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Balancing my tray in the campus cafeteria, I turned from the buffet, searching for a seat. There he was, sitting with a group of my guy friends. “Come on over and meet Jimmy Gray!” They motioned to the second-semester student, pulling out a chair across the table from him.
I observed the new guy leaning over a bowl of cereal with his tongue sticking out in the shape of a giant spoon.
To which the boys loaded up with sugar to see how much his tongue could hold.
Apparently, I was supposed to be amazed that this guy could make a bowl shape with his tongue.
Rolling my eyes, I considered walking away, but they insisted I take the offered seat and share the meal, as I often did.
Before Jimmy came along.
This dude. He was so obnoxious. His joking antics annoyed me almost to the point of indigestion.
I quickly excused myself and wrote off the childish man-boy. The man-boy’s feelings were not hurt in the least.
He thought I was a snob.
I wrote off the childish man-boy. He thought I was a snob. Click To Tweet
Dum-dums and compliments
Time passed, and I completed my freshman year of college.
By the following fall semester, Jimmy and I had come to an agreement of sorts and realized neither of us were the person we initially assumed. I resumed occasionally sitting with the group at meals, enjoying the camaraderie.
One blustery winter day as I trekked the hill to the college post office – grey puffy coat zipped up to my eyeballs (hood and boots notwithstanding), I heard a distant voice:
“You look nice today, Ruthie!”
I turned to see Jimmy, standing clear at the bottom of the hill, waving with a silly grin on his face.
Chuckling to myself, I waved a thank you, and wondered how in the world he could know I looked nice, seeing as how I was wearing Eskimo attire.
Matter of fact, he complimented me almost every time we came in contact.
He also handed me dum-dums every time he passed my work station in the library…
I retrieved the mail, returned to the warmth of my dorm room, and forgot about it.
Each day he made a point to tell me I looked nice. Even on the ugly days. Click To Tweet
Surprising Snoopy Christmas card
Having completed semester exams, I packed up the old Citation for Christmas break and dashed to the post office as an afterthought.
Inside box number 62 sat a lone piece of mail – a rectangle shaped, white envelope with only my name on the front.
Upon opening, I realized it was a Christmas card. A Snoopy Christmas card.
It contained a cute Peanuts-style greeting, and then a signed, “Merry Christmas, love, Jimmy”
“Well, huh.” I muttered, thoughts of surprise and confusion tumbling around in my brain. “LOVE, Jimmy?!”
All during Christmas break, I pondered that card. Would I accept the unspoken invitation?
I decided to take a chance.
Voted the 1985 Most Unlikely Pair
It wasn’t long after returning from Christmas break that Ruthie and Jimmy were seen frequenting the library, post office, and cafeteria together.
People didn’t see that one coming!
When questioned as to how this came about, the answer was that it had been in the works for a while.
I just didn’t realize it.
This man-boy, this spoon tongued, crazy, out-of-the-box bestower of dum-dums, held the key to my heart.
His very soul held what I had been searching for all along: a kind, generous spirit, a listening ear, and an incredibly humorous nature.
What I’d searched for in others had come up short. But with Jimmy, my heart found a home.
Within two weeks of dating, we both knew we would spend the rest of our lives together.
Together we built:
4 incredible children
2 sweet grandchildren
a home of love, laughter, and joy
a pattern of commitment to each other and service to the Lord
Anyone will tell you marriage is not without its difficulties. We’ve had some knock-down drag-outs in our day. Seasons of fighting for our marriage. Loss of jobs, loved ones, and a few dreams.
But God brought us through, and continues to show Himself faithful, showering blessings and joy!
I’m so thankful He sent that man-boy with the spoon-shaped tongue, because on that day, He began the love story of a most unlikely pair.
And so, the story continues…
A love story of a most unlikely pair - our Valentine story. Click To Tweet
5 Secret Strategies to Keep your Marriage thriving
Compiled by Jim and I – your free gift for signing up for my Monday Manna newsletter (which by the way is chock full of valuable resources)!
Don’t miss out – “5 Secret Strategies to keep your marriage thriving” (the sequel to Five Key Strategies to keep your marriage Alive)!
I hope you enjoy and glean from this peek into our 31-year marriage!