If you've missed the first two posts in this series, you will want to read Part One and Part Two before reading the conclusion to "The Pride and Prejudice in Our Story" The following is an excerpt from Part Two:
"You got a call tonight from ...FROM A YOUNG MAN!"
"Who?" I was truly surprised.
"He said his name was Joe. He called your house first and your dad gave him the number here."
"He called here? Joe called here?"
"Well honey," she waved her hands in the air excitedly, "aren't you going to call him back?"
+ + + + + + + + +
On the first date-second time around (two years after the first date), Joe showed up at my house wearing a light blue oxford. He smelled of aftershave. My heart was fluttering. As he greeted my parents I observed him. He seemed taller. His shoulders were so broad. His hands were . . .
Well, you get the idea.
We went to a seafood restaurant. After dinner, we sat in the parking lot and talked. He was working as an estimator for a construction company now. He was thinking of going to Bible college. Our communication was pleasant --very low key. I enjoyed it, but I was still being cautious with my heart.
I did feel a physical attraction to him, yet I was still unclear as to where the relationship should go. After this date, we went out several times, and nothing changed. I felt neither more nor less sure about whether he was the one. But I liked being with him and I was determined to be more patient that I had been before. So each time he asked me out, I said yes.
Though we spent ample time alone together, he attempted nothing which would compromise my conscience. One day he told me he was resolved to win me "though honesty and integrity". I thought this was especially noteworthy.
When did my heart turn to him? When did I first realize that he might actually be the man I would pass through life with?
It happened when our canoe tipped.
Joe had planned a canoe trip for the two of us just outside of town. There were options: you could book a 3 mile, 5 mile, or 10 mile trip. He reserved the 10 mile trip. He told me later that we were getting nowhere by going out to fancy restaurants and movies for a few hours at a time. His plan was to spend the greater part of a day with me in the wild. He felt certain this would provide his best opportunity to win me over.
The morning of the canoe trip, my friend Debbie called.
"So what do you think?" she asked. "Could he be the one?"
"Honestly Debbie, I don't know which way this relationship is going to go. I like him just fine, but I'm not in love."
Joe packed a cooler full of goodies for our journey. I thought he looked nice in a green T-shirt and khaki shorts. He guided me to the front of the canoe. I reached for an oar.
"You don't need to row." he said. "Put it down. Let me row for us."
I contemplated this for a second. I felt a bit odd just sitting there like the Queen of Sheba. But he was insistent; his offer was sincere. I recognized the effort he had put into planning things. I didn't want to make him feel deflated, so I put down the oar.
For the next five miles Joe was my gondolier. I grabbed the oar a few times to help steer, but replaced it reverently on the floor of the boat when it was not needed.
We hit some rapids. The boat tipped. I flew into the water and bounced up drenched . . . and laughing! He was soaked too. All at once, we were laughing together. . .
laughing about how ridiculous we both were,
laughing because it felt good to be young and alone with each other on a splendid summer day.
And as we laughed, all that was left of my pride and prejudice -- broke loose and floated away.
We waded up the river pulling the boat along. It felt right to be pulling together with someone. When we got back in the canoe, I rowed too.
And Joe told me I was the most special woman he had ever known.
This time his sincere feelings fell softly over me and settled into the virgin soil of my heart,
And there my love for him began to grow.
This concludes "The Pride and Prejudice in Our Story". I would love to read your love stories. Please share!