I was recently asked to share the story of how Tom and I met. So that’s the blog post today.
Tom and I met when we were 13 and 12, respectively. When I was in the seventh grade, my parents decided that my brother and I would be switching schools from our fairly large private school in Athens, GA to a teeny tiny private school in Monticello, GA. (Both were about an hour’s drive or bus ride from our house; we didn’t ever live in Athens or Monticello.)
I went with my parents to visit the school we were transferring to, and I hung out with the class I would be in while my parents toured the school. One of my best friends was already in that class. At lunch, she and all the girls were at one table while all the boys were at a different table. (I’m not sure why they separated themselves out like that back then, but we all sat together the years I attended.)
I heard a boy’s voice calling out, “Hey! You! Come’ere!” I looked over and saw a boy with a bowl cut standing up at the boys’ table. He was staring at me and waving me over. I walked over, thinking he looked familiar. He cleared that up by asking me if my brother was Jordan who went to UMAS Karate. (I had spent a lot of time waiting for my brother to be done with karate lessons, so I guess he recognized me from the waiting area.) He was in some classes with my brother, and he was also in some of the classes my brother taught. He told me his name was Tom, and I told him my name was Meghan. We found out we both were from Covington, GA. Then I said something along the lines of, “Okay, I’m gonna go sit back down now.” And I walked away.
I should probably also mention that I did NOT try to look cute at all that day. Who knows what went through my 12-year-old head, but meeting my future classmates apparently didn’t qualify as a situation where I should dress to impress. I am embarrassed to admit that I owned and was wearing a green sweatshirt and green sweatpants. The worse part? I’m pretty sure there was a graphic of teddy bears on the shirt. And I had on my glasses instead of contacts. I did not own cute glasses back then. Just the super thick, ugly ones. I think I had my long hair left all straggly and pulled back in a ponytail. And that was how I met my classmates. Oh good gracious.
So my first day of school, I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me that all the kids in my class looked at me like I had sprouted antennae. I wore contacts and make-up. My clothes were a lot cooler (for 1998). And my hair had been cut short. This basically translates to my oh-so-much-more-mature (riiiight) 13-year-old self caring more about the actual first day of school.
Here’s what we looked like when we first became classmates (and no, I’m not going to photoshop these at all):
Okay, so we went into our eighth grade year as people who had met briefly. We became friends quickly. We sat next to each other in our English class, in the back corner of our classroom. We would swap our “Wordly Wise” paperback workbooks so we could doodle or write notes. Tom LOVED Metallica, so he would write out my name with the font they used. He was learning to play guitar, and I loved that about my friend.
We had a mutual friend, Haley, who called me up one night. She said that Tom had been talking to her and was curious to know what I would say if he asked me out. I said, “WHAT? NOOOOO! He’s like my brother! NO! Tell him NOT to ask me out. That would mess it up.” So, he didn’t ask me out. Obviously. This happened again early the next school year with the same reaction from me. So we remained friends (for a while).
In between those situations though (and after them), we both “went out” with other people. I had a few boyfriends that I “went out” with for a few months each. He had multiple girlfriends that he “went out” with for a few weeks each. And then they would break up, and he would date someone else. Or the same girl as before. So it wasn’t like I’d broken his heart. He does like to claim that I just shut him down, and that that’s why he went out with other girls. Whatever.
Anyway, fast-forward to the end of 9th grade. We were hanging out after school before the buses left. I had been giving him a hard time because I’d never heard him play guitar, but some of our other friends had. He had decided to play it for me and played the song “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer. We were both “free” at that point, and I remember thinking, “…Hmm…I wonder why he picked that song.” I was, by that point, starting to look at Tom a little differently. I was finally starting to see that he was the kind of guy that I wanted to date. A cute, smart, friendly Christian guy who played guitar and had a sense of humor. Yeah, I was finally starting to see that.
Problem was, HE was positive I was not interested. I had only made that clear, twice, right? So, what does a 14-year-old girl do? She starts talking to the guy more often than she did before. Or, that’s what I did. We would sit near each other on the bus, at lunch, on breaks. Finally, our hanging out led to another conversation with Haley. She, again, asked me if I was interested in Tom because he was interested in me. And this time, I said yes. Then she told me that if I would be at our high school football team’s scrimmage game that Friday night, he would ask me out.
Well, I was there. Haley, Tom, our friend Davey, and I all hung out the entire night, and towards the end Tom said, “Hey, um…so..I was wondering…if maybe, youwannagooutorsomething?” To which, I burst into laughter. I know that’s not very nice. I wasn’t trying to be mean. It was just so funny the way he asked. He took that as a “no.” He said, “You can just say ‘no.’ You don’t have to laugh at me.” I said, “No, NO! I didn’t mean to laugh. I’ve just never heard of anyone being asked out like that before. But I would like to go out.” So, May 19, 2000, Tom and I became an “item.” We would hang out at each other’s house to watch a movie and eat dinner with each other’s families. We couldn’t actually go on a date until I was 16.
And the rest is history. It’s fun to date one of your best friends. We went out all throughout high school.
(Oh, yes. There were braces. On both of us.)
(Tom and I both wore promise rings. That wasn’t a wedding band.)
We continued to date all throughout college. Tom chose to start out at Oxford of Emory because he couldn’t decide between doing Math at Emory or Computer Science at Georgia Tech. After a couple of years, he leaned in the direction of computer science.
We may have been in college, but we were still total goofs.
(By the way, Tom says I have too many clothes and should never shop again, but look below! I’m wearing the same shirt I had on in the 11th grade picture above. I don’t go shopping too often!)
It was pretty funny because we then went to rival schools. Tom graduated from Georgia Tech, and the only school I even applied to was UGA. We will tease each other a bit during football season, but other than that, we don’t really rib each other about it. We’ve both seen people take it too far and offend one of us or someone else, and we don’t ever want to do that. Especially because we just really support each other and are proud of each other. We know we both went to good schools, so football is the only thing about each others’ schools we pick on.
Our senior year of college, Tom popped the big question. He took me to Centennial Olympic Park to where the fountains are, and he did the best proposal for me. =) He even had a friend hiding in the park with a telescopic lens on his camera to take our picture.
Then he took me to eat at The Sundial, a rotating restaurant at the top of the Westin in Atlanta. We could see where he proposed from our seats.
Then we drove out to my parent’s house, where his parents, brother, and my parents were all waiting with champagne and cake to celebrate. They had also printed out the picture of Tom proposing and had it framed, sitting on the coffee table. It was great.
And then the wedding planning began. Woo Boy. We had a long engagment. A year and a half, I think, is actually too long. If you’re newly engaged, I recommend planning to be engaged no longer than a year, if you can help it. We couldn’t, due to all the big things going on with different graduation dates and all, so a year and a half it was. Probably my favorite thing about being engaged was doing our engagement pictures. We loved our photographer. She’s awesome, and she’s so laid back and fun.
Then, finally, we had our wedding on April 5, 2008. It was a day almost 8 years in the making. We were so excited, and it was a great day. We had so much fun, especially at the reception. We could just relax, eat, dance, and hang out with all the people who were there to help us celebrate. It was a pretty big wedding. We had about 300 guests show up, including all the people who stood at the front of the church with us or helped the guests (12 bridesmaids, 12 groomsmen, 2 ushers, a ring bearer, a flower girl, 2 friends handing out wedding programs to guests, 2 friends who read scripture, 1 singer, 1 organist, and 2 preachers).
We went to Jamaica on our honeymoon. It was the best vacation either of us has ever been on, and we would love to go back.
That’s basically our story. Anything since has pretty much been blogged about, so you can check out the archives if you want to know more. To see any more wedding pictures or honeymoon pictures, just add me as a friend on facebook. They’re all there!
Thanks for the interest! And if you’ve managed to read this far down, thanks for the stick-to-it-iveness!