*blissful sigh* This is my favorite part, so settle back in...
So, informal party at Jim's apartment. I arrived and set up shop in the kitchen to gossip with the girls. I remember Sarah saying, "just look at that Mike! He's so darn cute!" Yes, *another* Mike. Third time's a charm, right? :) I looked over and agreed that this particular Mike was quite fetching. It was a costume party, and he was wearing this goofy looking hat and scarf. Pretty gosh darn adorable. He attended the philosophy Ph.D program with Sarah's fiance, Jim. The night wore on, and I noticed that Mike caught the attention of several females in attendance (several of them from our prayer group). I saw him frequently conversing politely with them, so I figured he was spoken for.
At some point, he came over to chat with me, and we each have differing accounts of the story at this juncture :) From my perspective, I was polite but noncommittal, since I figured that his attentions were already directed elsewhere. I assumed he was simply being polite as well. We chatted for a time, and then each moved back to other conversation circles. Mike's version is that he was interested in talking to me further, but that I brushed him off :) So not true, but he still brings it up to this day in order to tease me.
The following Monday, I was slogging away at work and on the phone with my mom who was emotional about something. As I was talking to her, someone beeped in on the other line, but I let it go to voicemail. Suddenly, I see a new email message in my inbox. It's from Sarah. I open it and it reads:
MIKE ASKED JIM ABOUT YOU. CALL ME.
The instant that I finish with my mom, I call Sarah. She tells me that Jim and Mike were talking about the party, and Jim, playing matchmaker, mentioned how nice I was. Mike indicated that he liked me best of all the women he met at the party *beams* but was worried that I didn't reciprocate. Jim said he would ask Sarah to ask me if it was ok to give Mike my number. It's all very high school, isn't it :) I happily agreed, and that evening Mike called me.
We set up a double date with Jim and Sarah for the following weekend. In the mean time, I pumped Sarah for Mike info. Philosopher, good. Comes from nice family, excellent. Extremely funny, bonus. Atheist, not so good. But was raised Catholic and very gracious towards religious faith, so we'll see how it pans out. We go to dinner and have a great time. Good conversation, things flow easily. I hope for a call back.
It comes, but it's not what I hoped for. He tells me that he had a great time, but that he wanted to let me know that he couldn't call me for another date. He had been previously seeing another girl, and thought that that relationship was over, but she reemerged the day before, and in fairness he feels that he needs to give that another shot. My first reaction, of course, was disappointment, but even in that moment I was very impressed that he had called to tell me all this instead of simply fading away and not calling again, leaving me to wonder if I had done anything wrong. I'm certain that has happened to most everybody at some point, including me, and it's so not fun. He apologized for any hurt feelings, and thanked me for the enjoyable evening. We ended the call on a good note.
Naturally, I was on speed dial to Sarah for some comfort chatting. She knew of the girl Mike was referring to, and felt that there might be some female jealousy involved that Mike had moved on, but obviously, there was nothing either of us could do about it. We commiserated, I felt sad for a week or so, but looked ahead to starting school and my new life.
Early that December, I had a trip to Quebec planned with my good prayer group friends Rose and Janelle. I still think about that trip with such fondness. It was December, we live in the Northeast, and yet we were traveling even further north. We're cold weather girls at heart, I suppose. And we're Catholic girls, so we snuck in daily Mass at a different beautiful church every morning. One of our stops on that trip was to the basilica of St. Anne De Beaupre, north of Quebec City. While there, I used my prayer time to pray that if it was God's will for me to marry, that St. Anne intercede for me to bring me to my future husband when the time was right.
We returned, Christmas came and went, as did my last day as a practicing attorney. It was kind of hard cleaning out my office since I didn't know what would become of me professionally, but I felt good.
The first day of school came, and I was super excited. I also started as a student assistant in the law library, and I was enjoying that as well. I get an email from Sarah later that week saying that Mike confided to Jim that he his relationship with his former girlfriend was definitively over, and he still thought of me. Did Jim think that I was open to him calling me again? I told Sarah that I was, and she passed the word on. Thank God for Jim and Sarah in all of this, as you can see :)
That night Mike called me again, and of course I could tell that he felt bad for the way things transpired surrounding our first date. But I saw that all in a positive light, and when he asked if I'd like to go to dinner with him again, I agreed happily. We call that our "second first date." :) And the rest is history...
We became engaged just about a year from that night we first met at Jim's party. And I like to think that St. Anne had a hand in our joining :) After I met his parents, I found out that his mom is an active Catholic and that the patron of her local parish is St. Anne. I would assume that she's prayed for Mike and his happiness, so there we have it! Proof :)
We were married just about a year after our engagement, in a nuptial Mass at my Catholic college. A happy ending...
I will say that the old adage is true to marry someone that makes you laugh. My husband does that in great abundance. And even though we aren't at the same place spiritually, I still know that God brought us together and I pray earnestly that some day we are united in that front as well.
So, there you have it. It was way too long, but I hope you enjoyed it :) Have a great weekend, everyone!