Thirteen years ago, on Valentine's Day, I went on a date with my best friend Emily's husband. That sounds kind of bad, huh? Emily was hanging out with her parents, I feel like in Rhode Island, but that's probably really wrong. Anyway, Barry had tickets to a ballet with work people and I was woefully dateless on Valentine's-so we went together. One of his co-workers (enter Gil) was also dateless on that romantic holiday-but he was probably happy about it-I'm not sure. He would have happily skipped the ballet that night, had he not missed a meeting that morning due to a late night, so he felt he had to show his face. We all sat together and Gil and I spent the next few hours discussing the extreme homeliness of the dancers playing Romeo and Juliet. We had a very nice time laughing and not paying too much attention. Hopefully Barry had fun, too. We all went out for drinks afterwards, and Barry drove me home, while Gil spent the rest of the night wondering if Barry and I were indeed having an affair. Kind of a funny start, huh?
Gil and I went on our first date a few days later-ate way too much garlic, and saw an absolutely awful movie. It was really fun. After dating for two years and taking a lot of trips and really just having a great time, he surprised me (which is very, very hard to do) with a big fat diamond ring. We were engaged for one year and five days.
We had a rehearsal dinner at Capstone on Carolina's campus, and got married at Rutledge Chapel on the Horseshoe. Gil's friend Mark's dad married us and gave us the funniest story of our wedding weekend. He wasn't very familiar with the campus, and especially the Horseshoe. The Rev was running a little late and a few of us were outside waiting for him, including Mark-who all of the sudden pointed and said, "That's my dad!" He was pointing to a car driving ON the brick sidewalk of the Horseshoe-definitely not a road! I get a little fuzzy here-but when the Rev and Revette came into the Chapel we questioned them and they said they met up with a very nice white haired man and his wife and they offered up a parking spot behind their home, not far away. It was Dr. and Mrs. Palms, the President of the University who lived on the Horseshoe! So funny.
We went to Jamaica for a week for our honeymoon, which was great-and would have been even better had the sun come out for a bit.
The wedding was great, the honeymoon was lovely, but none of that compares to the reality of getting to wake up with Gil Youmans each and every day. In all seriousness, I can not believe that the stars and moon lined up to put Gil in my path. And really, I know it was all God's plan-and what a plan it was-and continues to be.