Saturday, July 13, 2013

How I Met My Husband, Part 1

+JMJ+

Joining Grace and her "How We Met" link-up to bring you all the nitty gritty details of how I first met Michael - and how that led to me becoming his adoring wife. :) Enjoy!

It was Friday, March 25, 2011 the first time I met Michael. I honestly wouldn't have been able to tell you the date had it not been for the fact that the following night I had my final dance performance of my college career. I danced competitively for years (jazz, hip hop, kick routines, pom, etc.) and had continued dancing in college by adding a minor in contemporary dance and making it onto various teams that focused on different styles over the years. My 5th and final year at Indiana University my younger sister and I both made it onto the campus hip hop team and had lots of fun performing together again (just like our high school days!) before I graduated.

Basically I remember that weekend clearly because my parents and a handful of my friends attended my final hip hop performance on that Saturday night. Trust me, that detail will make this story more interesting in a bit.

My little sis & me after a hip hop performance -
and possibly my FB profile pic when Michael
& I met?
On Friday night I decided to head to a local bar (The Bluebird) with one of my best friends, Theresa. An extremely popular cover band (Dot Dot Dot - any other Hoosiers out there know who I'm talking about?!) was playing and if you attended IU when I did then you already understand that everyone loves Dot Dot Dot. I actually thought about not attending the concert that evening because I had a friend arriving from out of town - but because he was driving down from Chicago after he got off work he wouldn't be arriving until midnight or later. Not wanting to waste my evening waiting around, I decided to head out with Theresa and simply have my friend pick me up at the bar on his way into town.

Who was my friend and why was he coming to visit that weekend? Well, this is what (in my opinion) makes the timing of this story that much more interesting.

I had been "talking" (you know - getting to know someone better because there is a possibility you might date but you're not "technically" dating even though you kind of act like it already) to this guy friend of mine and he was coming to visit so he could cheer me on at my final dance performance that Saturday night. I had known this friend for years through campus ministry and after I got out of a serious relationship my senior year due to differences in faith and major core values I had decided that I needed to focus on finding a Catholic man. After all, it had been obvious that the lack of being on the same page in that department led to the end of said relationship, so it made sense to me.

As I entertained the notion of only dating Catholic men (since I knew I wanted that in a marriage) I began talking to this campus ministry friend. We actually first "talked" towards the end of my senior year but the timing was way off considering he was graduating and I was too recently out of a relationship. We remained friends and several months later began "talking" again in the spring of my 5th year.

Now back to Michael. :)

After the cover band finished playing there was about a 20-minute break before Dot Dot Dot took the stage...meaning there were about 20 minutes when you could actually talk to your friends and be heard without having to shout. Theresa and I stood around chatting when suddenly Michael came up and introduced himself...to Theresa, not me.

I distinctly remember laughing internally and having to turn away slightly so no one would see me roll my eyes as I thought to myself, "Here we go again. Theresa is getting hit on as usual!" (because she had seriously been getting hit on ALL the time - to the point where she and I joked about it). I also distinctly remember smiling and thinking, "Oh, that's cute. He's Asian and he's hitting on her because she is Asian," because Theresa is Filipina and has a history of being hit on by Asian men even though historically she has only been interested in white guys. Poor suckers. I stood by silently so Michael could do his thing and hit on my friend...though little did I know that wasn't what was happening at all. 

Theresa and me! Not the night I met Michael, but still.
A few minutes later a couple of Michael's friends also came up and introduced themselves to Theresa because (I'd learn later) Michael had been playing the role of "wingman" for his friend. Almost simultaneously one of Theresa's high school friends found her so she turned around to speak to him - shifting the attention of all these new guys for a moment. At that point in time Michael realized I was with Theresa and introduced himself to me.

I was still under the impression that Michael was interested in my friend so I assumed that he was simply being polite by acknowledging my presence and was patiently waiting until she would finish chatting with her high school friend and he could resume talking to her. Thankfully I was wrong.

Michael and I began speaking and continued speaking the remainder of the 20-minute break until the start-up of loud music forced us to part ways. We started off by talking about his job and what I was studying; he was a biomedical engineer that had attended college in Ohio and had come to Indiana for his first job after graduation - and I was in my final semester studying Kinesiology as a Fitness Specialist. This launched us into complete nerd speak as we discovered our shared passion for things like anatomy, physiology, and all things fitness-related. Unlike the chucklehead guys who usually try and tell me about fitness, he legitimately had a scientific understanding of physiology which I found refreshing. At some point he had me guess what two nationalities his Asian racial makeup consisted of and somehow I managed to figure out (Divine Providence?) that he was half Chinese and half Korean (something that apparently surprised him because no one ever successfully figures that out). We spoke about our hometowns and where we came from - and it was at this point that I finally understood he might be interested in me. 

When Michael told me about his hometown (a western suburb of Cleveland) he mentioned that there aren't many Asians there and that he was one of only a couple Asians in his entire graduating high school class. He followed this up by saying something along the lines of, "Yeah, people tend to assume that just because I'm Asian I am interested in Asian girls...but that isn't what I grew up with. I mainly went to school with Caucasians so really I prefer Caucasian girls." Well, dang. Okay. Thank the Lord that he said this so bluntly because up until this point I really was clueless that he wasn't somehow still trying to hit on Theresa! But then I wondered...could he actually be interested in me???

At this point I had a quick conversation with God that went something like this:
"Really?! Is this happening right now? I n.e.v.e.r get hit on and the one time an attractive, seemingly genuine guy might be hitting on me I have this ongoing, unresolved situation with another guy - who is literally driving to come visit me right now. And this nice guy is muscular AND Asian - of course!"

That muscular and Asian guy being Michael, obviously. Any of my close friends or family could tell you that while I had never been particular about many physical characteristics in a man the one common denominator that could potentially define my "type" had always been: muscular/athletic. 

The Asian part made me laugh at God's sense of humor more than anything else because even though all my boyfriends had been white I had suddenly found myself becoming close friends with Asian people left and right (Theresa, the boy driving to see me, and a handful of other people as well). Just like Theresa and I had been joking about her always getting hit on, we had started joking about how I had randomly started having all kinds of Asian friends...so perhaps it was a little of this combined with a lot of my Asian baby obsession that made me think God was doing something intentional here. In a funny way, perhaps He had been preparing my heart to be with Michael because I honestly believe all my positive experiences with my Asian friends had opened up my eyes so I would recognize the incredibly intelligent, muscular, Asian man in front of me as someone I was immediately attracted to - regardless of my history of Caucasian boyfriends.

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What happened to the nice Catholic boy driving down to see me? And how did Michael and I move forward from there? You'll have to stay tuned! To be continued. :)

Update: Click here to read Part 2!

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