Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Love Story __Part 1

I didn't date in high school.
This might be part of the reason. I'm the one in pink. With the mustache.
I liked boys. But the ones, OK one, I liked didn't like me back, and the ones that liked me, I didn't like.
And besides, I was busy. Going to India:
Learning to lay bricks and then going to Hungary to help build an orphanage.
A boyfriend would have just slowed me down.
For the record, I was sent flowers on my 16th birthday by a very nice boy. I was embarrassed as all get out. I really didn't know what to do with the attention.
You see, I wasn't the kind of girl who was going to let a guy beat me just to make him feel good. Even if I had a crush on him. I wasn't going to shy away from crazy costumes and having fun. Even if I didn't look cute. I wasn't going to play games and like someone that wasn't worth my while. My brother wouldn't let me. I wasn't going to stay home for the summer just because I'd miss out on prime "find a boyfriend time".
I was my own girl.
In my heart, I knew God was saving me for the right guy.
_____________________________________
Aaron didn't date in high school.
This might be part of the reason. Just look at that hair. That sneer. That sweet early 90s photo background.
One of Aaron's most famous lines from high school days speaks volumes about his attitude about girls and dating.
One Friday night, as his two best friends bemoaned their girlfriendless state, Aaron said this, "Come on guys! We don't need girls! We've got Jesus!"
Classic.
Mostly though, he says he was terrified of girls.
By the end of high school things were looking up.
A good hair cut will do that for you.
He went on a few dates, but one girl didn't get any of his jokes. A couple others didn't like him. It seems God was just keeping him for the right girl.

The one who would see this guy:
and sit up and take notice!
Hey, in the early 90s, cargo shorts and white socks looked good!
____________________________________________
One of my favorite parts of our love story is that we didn't meet until college. "So what." you say. But you don't understand. Fallbrook, the town where we both grew up, is a small town. You know most everyone. You can't go to the store without seeing someone you know.
We both lived there our whole lives and never met.
We had lots of mutual friends. Our brother and sister were in the same pre-school class. Maybe we saw each other on Main Street, at the Yogurt Palace, in Alpha Beta?
Or maybe not.
I like to think that we met in "the fullness of time". Just when God wanted us to meet.

I was just 17, returned from a summer in Hungary, building an orphanage. My friend and I needed a new Bible study group. The high school group didn't work any more. We were in college now. We found one--the only one in town.
We couldn't help but wonder if there would be any cute guys.
There were. Several, in fact.
But one caught my eye. He had a great smile and J Crew hair and he told lots and lots of funny stories.
I could tell he was showing off.
And because he would look at me and smile that adorable smile when he finished each story, I knew he was showing off for me.
He walked my friend and I to our car. When he got in his car, he didn't bother to turn it around. He just drove up the very steep hill backwards, really fast.
I knew he did that for me too.
It was only later that he admitted that.
Boys.

He tried for months to woo me.
I was kind of clueless.
He got my phone number by having his friend Ken, call out "hark thou fair maiden!" down the steps at another Bible study. Ken handed me the phone and Aaron asked me for my phone number.
A couple weeks later he called me. I was working for my Dad at our cart in the mall. It was almost 9 o clock and Aaron wanted to go out after I got off work.
I knew I couldn't. My dad wouldn't let me go out with some guy he'd never met at 10 at night.
So I said I couldn't.
My brother gave me a hard time about that one.
"You didn't even give him a rain check? Do you have any idea how hard it is for a guy to call a girl and then she just says, no, without any explanation? He's never going to call you back, Greta."

But he did.
And he asked me to go to a ballet with him. My dad said yes. I had to be home by 9 pm. I was almost 18.
Although this picture isn't from our first date, it is shortly after. And that is the dress I wore.
I still have it.

Within weeks, we were totally in love with each other. But we didn't admit it to anyone. Even ourselves. I think it was a little bit scary.
My dad knew though. So he asked Aaron to come along on our summer mission trip to India. He was going to spend 5 weeks with this guy, in India, and really check him out.

Knowing we were going on a mission trip to a place where married people don't even hold hands in public really defined our relationship. We still admitted nothing. But we spent as much time as we could together. We talked on the phone constantly. We drove to class together and met for lunch on campus.
It was magical.

And then, the 4th of July happened. We met his family down at Mission Bay in San Diego. We spent the day on the sand, in the water and sitting as close as possible.
When the fireworks began, Aaron's hand reached for mine and I was pretty sure my heart was beating as loud as those fireworks.
The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays.

The next day, we talked.
It went something like this: "We're leaving on a mission trip in a few days. We can't do anything about this relationship. We'll just have to figure it all out when we get home."
"But you like me, right?"
"Yeah, I like you. A lot."

We spent 5 weeks in India, under the watchful eyes of my dad and Erin-the-girl, who hated every love struck moment she had to spend with us. We couldn't hold hands or kiss, say "I love you" or even be in a room alone, but it was the most amazing 5 weeks of our lives.
We had so much fun together.
And by the time we got home, we knew we were going to marry each other.
Some day.
I was 18.
He was 20.
We were in love, in juinor college and way too poor to even consider getting married.
But we talked about it.
A lot.

Another year went by and it was bliss.
Then Aaron moved to Long Beach for art school and it was torture. I'd end many phone conversations in tears. Remember, I was 19, and lonely and kind of lame. I had a lot of growing up to do.
My dad would say, "I wish they'd get married or break up."

That summer I went to France on another mission trip. When I left, I wasn't sure if we would still be together when I came back.
But he was waiting for me, with renewed love and all kinds of sweet nothings to whisper in my ear while I lay on the couch, eyes hardly open from jet lag.
We'd made it.
That is when I started asking him, "when are you going to ask me to marry you?"
That isn't always the best question to ask your man.

Come back tomorrow to see how it all turned out.
Oh wait, you already know. OK, come back for more pictures.

Love from,
Greta

4 comments:

The Melvin Fam said...

So sweet! Love it! Can't wait to hear more!

Lisa said...

just awesome...the Lord certainly knows what he is doing...a perfect match :)

mygirl said...

i love a good love story! thanks for sharing, i can't wait to read more - christina

katie said...

LOVE it!!!