed to meet him at my friend’s home over dinner, a dinner we would all cook together. 

Before meeting I Facebook stalked him and couldn’t really tell much about him other than he was an artist; the majority of his photos were pictures of his paintings and engravings, which was pretty cool.  I remember thinking to myself, “he isn’t going to be my type at all.”  I am not an artist by any stretch of the imagination; I’m just a regular girl who worked a rather lame sales job, oh and did I mention that I lived with my parents because I needed to pay off major medical bills having become an amputee only three years before, due to a car accident?  So he was divorced with three children and all the baggage we know divorce brings into life.  I myself am divorced, had just gotten out of a pretty serious, but not the most healthy relationship, and was continuing my recovery from a pretty serious accident, you know losing my leg and all of that baggage.  On paper, this set up was doomed from the get go, would you agree? 

A few weeks later we all met up at my friend’s house to cook dinner and get to know everyone better.  The menu was tomato soup with homemade bread for gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.  When I arrived at my friend’s house, Joseph was already there.  When I walked into the house he was kneading bread dough in the kitchen, he had long hair with an English styled mustache - the long twisty kind - a beard, and he wasn’t wearing shoes.  His speech wasn’t very clear either.  Turned out, Joseph had suffered a huge migraine earlier that day, and took some major medicine before our dinner date that affected his speech, and I think his vision too. 
I think we used every single dish in my friend's kitchen!
 I hadn’t seen my friend in a while, so I was busy catching up with her, basically ignoring Joseph.  Let’s just say our first date wasn’t what you’d say, going smoothly.  The food however, was delicious and as the night progressed, the conversation was good by the end.  I left around 11:00 o’clock and thought I wouldn’t hear from Joseph again. 

Perhaps the best tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich ever!
The next day I received a very nice email from Joseph, we set up another date, this time at his house, just the two of us.  About a week later I drove to his place and tried cooking lasagna rolls for dinner.  I had never made them before; let me say one should never try a new recipe on a second first date.  The lasagna rolls turned out dry and crunchy, but the conversation was nonstop!  We talked about everything; about ourselves, politics, religion, our families, past relationships, old friends, new friends, education, careers, his children, should I keep going?  I left that night feeling excited to have met someone that I could talk to about so many things.   
The worst lasagna rolls imaginable!  Joseph was a perfect gentleman and ate them anyway, even though with each bite bread crumbs would jump off the roll and shoot up his nose and all over his face.

On our third date we watched a movie together.  For practically the whole movie Joseph sat next to me with the back of his hand pressed next to the back of mine.  He was so cute, scared to make the first move, so I finally just grabbed his hand, and we enjoyed the rest of the moving holding hands together.  We kept dating, dating, and dating, and somewhere in between all of our dating, I met his children and parents, he met my parents and family, oh and we fell in love.  By June we were engaged and we were married on August 1.

Our silly daughter, Krista.

Macsen, 10 going on 40.

The amazing Diego.

Joseph made my engagement/wedding ring from a 1962 quarter.  Quarters 1965 and older were solid silver; they aren't anymore.

I can’t begin to tell you all of the comments we got from people because our relationship moved forward so quickly.  Some people said we wouldn’t last a year, others said we’re moving too fast and didn’t know each other.  On the flip side, my parents were happy for us, and Joseph’s mom suggested we forgo a wedding and just go to the court house to get married; I really liked that idea.  Joseph suggested that we might want a wedding, a story of our marriage that is more than just a court house marriage.  He was right; we planned a small wedding with our families and close friends, and it was beautiful. 

Here’s the thing, we both had been in bad relationships/marriages before, we’re both in our mid 30s and wanted to be married, and we both deserved to be loved by a true partner and friend.  It just so happened that we clicked, and became each other’s true partner and friend.  There was no analyzing our relationship, there was no “what-ifs” killing our happiness, there was absolutely no way naysayers’ comments would make us stop to question the feelings we had for each other.  To be honest our situation was kind of awesome, and wasn’t a force to be trifled with.

I think the best part about Joseph and me is we haven’t been apart since we got married, and we don’t get tired of each other either.  I don’t have the need for “girls’ nights out” like I needed in past relationships.  We miss each other if one of us has to go out, we still have so much to talk about, and every day I love him more than the day before.

Read Joseph's side of our love story HERE!


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