Mr. ADM and I attended the same university, but didn't actually meet until our sophomore year of college. I spent a semester studying abroad during the fall and became friends with several of his friends, while unknowingly, he became friends with several of my close girlfriends back on campus during the same time. When I started back in the spring on campus, we were introduced. No sparks flew or anything of the sort, as he was dating a girl back home and I was working on being at peace with being single. However, we did become fast friends and hung out with our mutual friends on an almost-daily basis. We each have a few memories of each other during that time, but nothing significant. It's amazing how one's memory can work when the focus is not the other person. However, the few memories we do have of each other were good ones - laughing, hanging out and feeling comfortable around each other. Looking back, I know I was attracted to him by the end of the semester, but he was pretty much oblivious to me, so life went on.
That next fall, I decided to live off-campus and we rarely bumped into each other. I no longer ate at the on campus "caf" and that was the place where we spent the majority of our time together the year before. I remember one of my housemates/best friends coming home one day and saying, "Did you see Mr. ADM? He got a makeover!" Yes, my dear husband was a bit geeky back in the day and loved to wear cargo pants with Hawaiian shirts almost all the time. When he came back in the fall, apparently, gone were the Hawaiian shirts, along with his glasses and braces and he had a new hair-do to boot. So, I was intrigued and was semi on the lookout for him from then on. Not long after, I happened to run into him on campus and we stopped and chatted for a few minutes and I was able to go back to my friend and confirm that indeed Mr. ADM was now attractive, although, really, I was attracted to him, glasses, braces and Hawaiian shirts too.
A bit pixilated, but one of my favorites when we were dating.
When I Fell for Him
That was about all I saw of him that fall, but the first week of spring began what would be a whirlwind romance. Our campus hold a fair to recruit students to these sorority/fraternity-like groups called Households once a semester. We all set up tables with all our "stuff" and students who are not members of a household can come to find out more about all the different ones. Well, the guys who were at the table next to my household had a jar full of pickled eggs. I have never tried a pickled egg and after this experience, definitely never plan to. The joke behind the pickled eggs was "Eat an egg, save a soul." Not sure why, but hey, isn't college all about things that don't make sense anyway? Mr. ADM walked up to our table and chatted with us - and got dared to eat an egg. He said he'd do it if another friend of mine did it, thinking she wouldn't ever rise up to the challenge. Well, lo and behold, she did. So, they both grabbed an egg and set to eating it. Mr. ADM had never tasted anything so repulsive in his life, so after chewing for a couple minutes, he promptly ran to the bathroom and dry-heaved for awhile. Gross. When he came back out, I offered him my Coke and he gushed it down. That, for good reason, still sticks out in his mind. I pretty much saved his life that day.
Once he was over the egg, he went to grab some lunch and one of my best friends and I decided to take a break from recruiting and sat down with him. She quickly had to leave for class, but I had another hour to kill, so I stayed and caught up on life with him. I learned his girlfriend from back home had broken up with him and he was not heartbroken at all about it. She just wasn't for him. I think that set my radar off, although, it was still fairly tiny. Having gone through a few rejections over the past couple of years, I was finally okay with being single and enjoying myself. I didn't want to lose that. But at the same time, we talked and talked and it was so nice being able to be so normal with a member of the opposite sex. I've always been terrible with that, so I definitely saw the potential.
When He Fell for Me
Mr. ADM and I didn't see each other or talk again until the end of February. There was a household on campus that put on a dance called the Singles' Mingle. I had gone each year so far and it was a fun time. What I did not know was that the members of this household spent time in Eucharistic Adoration during the dance praying for those attending.
So, this year, I actually had not planned on going. I mean, I LOVE LOVE LOVE to dance, but none of my friends were originally going to go and who wanted to go alone? At the last minute, we all decided to go and got dressed up. I remember trying on a bunch of different shirts to go with this really pretty twirly black skirt I had bought over Christmas break. I finally settled on a red faux wrap top and I'm pretty sure I even curled my hair. I was feeling quite the pretty lady that night and having found my new-found love of being single, I was going to have fun and not worry about which boy liked me. So, we set out and landed at the dance. I think we got there just as a song was ending and the next song that began playing was a slow song. I thought to myself, "I'm going to ask the first available guy I see. I'm tired of waiting on a guy to ask me and then getting disappointed." Looking for the first available guy, I found Mr. ADM standing fairly close to me straight ahead. I marched right up to him and asked him to dance and he said, "Yes." Little did I know that at that moment, he was actually working up the courage to ask another girl to dance and go on a date night that his household was hosting a week later. When I asked him and we began dancing, he forgot about asking this other girl and it was as if a lightbulb went off in his head and right in front of him was a beautiful girl that he might like to get to know better. That night, we danced 6 or 7 more slow dances together and he was caught - hook, line and sinker. He never looked at another girl again.
I knew Mr. ADM now had a thing for me. He practically followed me around the dance floor that night. I spent the slow dances, dancing with him and the fast dances, dancing it up with my girlfriends, having so much fun and knowing he was watching me. That next week, I found out that one of his household brothers called one of my household sisters to ask for my phone number. I semi-anxiously awaited a phone call, but nothing happened with that. Mr. ADM forgot I did not live on campus and looked for me everywhere and couldn't figure out why I wasn't around. At some point, either we asked him and some other guys to come hang out with us or they asked us. Regardless, we were set to hang out the night before his household's date night, but they weren't sure it was going to work because they had a previous commitment. The night we were set to hangout, I decided to stay on campus and sleepover at a household sister's dorm room. By dinner, I was feeling pretty ill and had come down with a stomach bug. I stayed over and the guys never showed up, but I was in bed all night. By the next day, my stomach was beginning to return to normal and that evening, I even felt up to getting up and out of the dorm. We all made it to the caf and I saw Mr. ADM with his friends. He came over eventually and the girls gave him a hard time about not coming around the night before. He apologized and suggested we all go see our friend's movie that he wrote/produced/whatever, since he wouldn't be going on the date night. So, after dinner, 5 girls and 2 guys all trekked up to the movie theater and enjoyed a movie. Not sure how the seating was going to end up, I was happy to sit a row behind all my friends and next to Mr. ADM. After the movie, we all hung out in one of the hangouts on campus and Mr. ADM had been told that I had not been feeling well, so he bought me a Sprite. *swoon* I was so touched. We hung out more that night and then the whole next week, we bumped into each other. I had this really long, camel-colored, pea coat that I got for Christmas that year. I worked in the City when I was home on break and it was really chilly, so I wanted a coat to cover all of me and found that one. I matched it with a bright red hat and a colorful scarf and Mr. ADM remembers that probably the most out of anything I wore during our dating season.
To Date or not to Date?
One week later, we were upon Spring Break. I was set out to go on a mission trip across the country and Mr. ADM was set to spend it at home working. One of my closest friends asked me if we had defined the relationship yet. She wanted to make sure he wasn't leading me on and knew I was already in deep. Since we hadn't, I figured we'd talk about it after Spring Break. He did ask me to dinner where I met his mother who came up to pick up him and his sister, who I'm pretty sure I had met previously. I figured he had to be at least semi-serious if he was asking me to meet his mom, but still nothing had been said. He left for Spring Break with a hug and a goodbye and called me later that night while I was packing and getting ready to head onto campus to head across the country. Over the week on my mission trip, I spent a lot of time in Adoration, praying for God's will for this relationship. I felt very much that this was the path I was supposed to take and came home with a renewed mind and spirit.
(Running out of time...more to come!)