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August 26, 1994
Iíll never forget how I met John Ė I canít remember the details of how Iíve ever met anyone else.
It was the week before classes started my second year of law school and I had volunteered to be a peer advisor for orientation. During orientation I realized that although it was a small school there were quite a few people in my class I didnít know.
On the last day of orientation, the University President held a garden supper in his backyard for the new law students, the peer advisors and the law school faculty. I decided to introduce myself to every person wearing an L-2 nametag I didnít already know.
I had just sat down to eat when two guys walked up and asked if a couple of chairs next to me were taken. I noticed they were second years and since I didnít know either of them I began to introduce myself. As one of them sat down next to me, I reached out to shake his hand and said, "Hi, Iím Kris." He took my hand and said, " I know." uhhhmmmm, okay . . . thatís when I thought maybe I should stay away from this one.
John has a slightly different version:
I had noticed Kris during our first year of law school - her gray hair caught my eye. At that time I was in a relationship and so I didn't approach her. Before the start of our second year of school, I found myself single, and when I saw her at the garden supper I told myself that I wasn't going to leave without meeting her.
When the gathering started to wind down, and I still hadn't talked to her, I thought I had missed my chance. But on the way out of the garden supper, I saw that she was still there, and sitting alone, so I walked over to introduce myself. I put out my hand and said, "Hello, my name is John." She told me her name was Kris and I said, "I know."
Well, our two stories are pretty much the same. Whatís important is that they both have the same happy ending.
John proposed May 29, 1999.
I knew he had the ring for a week. It was driving me crazy. We thought we were going to get engaged the previous Saturday, but the jeweler didnít have the ring ready. With tension and frustration at high levels all day, the mood had been broken by the time he picked it up that night. So all I could do was wait.
The next Saturday we decided to visit some wineries. We had been talking about it off and on for a while, but when we finally decided to go, I knew it was coming. We visited a few wineries in Temecula (he carried the ring with him the whole time). By the time we made it to the third winery, I had actually stopped thinking about the ring and proposal and was enjoying myself. But it was getting late and all the wineries were getting ready to close, so we decided to head home. After the wine, we were in the mood for a good dinner, so we picked up a lobster and filet on the way. (wine and dinner are our favorite hobbies)
We had a lot of fun making dinner, and it turned out perfect Ė lobster, filet, and garlic mashed potatoes with sweet corn and a bottle of cab-shiraz. It was a great dinner - everything was so good, with James Taylor playing and candles burning. It was wonderful, and I wasnít even thinking about the ring.
Although I was nearly stuffed after the filet and lobster, I had to have more mashed potatoes. Just as I shoved another spoonful in my mouth I heard, "honey?" and could see him out of the corner of my eye crouching beside my chair. Without looking I tried to play dumb and answered a little sing-songy, "What?"
He started by saying he loved me and wanted to be with me forever, (then I had to have a drink of wine to rinse out the potatoes) and he said he would be a good father and a good husband, and would try everyday to make me happy and he wanted to marry me, "so I'm asking if you'll marry me, will you marry me?" We had both started tearing up and I could only nod at first, but finally said, "Yea honey, yes." (I noticed Shower the People was playing.) And that was it Ė we were engaged!
We both feel it is crucial that we appreciate each other and show that appreciation everyday. I love waking John up every morning with kisses and hugs, and I love making him lunch everyday. I know he appreciates these little things and doing them makes me happy. Every night John stays up later then I do, but he tucks me in with kisses and many "I love you"s, and every week he buys me flowers. We donít take these gestures for granted Ė we enjoy them and the opportunity to show our love for each other. (We can sometimes make other people a little ill with some of this.)
Weíve seen the different types of relationships out there, and we hear everyday the dismal success rate of modern marriages. We do not want to become a statistic. We want to have a happy marriage and a happy family life and we know it will not be an easy road. Weíve committed to each other and our relationship and realize that this is a team effort and so we share the responsibility in everything we do. We know how lucky we are to have found each other in the first place.
We didnít begin dating immediately after we met Ė it took two and a half years for that.
As graduation approached, our friends talked about their plans - where they wanted to live and practice. I had no idea. When I asked John, he said he wanted to move to San Diego. Half-seriously, I said, "What would you think about me coming, too?" I couldnít believe he thought it was a good idea.
So, the day after graduation I packed my car and headed for California. John spent some time at home first, and then moved out in July. We had a pretty tough time getting settled. Those first six months were really tough. In November I found out I had failed the bar exam, and John found out his dad had cancer. I thought it was a sign. We were both having a hard time finding jobs and nothing serious had developed between us. In fact, John had told me straight out that we would never be a couple.
I began considering moving back home, to Springfield, Illinois. I told him I had given up on anything happening between us and I didnít think I belonged in San Diego. I said I was moving home. Within a week of announcing my decision, everything changed. All of a sudden John and I had jobs, and he said he wanted to be with me. (He later told me that he knew he was going to fall in love with me when we moved to San Diego.) All of my daydreams about being with John were nothing compared to the reality. I felt like a princess. He treated me like the only woman in the world. I started getting flowers and having doors opened for me - he treated me better than I could have ever wished for. I finally felt I was exactly where I was supposed to be. (Three months later I was buying bridal magazines.)
Iím very happy our relationship developed the way it did. We became very good friends and had time to really get to know each other before becoming romantically involved. (And John was allowed the time he needed to get over his last serious relationship.)
Each step we take in our relationship, each new level we reach, only adds to our happiness. Itís thrilling to experience these new steps of love, security and confidence together. I canít wait for our wedding day!
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