Tomorrow it will be 8 years since Sam and I first started this crazy roller coaster of our lives together. I thought that since we are so well established now as a couple it would be fun to share with people how we ended up as 'Sam and Carrie' rather than simply two people wandering around this world. I will have Sam post his side of the story tomorrow (or when he has time), but here is my version of the story.
I met Sam in January of 2000 when we were in class together at the University of Iowa. It was a class called Rhetoric, where we learned how to give speeches and read a lot of articles/watched a lot of videos that were pretty much liberal propaganda--seriously, I'm not being some right wing conservative here (hence the name of the class: Rhetoric). It was a crazy time to be in the class because it was during the caucuses for the November election so both parties were pushing their candidates like crazy. This was a main point for our class so we spent a lot of time talking politics.
Somehow Sam and I got acquainted in the class. I remember thinking that he was pretty obnoxious because he was always talking and always telling people how wrong they were. I knew that he was a Christian and it frustrated me because he was so vocal about his views that I was sure he was going to offend someone and put me in a category that I wasn't ready to be put into (I was trying to get to know people in the class before talking religion with anyone).
As the semester passed Sam and I had a couple of conversations. One day, while I was working at my job at the Old Capital Museum I saw Sam walking by and I ran outside to say hello. I was really really bored at work and just wanted someone to talk to to pass the time. So, we sat for awhile and chatted. It was nice, I really got to know a lot about Sam that day and learned that we had quite a bit in common from our past.
At the end of the school year our class met for a group lunch and Sam and I sat with each other. He asked me what I was doing the rest of the day and I told him that my boyfriend was picking me up from the dorms and helping me move out. After lunch we said good-bye and went on our separate ways.
Fast forward to the next school year. I kept running into Sam in the music building because he was a music major and I still took lessons and played in the University Orchestra. We didn't see each other very often, but when we did we chatted pleasantly and then moved on. One day, however, during second semester, Sam asked me if I was going to take philosophy of religion. He knew that I was a religion major and he was a philosophy major so he thought it would be fun if we took the class together. I told him that it sounded fun and gave him my email address so he could keep in contact with me.
About a month later I got an email from Sam asking me a question about faith and salvation. This began a long dialogue between the two of us via email about faith and Scripture. Finally, I asked him if he wanted to meet for coffee to discuss it because our emails just weren't communicating as well as face to face conversation would. So, we decided to meet at the Java House for coffee one evening.
I must point out at this point that I was very much not interested in dating Sam. I had recently ended a three year relationship which wasn't very healthy and I had no desire to enter into another relationship. I had sworn off of dating for awhile just to keep me from getting into any bad relationship. Besides that, I had a HUGE crush on a guy in my campus fellowship and was sure that if I was ever going to date in the future, that Sam would be the one I would date, not this Sam (yeah, my journal entries are confusing from that time period).
During coffee I realized that Sam had a different question than the one he was asking over the email. So, we talked for awhile and then left the coffee shop. Before meeting him for coffee I asked a friend how I could make sure that Sam didn't think this was a date (she suggested flinging boogers at him-ha!), but as I watched Sam hightail it from the coffee house back to his dorm I figured I was safe that he was not interested in me. I mean, he didn't linger or anything. He didn't even offer to walk me back to my dorm (it was dark and cold out), he just speed walked right away from there.
We met up a couple more times just to talk. We always had super serious conversations that ended up leaving me feel pretty heavy internally. At one point I even thought Sam was gay because of an offhand comment he made. Which made me feel even safer hanging out with him. I thought, "Well, if he's gay he is definitely not interested in dating so I don't have to worry about leading him on!"
During this time my father had just relapsed with cancer and was trying different treatments. The week before Easter his doctor told him that there really wasn't any more treatments left and could only do maintenance at this point. They gave him 2 years to live. It was a terrible week for me. I was so angry and hurt. Especially because my dad and I hadn't had a great relationship and had just reconnected and started to build that relationship earlier that year. I went for a walk one night and ended up outside of one of the churches near my dorm which had a cross with a purple sash on it. I just sat there for awhile staring at the cross and questioning God.
I decided that I really wanted to just relax and not think and not worry about anything anymore. All of my friends left on Friday to go home for Easter, and I wasn't going to leave until Saturday morning (getting a ride with boy I was interested in). So, I emailed Sam to see if he was going to be around on Friday night and wondered if he wanted to watch a movie and relax. He decided to come over after he played at the Good Friday service at one of the churches nearby.
I picked out some fun movies. In fact, I picked out "So I Married an Axe Murderer" and "Tommy Boy". Sam came over around 8:30-9:00 with a movie he rented: 'Sleepy Hollow'. I have to say for the record that I wanted to laugh and Sam brought over a scary movie (I hate scary movies). But, since he spent money on the movie and I only borrowed the movies we watched his movie.
After the movie was over we just sat and talked for awhile. At one point I looked at the clock and saw that it was past 1am. That's when I decided that I was going to test the waters...
One of my ways of coping with stress and a way that I would feel better about myself was to always have a boyfriend. If a guy liked me or found me attractive then I felt like I was worth something (hence the no dating rule I gave myself. I needed to find my own self worth without a guy attached). But, I really liked being with a guy. I figured that I would flirt with Sam and see what happened. I wasn't really interested, but I thought I could have some fun.
I flirted with Sam big time. I teased him and threw my slipper at him playfully. At one point I did the stupid, "I'm so much stronger than you" ploy and we wrestled a little bit (yeah, he's stronger than me...).
It worked. Around 4 in the morning (I think we decided we were going to see how long we could stay up) Sam moved in to kiss me, stopped and asked permission, and then kissed me after I gave him permission.
Then Sam said words that made me feel like crap, "I have liked you for so long."
We kissed for quite awhile and the entire time I was thinking, "How am I going to deal with this? I do not want to date him, I just wanted an ego boost!"
I took the weenie way out. I told him that I needed the weekend to pray about it, when really I just needed the weekend to figure out how to let him down easy.
To make a long story a little less long...after telling him I couldn't date him we stayed friends and that didn't work out so well. I realized that Sam actually was the guy for me (which cracks me up for all of the times I prayed that the other Sam would be the guy--God has a sense of humor, I definitely got a Sam out of the deal!). We started dating in May and ended up married the next August.
I am so happy that we ended up together. I'm glad that God took my bad motives and brought me an amazing guy. 8 years later and two beautiful children, I would definitely do it all again.
Now, I just need Sam to tell his version!
click here to see Sam's version.
click here to see the truthier version of Sam's version.