This picture was taken . . hmm, I don’t know where or when this picture was taken but I think it was taken shortly after we got married or shortly after Chad and I moved to Kentucky. It looks kinda like my sofa behind us but I never had curtains like that. And, since I don’t see quilt paraphernalia hanging all over the sofa, I’ll assume I didn’t live wherever this picture was taken.
Most of you know that Vince and I met on the internet way back in, oh heck . . I think it was late 1994. We weren’t in one of those dating type places . . I don’t even know if they existed back then. We met totally by accident. Both of us were going through a divorce. His was pretty civil, mine was not. Almost the first thing we said to each other was “I’m not looking for a relationship!” That was the last thing either of us needed/wanted but . . well, we did end up with a relationship alright! 🙂
Vince lived near Atlanta and I was in Lake Charles, LA. At first I wouldn’t give him my phone number, but after a month or so, I gave him my number at work. Then I figured it was safe to give him my home number. After 5 or 6 months of talking on the phone and e-mailing, Vince wanted us to meet. Wait . . that’s kinda scary!! My mother was just panic stricken. She did NOT want me to go meet him. If she’d had any idea that he’d move me so far from home, she probably would have tied me up and kept me from meeting him.
After a while, I finally agreed to meet him and he sent me a plane ticket but I got scared at the last minute and canceled the trip. That happened 2 or 3 more times and Vince got a bit aggravated with me. Imagine that! 🙂
Finally I admitted to him that I was scared to fly to Atlanta, have a stranger pick me up at the airport, take me almost two hours to his house. We agreed to meet somewhere kinda halfway between us, which we decided was Navarre Beach, FL and we’d each have our own cars and our own rooms. If I didn’t like him or he didn’t like me, we could just enjoy some time on the beach and then go our separate ways. I remember driving to Navarre thinking I must be totally NUTS! Vince was probably thinking the same thing. We must’ve liked each other ok! 🙂
For the next couple of years, we’d see each other as much as possible, usually at least once a month. At some point, Vince changed jobs and moved to Kentucky. We began talking about getting married. Now that was really scary! We always managed to change the subject before things got too serious though.
Both of our divorces had long since been finalized and Vince and his ex were on friendly terms. On my end, things weren’t always so friendly. There was a constant battle about something, mostly involving Chad. In July, 1997, my ex was being served with papers and my attorney (who was also my boss) told me to get out of town for a week or so. I had no place to go because all my family was right there. Vince and I talked and I truly didn’t know where to go. He said “come here”. I could’ve gone there but I wasn’t going to stay at his house with Chad because that could maybe have been used against me in our custody struggles. I was scared to stay in a hotel and I was scared to stay at Vince’s house without him there. We decided the only safe thing to do was for us to get married. If we were married, it couldn’t be used against me that I spent the night at his house! So . . we got married. Not so romantic but . . that’s how it happened.
Chad and I left Lake Charles, drove to Memphis. Found a trashy hotel but it was late and I was tired after a very stressful week. Got up early the next morning, drove to Owensboro, got married on August 1, 1997. The custody issues had to be resolved so Chad and I had to go back to Lake Charles after a week or so. It was October before we were able to move and . . here we are, 11 years later.
I can’t imagine where I’d be or what my life and Chad’s life would be like had we not met Vince. During our discipline years, Vince was so much better with Chad than I was. I’d lose my cool pretty quickly but Vince could always talk and reason with Chad. I’m a pushover and Chad, at 9 and 10 years old, was walking all over me. Vince helped me realize that I needed to set boundaries/rules, state those boundaries and make sure Chad understood them, and then I had to make sure those boundaries weren’t negotiable. Vince understand that with him being the stepdad, the best solution to most of our problems was for him to let me handle things with Chad, for Vince to be there to back me up, support me, give advice when requested and take over when I could go no farther.
Vince helped me find me! For those who knew me before and know me now, I’m not the same person I was then. Material things were real high on my priority list back then. The mall was one of my favorite places and home was a least favorite place. How things have changed. I like me much better now.
Here’s a funny story – When Vince and I first met, he hadn’t met Chad for quite a while. Vince and I would get together during the time that Chad was visiting his dad. Once Vince and I decided things were getting serious, it was time for Vince and Chad to meet. So . . once again we went to Florida but I think we were in Destin. Chad must’ve been 7 or 8. He was a good kid and hadn’t given me too much trouble (yet!). Vince was going to get breakfast at McDonald’s one morning and he asked us what we wanted. We told him and when he got back, Chad went downstairs to eat. I was still upstairs getting ready and Vince came up and he was fuming! He said he was trying to be nice and got Chad a box of cookies in addition to what Chad had asked for. When he gave them to Chad, Chad said “I didn’t ask for these” and tossed them across the room. WHAT?? I swear I thought Vince was making it up. Chad had never done anything like that. I just told Vince that I would talk to him about it. When I asked Chad about it, he told me it was cookies he didn’t like and he tossed them at the trash can but missed. Ughh!
Then later as we were getting ready to leave the condo, Vince was carrying luggage out. Chad was sitting right in the foyer floor with all his Legos. Vince asked him to pick them up so he wouldn’t have to step over them while carrying our luggage out. Chad didn’t know I was standing right there and he looked at Vince and said “NO! Ain’t no Laquidara going to tell me what to do!” OMG! I knew right then I had trouble on my hands.
We’ve worked our way through some trials and I’m sure there will be more ahead but I’m happy to be sharing my journey of life with Vince!
So, Happy Anniversary, Dear! Thanks for sending me that private message way back in 1994! 🙂