Shelly and I stopped by each other's blogs a few times before attending Blissdom a year ago. I knew she was from Chicagoland but it wasn't until we ran in to each other at the conference that I learned she lives in my hometown. But of course, we didn't meet until I moved away and we both went to a blogging conference. I'm glad to call her my friend and that I get to see her when I go back home. I knew a little of Shelly's love story and I adore the way she's chosen to tell it today.
I don’t believe in love at first sight.
I don’t believe in love at second, third, or fourth sight either.
I do, however, believe in true confessions, and, oh boy, do I have a lot to confess.
Confession: I met my husband at an ice cream social at the Christian college we both attended in the first week of our sophomore year.
Could anything be more lame?
Confession: Our first date was a square dance on campus.
Oh, right—there could be something more lame than meeting at an ice cream social!
Confession: When I met my husband at said ice cream social, he was sitting next to his best friend, whom I thought was pretty darned cute and whom I wanted to meet, so I asked a friend to introduce us.
And so began my quest to win a date with his best friend. Problem was, the two guys were never, ever apart, so every time I flirted with talked to Mr. BFF the two of them, either in the dining hall or in the library, Mr. BFF kept saying, with a wink and a nudge, “Hey, B, I think she likes you. You should ask her out.”
Apparently I lack flirting skills.
Confession: When B did eventually ask me out I was kind of disappointed it was him and not his BFF. But I didn’t have any better offers so I said yes.
I know, I’m a terrible person.
And our first date wasn’t that bad, to be honest. He was funny and nice and kinda cute. Plus he wrote me a cute poem—oh yes he did!—and gave me flowers. But I didn’t see it going anywhere.
Confession: I really didn’t see it going anywhere, even after a second, third, and fourth date. But he kept asking and I, not having any better offers, kept saying yes.
I know, I’m a terrible person.
Confession: I probably tried to sabotage our relationship many, many times over the course of three years of dating.
It wasn’t the smoothest of roads. It never really has been. One of his guy-friends in college (NOT Mr. BFF) actually told him he should dump me because we just kept fighting and after all, he said, “She’s just not worth it.”
At that time in my life, he probably wasn’t too far off the mark.
But you know what finally got me to come around? After all the cr*p I gave my husband, seriously!, he just kept coming back for more. One day, after a long, drawn out argument, I sat in my dorm room crying, and it finally hit me: nobody else would take all that I had thrown at him and still hang in there with me.
And that was the day I realized what true love really is.
Confession: We were married three weeks after we graduated from college.
That was 26 years and three daughters ago. Life together hasn’t always been easy. We’re two very strong-willed individuals with strong opinions on just about everything. We do everything (and I mean everything) differently. But we’ve had an exciting adventure together. We’re starting to see a little bit of light on the horizon after all these years of child-raising, and we’re really liking what’s ahead.
Confession: I have learned more about love from my husband than from any other person on this earth.
He has loved me better than I deserve.
I have loved him less than I should have.
Confession: I’m so glad I said yes.
Bio: Shelly Wildman and her college sweetheart, B, live in Leigh’s hometown of Wheaton, Illinois with their shrinking family. One daughter, Kate, has left for college, and another, Caroline, will leave the nest next fall, leaving poor Julia to mop up her parents’ tears and referee their arguments. Shelly is a Visiting Instructor in the English department at Wheaton College and blogs at “Life on the Wild Side.” She would love it if you would follow her there!
The Wildmans want you to know that it is only God’s grace that has allowed five broken people to live happily, joyfully!, together under one roof for these many years.