How I met my husband!
Everybody someday hopes for that Cinderella Story to tell their children how mom and dad met. While I am almost positive I don’t have a Cinderella Story, the story of how my husband and I met is a part of my life. It is a part of me and it is a moment that I, personally, will never forget.
Others out there probably have more romantic stories of how they met their significant other. Maybe they were stranded on the side of the road in a rainstorm, and this was the only person willing to stop and help. Maybe you met by an accidental work proposition turned romantic. Maybe you met because you were friends with their sibling. Maybe I watch too many chick flicks! Who knows. There are so many stories out there, probably filled with romance. Mine wasn’t filled with romance, but it was pretty darn funny.
On my own
I was 18 years old when I left for the military. I was young and on my own. I ventured out into the real world without knowing anybody. But the best part was, nobody knew me either. This meant I could change. I could be anybody I wanted to be. I wouldn’t be beaten down by the stigmas placed on me from high school. They wouldn’t know me as the band geek or the school girl. They didn’t necessarily have to know that I was shy or quiet. It was a fresh start and I could make a new impression. I could be someone I never was before.
It was February and I had just finished my Advanced Individual Training (AIT - or for those who have never been in the military - job training!) I got the chance to come home for a few days to see my family before I headed back out. Only this time when I headed back out, it would be more like the real world. I wouldn’t be restricted from using the phone. No one was going to tell me where I could or couldn’t go (to a certain extent) and if I wanted to wear civilian clothes… well, I could! Going through Basic Training and AIT makes you notice the more simple things in life, although there are times I still wish they enforced the lights out. It definitely made me keep a better sleep schedule than I currently have.
I arrived at Fort Drum, NY on February 15, 1999. That was the day I meet my husband. After traveling all morning, I finally arrived on base to start my inprocessing. I meet a few people right away. After a quick announcement, we had the night free to do what we wanted. The catch, we were required to be ready for formation early the next morning.
To the gym
After about a week off from any sort of physical training, I decided it might be a good idea to head to the gym for a workout. A few gentleman decided they had the same plan. Without a car, we started walking. After all, it didn’t seem too far and it would be a good warm up.
What no body told us is Fort Drum is cold. Colder than any other place I have ever been to. Which is why it makes sense it is the location for Arctic and Cold Weather Training. (I am not kidding! People from Alaska traveled there to do Cold Weather Training!) They also didn’t tell us the map was horribly deceiving.
As the 3 of us took off, we walked for about an hour to get to the gym. Sure, it was only a few miles, but in what seemed like negative temperatures, it seemed like the walk that would never end. We finally got to the gym and their was a nice soldier working detail there. He was in charge of cleaning and handing out towels and whatever duties necessary. He greeted us right away.
As I was working out, this same guy was following me around the gym. I thought nothing of it. I thought he was just cleaning and doing his job. I ignored it, but later would realize this man would become a part of my time at Fort Drum.
After a good workout, we were all exhausted and not really looking forward to the walk back. My legs were like jelly and the temperature had dropped even more than before. As we were leaving the gym, we threw our towels in the bin and the same soldier who had greeted us, was also saying goodbye. In fact, we closed the gym and they were patiently waiting for us to leave so they too could go home. As we were about to walk out the door, the nicest thing happened. He told us he had a car, and if we were willing to wait a few minutes, he would drive us back to the processing center. It would definitely save us the walk.
The three of us, my two new guy friends and I, looked at each other. We were skeptical to trust someone we did’t know, but at the same time, the ride was pretty hard to turn down. One the guys decided he wouldn't take the ride and would rather run back. (Easy for him, his run time was 6 minutes a mile. He would be back in no time.) The other guy and I decided to take the ride and waited.
It was our first night on post, and being inside a nice warm vehicle made the idea of exploring very appealing. Not to mention we were young and stupid and could really use a ride to the gas station to pick up some cigarettes and snacks. He had a car and we took advantage of that.
He parked the car and as he stepped out, he found a wallet lying on the ground. He opened it up and it was stuffed to the brim with 100 dollar bills. Luckily, it also fell into the right hands. He looked at the ID and immediately recognized the person. It was his roommate.
He asked us if we would mind stopping by his barracks room for a little while. He wanted to teach his roommate a lesson. He pocketed the money and threw the wallet in his car. We headed to his place.
When we got to his barracks room, we walked in and were greeted with a face full of smoke and load music. His roommate was laying down on the top bunk chain smoking. The room smelled like man, and probably wasn’t the cleanest place I had ever stepped foot in. But, it was a bachelor pad type room. Blacklight posters hung on the wall and a small bean bag type couch along the wall for guests to sit on. The beds were on the other side of the room.
The guy from the gym tossed the wallet to his roommate and let him know he had found it in the parking lot at the gas station. After thanking him, he opened the wallet and looked inside. Suddenly a look that was somewhere between pissed off and wanting to cry crept up on his face.
“What’s wrong,” Gym guy said.
“Dude!” Room mate said. (Never said he was a smart one!) His mouth hung open and he could barely speak.
“Is everything there?” continued the guy from the gym.
Finally the roommate broke the silence. “We had just got paid and I was going to go pay all my bills. I withdrew everything in my account. All my money was in my wallet. And it is all gone!”
At this point, it was hard for us to hold straight faces. The guy from the gym threw him back the wad of cash and gave him a lesson I am sure he still remembers to this day. In fact, I am pretty sure he finally got a check book afterwards and stopped relying on paying all of his bills with cash! Or at the very least, he never withdrew the full amount.
After all the drama, I was pretty much ready to head back and get some sleep. I knew the next day was going to be a long one with formation very early in the morning. We were about to head out, when the door burst open. In walked another guy, a jumbo Taco Bell cup in his hand filled with vodka and a splash of orange juice.
“Anyone up for Denney’s” Taco Bell cup man said!
I was now the only woman in a room with four men. Little did I know, that out of these four men, one of them would be the one I ended up marrying!
Banana Split... hold da nuts!
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Love in the making
I wasn’t really in the mood to head to Denney’s, I am not going to lie. But, since I wasn’t the one driving, I was a good sport and tagged along anyway. It wasn’t to0 late - it was still before midnight. While that didn’t add up to massive amounts of sleep before formation, if we went there for an hour and got back, I would still be okay.
Boy was I wrong. I didn’t know this was the all night hangout. We all got some coffee and ordered some snacks. I wasn’t really hungry for real food, so I opted for dessert.
“Give me a banana split… hold da nuts!”
My husband later told me that upon saying that line, he knew he had to have me. Maybe it was how I accented “da” when I said it. Maybe he is a fan of banana splits as well. But at the moment, I had been targeted and he was currently in full pursuit of the mission. Obtain girl!
We stayed at Denney’s until the wee hours of the morning. I snuck back into the barracks room, trying not to waken my “unknown” room mate, who I had only exchanged a few words with earlier. I got into my PT clothes (the Army’s term for your workout clothes) and headed into bed.
I had just snuggled underneath the covers when the alarm went off. The closest my eyes came to closing was a blink and it was time to start the day. I was just lucky inprocessing into your unit wasn’t nearly as stressful as going through Basic Training.
The memories of how tired I was that day eventually slipped away. However, I do remember everything that happened. How could I not, it was the night I might my husband!
DRUM ROLL - Find out who I married by following this link!
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