A big part of why I am in business is because I believe in marriage. I believe the covenantal relationship between man and woman is something that should really be celebrated and I have some big dreams and goals for some fun ways to do that in the future.
I wanted to start that celebration with a personal story. When I wrote a few weeks ago about our 4 year wedding anniversary, I mentioned a new series that I was starting detailing how Paul and I met, and our courtship and wedding/honeymoon. This is the Intro to that story.
I remember the day vividly. Funny how that happens. I had been getting messages from potential suitors on various online dating websites for a few months now but I don't remember any of those days. But I do remember the day I first received a message from a guy named Paul.
I was with my friend Monique and we were driving on Hwy 405 through Bellevue, WA. I don't know if we were on our way TO or on our way HOME from some fun summer Seafair activities, but I do know we were in Moniques Toyota Camry whisking down the highway with the beautiful green trees surrounding us on all sides.
It was August 7th, 2010 and the message was a canned response that Christian Mingle supplied for its members. "I'm looking for some friends, are you interested?" This was one of their funnier canned responses, in close competition with "you are an inspiration to our community" and "I'm praying for you". I have been on quite a few online dating websites and CM's canned responses were by FAR the best.
I clicked on his profile on my phone and was greeted with a big gap toothed grin, some very bushy eyebrows and some gorgeous blue eyes. He had about four selfies (mostly taken in a car) and one photo of him and a friend, covered head to toe in mud, obviously just finishing some sort of grueling mountain bike race. Now I always joke that this ONE photo of him and his friend and the muddy bike was the reason we got married. More on that later.
I read his profile and a few things stood out. First being that he had two children but only one lived at home. I always swore that kids would be a deal breaker for me, but this one piece of information intrigued me. He also told a few jokes in his general question answer section which told me he at least had a sense of humor. That was always a plus when I could get a genuine sense of this from a profile alone.
For some strange reason a sense of enormity washed over me. I don't really know how to describe it any other way. Something big was happening. I think that is why I remember the day so clearly. I didn't want to admit it to myself because I had such disappointing experiences already with online dating, but something about this guy was different. I could feel it in my bones.
I decided to send this guy a message. I wasn't really into the canned responses so I wrote him a little note and signed my name Cinnamon, since you know, that's my name.
He wrote back and one of the first things he asked was if I had grown up in Corvalis, OR. Then he proceeded to tell me that the first girl he ever 'kissed', when he was like, you know, five...was named Cinnamon.
I did not grow up nor have I ever even been to Corvalis, OR, but apparently there was a little gal who did live there whose name was Cinnamon and made quite the impression on my future hubby.
Turns out the first and last girl he would ever kiss would be named Cinnamon.
Stay tuned for next week when I talk about about our first date which may or may not include getting in trouble at REI and eating at the worst restaurant ever. =)
Since I so rudely left you hanging about the photo, let me finish that story:
In all my past adventures with online dating I noticed some very interesting trends among the vast majority of never ending profiles. The one which bothered me the most was guys who had only ONE selfie photo or a million photos but they were ALL selfies (mostly taken in front of their computer.) This communicated massive amounts of information to me.
- These guys didn't care enough about the process to take the time to put some photos that represented who they were
- They have ZERO friends or social life.
Now maybe I was wrong about a lot of these guys but I was instantly drawn more to profiles where there were some variety of photos where the guy obviously had people in his life who actually enjoyed being around him. The photo of Paul and his buddy and his muddy bike solidified that for me. If that photo would not have been there I honestly don't know if I would have messaged him. So there you go....we are married today because of this photo.