I met my husband on a blind date on February 1, 1997. By mutual friends, we were introduced at a special performance by a hypnotist for the company the guys worked for. They thought we would make a great old-fashioned couple. I liked him from the moment I saw him. He met us at the door with the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. He was a country gentleman and tall, dark and handsome. I wondered what on earth he would see in me. He opened doors and chatted easily. If he was as nervous as I was, he never showed it.
It was obvious that all of his co-workers liked him. They would have liked to have seen him on stage during the performance. The show was hilarious. The hypnotist had a group of about twenty volunteers believing they were professional wrestlers with axes to grind among other things.
After the performance we went bowling. Neither of us were really bowlers, but our mutual friends set it up as a group outing to make us feel at ease. Through the course of the evening, I discovered he also farmed and raised cattle in addition to working in the factory. He was a cowboy deep down. Dating usually made me really self-conscience because Iím a full-figured women. In all honesty, I didnít date much. But he made me feel at ease. I worked at a resident facility for adjudicated juvenile boys as a health services assistant and usually just kept to myself. With him, I thought we clicked and I was sure I would hear from him soon.
But, I didnít.
I lived about 45 miles away from him. Knowing that he farmed as well as worked in a factory, reaching him by phone would be nearly impossible. I waited and waited for him to call. He never did. I donít know why I didnít give up at this point. I was a little put off with him but something inside me urged me to send him a letter. So, I sent him one and included a poem I had written called ďThe Wallflower and The RoseĒ. It compared the beauty of the rose to that of a wallflower and described how after the beautiful scent of the rose fades away, the wallflower remains there steady and strong. I thanked him for the date and indicated that I would really like to see him again.
A month went by and I still heard nothing from him. Now I was really doubting myself. All of my insecurities about myself came crashing down around me. Obviously, I thought, he had found something wrong with me. I knew it had to be my weight.
I was too shy to call, so I sent another letter with another poem. It wasnít like me to do this. A greater power had to be pushing me on. He finally called me and asked me to a cowboy poetry gathering since I liked writing poetry. Little did I know that he enjoyed poetry too. I accepted, but I was sure it was a mercy date. Here I had been pursuing this poor man through the U.S. mail. Surely, this date was to get me off of his back.
We had so much fun at the cowboy poetry gathering. A whole new area of writing had been opened up to me. Maybe, I thought with a fluttering heart, this was the start of something. There was just something about him that I couldnít shake. I got to see his sensitive side as a tear trickled down his cheek at the cowboy poetry gathering when a poem was performed about an old farmer who was being foreclosed upon forcing him to give up the life he loved. He knew the words to a lot of the old cowboy songs. I had to admit I did too since I grew up with a truck driving father.
After another couple of weeks of silence, I sent another letter and poem. I kept it light and told him this would be my last letter. I would leave him alone. The rest was up to him. I told him that I knew I wasnít the most beautiful women on the face of the earth, but I was sincere with a good heart.
Another week went by without hearing anything. It was a beautiful Easter Sunday. I spent a very nice day with my family and then went home to my empty apartment. I was thinking of him. I prayed a very simple prayer. ďLord, I really like him. If we are meant to be together, could I at least hear from him today?Ē Five minutes later, the phone rang. It was him. Was I busy next weekend? He said he really liked my letters and poems. I couldnít believe how quickly my prayer had been answered.
ďThank you, Lord.Ē I said as I hung up the phone. I knew we were meant to be. My instincts were right, confirmed by that answered prayer. I never doubted our destiny together again.
From then on, we dated steadily until our marriage about a year later. Because of the distance, we only saw each other on weekends. Our work schedules were conflicting at the time, so we didnít talk much on the phone. When he wasnít working at the factory, he was outside doing chores. I had also changed jobs and was now working at a state college near my hometown during regular business hours. Without fail during our courtship, I sent him a letter and a poem each week. Many of them were cowboy poems such as:
The Cowboy In Coveralls
By Sherry L. Stoll
I heard a great commotion in the cattle lot
I looked outside to see if help was needed or not
It was a cowboy in coveralls
Pushing cattle through the stall
Pressing forward on his horse with great zeal
His dogs nipping at the cattleís heals
Staying warm on this mini-cattle drive
Zipped up snuggly as the mud began to fly
Having it all under control
As the wind sharply began to blow
With his cowboy hat pulled down, he didnít see I was near
But I could see he was smiling from ear to ear
As our relationship developed prior to our marriage a little over a year from our blind date, I asked him if my weight was the reason he didnít contact me for so long. He told me that he would be lying if he said no. But, I had made a lasting impression on him. He said the letters and poems revealed to him what a sweet lady he was missing out on. He thought he better get in gear before someone else snatched me up. His honesty is just one of the many things I love about him. We found we had so many things in common including our family values.
I know he loves me for exactly who I am. He always has and he always will. Iíve never doubted that. I still leave him little love letters and write him poems. He loves being my inspiration. You might say he is my muse. He still smiles that beautiful smile. I guess we were truly meant to be that old fashioned couple our friends envisioned.
Weíve been back to see the hypnotist every time he returns to Maryville. Itís been a running joke that we were hypnotized to fall in love. His co-workers would still love to see him on stage. We still go to the cowboy poetry gathering, too. They will always be our sentimental favorites.
Iíll leave you with his favorite poem.
Five Gallon Buckets
By Sherry L. Stoll
Five gallon buckets are his treasure
No other find gives him more pleasure
Spotting them discarded on the roadside
There isnít a bucket a weed can hide
With flashers on, he bobs and weaves
Dashing toward the bucket to retrieve
Nothing makes him smile more
Than finding another bucket to help him chore
Some buckets are covered in grime
Others have stories from time to time
Like the frosty bucket found at daylight
That didnít cause him much delight
He failed to look inside
The bucket by his side
The warmth of the defrost brought a smell
Something was wrong, he could tell
Toilet paper caught his eyes
Along with another little surprise
But he wasnít about to be sidetracked
Until he found the bucket was cracked
It was sad, but he admitted defeat
From this bucket, he had to retreat
A little wiser, other buckets heíll find
Not used by someoneís behind
Copyright 2003 by Sherry L. Stoll
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AWWWW! What a lovely romance, and the honesty, both asked for and given, is part of why you'll have a great and lasting marriage. I was feeling all soppy and romantic after reading your article, but then laughed out loud at the Five Gallon Buckets poem. Great work. With love, Deb