It all started in high school. I was a junior, Gib was a senior. We knew each other but not well. We had a fire drill one afternoon and found ourselves talking to one another. I thought nothing of it until a couple of days later. I got a phone call. It was him, asking me on a date. I was shocked! Stunned, in fact, because I'd had the BIGGEST zit on my nose the day we were talking. You know the kind that hurts days before you can actually see it - yeah, that kind. Felt like Rudolph and was mortified! I agreed to go on a date that Saturday night.
There was a football game the night before. I was on Drill Team (do they even have those anymore?). We were doing our routine before the game began. Gib happened to be a team captain that week, so he was already on the sidelines. When I did my little twirly thing and brought my head up, there he was. Staring at me with the most beautiful green eyes I'd ever seen. He saw me and gave me the biggest smile. It melted my heart, and I knew I was in trouble.
Our first date was September 9, 1989, the night before my 17th birthday. I can still tell you exactly what we both wore. I had on a red shirt, jeans and red espodrilles (I have no idea how to spell that correctly!). He was wearing a pink striped button-down Polo shirt, jeans and brown shoes. We went to Chili's, which was and still is one of my favorite restaurants. We were both so nervous, and I think it fair to mention that we had both just gotten out of long relationships (yes, crazy for high school, but oh well). Gib was so nervous that he almost knocked his plate off of the table. It was REALLY loud because of the ceramic tiles on the table. He was so embarrassed but we both laughed until we almost cried. Here's the really funny part of the date. The movie we went to see......Parenthood! Fast forward 19 years and here we are experiencing parenthood together. After the movie we went to a party and then to his house. This is when I was really impressed. I sat at an island in his kitchen with him and his dad for two hours, just talking. I felt welcomed by all of his family the minute I stepped into their home. I fell in love with his dad-such a wonderful man. I still love him to this day. He has been a great father to me, super special since my own died when I was 13.
Gib was the first one to wish me a Happy Birthday that year because I didn't go home until about 1am, so technically it was already my birthday. He was very much the gentleman, opening the car door for me, walking me to the door and NOT kissing me on the first date.
He broke my heart the following August when he left to go to college. He was going to Auburn and didn't want a long distance relationship. I was crushed! It didn't take long, though, before he was stopping in where I worked when he was in town. I would get a call every now and then wanting to know if I wanted to go out to dinner. Of course, I always went. He only went to Auburn for one year and then transferred to Georgia State. I tease him all the time that he just couldn't stand to be away from me!
We continued dating off and on for the next few years. I finally had enough of his "wishy-washiness", told him so and went out with someone else - just once to a Christmas Party - but he didn't like it at all! That Christmas is when I got a promise ring and we've been together since. The following Christmas Eve, 1994, he proposed to me on the 50 yard line of our high school football field (same place I'd gotten the promise ring the year before). We were married July 8, 1995 and the rest, as they say, is history!
I am so blessed to have such a wonderful man to call my husband. My friends all thought I was crazy for hanging on to the idea of something big with him, but I'm so glad I didn't give up. He is such a gentle man, a man of integrity, a man of God and a wonderful Daddy to our girls. (I say Daddy instead of father because anyone can be a father, but it takes someone REALLY special to be a great Daddy). So, Gib, thanks for asking....... I love you!