The Story Of Us

Today is me and Jerry’s 10th Wedding Anniversary. I can’t even believe it’s been ten years. I don’t feel old enough to have been married for ten years!! Yet, against the odds here we are.

I was an eighteen year old college student when we met. Fresh out of a serious relationship and break-up, I was not looking to date anybody for a very long time. And yet, along came Jerry.

He was working as a clerk at the gas station I stopped at frequently. The first time we met, I’d gone in to pay for my gas and he made conversation by trying to sell me some skate t-shirts. He was an avid skateboarder, and was working hard at raising money to build a skatepark in town for the local kids to enjoy. His motivation and passion intrigued me. He asked me my name, and said I seemed like an interesting person to get to know, and wondered if we could hang out, just as friends, some time?

I rejected him in a heartbeat.

I know. Poor guy.

It wasn’t that I didn’t think he seemed cool too, I was just not interested in getting into another relationship yet! He was sweet about it though, and I went on my way, secretly flattered by his flirting.

A few days later I was back again paying for my gas. And there he was. We talked a little more, he was easy to like. It took me a while to notice that he wore glasses… all I saw was that he had really kind eyes. Over the next couple of weeks I found myself going to buy gas, whether I needed it or not, just to see if he was working. And when he was there, I always ended up staying and talking longer than I should have.

Once I got to know him I could tell that behind the tattoos and tongue ring, was a nice guy with a really good heart. One day while I was there a stray dog wandered into the store. I watched as Jerry greeted it gently and offered it some water. A mentor once told me that it is important to watch how a man treats animals, as this is a sign of his character. I smiled as I looked on.

He asked me again if I’d go out with him some time, not a “date” but just to get to know each other. How could I resist twice? I gave him my phone number and a couple days later he picked me up to take me out to eat.

That evening, Jerry did everything right. He showed up on time. He opened the car door for me, and closed it after me. He took me to a really nice, but not too fancy, place. He opened the restaurant door for me. He pulled out my chair at the table. He told me to order whatever I wanted. And he dripped his Fettuccine Alfredo down the front of his shirt with grace.

As we ate he asked a lot of questions about me, and I did the same of him. He listened intently, focusing on what I said like it really mattered to him. His eyes never wandered toward a passing girl. He was truly a gentlemen.

He jokes now that he knew I was “the one” on that first date when I ordered chicken fingers and fries instead of a steak and potato. Guess he appreciated my frugal nature from the get-go!

When we had finished our meal he asked me what I’d like to do next. We were really enjoying each others company, and weren’t ready for the night to end. I thought for a moment and then said, “Let’s go shoot some pool!” He was shocked, in a good way, that I would suggest such a thing. “I didn’t think you were a pool playing kinda girl!” he said.  I smiled mischievously. Now, I don’t like bars, or smoking lounges, but I LOVE to play pool. It just so happened that he was a member of a local pool hall, so we went and had a really great time.

When he took me home that night and walked me to the door, he thanked me for going out with him and said goodnight. But instead of hoping for a kiss, or even a hug (which I totally would have rejected), he awkwardly gave me a high-five. I laughed, and told him goodnight as I went inside. He was the first guy that I’d ever dated (and I’ve dated a lot of guys) who didn’t try to kiss me on our first date.

I liked that. A lot. For once, I was shown respect.

When I met him, Jerry wasn’t a Christian. He’d gone to church growing up, and had even made a profession of faith as a young teen, but he definitely wasn’t living it. So, I was surprised when the next time I saw him he asked me if he could come to church with me. That Sunday we went. The preacher gave a really good message, and there in his seat, Jerry gave his heart to the Lord. And this time, he meant it.

We continued seeing each other a lot over the next few months, “just as friends”. It was so refreshing to be able to go places and hang out, just enjoying each others company and conversation without any expectations. We spent all of our free time together. After about three months of this, he finally asked me if I would officially be his “girlfriend”. I smiled, and agreed.

Four months later, on December 16, 2000, we were married! I had just turned 19, he was 20. My dad was not pleased. He refused to give me away… but my grandmother warned him not to be stubborn and do something he’d regret later. We were young and in love though, and I didn’t care what anybody thought.

Since we were pretty much on our own, our wedding was a humble one. We were to be married on the beach, but it rained, so we ended up exchanging vows in my grandparent’s beach house living room. I borrowed a white dress from a friend, Jerry’s sister made a cake for us, and a family member snapped photos. I don’t think we paid over $150 for the entire wedding!

Coming from a broken home (and then broken again, and again), I was always afraid I’d make a mistake when it came to the man I chose to marry. But when I met Jerry I just knew. I’d finally found somebody who I could trust, really trust, to be faithful to me no matter what. And although we were told it wouldn’t last, here we are ten years later, going strong.

Happy Anniversary, cutie! I look forward to a hundred more years together!

31 thoughts on “The Story Of Us”

  1. Congrats!!!!! My husband and I have been married 25 yrs. We dated for 3 mths. We new that we have found the one . So why wait…..that was our way of thinking. God has blessed us so!!!!! We have 5 children and 2 grandbabies. I’m a new to your blog. I love it

  2. What a sweet story! Thanks for sharing it. I wish we’d only spent that much on our wedding. I thought I was doing pretty good at $3000, but I look back now and wish we’d gone even simpler. But then I’m a different person now than I was then.


  3. Congratulations! 🙂 My husband and I just celebrated our five year anniversary this summer. We would have married much sooner, but my parents “insisted” I finish college. I don’t even want to go there! I actually met my husband while playing pool, but it was at a bowling alley. He knew from the minute he met me that I was the “one”. I took a little more convincing! We would have definetly gotten married when I was 19 and he was 22 if my parents hadn’t been so overbearing about college. And the thing is, I don’t even and don’t ever plan on using my degree. Oh well, no use wishing you could change things that aren’t changeable! Congrats again Kendra!

  4. What a great story! My hubby & I married young also & told that it wouldn’t last. 17 years later we are still going strong!
    Happy Anniversary!

  5. What a great story! Congrats on your wedding anniversary! Wishing you many great years to come 🙂

    I would love to hear your story about moving from CA to the East…especially since you weren’t married yet!

    Have a blessed Christmas!

  6. Congratulations on your Tenth Anniversary!! When its right you just know its right!!

    When I met my husband I was 18 and he 19, was just recently let go from a job, Now 14yrs later he is the breadwinner for our family and I stay home with our 3 children. I knew when I met him there was something special about him, I too couldn’t get past those eyes 😉 How lucky and I that all 3 of our children have their daddy’s georgeous eyes!!

    I hope your dad has changed his mind after all this time 🙂 !!

    Jerry sure sounds like a keeper to me!!!
    Blessings to you for many many more years of marriage!!

  7. Congratulations!!! We celebrated our 10th last year! It was wonderful reading your story. I think when we get married young (we were both 20 when we got married – so young also) it seems we have a whole lot of opposition – such a shame because almost everyone I know who was married young has continued to have happy, strong marriages.
    Hope you have a wonderful day celebrating this milestone!

  8. Congrats Kendra! I too married young. I was 18 and fresh out of high school. My husband was 23 when we married in 1991. We will be married 20 years in 2011. People reacted the same way as in your story. Not many people thought it would last. But here we are still happily married with three kids (17,15 and 6).
    Marrying young means we have more years to spend with our spouses. My husband parents have almost been married for 60 years. Lord willing we will have the same amount of years or more. God is good!

  9. Oh Kendra! Congratulations! I met my husband at a gas station too!! Except, I was the one working there (and playing mechanic on the side!). Too funny!

    Were you already in the South when you met Jerry? I guess I thought ya’ll moved across country after you were married?

    Oh and congratulations on your new little one!

    Diane in TX

  10. Congrats! What a great story!
    I was out of a relationship and break up when I met my husband.I met him at our town fair! 🙂 He was under the fire tent ( he is a volunteer firefighter). He told me he wanted to take it slow and get to know me, then get serious we waited 3 months before we even kissed! Now we have been married for 4 wonerful years and have two beautiful boys!

    I hope you both have MANY more wonderful year together! Happy Anniversary!


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