Thursday, September 10, 2009

How I Met Your Father: The College Years

This is Part 5 in a series. To start at the beginning, click here.

If you recall, your father was the one who helped me decide to move far away for college. I needed wide open faces, if you will. (Throw back to music of the period. Sorry!) Little did I know that he would be the reason I wanted to stay put when it finally came time to go. That's right. The two months of summer we spent joined at the hip had been just enough for me to know that he was someone I did not want to be away from. I was in love.

Sidenote: Your father is a year younger than me and still had one year of high school left at this point.

I waited all summer long to hear your father say the 3 little words every girl dreams of hearing. He was very responsible and practical about it all. He did not want to rush into saying it. When questioned, he would contend that people too often say "that" when they can't possibly know if they do or not. Whatever, dude. Just say it.

He must have finally figured out a way to "know" because as he was leaving my house on the night before I was heading off to college, I walked him out to his car and that was when it happened. I know your father does not remember, which is ironic when you consider his extreme caution and contemplation in the matter of releasing this much anticipated statement, but that's when he said it. He leaned in and grinned and said it.

"I love you."

Tucked into those words was something that made it a little easier for me to leave but so much more difficult at the same time. Nevertheless, I went. I couldn't back out. I had been to orientation and everything like that.

The drive was like the Green Mile. The never ending, pine tree infested, drive of misery. Once I got there, each time I would mark on the calendar my next trip home. I think I actually did slip into a bit of depression. You can ask my roommate (friend from Craft Weekend). I basically slept, went to classes, exercised, and read my Bible. That's it. Hmm, maybe I need to slip into depression more often...

Anyway, as bad as it seemed then, I look back now and have some of the most precious memories from that time in our relationship. I'll only list a few:

10 o'clock call--Every night at 10:00 pm your father would call me. It was usually about a 10 minute conversation with the predominant communicator being, you guessed it, me. I didn't care. Your father has never been a big phone talker and I knew that. I was completely satisfied just to hear him breathing.

Love Letters--Yep, your father wrote me love letters. We didn't really email that much back then and texting was just a glimmer in the eye of some techie, so snail mail it was. They were kinda long, too. And mushy. He even gave me coupons one time. (Your father is SUCH a good sport. He is going to be made fun of SO hard if anyone {male} who knows him ever reads this. Sorry babe). The coupons were for things like kisses and um, shirts.

T-shirts--Okay, this is going to come across as weird. I make no apologies. Every time I came home I made him give me a shirt that he had worn for a while. They smelled like him. I took them back and slept in them. I KNOW! Like fatal attraction or something. It was awesome.

Coming Home--I would come home quite often. In fact, leaving early for Thanksgiving holiday caused me to miss a free 100 test grade ergo causing me to make the only D of my college career. It was SO worth it. I showed up a day early and surprised my little love bug. I had my new GAP outfit on. (size 6 shorts BTW) We went to a JV football game together and held hands.

Football Games--That reminded me that I would come home to watch your father play football. He was the quarterback, you know. And your Gee Gee was his coach. He actually got mono one week and had to sit out for a game or maybe even more. I know it was a really sad deal. I was sad because I had to go to the SFA quack shack and tell the doc to test me for mono. "Your boyfriend got it?" he asked. "Yeah." I said. "You been kissin' him?" he asked. "Uh....yeeeeaaah." The guy was a genius--like I said, quack shack. I didn't have it, by the way.

Okay, okay, let's hurry this along. So, long story short I was a pathetic, lovesick girl and I only lasted away at college for one semester. I moved back home and lived there (mostly) for the next three years. Your father went off to sow his wild oats for a while when he graduated. Then he moved back home, too. All the while we were a pair.

As we moved closer to the end of college, thoughts of marriage began to swirl in my head. You might be on to my personality by now and are guessing that perhaps I would throw subtle hints around from time to time. You know, leave magazines open to pictures of beautiful engagement rings, speak often about our friends who were getting engaged, maybe ask reasonable questions like "WHEN THE HECK ARE WE GETTING MARRIED?!" I mean we were like 19 and 20 by then. I was practically an old maid.

I didn't think your father was taking my hints. You know how cautious he is and how so very responsible. He would always say stuff like, "Let's wait till we have jobs." or "Why don't we finish college first?" Such a planner--geeesh! Who needs those temporal things? We had each other and I knew that was enough. Apparently, so did he. (We were idiots by the way, children, if you ever read this)

To be continued...

Us just before your father's Senior Prom

Your father, #12, my hero

Your mother in the East Texas trees

My VERY favorite photo of your father and me


  1. awwwww! I love it...Who know Ferg was so romantic??

  2. I love reading love stories. Thanks for sharing. I just found your blog and I look forward to more updates.

  3. This is just so great! You have me laughing out loud, awwwing and smiling the whole time I am reading! My only complaint is you quit every time when I am wanting more! I know, I already know what happens...but I don't think myself or many people know-know what happened and that is what makes it soooo good! Keep 'em coming girlie! Love the tshirt thing btw!

  4. You two have got to be the cutest little couple ever. I just love looking back and people's old photos!

    Mine are scary. Mostly because of the biggest perm on the planet.

  5. This is so awesome Keelie! How fun.......

  6. I just LOVE this series. You are a great writer...Glory is gonna just love this one day. We'll see about Jonah. LOL

  7. Oh you guys are adorable. I love this story! What a cute idea to write it for your kids. Kids always think of their parents as soooo old, lol!

    BTW, love the name Glory, so pretty. Love Jonah too.

  8. Sweet!!! What a wonderful record of your history!

  9. ohh I LOVE this! I always ask my parents about their relationship. I think the little details are the best. They've been married 20 years and sometimes forget the little stuff. This has inspired me to get some kind of journal or something and document everything like that. I love this series, keep em comin (=

  10. oh and happy sits saturday sharefest ;)

  11. Thanks for stopping by my blog. About the whiner - just this past week the whining has improved. When my little girl gets home from school, I give her some one on one time and that seems to be making the whining subside a little. Just thought I'd let you know and hope it works for you!!!

    Love you site and I am definitely trying that recipe!!! Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

  12. Aw what a great post-all 5. I may have to do this for my kiddos.


  13. I love this series! I already know the jist of it, but love it still. I had forgotten about you wearing Justin's shirts. Crack me up! You SO did! And I do remember the nightly phone calls and how you had to go to the quack shack to see if you had mono! lol! Love these pictures of you guys. You look SO young. Just babies! :)

  14. i just happened on you blog and read the whole how i met your father series...and that is just the sweetest story to share with your children. loved it!

  15. I have read the entire story and am wondering where the continuation is to this last post.

    What a sweet & beautiful love story. :-)

  16. I love it Keelie!! I remember watching you and Justin in our backyard, when everyone would come play sand volleyball. You would be smiling and chattering, and Justin would just sit there And one night, Rusty was like.."I think we've got some puppy love going on" haha Y'all were always soooo cute together! Rhonda