How I Met Your Father

I was having a conversation with my daughter Gianna about boys and relationships, when something I said made her ask, “Mom, how many boyfriends did you have?!”Also, How I Met Your Mother is one our favorite shows!

Southern Bride
Photo By Southern Bride magazine, cropped

My first serious relationship was with Paul. We met at a Tri-Delt/Pike mixer in Little Rock where I noticed him first. I told my friend Debbie, who told her boyfriend, who was the pledge trainer. He told Paul to ask me out. We moved entirely too fast. “If ever there was love, it would be with you.” he told me. We got engaged, moved in together, and got jobs together at a restaurant where I was a hostess and he was a server. One day, Chelsea Clinton came in and asked for Paul’s section. Her secret service detail sat nearby at a separate table. When her dad Bill became the President of the United States, Paul’s dad and grandparents went up and stayed in the White House. I loved hearing the details about the Lincoln bedroom where they stayed and all the details of the house’s history.

At that time, a new guy started at the restaurant. His name was Jack, and he was in law school. Everyone there thought the resemblance was amazing. One girl said that Jack and Paul looked like brothers. After Paul broke off our engagement, stating that he thought all I wanted was to have someone take care of me, I tried so hard to get over him. My brother Thien had to tell me to stop playing “Love Will Lead You Back” and “I Will Always Love You” all the time. Then he told me that to get over Paul, I was gonna have to just go have fun with someone new.

I didn’t want fun with someone new. I wanted Paul, and love. Then I ran into Jack one night. We weren’t working together anymore, so I hadn’t thought about him at all. We sat in one place for about 4 hours and talked. I never really thought he looked like Paul. Jack had more of a privileged upbringing, preppy guy look about him. He was the first guy to offer to cook for me on our first date. One night I gave him a compliment, and he said, “Like Paul?” So… became an issue. I asked my brother if he thought Jack looked like Paul. “They all look like Paul,” he said. Okay, so I had a type.

I think that because Paul thought all I wanted was someone to take care of me, I was determined to prove him wrong. I thought about him when I was the breadwinner in my relationship with my husband. I thought about him when I won about 5 sales contests and trips to The Bahamas, Cabo San Lucas, and Budapest. Always give that person a reason why you’re breaking up with them. It might drive them enough to make their life the best it can be, even if it’s not with you.

Jack and I had a very complicated relationship. Sometimes there are just some you can’t figure out. One night he called me, and I asked him to call back because I was on the phone with a cosmetics consultant. He didn’t call back, and when I saw him next, he said he thought I was lying about the other caller. I guess the lesson here is if the guy you like calls, don’t put him on hold. Or maybe if he acts like that, you’re better off without him.

The funny thing is, of the two guys, Jack was the one I measured every other guy up against later.

Did we have a lot to talk about? Does he have a smile that made me feel like I was lucky it was pointed at me? Did his eyes make me want to stare at him all night? Do I find myself laughing a lot when we’re together?

I had a few two month relationships after that. There were a few head turners, and a few funny guys. “It’s rare that you find both personality and good looks. It’s usually one or the other but not both,” one of my pharma guy friends once said.

But I did find him. I didn’t know if he was good looking to other people because his personality was so great it made him so attractive in my own eyes.

And we talked all night long the first night we met.

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