It was a perfect mix of serendipity and good intel.
I had a dear law school buddy, who found my conservative, Catholic, southern ways amusing and confusing, being so very different from his own. He called me Bama. I'll call him Czar.
Czar and I were talking after classes one day in the spring of first year and he told me, "Bama, you've gotta meet this guy from Section J. He's crazy like you. He's Catholic, he's a Republican, and he's from South Carolina. You guys should get married or something." Czar was wrong about the South Carolina part, but right enough.
As it turned out, this fellow crazy guy was in my International Law class, but he sat way across the room, several rows up from me in the stadium seating. I managed a glimpse of him every now and then (ok, pretty frequently) and I followed his every word when he was hit with a cold call from the professor. We never met, but my interest was piqued.
The end of the school year rolled around and I was headed for a clerkship in Birmingham. The student government asked for volunteers in various cities to plan summer get-togethers, and I volunteered to be the Birmingham organizer. Imagine my surprise to find the crazy guy from Section J on that list!
A couple weeks into summer (had to play it cool!), I nervously emailed the group to propose a few potential dates for happy hours. The response was varied, but the only response that really mattered to me was the one from Mr. Section J. He couldn't make the first date, but the second date would work. The second date it was!
The group for our happy hour was looking to be about eight people, up until the afternoon of the event, when all but my honored guest and one other guy dropped out to go play basketball with some lawyers. I got to our venue a tad early, and then the one other guy emailed me to let me know he was running late. I was so nervous, sitting there alone, knowing that I was (spoiler alert!) about to meet the Mister. I would have been even more nervous had I known he would one day be the Mister! A couple minutes more, and he was there. I can remember exactly what he looked like as he came bounding up a couple stairs to the upper level, with his suit jacket flying back, a beaming smile across his face. We shook hands and his was a very good hand shake.
He ordered a Manhattan. My cheeks burned. Our mutual friend showed up after a little while and we all had a good time chatting. And then--and I think this perhaps was what really sealed the deal--our friend left to run a quick errand, but promised to rejoin us afterward. Unexpectedly, the Mister and I now were alone and required to stay at least until our friend returned. We talked and talked and talked. We related and sympathized and connected and it all flowed easily, and inside, I was reeling, surprised by how very much I liked him.
Our friend got back from his errand and the Mister suggested we all go get some dinner. This is the part he gives me a hard time about: I told him my mother would be expecting me for dinner. Ha! Really, it was just too much for me to handle. I was too giddy to think about dinner, even with the one who was making me giddy.
I went home and gushed to Mama, then to Daddy when he came in from work. When I had finally finished gushing, I flipped on the computer and found an email from the Mister.
Seven and a half years later, we're celebrating six years of marriage!