30 July 2012

Love Story Part 2, in which Angel is a Hero

 And the saga continues....if you have read Part 1 this will make more sense.


Shortly after I left to stay with my family for the summer, Angel passed his NCLEX and left our college town to go live with his parents in Texas. He got a job right away in Texas, and in the fall, I came back to a college that was Angel-less. I didn’t mind much, though. By the end of my freshman year, I did think that  Angel was getting interested in me, but during the summer, we’d only emailed occasionally, and I’d decided that if he had been at all interested (and I never was quite sure, because I wasn’t confident in my skills of reading guys), that any attraction had passed. Angel and I kept in touch on and off, through occasional emails and a handful of phone calls. I missed him, as much as I would miss any good friend who wasn’t around, but after all this time, any inkling that Angel might possibly be interested in me had faded.

In December 2009, the way Angel tells it, he woke up one day with an overwhelming feeling from God that it was time for him to grow up and be a man, and that he needed a good wife. The accompanying thought was that his old friend from college, Rachel, would make a good wife. I didn’t know it them, but Angel confided in me much later that during our freshman year, he had told one of our mutual friends that he thought I would make the “perfect wife”—that thought came back with a vengeance that December. 

This was when it got weird. Angel called me for the first time in a long while on Christmas break. Then he called me again on New Year’s Eve. By mid-January, he was calling me every day. I’ve always been naturally inclined to construe any attention from boys as an expression of friendship rather than special interest. And Angel had already given me a false alarm before, but now, even I was a little suspicious.
Angel told me in early February that he had bought an airplane ticket and was coming to see me during my spring break. I still wasn’t quite sure what that meant, so I waited till early March, and asked him, “I just want to know, are you interested in me?” He was, justifiably, dumbfounded by my question. He had been calling me daily for two months at that point…but, I’m the kind of girl who needs some things to be stated outright rather than just implied, ya know? 

At that point, I warned him (as I had the year before, only less directly) that if he was serious, that he wouldn’t be able to just take me out on a date, but would have to meet my parents over a Skype call, and that they would probably interview him and decide whether they would allow him to court me. He claimed that he had never heard of courting before, but when I explained (once again! He was very good at forgetting) that it was based on the principle of not getting into a romantic relationship without input from parents and a stated purpose of leading to marriage, he was all for it! Or maybe he just liked me so much that he was willing to follow the rules required to get me. We scheduled the call for a few days into his short trip, and waited.

 The day Angel arrived for his visit. This was taken in my grandparent's living room and we look so, so awkward. I crack up at this picture every time!

I was excited to see him when he arrived for Spring break. We met up at my old homework spot and as he greeted me with a hug, he told me, “I don’t want to let any of our friends know about us until we know for sure we’re getting married.”

That was a slightly shocking greeting to my point of view, but I agreed with him. We went to our old Bible study that night and spent much of the week hanging out with our old friends. Angel told everyone that the reason he’d come back for a visit was because he had so much money he didn’t know what to do with it, so he had decided to take a vacation. Even I thought that was a bit of an outrageous story—after all, how much money could you have when you’re a nurse, less than a year out of college, and paying off student loans. Apparently everyone else bought his story, because all of our friends were completely shocked when we started sharing the news about us a week or two later.

After an in-depth, 75-question application and a 2-hour interview during Angel’s visit, my parents were already in love with Angel. Now, just to clarify, my parents are neither cruel nor evil. They developed what I think is a very practical way of weeding out any fellows who have nefarious intentions regarding their beautiful daughters. Few guys who aren’t serious about a relationship will submit to a probing examination of their personality, skills, and life experiences as presented in the application to court. Angel is the only guy who has ever attempted the application, so, so far, my parents have a perfect score on approving good guys for their daughters. I also gained a much stronger appreciation for my friend as I sat beside him during the interview, holding his hand and listening to his honest answers. I felt proud and happy as I realized how special he must have thought that I was that he would go through this tremendously scary interview.

But, oh my, Angel was nervous! One of the first things my mom said in the interview was, “After reading your application, I want to grow up to be you!” Poor Angel was so nervous, and had never met my mom, so he didn’t know whether that was supposed to be a good thing or a bad thing. I whispered to him that it was a good thing.

 This photo is from the morning after we were officially "together." We look significantly less awkward, which is always a good thing.

My parents gave us the thumbs up to begin courting, and the next day, Angel flew back to Texas. But not before telling me, while I waited with him in the airport lobby, "Just so you know, I'm not really comfortable with PDA."

And I said (no lie! I'd heard the initials before but never knew what it meant.) "What's PDA?"

He said, "Public Displays of Affection"

I was like, "Oh, okay, well that's good to know," and about five seconds later he kissed me in the middle of the airport before he went through security. Glad we had that "no PDA" discussion.

We continued talking on the phone every day after he arrived back home, and within two weeks, we started saying “When we get married…”


What happens next? Does courtship really work? How about long distance relationships? Find out in the next episode!
Katie Cook said...

haha oh man, he really had to go through a test to get you:) good man! thanks for sharing:)

Kristina said...

Wow. The test sounds over the top! But apparently it worked out for you two...or did it? I won't know until next time I guess. ;-)

Brenda Lazzaro Yoder, said...

Rachel, I'm interested in hearing more of your story. Many young women I have walked along side of find themselves wondering if "their time" will ever come. I'm glad the Lord has provided you a gracious ending to your story!

Joslin said...

It's good that you took courting so seriously. I didn't understand why it was important to court and not date until after I got married.

Sarah Pete said...

What a fun story!
I didn't realize anyone else's parents did the whole "interview" thing. My dad sat Chris down--having never met him, but my parents had read an email Chris sent asking permission to date me; it made my mother cry but I have yet to lay eyes on it--and then he proceeded to ask Chris questions like a job interview. He was still in his formal work attire with his briefcase and a typed interview form. I was mortified. Chris passed, though, phew!
Can't wait to read more about you two! Congrats on such a unique love story!

Unknown said...

i just stumbled across your blog through bloggers coast to coast.
i love that you know some of the same people as me in the bloggie world.
AND i love that you live in my neck of the woods! :) so fun!

Anonymous said...

This is so great! What an interview to go through but often times that is just the case with courtship. I love how your Mom said she wanted to be Angel when she grew up...hilarious! It is just too sweet that Angel's feelings of PDA were set aside for that good-bye kiss. I can hardly wait for the next post!

Veronica Lee Burns said...

just now getting to read your story in full. So fun and sweet!

Your line: "I didn’t know it them, but Angel confided in me much later that during our freshman year, he had told one of our mutual friends that he thought I would make the “perfect wife"
My husband said the SAME thing in our freshmen year of college to a crazy!

Bekah Loves Blog said...

So glad I asked about your story! These are great!