It all started in my freshman year french class. Madame Rockabrand seated me right behind the mean kid. You know...the kid with a grumpy face who doesn't really talk to anyone. The kid that is too cool to pick a french name so when the teacher asks for his choice he says "I don't want a french name, my name's JT". She obliged and called him JT...in french;) I worked up the nerve to ask him what JT stood for and he was thereafter "James" in my book. He couldn't stand that I called him that and so he coined the name "Churchgirl" for me. My friend Sarah and I used to pass a notebook back and forth between classes. I wish I could get some excerpts for you but it's up in the attic...a place I don't venture. I know there was a lot of "James thinks he's so cool, but he's so not" in there. Anyway...freshman year came and went and that was basically it for my interaction with James. I take that back...I ran track my junior year, his senior year. And he used to yell "TRACK" at me. That's what the fast kids did when I was on the inside lane plotting along and they were coming up behind me (and any other fellow plotters). Essentially it means "move out of the inside lane, a real runner is coming through". I would move, he would fly by me, and that was the end of that.
These were the contacts I made with the "mean kid" in high school. He was prom king, Putnam county athlete of the year, a local track and basketball star...I believe he still holds the mile record at our high school. And he had an ego the size of Montana. Anyway, he graduated, I started my senior year and that was the end of that...of that chapter anyway.
The spring of my senior year, I was cheering at what would be the last basketball game of the season. I was bouncing around in my little uniform, flexing my spirit fingers...and what do you know...Mr James Crook was sitting a few rows up directly in front of me. Our eyes locked during "Are-You-Proud-To Be A Cougar Fan..." and because I have good manners, I smiled. He smiled. And I didn't think much about it. But Ashley (the girl who dated (and married) his best friend) came up to me during lunch the next week and asked me for my phone number. She told me who wanted it and reluctantly, I gave it to her. Little did I know what that choice would bring;) LOTS of phone calls. There was always a reason I couldn't come to the phone and I was able to avoid him until...the day I answered. Caller ID wasn't so much a thing back then:) He told me I was a hard girl to get a hold of and the whole conversation was just awkward. Here we were...James and Churchgirl, casually chatting like it was normal...it was weird. And then I started to feel horrible about dodging his calls, he was a lot nicer than I remembered. He asked me out on a date and my mom said yes to a double. It was much more fun than I expected. And so there was a 2nd date...a single...we ate at Joe's Crab Shack, went to Target and got me some patent leather shoes, and then went back to my house and gliterized them in the garage (I was totally Dorothy in our high school musical:). That was a pivotal date. I remember catching myself dancing to the music at Joe's and when I stopped and asked if I was embarrassing him, he replied with "Don't worry about it...I could sit and watch you all day." Um...hello. He got this 17 year old girl's attention with that one. He was a smooth talker for sure. This is getting long...I'll write more later. I know you're dying to see how the story ends:)
Today is our 9th anniversary and I still can't believe I married the mean kid sometimes;) I'll tell you what though...God can take any "mean kid" and create a man after His own heart. James is living proof:) We just might have been the last couple in our home town that anyone would have imagined together. And here we are...livin the dream with a purpose. God. Is. Good.
Going on a hot, kidless date tonight,
Crazy Mama Crook