Many may not know but Ben and I met in high school at Benton Central in Oxford, Indiana. The first time we ever saw each other was at a basketball game. My best friend Lauren and I were leaving the gym and I see this guy giving us the cheesiest smile. I thought for sure it was for Lauren because she’s insanely beautiful, but no, it was for me. He tracked me down on Facebook later that night, and have been talking ever since.
On March 1st, 2008 we had our first date at the Lafayette 7 theater. We watched the “critically acclaimed” Will Ferrell film, Semi-Pro, which I still have the ticket stub for. At that point in time it didn’t matter that it was a garbage movie, or that we were both fourteen with bad hair & braces, all that mattered were these two old souls who somehow managed to fall in love.
In celebration of my 23rd birthday I wanted to get out of town for the weekend, so we found the cutest B&B in St. Augustine, the St. Francis Inn. The Inn had rusted old bicycles for free use that I have to admit we were the most excited for. We rode all over the city laughing like kids as I almost ran over every pedestrian in sight. While out we stumbled upon “Magnolia Avenue” where the mossy oaks hang over the street like a tunnel in what felt like fate. All the pieces were in place for a perfect proposal except for the fact another couple was at the end of the street taking their wedding photos! We quickly left but decided we would come back at another time.
On our last day we wanted to visit the Fountain of Youth which, as fate would have it, is located on Magnolia Avenue. With such a perfect background we really wanted to get a photo together. Ben set up the camera and after countless interruptions from tour trolleys, pedestrians, and anything else that randomly popped up in the background, we were unable to get “the one”. Unbeknownst to me, “the one” that Ben had wanted was where he was proposing! Needless to say he had to find a different location…
St. Augustine has a historical Lighthouse we had not been to yet so this was our next adventure. After climbing 219 steps, we made it to the top of the lighthouse! In his hopes for a very romantic setting it turns out it was actually my biggest fear. Ben could sense how uncomfortable I was and noticed it would be pretty hard to propose to me up there as I would not let go of the railing. We decided that alcohol was the only cure so we made one last stop at the St. Augustine Distillery before heading home.
On the drive home Ben seemed to be a little agitated and abruptly swerved off into a gas station. I remembered passing this gas station when we drove in because it had the hugest neon signs for pecans, peaches, basically everything under the sun that they sold. Ben parked at one of the pumps and got out of the Jeep. A few seconds later he comes back and says “I didn’t have to get gas,” then pulls the ring out of his pocket, “I’ve been trying to do this all weekend but there was never a perfect time..”
I am not sure what else he was saying after that as my eyes welled with tears. To me this was the perfect time because it was him and I, and if you know me well, you know I have always loved the TV show, “The Office.” Two main characters, Jim & Pam, had gotten engaged at a gas station and I may have dreamt it but I remember he muttered something about it when he proposed, which to me was perfect.
Ben and I have made quite the living for ourselves these last 5 years in Florida. Ben is a service technician for D & D Garage Doors and I am a Purchasing Agent/Inside Sale Assistant for a distributor of German rectifiers. We’ve got two little Corgi pups, Scout & Ruby, who have us in the palm of their paws. We have most of the same interests but I think I like going antiquing a little more often than he does. Although, I could say the same thing about him in regards to golfing.
I never imagined the boy I used to sneak out of class to see or chatted with on AOL would be the man I intend to spend the rest of my life with. It think it’s amazing how much we’ve grown up since then and changed into different people but still so in love. He’s made me a better person and I think he would say the same about himself.
We can’t wait to be able to stand in front of you all, recite our vows, and conclude this chapter of lives. Ben & I will embark on our new chapter together as husband & wife and plan to do so back home in Indiana. We plan to settle our roots in Lafayette, buy a home, start a family (maybe add a few more corgis into the mix!), and whatever else life may bring.
Now to quote The Office “When you’re a kid, you assume your parents are soulmates. My kids are going to be right about that.”