Sunday, September 20, 2009

52 Blessings—Calvin

In continuing on with the comments to 52 Blessings—Ande, it's Calvin’s turn . . .


Photobucket
He thinks he's funny. He's trying to tell me he's broke.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I went on an animal science field trip through Colorado, Texas, and Oklahoma. It was in the spring and we traveled in a big, blue college van. One day while I was sitting in the middle seat, some of the girls in the back seat were talking about a man named Calvin Payne. The conversation was for all to hear. I heard bits and pieces of it—enough to know that a couple of the girls had a crush on him.

The next fall when college started up again, my roommates and I attended an animal science club meeting. Later that afternoon when I walked into our apartment my two roommates were discussing a man named Calvin Payne that was at the meeting. Since he was the one conducting, they asked me if I had seen him. I said, “Oh. Is that who that was? Well, let me tell you girls, I’ve heard of him. He’s been married, divorced, got two kids and he’s too much for us to handle” and then I headed back out the door to another class.

Not two days later, Calvin called and asked me out on a date. I had two thoughts running through my head while we talked on the phone:

One: “Just because someone says they are in your class doesn’t mean you can trust them.” (That was the sum total of my mother’s advice to me before I left for college.)

Two: “If you tell him no you’ll never get asked out by another guy in the animal science department. One no will end all your chances.”

So, with severe trepidation I said I’d love to go with him to the animal science activity later in the week.

Now here is where our story differs. Calvin swears he told me he had a meeting and that he might be a few minutes late; I swear he never mentioned it. Regardless of who swears the best, here is how I remember it:

The night came for Calvin to pick me up. I’d overcome most of my initial fears because a bigger one replaced it: What if this was just a joke and he planned to set me up?

He didn’t come at 7:30. He didn’t come at 7:33. At 7:35 I was pretty sure I was the brunt of the joke and at 7:36 asked one of my roommates to drop me off at the activity. We were playing volleyball and I was comfortable playing, so I joined in the game and hoped no one else knew of the set up.

At 7:38 Calvin got to our apartment. My other roommate opened the door and he asked her if I was ready. She told him I wasn’t there. He thought he’d been stood-up. He left as deflated as I’d left three minutes earlier. He also decided to go to the activity anyway.

When I saw Calvin come into the activity I didn’t know what to do. He sat on the sidelines and visited with some of the other guys in the animal science department while I continued to play. But a game can’t last forever. When it had ended, I decided the best thing to do was to hit the situation in the head—if he’d set me up he’d know I didn’t break that easily, if he hadn’t then I’d repair the damage. I waited 'til the other men left and then spoke to him.

He was such a gentleman. I don’t remember what was said, but we both realized it was a misunderstanding and he offered to take me home.

Now that the fear of being stood up was resolved, my earlier fears resurfaced. What if he was too much for me to handle? Once inside the car, I kept my hand on the door handle with the idea that if he turned right to go to the lake (where I’d been warned baaaaad things happened) then I’d jump out. I remembered those girls in the van saying he was older and so I was sure I could outrun him if I needed to. While I was quietly surveying my situation, he just visited and asked me questions. After we’d driven a few blocks he offered to take me to Baskin Robbins. I will always love Baskin Robbins. They could go down to offering only two flavors and I’d still love them because Baskin Robbins can freeze even fear. They were also the opposite direction of the lake and so instead of turning right, he turned left. I could finally take my hand off the door handle.

Calvin and I visited freely. By the end of the evening, I knew I’d found a new friend. In fact, when my roommates asked me how the date went I said, “I don’t know if anything will ever come of it, I don’t know if he’ll ever even ask me out again, but I do know that I just found a great friend.”

He did ask me out again. And again. And again. And to this day, one of the things I most appreciate about him is his friendship. I am deeply thankful for the blessing of Calvin and grateful to our Father in Heaven for helping us in our relationship.

20 comments:

Ben or Cortney said...

That is a lovely story... what a wonderful example to us who are just starting out!

Kelly said...

This was a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing -- totally made me smile.

Kay Scott said...

Beautiful. You're a wonderful couple. Love how you told that story.

Lucy said...

It is a wonderful story. Having met him, I can only imagine all the fun you've had with him in your life.

Leslie said...

Such a great story! I loved hearing about how you two met. I especially loved hearing about the friendship part because that was what I first thought (that he would be a great friend) about Troy who later became my husband.

deidra said...

I'm grateful for my older best friend, too. The one I'd heard stories about.

What a beautiful story, a good one for the generations.

Darla said...

Love it.. I'm still giggling :)

Poor Calvin probably had his hand on the other door handle in case he needed to jump out from you *lol*

You guys are such an awesome couple..

Ande Payne said...

I think one of the things you appreciate the most about him is that he still takes you to Baskin Robbins.

Tyler - Danielle - Emree said...

So so so fun to hear how you met. I have never heard that story and I love it. Building a marriage friendship is a lot of work at times, but good things are always worth it.

Derek-Jenny-Kaitlynd-Ethan-Dylan said...

That is a great story.
I can tell Calvin is a really great guy! He has such a genuine tone in his voice and demeanor.
You really are a lucky lady!

Susan said...

Best friends make the best spouses.

I'm glad you got to marry yours.

michelle said...

I love this story! What a great memory to have recorded here. I am giggling over you thinking that if things got dicey, you could always outrun him.

Jill said...

This is such a great story! I love it that you came home that first night feeling like you'd made a great friend, what a gift!

"They could go down to offering only two flavors and I’d still love them because Baskin Robbins can freeze even fear." I love this line!

Emma J said...

What a great story! I loved reading this - how you both handled disappointment and misunderstanding so well tells a lot about you both. I love getting to know you better, Jane!

Samantha said...

What a great story. I'm glad to hear (read) it.

Becky said...

I read this one and the post before it (dinner conversation) to Jeff--loved both of them! :)

ShelleyG said...

What a terrific story. It is truly a blessing to be married to a true friend. :)

Whidget said...

WOW What a great story!! I am so glad you took the time to write it out, and that you told it in such a funny way! I love the minute by minute play of the pickup! :-) You sure fooled him--Jane Waits for No Man! :P

Bridget

sheila piper said...

What is so cute and rings so true with this story is that it is so you. I can just see this happening.

Gracie said...

Both of you are such amazing people. I look up to the example of your marriage so much. I am so happy to be apart of your family! I love you guys!