How We Met: An Unlikely (But Totally True) Love Story

Linking up with Grace.

Last week, when my husband and I went to the church to speak with the priest and become members, we got onto the topic of how we met (he seemed interested!) and told him our story (at least some of it).

I love the story of how I met my man. If ever there was a clear example of two people being “meant to be…” Well, I think we’d be it.


In September of 2001, shortly after I started my final year of graduate school in Louisville, I got dumped. Hard. For another girl. It was ugly. I was bitter and depressed.

This is not important except to illustrate how amazing the following story is in light of this fact…

So. I was hating life, but I still had to complete my applications for my clinical internship and go on interviews.

I ended up getting interviews for a couple of internships in North Carolina. They were scheduled in January 2002. At the end of my second day of interviews, one of the other applicants happened to mention that she had to wait for her ride to come and pick her up. I told her I’d give her a ride if she’d show me a good place to go get dinner in downtown Chapel Hill, since she had done her undergraduate study there.

As I drove down Franklin Street, she pointed out a place called “Woody’s,” and said something like, “That place is a little sports bar that’s pretty nice and has decent food.” It seemed fine to me, so I dropped her off, went back to my hotel to change, and went back to Woody’s by myself to get dinner.

I walked in, wandered around for a minute to decide where I wanted to sit, and it turned out that the only open table in the place (at least that I could see) was right next to this guy:


He was also eating dinner by himself.

So I sat. I got a drink and ordered food, and noticed that the guy at the next table was quite handsome.

He ate his dinner.

I ate my dinner.

I watched a little bit of basketball, because there was nothing else to do while eating dinner by myself in a sports bar (the game on happened to be Michigan vs. Iowa!).

Then I noticed that he started to pay his bill. I could not believe that he was planning to leave without talking to me! I really wanted to talk to him, so I started frantically trying to come up with something to say that wouldn’t sound totally stupid.

This is where the above mentioned dumping seems amazing for two reasons – 1) If I hadn’t been dumped I would not have wanted to talk to him, I’m not that kind of gal; and 2) I was still pretty down in the dumps about that break up and was not interested in dating or flirting at all. But I really wanted to talk to Hubby.

Anyway, the best line I could come up with was, “Excuse me, can you see the score of the basketball game?” which of course I could see perfectly fine, but it was sort of small on the screen so I figured it would be plausible that I couldn’t make it out…

Then, just as I was about to blurt out my dumb pick up line he leaned over to my table and said, “Sucks eating dinner alone, eh?”


I still get chills just thinking about it.

Of course, I invited him to join me. We drank PBR until the bar closed.

I learned that he was also interviewing for his next step in graduate school.

And I learned that we both had interviews in Nashville four days later.

Meant to be?

Of course! But I wasn’t so sure at the time. Although I’d had a fantastic time with him, and I got his number so we could get together again in Nashville, I had not yet decided that I would call him.

I went back to Kentucky and told my friend T about meeting him.

T: “So, are you gonna call him???”

Me: (kind of whiney and sulky) “I don’t know. What’s the point? He lives in Iowa. I live in Kentucky. Nothing would come of it anyway.”

T: “Whatever. You never know what could happen. Call him.”

So I did. Love that girl.


Hubby and I got together in Nashville after our interviews there. I enjoyed my time with him there just as much as I had in North Carolina. I thought he was funny and smart and thoughtful (he is all that and more, of course).

He went back to Iowa.

I went back to Louisville.

We began a courtship by phone (I know “courtship” is a weird word, but I don’t know what else to call it, since I can’t say we were “dating,” and “talking” just seems so junior high). We talked regularly for hours at a time. We talked about family and philosophy and our childhoods and life plans.

In June, he drove to Louisville to visit me.


(side note: I had a strange eye makeup thing going on back then, which you might notice in ALL of these photos. Don’t judge. I have never been good at applying eye makeup beyond mascara. A friend gave me a kit with instructions, which included white sparkly eyeliner and eye shadow. So, I wore it. A lot. These days I just stick to mascara.)

Hubby and I spent the next year visiting as often as we could.

As luck would have it, we matched for our internships about 10 hours from each other. That’s not the lucky part, but the fact that the Farm was exactly halfway between our two temporary towns was.

We spent many weekends at the Farm that year.


We flew to visit each other as often as we could (we were both in small towns so it was a three-flight trip every time).

We went to football games together (I lost a bet, which is to only reason I wore the sweatshirt you see on me in the picture below).


It seemed like all of his friends were getting married (but none of mine?) so we went to lots of weddings.



We talked about getting married ourselves.

Finally, after that first year, we both took jobs in North Carolina and ended up right back where we started.


And the rest is a story for another day.

Maybe tomorrow since I’m posting every day this week.

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