Today is Sarah and my anniversary. 3 years ago today, we stood in the chapel at Furman University and made promises to each other to spend the rest of our lives together. It hasn’t always been easy, but its definitely been the best three years I’ve lived.
However, our story starts way before the wedding ceremony, and its kind of a crazy one looking back on it.
After I met Sarah over Thanksgiving in 2010, I wasn’t sure I’d ever hear from her again. I mean, she was a gorgeous and incredibly wealthy nurse (I was still in college so she was loaded in my perspective), living way up in Illinois (thats pretty much Chicago right?), and clearly had a line of guys waiting for her to look their way (this part is entirely accurate).
I had to do SOMETHING to tilt the scales in my favor if I was ever going to have a shot here.
<QUICK INTERJECTION>: I’ve never been accused of being the most practical, detailed, or logically driven individual. Some may have described me as “flashy” “spontaneous” and definitely “aggressive.” Typically, if I decided I was going to do something – I was all in. <INTERJECTION OVER>
So, with Christmas right around the corner and Sarah all the way in Illinois; I figured I would have to travel to make something work. The problem was that I had only met Sarah (and her family) one time, and would not dare try to invade their Christmas festivities as a complete stranger. No, it had to be something much more subtle. Something…romantic. Something that a girl would enjoy, not find creepy, but be spectacular enough to warrant a trip to Illinois.
Something like… A SHOW!
Girls love shows (as far as I knew), and where Sarah lives (again in my mind she lives in Chicago) must be full of them! I’ll buy her tickets to a show, and plan an entire weekend that we can spend getting to know one another, because that’s totally normal. PERFECT!
Without giving the matter a second thought, I purchased the tickets and asked my dad what he had planned for all those pesky frequent flyer miles he was always collecting. I figured if I could just get there, the hotels would probably be offering discounts around the holidays (ha!), and food/activities for 2-3 days would probably be like $100 total (ha! HA!). Let’s do this. Nothing can stop us now!
Then it hit me. I had planned this entire trip/scenario in my mind without ever once bouncing it off the primary target of the operation: Sarah. We had continued texting after we met and even chatted occasionally on the phone, but really hadn’t formed the kind of relationship where I could just casually mention I’d be dropping by in Chicago. Especially for an entire weekend. Especially just to see her. Expletives.
This gets slightly more complicated when I realized Chicago was in fact 3.5 hours from where Sarah lived. Who knew?
This was going to be a disaster.
I had a few choices. I could try to sell the tickets and recoup the money spent on second row seats to some musical called “Wicked”, OR I could manufacture a way to present this to Sarah without her obtaining a restraining order.
<LAST INTERJECTION: I do not advocate lying or bending the truth in any manner. For my future children reading this, do as I say not as I did. And for any other at-risk youths and/or foolish college dreamers: don’t do this. <INTERJECTION OVER>
Clearly, I’d have to put those story telling classes I took in undergrad to use. The conversation went something like this:
* phone ringing – Adam nervously pacing
ADAM: saarrahhhh — haha, hey hows it going?
SARAH: oh hey Adam!…yeah its been goin….pretty good!
ADAM: right. riiighhhhtt…coolcoolcoolcool.
ADAM: so anyway, listen, the craziest thing happened today!
SARAH: oh yeah??! what happened?
ADAM: ha, you’re never gonna believe this. So, my buddy bought these tickets to a show in Chicago, but he can’t actually make it! He asked me if I wanted to go, so I just immediately thought of you!
SARAH: wow…he just gave you the tickets???
ADAM: yeah crazy, huh?!! so, i actually realized I’ve got these free miles to fly…i was wondering if you want to meet up and see the show with me?
SARAH:…um,yeah ok! i mean, as long as I’m not working…
*phone conversation fades into banter about the weather and nationwide mall tramplings.
Now, aside from my less than transparent use of the word “buddy” (I justified this by convincing myself I am my own best friend), there were multiple things wrong with this conversation:
1. “you’re never gonna believe this” YEAH NO KIDDING. No one would ever believe that line! I still to this day do not know why Sarah bought into this. I’m going to ask her later tonight. This was crazy.
2. “a show in Chicago…so I immediately thought of you.” SHE DIDN’T LIVE IN CHICAGO. Where Sarah is from is the furthest thing from Chicago. Where I lived in Greenville was more similar to Chicago than where she lived. This location did her no favors whatsoever.
3. Due to the above point – We would have to find a hotel situation that would work out for both of us. C’mon people. You guys know me. Most of you probably know my family. This was not gonna be a “hang out in the same hotel and I’ll sleep on a cot” situation. We needed separate hotel rooms. I needed to act fast.
I won’t bore you with all the minutiae, but clearly, it ended up working out. Sarah and I spent the time needed to actually the plan the trip following the phone call recorded above, and really enjoyed ourselves. The food was way more pricey than expected, and my less-than-stellar ice skating skills were exposed very quickly. But the main objective – codename: “get the girl” – was ultimately a success.
Now listen, I’m not necessarily proud of the methods used, and I don’t think I’d do it the same way over again. But, sometimes you just have to get stuff done. I knew I had to take my shot in this particular situation and because it was this particular girl. And it worked out.
I’m absolutely more in love with Sarah today then I ever could’ve been when I went on this trip planning craze, and I look very much forward to spending the rest of my years with her too.
Sarah – you should’ve known better. But, I’m so so glad you didn’t.
I love you. Happy Anniversary.