Tom and I met about 7 years ago, and we are about to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary this summer. Our time as just a duo is quickly coming to an end, so I thought I would celebrate the last 7 years each Wednesday leading up to our anniversary. Every Wednesday I will tell just a small fraction of our love story and how we made it to where we are now. A little bit of focusing on us before George gets here!
So here is the first Whitener Wednesday and the story of how we met.
No we didn’t meet in a water ride, but it was very close.
It was 2007 and the start of a new season at Worlds of Fun, which is an amusement park in Kansas City.
I was a Rides Supervisor and Tom was a Park Ranger.
Our department offices were right next to each other.
Tom came in to talk with some of the other rides supervisors that he knew, and I happened to be in the office.
My first impression of Tom was that he was fearless and not at all shy. He was/is one of those guys who can talk to anyone and knows how to work a room. And as you can see with “Talks with Tom” he has a one of a kind sense of humor.
Unbeknownst to me, Tom did some recon (stalked me) and found out which rides were in my area of supervision. For the next month, he found reasons to show up at ride calls so we could have a “chance” meeting.
He friended me on Facebook and started a Facebook poke war. (Those were the days huh?)
We both had been semi-dating other people at the time, but neither of us were serious or had committed to relationships with those people. We were both 22 when we met and were at the time of our lives where we were having a good time seeing what was out there.
So then came the night he asked me out.
We were always there late doing our supervisory duties, so it was well after the park had closed. I wasn’t surprised when he came in the office to chat, since he had found his way to our area quite often that summer. But the story after is one I will never forget.
Tom told me that he just pulled over my brother (who also worked at the park) for running a stop sign.
I thought he was joking so I just brushed it off, but then he was just so adorable because of the visible nerves he kept my interest. Nerves was not something I had ever seen in Tom.
He told me the full story of my brother going through a stop sign and the car coming up as my vehicle. (I had gotten the parking sticker for him). So Tom at first glance thought he was going to be catching the guy who stole my car. Jackpot right?
After he told me this whole story, he then spit gum at me as he asked me out to dinner.
From what I had seen from Tom in the past month I knew he was something special. He was different than any man I had dated before, so I was intrigued to see what I date would be like and finding out more about this Park Ranger outside of the park.
And I felt bad for him spitting gum at me, so I said yes. Hey it was at least a free meal right?
Then we had the date.
It was the best first date ever. The conversation just flowed naturally. There were laughs, and the nerves just melted away. There was just something different that neither of us could describe.
The funny thing about the date though was that Tom told me he didn’t really see himself getting married or having kids. And I told him that I would be moving in a year to go to grad school and had no intention of staying in Missouri. So with that, it didn’t really seem like we would ever get serious.
And obviously I wasn’t sure how I stood a chance when he often saw me looking like this:
Nothing like pocket protectors, bow ties, skorts, and brown tennis shoes and constantly being a hot sweaty mess to grab a guy. Oh and did I mention that I was wearing braces at the time? Real winner…
Some days I did look half way decent in the Missouri humidity, but still that pocket protector…
I don’t have any pictures of Tom his Park Ranger get-up. Let me tell you though, there was no surprise that I was attracted to that guy on bike patrol.
So while it may have seemed like there was no future for us, I continued to say yes to Tom’s dates. We were 22 and enjoying hanging out with each other. Plus as I said, there was just something I couldn’t describe pulling me towards him.
I mean he did have a vase full of flowers waiting in my office the day after our first date.
It was very soon after that we became exclusive and started our journey towards the couple we are today.
Come back next week to see how our relationship blossomed into something more serious than a summer romance.
Things have changed so much since that summer of 2007.