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God the Matchmaker or How I Met my Husband
Musings about my faith
Please note: This is my corner where I talk about my faith and things related. If you're not a person of faith, time to click to another web page. I'm pretty much a straight talker. These are some of my faith-stories I'm writing down as seen through the eyes of someone who loves Jesus Christ.
I fail Him every day, but I still endeavor to see everything with His eyes and His heart.
I was a freshman in 1975 at an all girls Catholic College called Ladycliff (real name). Sadly two years after I graduated, it went bankrupt. It was a great institution.
I had been dating a young man Rob (real name) my Jr. and Sr. year of high school in upstate N.Y. and considered him my steady. I arrived at Ladycliff on a Thursday, by Sunday night, I had broken up with Rob. Why? Because Ladycliff college was a mere football field length outside the gates of the United States Military Academy at West Point.
My sponsor—a Senior at Ladycliff named Ann had set me up on a blind date with one of her ex boyfriends for the football game Saturday. My date would be “Yearlings” (West Point Sophomores) Chris. Karl was the date of another classmate of mine also a freshman - I can't even remember what she looked like no less her name. Chris and Karl were roommates and best friends.
Historic Grant Hall is a huge building cadets could go to and meet their dates, pick up a snack at the snack bar, watch T.V. etc. It was just outside the mammoth double front doors of this building we were to meet our dates. That Saturday was so sunny and clear that I had to shade my eyes to try to find my date who described himself as blonde and tall.
Trouble is, in their crisp white shirts and grey pants with a black stripe down the leg uniform, at least HALF looked blond and tall!
Suddenly, this very tall, gorgeous blond cadet came strutting up to me through the sunny haze with a crooked smile on his face. Being vertically challenged, I had to practically execute a back bend to see into his eyes.
And what nice eyes they were! They were nearly aqua blue (before the advent of colored contacts) and he had eyelashes that would make most women jealous. Next to Chris was Karl, a slightly shorter version with dark brown hair and deep dark brown eyes.
Hmmm...not bad for a "blind" date!
I had been quite accustomed to dating guys with long hair (I paid for part of my college expenses as a lead singer in a rock band, along with two other jobs), and was very skeptical about this dating-cadets-thing - but all skepticism was lost when I looked into Chris's eyes. Chris and Karl were Sophomores/Yearlings and therefore allowed to drive a car and have one parked on West Point property. They brought us to the Grant Hall parking lot and opened the doors for us - I almost fainted. It was the first time in my life any young guy had held open a door for me no less a car door. Suddenly this cadet dating thing was looking very good indeed...
We had a great time at the game, I had never been to such a spectacle. I had a blast. Chris was very attentive and sweet. Despite my first breathless impressions, I realized he wasn't exactly my type. But he sure was a lot of fun to be around.
After the game the guys drove us back to Grant Hall and we went inside to hang out and get to know each other better. In what seemed like no time, our date was over and Chris drove me and the other freshman to the gate where we'd take the short walk back to our dorm.
Thus began my love affair with West Point. I didn't fall in love with Chris (per se) that day, but I sure fell in love with the whole package. What a magnificant setting -- on a cliff, overlooking the Hudson River. What a historic place! I was walking in places General Eisenhower, General MacArthur, General Patton and others like them walked! There is just something about that place and I kinda caught a bit of the fever.
I knew Chris still had a bit of left over loved-and-lost for my sponsor Ann and it was obvious during our date when she walked by us in the football bleachers with her current boyfriend. Chris's eyes of blue revealed an even bluer heart deep inside. But he recovered quickly and I pretended not to notice.
The date Saturday was such a success that Sunday night I called Rob and broke up with him with one simple phone call. He was never exactly the prize boyfriend I had always dreamed of in the first place (that's a whole other blog story) so it was only painful because for some reason, losing me hurt Rob's feelings. Perhaps if he had acted like I was worth losing in the first place, I wouldn't have been so quick to ditch him.
Soon Chris and Karl and I became a regular fixture. Karl and his date didn't hit it off too well, and Chris and Karl were attached at the hip, so when I went out with Chris, it ended up being like I had two dates. Let me tell you - it wasn't too difficult to take all the attention. Especially since I had such tremendously low self-esteem at that time.
Chris had a black Pontiac Thunderbird a very, very cool car in those days. The one with the huge eagle on the hood. I’m dating myself again, I know…
One sunny Friday I was walking to my Psychology class with a few other classmates when this shining ebony Thunderbird rolled up the top of the U shaped driveway in front of the academic building. It screeched to a halt in front of me and out popped Chris and Karl. Some of my friends who had not yet met either cadet stood there slack jawed looking at these two stunning specimens. Chris said, "Carol, want to go with us to the park and then lunch?" I didn't wait one heart beat. I waved good-bye to the girls - the look on their faces priceless - and hopped into the front seat as we roared off for an afternoon of looking at the breath-taking fall foliage on Bear Mountain.
It seemed, that memorable afternoon, that Chris was developing feelings for me, but my self-esteem didn't allow me to believe that the look he had in his eyes for Ann that first date could ever be replaced with that same look for me. Ann to me was a beauty—Hollywood-style, I wasn't even in her league. Yet in retrospect, I think Chris was definitely showing me he wanted to be more than friends and I flirtatiously soaked in the attention but never dreamed he really cared about me.
Some weeks later I had a date with Chris and Karl for a Friday social event in Eisenhower Hall where everyone sat at tables and ate snacks and listened to the piped in popular music of the day. It was a social gathering place where Yearlings and Cows could meet a date or members of the opposite sex other than Grant Hall.
That night a dashing Cow came up from behind and pulled out a chair to sit on the other side of me while I was talking to Chris on the opposite side of me. His name was JC (real initials but not actually what anyone called him) and boy was he smooth. My mother later insisted he looked like Tyrone Power. I guess you could say there was a resemblance.
I understand a popular Country artist wrote a song about the movie star Renee' Zellweger after he saw her in the movie Jerry McGuire. Hollywood lore tells us Kenny Chesney wrote the song based on Zellweger's line from the movie, "You had me from hello."
JC had me from hello.
Despite that, and regardless of the fact I fell hard from almost the moment I laid eyes on JC, God had a path I was to travel that was something I could never have envisioned.
To be continued...