Anniversary week - part 1

by Kristi Van Dyk in

Steve and I will celebrate 6 years of marriage on August 7th. As I was running this morning, I was reflecting on all that God has blessed us with in that short time. I thought it'd be sort of fun to write down some of my memories from our relationship (and it's interesting phases) in order to look back on them at our 10 year or 20 year anniversary (or maybe even our 35th ... which my parents just celebrated on August 1!). So today, I'd like to reflect on first impressions :) ... I've never asked Steve when/what his first impression of me was ... perhaps he'll comment on that. Here's mine of him:

It was a snowy, dreary morning in early January. I was a sophomore at the greatest college on the planet :), taking my second course towards my Education certificate. I always took the earliest classes so I could schedule time to work at my 3 on campus jobs, and fill in the free hours with my extra-curriculars. At any rate, I had spent my Christmas vacation breaking up with my boyfriend of a year and a half and was not super excited to be back on campus where I'd see him and our mutual friends countless times.  Nevertheless, I was in class, seated with 3 other girls from my dorm, when I noticed another guy sitting all by himself. He had a 2-liter of Mountain Dew on his desk, a laptop in front of him, was wearing a shirt and tie (!!!), and was reading some internet article while pushing back his right eye ... (anyone who has seen my husband at work has probably seen this pose COUNTLESS TIMES) Judgmentally, I wrote him off as a total nerd, but I was curious as to WHY he was all dressed up and WHAT in the world he was doing with a Mt. Dew 2 Liter. At 8:30 a.m., was a 16 oz coffee not sufficient????

When it came time to introduce ourselves and explain what we did over Christmas break, "nerdy kid" told the class he drove to Wisconsin in an insanely short amount of time, bought cheese ($50 worth) and drove back. That was enough for me; I didn't really wonder why he was sitting alone anymore. That was pretty much the extent of our relationship until ...

Our professor asked us to sign up (online) for a particular type of exceptional student ... (POHI, a label I'm not sure they even use anymore, Autistic, Gifted, etc) We had to explain our reasoning, and the first 4 people with the clearest rationale would research that group and present it. I chose autism because, a friend of mine, at that time, had a brother who was autistic. I was interested in finding out more about him and his situation. Low and behold, the second person to sign up, immediately after me, was ... Mt. Dew kid ... sweet. I knew this was going to be an interesting project ...

After a week of working (with two other group members), I began to realize that first impressions aren't always correct. Mt. Dew kid (Steve) was working part time at a computing firm, hence the attire at class every day and the need for caffeine. He was the son of an elementary school principal, so he was very well informed about school and had plenty of resources at his disposal (aka teachers who would let us use their classrooms and kids for projects). He was fun-loving and high energy (even without the Mt. Dew), and he was committed to doing his best ... I could respect that. We both shared an affinity for promising more than we KNEW we could deliver, and we managed to get ourselves into many binds that way. ... We always worked them out, though ... and through that, forged a pretty amazing FRIENDSHIP. Yes, FRIENDSHIP ... he was in a long term relationship at this point, and I wanted nothing to do with dating. So ... our story began as friends. :)