April 16, 1991. I met and declared THAT NIGHT that Wendy would be mine.
That should give you an idea of juuuuuuust how arrogant I was at 20 years old. So arrogant! The following is my way of documenting the 3rd best day of my life. The first being when I decide to follow Jesus and 2nd when the Detroit Tigers won the World Series in ‘84. Wait, I mean, my wedding day! I definitely meant to say my wedding day is the 2nd best day of my life. Moving on…
My buddy Steve Miller and I had just finished up a late afternoon tennis match. Not your preppy county club tennis. Neighborhood courts with a crappy net, type of tennis. I wish I remember who won that day. It was probably Steve. Anywho…Steve and I lived at an apartment complex the we affectionately called “The Dorms”. The real name is Ferguson Townhouses. It was two rows of buildings with a courtyard in the middle.
The Dorms were AWESOME! There were about 10 of us that were all relatively the same age..iish. All single dudes that loved sports, beer and the the idea that women might actually talk to us. There were endless volleyball matches out on the courtyard. It was the perfect size! God I loved that place! This particular night, it was warmer than normal and most of us had our doors open. My best friend Jay Floyd (who we found out at some point that we were actually cousins. It’s South Carolina. That happens. A lot.) had his door open and he was blaring the Black Crowes’ Hard To Handle. (classic) I walked in, sweating all over the place and “playing” the guitar on my tennis racket.
And there she was…Wendy Sawyer…My Future Wife
Granted, NONE OF MY SO CALLED FRIENDS INTRODUCED US!!! So, I just stared. Stared at every bit of her 5 foot 12 inches (she swears to this day she’s not 6 feet tall) with hair down to her really good looking…well, she had really long hair. And, really long tan legs. Whoa! For once, this arrogant and irrationally confident with the ladies guy, was speechless. I had nothing! I just sat on Jay’s couch in what seemed like total silence while he and his girlfriend got ready to go to his weekly bowling league night (again, it’s South Carolina, so…bowling). His girlfriend was best friends with this drop dead gorgeous woman. And since there’s not a lot going on in Florence, SC on a Monday night, they were all going to the bowling alley together. As they were walking out the door, I finally mustered up the classic sarcastic pick up line, “Nice to meet you.”, as Wendy walked past me and shot me the appropriate “what a loser” look that my sarcasm had earned.
Once they left, I think I punched the other 3 “friends” of mine for not introducing me to this goddess. What a blown opportunity. After calming down a bit, we all started throwing out ideas of what our activity would be for the night. (Isn’t it weird, when you’re 20, that EVERY night is a Friday night?) The ONLY acceptable idea for me was All Star Lanes! “We’re going bowling!”, I screamed to my group of knucklehead friends. And as I walked across the courtyard to my apartment, I announced with my hands in the air that, “Wendy is mine!”. (look up irrational confidence in the dictionary and my picture is next to it.)
But, how irrational WAS my confidence. In the picture above, you can clearly see that I could brag, loooong before Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting, “I got her numba!” Needless to say, I cleaned up quite a bit from my sweaty tennis outfit of Umbro shorts and a cut off tee. I was rockin the finest Tommy Hilfiger had to offer that night. Yellow t-shirt with a matching argyle sweater vest with the khaki pin stripe shorts, “puffy” athletic socks and white high top K-Swiss. Oh, and of course, just the right amount of Eternity cologne.
After what seemed like hours of begging and not so ironically bowling THE BEST GAME OF MY LIFE, Wendy finally gave in and gave me her number. We’ve kept the printout with her number on it all these years. I vividly remember calling her for the first time. The last 4 digits as you dialed made a diamond shape. And, yes, I made that connection as I was dialing. “Wendy will be mine!”
It took months of more begging before she agreed to go out with me. I found out later, I was her “rebound guy”. I didn’t care. I did everything I could to impress her enough to stick around. 28 years later, I still try to impress her every day. If I’m being honest, throwing all that irrational confidence out the window, I have no idea how she ended up with me.
There’s probably a longer post in me that explains why we should’ve probably never gotten married and how God redeems stupidity in a marriage. For now though, I just want to savor the amazing memory of meeting the woman that I get to grow old with. All sarcasm aside, it was VERY nice to meet her.