15 March 2011

51 Weeks [in which things progress]

When Spring Break rolled around, I started telling more people about our relationship; I knew that the beans would spill as soon as I got back to Lancaster, so I wanted to make sure that certain people heard it from me! Again, everyone shared my excitement. I'd been known as a stubborn non-dater throughout college,* so my friends knew that if I had a boyfriend, it was serious.

You know, that was really fun. Having a boyfriend, I mean. It's one of those things I only ever did once . . . and while having a husband tops dating in every possible respect, that first stage was still wonderful. I'm glad I was able to savor it. The whole process, not only the end goal, was a joy.

End rabbit trail. Like I said, everybody was delighted. (I specifically remember Andrew Odell getting this huge grin on his face and saying "That's AMAZING!") Gretchen came home with me for Spring Break, which I very much appreciated, because with her lovely company, I didn't have a lonely plane ride to make me nervous. Honestly, I felt like I was about to meet my boyfriend for the first time. Weird.

Despite this weirdness, I never contracted the case of first-date-nerves I had so dreaded. When Jared knocked on the door the next evening, spiffed up and a white rose in hand, I could do nothing but smile. Off we went. And whether driving in the car, browsing through a bookstore while waiting for a table (Saturday night is pretty busy at the Olive Garden), or eating our tortellini and gnocchi, conversation flowed. There were no awkward pauses, and I don't think either of us were afraid. We had already said so much in our letters-- revealed good and bad about ourselves-- that this part was easy.

When I came home that night, Gretchen took one look at me, laughed, and said, "Shall I buy tickets for your wedding?" Hmm . . . I must have been glowing. Funny how that happens.

The rest of the week, Jared and I saw each other almost every day. Sometimes he came to my parents' house, sometimes we went out by ourselves; once or twice Gretchen was our obliging third wheel. It was all wonderful. I had no illusions of love just yet, but I did know that I really liked this boy, and was thrilled to be with him. To me, spending time with Jared over Spring Break had been a way to gauge the quality of our relationship. All indications were positive.

When Gretchen and I flew back to Hillsdale to finish the semester, I found myself missing Jared almost immediately. Mind you, I knew this wasn't love. Lawsy no. That was still to come. However, I now missed Jared as much as I would any close friend and couldn't wait to call him.** That was certainly an advance in my feelings. :)

The semester rushed on. I completed that thesis. I got sick again. I finished class. I took my finals. I graduated!

Then I came home. The summer began.

*At some point in high school, I (along with my parents) had decided that there was no point in dating A) someone whom I couldn't see myself marrying or B) at a time when marriage was not an option. That took care of most of the guys I knew-- like I said, I had awesome friends but didn't want to marry them-- and covered most of college, because I had no interest in being married before graduation. And that was that.
**We started abandoning snail mail in favor of phone calls after Spring Break.

{images: First, just before I flew back to Hillsdale on Spring Break. Gee golly, I had long hair! Second, my graduation. Jared came out to Michigan with mi familia. Crazy kid.}


  1. Oh Rebekah. These posts remind me of your perpetual giddiness that spring. I love reading this story and remembering the Hillsdale parts! :)


  2. That was such a fun spring break. And yes--you were definitely glowing that evening! :)

  3. This is such a lovely story--having so much fun listening!

  4. Actually, I think Jared had a couple red roses and baby's breath. I remember that evening. I am still trying to get it into my head that you are married!!!! :-)

    Bunches of love,


  5. You're right about the baby's breath, Rachel. But I do know that the rose was white, because red roses symbolize love... and as you'll recall, those came later. ;-)

    Love you too.

  6. Heehee, I can still remember your face when you told me you were dating. I think I said something along the lines of, "What does he look like?!". I'm loving this story, Rebekah!!! Certainly bringing back some lovely memories of seeing you scurrying to check mailboxes and other such excitements. :D

  7. This is so much fun! ("Lawsy no") :-)


  8. Another lovely installment! Keep them coming. :-)