I just finished watching the Bachelor finale. They actually seemed very genuine. The way they talked and acted reminded me of mine and Darrin's relationship from the start. It dawned on me that I don't think I've ever told you all this story. If I have, forgive me. It's one of my favorites.
Darrin and I started working at Goodyear the same week in 1999. I'm dead serious when I say that the very first thing I did when I was introduced to him was look to see if he had on a wedding ring. There was something that immediately drew me too him. Even though he was not wearing a ring, he was in fact married. Fast forward a couple months. I heard that he was moving to Florida and that there was possibly some trouble in paradise. I didn't know him all that well but I remember feeling sad that he was moving and that I wouldn't see him any more. Life went on and before long Darrin and his wife were moving back to the area to work things out, and he was trying to get a job in the same department as me. Not b/c of me....it was just a great department to be in. He was hired and we began working together a lot. We worked opposite shifts but often had to cover for someone or work over time. We became friends, and great co-workers, but nothing more.
Then one night everything changed. The two of us were sitting in the office before the shift start and he casually said, "I think I'm getting a divorce." We had never talked about stuff like that so I think I probably just said that I was sorry or something like that. He seemed shocked and relieved to say it. There wasn't much else said b/c it was time for the shift to start. I never told him, but in my head I thought "this is it". There was no doubt in my mind that we would be together. I realize that sounds very opportunistic, but it really wasn't. I just felt strongly that we had a connection. It's hard to explain. We never flirted and he had no idea that I had those thoughts until months later. Just to be clear, his divorce was completely separate from me. This conversation and my thoughts occurred around February or March. His divorce was final on May 3, 2001, which was also our first date. This is a picture from our first date.
I'm pretty sure we both knew that night that we would be married....but we waited two whole months and actually got engaged on July 17, 2001. We freaked our friends & families out, some more than others. They all showed it in different ways....some were very supportive, others raised strong objections, others thought we were crazy, and some friends even thought I was pregnant (which they told me years later). Most people just wished us the best and feared the worst.
We got married on October 6, 2001, with no doubt in either of our minds that we had found the person that we were meant to be with. Twelve years later, we still run in to people from Goodyear and they always want to know if we are still married. I'm sure it seemed crazy from the outside, but we knew exactly what we were doing. When you know, you know.....and we had no doubt.