Blind dates seem to be a thing in my family. My mom and dad met on a blind date in October 1978. He was a local boy, firefighter/ EMT; she was a nurse moved north after graduating from Georgia Baptist. My aunt and uncle met on a blind date on May 8th, 1976. I know this date with a certainty because 8 years later, I was born. My South Georgia grandfather began courting my California-by-way-of-West-Virginia grandmother from a blind date. Even my brother met his wife Emily on a blind date, set up by her own brother. But in 2001 when I was asked to go on a triple blind date with a college freshman from Banks County, I didn’t think this chance encounter would lead to anything significant.
You see in high school, I wasn’t very datable. I wasn’t the prettiest, the smartest, the most talented, or the most athletic. I was ridiculously average at best. True, I had a really awesome core group of friends but for the most part, we were all average, often overlooked.
In 8th grade, I thought I had blossomed. I had cool friends. We did cool things such as Skate Country every Friday night (I still never learned to backwards skate) but that didn’t last long. I was not good at keeping friends. Easily influenced, tricked, and used as a scapegoat, I quickly realized that being one of the cool kids was just not in the cards for me. I had my first true crush in 8th grade. He gave me his band pin! (Apparently, pins were still a thing). He was smart, good looking, and athletic. His friends quickly helped him see the error of his ways and we took the summer before high school to “meet new people.” He is now a professional CrossFitter with a beautiful wife and family and works for the Harvard Business School . . . No joke! (I’m not a stalker, we’re Facebook friends!) But clearly, we took different paths!
By my junior year, I caught another fella’s eyes. He was Bad News Bears all the way around; attentive but arrogant, hardworking but lacked ambition and direction, charming but deceptive. By the end of my junior year that relationship ended just as traumatic as it started. Praise be! That young man was clearly not husband material (let’s just leave it at that).
So by the time I was a senior in high school I was already pretty jaded regarding relationships. I’ve always been surrounded by amazing marital role models. No matter how upset my parents could get at us or each other, they were always unified. My dad could make my mom crack a smile even in the midst of the most serious scolding (him or me). But like any dramatic high school senior, I thought that love was just an illusion, something that someone so very average like me would have to settle for.
But in walked Jason White. Well, not literally. His friend Robert did though, through the doors at Sears. I was working my first job. There I made a great new friend, Morgan. She was a senior at the city high school and was someone to be envied. She could talk so easily to customers and even easier to boys. She was beautiful and bubbly and clearly not average. She caught Robert’s eye and somewhere down the road a triple blind date was formed; two girls from Gainesville, one from Oakwood, with three boys from Banks County.
We agreed to meet in the parking lot of the Gainesville mall. Not sure what time but the sun was still high in the sky when a new custom Pontiac Firebird with the T-tops out pulled up. It was blaring Nelly’s 2000 album, Country Grammar and I thought to myself, these guys can’t possibly be sons of farmers. Well, I was a third right. Only knowing what Robert looked like, I saw the other two guys hunkered down real cool and thought, no thanks (sorry, friends!). I resigned myself to just having a good time with my girlfriends because love was already off the table. We followed the typical Friday-night-in-Gainesville-early-2000’s-protocol and ate at Applebee’s before heading back to the Gainesville Mall theater. We saw Joy Ride. One hour and thirty-seven minutes of newcomer Paul Walker and 2000’s star LeeLee Sobieski, running for their lives from a psychotic Mack truck driver. Not my cup of tea but I sat there with my friends, enjoying my Coke icee just the same. And that was it. The triple blind date came to an end with the only real romantic spark between the already talking couple; Mogan and Robert.
I didn’t think twice about the other two guys and I’m assumed they didn’t think twice about me. But several weeks later I received a phone call from an unknown number on my cell. “Hello,” I answered. “Hey, this is Jason,” a young man on the other line responded. “Jason, my cousin Jason?” I asked puzzled. “No. Jason that you went on a date with a few weeks back” he responded. “Jason, Jason,” I thought to myself probably for longer than I was supposed to. Before I could respond he continued, “I guess you go on a lot a dates with a lot of Jasons. (Right there his sarcasm got me). He continued, “But I wanted to take you out on another if you would let me.” After explaining that he was given my number from Morgan when they bumped into each other on her date night with Robert, Jason was given the go ahead that I was expecting his call. Yeah, Morgan forgot that little detail of telling me that. Oh well, the following weekend we were all back out to our dinner and a movie routine which we carried on for months. Usually at least two or three couples were in the mix but we kept the routine steady for Friday nights. Jason and I didn’t date just the two of us. After all, he hadn’t met my dad, it was hunting season of course so his weekends were booked. But we talked and texted and became great friends.
Well as the story goes, he quickly won my heart with his honesty, loyalty, and ridiculously witty humor. To this day, no one makes my family laugh more than Jason, including my 85-year-old grandfather in South Georgia. Whenever we go home for a visit, I am guaranteed at least two times when Jason makes Papa laugh to tears. He’s just magnetic that way.
Which brings me to today. Today I am proud to celebrate ten years of marriage. We met on October 12th, 2001 and were married six years and six months to that date; May 12th, 2007. Jason makes me feel anything but average. Anything but overlooked. He sees me; blatant faults and all, and loves me still. Nothing is more exposing than marriage. I mean, when you pee with the door open, all secrets are out!
The Big Bang Theory, Series 03 Episode 23 – The Lunar Excitation