Why is Eric calling me? is the thought that ran through my mind when I picked up the telephone and he was on the other line. I remember him acting nervous, which isn’t like him at all. He is gregarious and easy-going, generally.
“I’m not usually this nervous. Why am I so nervous?” he blurted out.
“I don’t know.”
He beat around the bush for a few minutes and then finally asked me out on a date the following evening. I agreed and the phone call ended.
I sat down with my younger brother after the call and talked to him about it. He mentioned to me that he liked Eric best out of all of the guys that went to our church. I thought that was sweet of him. When I talked to my Dad about it, his first reaction was wondering if Eric had a job, and where, and if he could financially take care of. My mom’s reaction was that she wasn’t surprised, because she had dreamed a dream that Eric and I got married just before that.
The next night Eric picked me up and we went to Bloomington to Ned Kelley’s Steakhouse. I was too embarrassed to pick whatever I wanted so I ordered the cheapest thing I could find on the entree menu. Eric kept insisting that I pick whatever I wanted, but I didn’t mind having pork chops. After we ate, we headed across the road to Grady’s which is a small family amusement park. We decided to play mini-golf.
Something about me is that I am very strong, and sometimes don’t control my strength very well. It surprises people sometimes, but it especially did back then when I was a size 6/8. Well…. while playing mini-golf, I sort of hit the golf ball way too hard. And it kind of did a line-drive across the mini-golf park, making people duck, striking the Statue of Liberty statue in the head, and ricocheting back, where more people ran out of the way. I was mortified, speechless from embarrassment. Eric was laughing and apologizing to people. I thought that he’d drop me off and never ask me out again. (Note: I’m much better at mini-golf now. No people are in danger when I am around. I do have a daughter very much like me though…)
After the game, he was dropping me off when Mom said that there was a pool party at a friend’s house in the same subdivision as ours. I thought Eric would just leave, but then he suggested we go together. It ended up being a statement to everyone we knew that we were dating. That next month we were inseparable. When we weren’t hanging out at his sister’s house, we were going on dates or talking for hours on the phone after he got off of work.
Mid-July, we were eating out a local restaurant when Eric told me that he loved me for the first time. I told him a day later over the phone. By the time my birthday rolled around, we both were very sure that we were going to get married. We were waiting to get engaged so he could talk to my family beforehand. My mom was in Europe for a missions trip and didn’t get back until around August.
But as soon as she got back, Eric sat down with my parents and me in my parents’ living room. He asked permission to marry me. Dad cried. Mom cried. Eric cried. I smiled. I’m tearing up now. My family was 100% behind us getting married.
In February 1998, we did just that!