Last week: “I can’t imagine you being married to anyone other than Daniel. It is such a joy to know you are with such a good and wonderful man.” –My Dad
9 Years Ago: “I don’t want you to ever see that boy again. He is a freak.” – My Dad
As we are celebrating our FIFTH(!) anniversary this Saturday, I thought a few posts about our love story might be fun this week…
I was 15. I knew I liked Daniel immediately after meeting him. We had a mutual friend, Elizabeth, who introduced us and I was instantly smitten. We saw each other at various functions and occasionally talked over instant messenger (how 2002 of us!). I was quite fascinated by him. He could discuss books and ideas. He actually had opinions, some of which were very different from my own, and he could talk about them intelligently and confidently. He wasn’t like anyone I had ever met. And he was so adorably handsome. At the end of my sophomore year Daniel called my house phone (an unprecendented occurrence) to ask me to go see a musical at his high school with him. He arrived at my parent’s door with cut-offs, a Goodwill shirt, shaggy hair, and trucker hat, and no shoes. I thought he looked impossibly cool. My father did not (hence the above quote).
My dad and I have had only a handful of big arguments in my quarter of a century of existence. Whether or not I could date Daniel Stewart was one of them. In my dad’s defense, Daniel did not exactly arrive on the scene in respectable first date theatre attire.
Dad: He is WEIRD.
Daniel’s plan of attack was to win over my mom first. He would occasionally drop by the house to bring me a Jones Soda or a mix cd and always made a point of chatting with her. She developed the opinion that under his rather homeless-looking garb was an intelligent, thoughtful, kind, and interesting young man. My dad eventually was won over, too, and a few months later when we broke up (oops! Spoiler!) they were both irritatingly on his side.
Broke up, you say? Indeed. After a few months of adorable dateyness, Daniel broke my little 17-year-old heart. Whenever I would upbraid his good name due to my bitter angst over no longer being his high school sweetheart, my parents would retort, “Daniel is just a wonderful young man! Don’t say that about him!” When I told my mom that we had broken up she helpfully replied, “but I like him so much! And he has the handsomest sparkly brown eyes!”
Luckily, I had somebody on my side—Daniel’s parents. Rumor has it that his mother broke down in tears when he nonchalantly tried to tell his folks over dinner that we’d broken up.
Thankfully, he came to his senses a couple months later. I, however, (the woman scorned) was not exactly….shall we say…gracious. But after several weeks of giving him very icy treatment, I was won over by his charming ways yet again when he switched name plates to sit next to me at a friend’s wedding. When I had to drive home before the festivities were over, Daniel showed up at my house with a slice of wedding cake. He looked very handsome and it was really good cake. I was no match for such chivalry and confections!
For almost a year we spent all our free time together. He would write me notes saying wonderful adorable things. We would stroll through Oven Park, Jones Sodas in hand, and kiss. I was head over heels and Daniel had become my best friend. I knew that I wanted to marry him. I admired his sense of humor, adventurous spirit, genuine kindness, and above all, Christian devotion. And I had completely fallen in love with his family. But things were about to fall apart again…I was about to move halfway across the country for college…
Will our young love survive?! Find out in Part II, dear reader.