Favorite Things, Humor, Life, Marriage

How Us Became Us

I recently migrated my blog and some of the pictures didn’t make the move. So imagine pictures where captions are. 

My husband and I recently celebrated 11 years of being together.
And when I say “celebrate”, I really mean patting each other on the back and saying, “good job”.
You know those adorable stories of how couples meet and their cute courtship tales?
That is not us.
Our story is so far from that, you could be standing on top of the above tales on a ladder wearing platform shoes and STILL couldn’t even see our story.
Those adorable engagement pictures on Pinterest?
Oh sure, there are the pictures of us plastered at the local Applebee’s with friends and I am pretty sure one of them involves my husband giving the finger.

Us at Applebee's

We are classy like that.
In fact, our wedding photographer wasn’t hired until about two weeks before our wedding.
Here is the story of how we became us.
Disclaimer- I swear we do not have an alcohol problem. Really. Oh, and there is a lot of pixilation because apparently the story of “us” is much more Raising Arizona than Father of the Bride.

Mike and Wendy
On the train ride home that fateful night.
Of the Cornholio Incident.

Chapter 1
Beavis Isn’t The Way To Win Over A Woman.
Unless You Are Me.

I first remember meeting my future husband at the train station on the way to Taste of Chicago in the summer of 1993.
A huge group of people went into the city that summer night to get drunk and eat food.
But mostly to get drunk.
And he and I were two of them.
In fact, I had my eye on another attendee of said “Drink of Chicago”.
My future husband’s BFF, if you will.
This you need to know: Beavis and Butthead had just become insanely popular that summer.
Anyhoo mid-evening, the future husband comes up to me, sees my cup of something and asks me “what are you drinking?”
I told him “bourbon”.
I wasn’t drinking bourbon.
Back then, they only offered beer at the Taste but I didn’t like beer so I was drinking pop.
All. Night. Long.
With my friends.
Who were all drunk.
Good times.
He offered to get me more “bourbon” and I said “sure”.

[spacer height=”20px”]
For two reasons:
1- I wanted to see if he could really find me some. Because I was getting bored. And kind of thirsty.
And B- I was not interested.
Because BFF.
It wasn’t until all 15 of us stumbled through the streets of Chicago on the way back to Union Station that he hooked me.
He started doing Beavis impersonations.
Dead on Beavis impersonations.
The laughter, OMG THE LAUGHTER of all of our mutual friends.

Where have you been my whole life???

Not us.
That’s right.
The pixilation is there to protect the non-hugger.

Chapter 2
Dating. Duggar Style.

Six weeks after the Beavis incident, I was standing in the Misses department at Kohl’s (where I worked at the time) being asked out on a date.
I was wearing a black top, plaid mini skirt and shoe boots.
He had a box of Nike shoes in his hand.
But he didn’t really need Nikes.

He didn’t ask me out in his Beavis voice by the way.

Anyway, we went to a White Sox game, had a great time and talked non-stop the entire date.
BUT I was in an “I don’t want to rush into anything” kind of place.
I had been in two different relationships over the previous three years and just wanted to take it slowwwww.
So we dated like the Duggars for six full weeks.
No kissing.
No holding hands.
Only a hug at the end of the night.
Amish in Rumspringa was doin’ more than us in those six weeks.
He even invited me to his other best friend’s wedding the next month, so I figured he must really like me even with the whole Amish lovin’ thang we had going on.
So when he stopped calling, naive me was baffled.
It wasn’t until a few days later while I was at a local bar with a group of friends when one of his friends informed me that Duggar boy was dating a girl in their apartment building.
He ditched me.
Oh yes, and they were doing much more than hugging.

But I liked sports!
I could down a platter of nachos and let out a big belch!
He loved down to earth girls!!!

Apparently, he also loved girls who put out as well.
She got to go to the wedding too.


Us at my parents house
We take a great picture, don’t we?
Call us Brad and Angelina of the Midwest.


Chapter 3
Mike’s Hard Lemonade was our E Harmony.

Fast forward nine years late to a party at my future husband’s house.
When a mutual friend (the BFF who I originally had a crush on…the irony isn’t lost on me) and I were talking about “the old days” and the whole Duggar/Beavis/ManWhore episode of 1993 comes up.
All of a sudden I blurted out that I may possibly kind of maybe have a few of those feelings for him.
Kind of.
Because Mike’s Hard Lemonade. 

Ten minutes later, said friend comes up to me and says all GI JOE code word-like: “It’s done. The deal is done!”
What deal?
“Noooo….I told him that you like him.”

My husband found out that I thought he was special at his housewarming party surrounded by a townhouse full of drunken 30 somethings.
Magic moments, people. Magic. Moments.
Almost full circle to the night we first met, when you think about it.
Except instead of Doc Martens, Pearl Jam and big hair, there was Kelly Clarkson. spanx and big hair.
Two weeks later, we went on our first date.
And two years later, the hubs was down on one knee.
In what we like to call “the proposal incident”.

We know how to party
This was the best wedding photo we took that day.

Chapter 4
Door Flippin’ County.

Ever heard of Door County?
It is this amazing peninsula right outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
It’s beautiful, the food is amazing and it is the scene of our engagement.
That almost didn’t happen.
This is what did happen:

– I ate lots and lots of cheese shaped like the state of Wisconsin.
– I sat out on the balcony of our hotel room. A lot.
– I went to the library. While on a “romantic” vacation.
– I got lost trying to find the library. While on a “romantic” vacation.
– The future husband went golfing alone. While on a “romantic” vacation.
– He ran out of money.
– We watched Brian’s Song. Three times.

I had no idea he had plans to propose on this trip.
But on night two, he started acting really weird.
Once we got back to our hotel room after dinner, he decided that he wanted us to take a walk.
In the pitch black darkness of night.
We sat at this gazebo on the grounds of the hotel and he started yammering.
Which was unusual because he is not a yammerer.

Then I noticed his hands were clammy.
It was then that I thought, “Holy crap is he gonna ask me to marry him?”


Until after 15 minutes of said yammering, he got up and said, let’s go back to the hotel room.

24 hours later, no question was asked.
No ring was presented.
And it was around this time that I started to get mad.


At that point, I was more infuriated with the prospect that he didn’t think I was worthy of marrying him.
Not at all with the prospect of getting an engagement ring.
Like we always used to semi-jokingly say when we were dating, “it’s not a competition”.

It was SO a competition.
It was ON.

The next day I did, what I now realize, everything in my power to make him NEVER want to marry me or any other female on the planet.
In an eight hour period, I went from angry to melancholy to a raging lunatic.
I may or may not have convinced him that he needed to go golfing.
Then upon picking him up, scream at him for the 15-minute drive to the hotel, about how insensitive it was to go golfing on a “romantic weekend”.
I know.

The next evening, after a bottle of wine, things became crystal clear.
It was on the balcony of our hotel room that I drunkenly declared (and this is a little fuzzy for a few reasons) that YOU ARE NEVER GONNA ASSSK ME TO MARRY YOU! ARE YOUUUU!?!?!?!




And then I allegedly gave him the finger.

I wish I were making this up.

The next afternoon, over sprite, cheese (shaped like the state of Wisconsin) and crackers on the same balcony, my future husband did indeed pop the question.
And as weird as it sounds, it was spontaneous.
It was the middle of the afternoon and we were wearing tee shirts and shorts.
Not at a candlelight dinner or on the beach with a guitar player in the background.
It was perfect.
We laughed, we cried and the usual banter.
But the story he told everyone was from the previous night.
Because really, that was the more interesting story, let’s face it.


Us on our wedding day

I always wonder what would have happened had I not pulled a Duggar back in 1993.
But then I wouldn’t have my Annie.
Or possibly even my Ellie.
And we wouldn’t have these stories to tell them when they are older.
Way older.
Like when we are in the nursing home and are trying to get the good Jell-O.

12 thoughts on “How Us Became Us”

  1. Duggar Dating. Funny. You got engaged over cheese on a balcony in Wisconsin. I got engaged in a 1978 Ford Mustang Cobra in my parents' driveway in Ohio. We really were meant to be friends, weren't we?


    1. You and my husband would get along.We may or may not, at one time, have had a Beavis life size doll in our possession.I kid you not.


  2. LOVE. : )~And . . . the first couple of paragraphs. Ugh. Sometimes I swear we are the same person. I woke up this morning and thought … "I have GOT to get on the scale and face reality." But I didn't. Haven't weighed myself since this time last year when I was doing the Jillian thing. And I'm SCARED. I will say, the only time in my life that I've ever REALLY lost weight was the 6 months that I did Weight Watchers. I lost almost 40 lbs. (and aside from pregnancy) kept it off. (Not that I know that to be true a the present time, since I haven't stepped on a scale in almost a year, but . . . I do know I haven't gained back almost 40 lbs. at least!) : )~You WILL be successful!!! I'm jealous. You'd think the easy answer would just be "DUH, Bec! Join Weight Watchers again!"But — it is HARD, dieting. Too much thinking. Lots of time. I just can't do it right now. : (I'll wait for you to inspire me though. (And I know you will.)Go, Kari!!!!Love ya!


    1. I need you here to my motivational coach.Really.Please come!And bring donuts.Oh wait…..Love you too, my friend!


  3. Where do you get cheese shaped like Wisconsin? I'd love New Jersey shaped cheese without all the pollutants and big hair. I'm so glad he finally popped the question!


  4. I have a theory that non-romantic proposals are the BEST ones. Because really, if you have expectations for a pinterest proposal and a pinterest wedding… well, honey, marriage isn't like pinterest. Just saying. And two quick stories: #1. I was trying to work up the bravery to tell my (then) boyfriend that I loved him for the first time and just as I opened my mouth to say it, he said "have you ever thought about anal?" #2. My husband asked me to marry him one night after I had already gotten into bed. So we were in pj's, I had on NO makeup and my glasses, etc. Perfection. And yes, he was the anal asker. And no. Just NO.


    1. Omg I am reading this at the Dr office waiting room and can't laugh….and my husband is looking at me bc he can see I want to laugh but can't. I agree with your theory. 🙂


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