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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Essentials

Who would have thought? Certainly not I. My desire at 18 was simply to escape "small town" USA and attend college, where hopefully I wouldn't shame my parents or my family. Turns out God does make smart blondes. Not only did I graduate, I actually accomplished a fairly good GPA considering I worked full-time to put myself through the last couple years.
Alas, college seemed almost boring to me. The only parties I attended were bridal showers and dorm "parties" called by the Dean of Women to enforce some forgotten rule we had apparently broken in our ignorance. Well, not to forget the "ladies" late night in the gym where we were given permission to wear short sleeves. Of course, no males were in attendance so even the most timid and conservative gals went wild, wearing risque 3 inch sleeves and knee length skirts. Yes, of course you laugh, but believe me it was the highlight of the week.
I thought perhaps leaving my country home and living it up in the big city would give me some rather interesting experiences. The world didn't let me down. How does one describe sharing 3 seats with a 500+ pound woman on the city bus? All was well when I boarded. Three empty seats running along the wall behind the driver were perfect for me after a stressful afternoon of running throughout the office, trying to make sure each attorney had their "ego tank" filled before I left for the day. I sighed and sank wearily to the seat for the 10 minute trip to the top of Mt. Auburn where my 10x14 room was hopefully cool enough to bear for the evening. I never saw her climb aboard, but I was certainly abruptly shaken from my imaginative world when half of my body was subjected to a large mass...of something. Perhaps she had no nerve endings in that particular part of her body, or her eyesight was so poor she didn't see a 5'10" blonde occupying the row of seats, how else could you not see me? Clearing my throat was not an option. Who wants to be subjected to such a woman's wrath?
Then the next problem popped into my head. How on earth was I going to reach up and pull the cord when my bus stop came into view? More than a few inches movement would be required. I sat silently hoping someone would rescue me, perhaps a knight, even in tarnished armor, would be better than nothing. We turned up the last hill and no one was waiting at my bus stop. My hopes dashed, I refused to let this obvious Cincinnati native best this country girl. I pulled my numb arm out from under her posterior and hastily reached for the cord. I was relieved, for once, that my long arms were actually coming in handy. When I finally disengaged myself, I felt rather ruffled, but I stepped off the bus, confident that I had bested Cincinnati in all it's glory...or something like that.
Then there was the time one of the hundreds of downtown "panhandlers" decided that this tall blonde exiting her red truck looked like a perfect "donator" to her cause. Apparently this 50 year old woman had a small baby and needed money for diapers. I might not be that bright, but I am definitely not that dull either. I suggested a job might solve her problems. Talking about pushing the wrong button. I was almost late for work!
Somewhere in the mass of memories and interesting experiences, a certain fellow stands out. Rather studious looking, but cute in his own way. Lunches together in the cafeteria weren't uncommon, but the cottage cheese and pineapple mashed together on his plate always got to me. How do they eat that stuff? He insisted I hadn't truly experienced the Taste of Cincinnati without the concoction. Well, perhaps not in so many words, but that was kinda the vibes I was getting from across the table.
Graduation was possibly the most exciting day of my life to that point. I could hardly wait to wear short sleeves again. One learns never to take things for granted. Don't asked me who spoke at the graduation because I have no idea. I do remember my friend Amy and I cracking up pretty much the entire ceremony. Who knew our last names would put us side by side? Lavy and Miles, perfect, especially since we were in the back row! Not like they could kick us out or anything. We had served our time and even pulled out some good grades along the way.
Next thing I know I had been living in an apartment with my sister for a year. My then boyfriend decided things weren't right and we mutually agreed to cut it off after a year and three months of dating. No worries! Mr. Cottage Cheese and Pineapple was there to pick me up...emotionally and relationally. Interestingly enough he was in town the weekend of our breakup and offered to take me to dinner at TGI Fridays and let me unload on him. And as they say, the rest is history, folks!
September 30, 2006 is the big day. The day I give up my independence, which is saying a whole heap, especially if you know me well. But you know, there is just something special about cottage cheese and pineapple when you think about it. I am not sure what it is yet, but I am sure I will find out some day.
I am not really dumb (I promise), but when your boyfriend rents a car (with a bench seat) and drives you to Nashville, TN for a surpise date, admit it. You would be suspicious right? Not I! Me being the smart blonde that I am, insisted to those around me that it was only a surprise date. It was true I didn't know at that point we would be driving so far for a date, but nonetheless, there were certain other factors that deemed this weekend date the same as all others for the most part.
Ahem, when the cutest youth pastor I know, drives me up to the front of the Opryland Gardens in Nashville, you would think my heart would start pounding. Could he ask me THE question here. Nope! Not I, I was too excited about getting to see the 7 acres of indoor gardens including water falls, massive water geysers, the 400 seat indoor garden restaurant and of course flowers, greenery and the indoor river. Ben and Jerry's icecream accompanied our conversation. I took more than 100 pictures on my Kodak digital camera and was generally having the time of my life. He insisted we sit and talk on a small black wrought iron bench in the Magnolia Garden. I was only too pleased to oblige as I was tired of walking and I admit, my right index finger did have a certain reflex going on, to the effect of punching the camera button. General talk ensued and a rather interesting version of our life stories spilled from his lips. I am afraid my thoughts did wonder briefly, and it was enough for him to ask "are you paying attention to me?" I assured him I was.
Only then did my heart stop. He was on one knee holding out a small rosy colored box, too big for a ring, too small and square for a necklace, but I knew immediately what it was. A Jennifer Lopez heart shaped watch. "Will you marry me?" Now what was I supposed to say to that? Again, being as astute as I am, I promptly started crying wherewith, shakes and knee knocking also ensued. I couldn't think of anything else to do but kiss him and say "yes."
Yeah I know, real tear-jerker huh? When you meet this guy, you can't help but love him. I did, and still do and will forever. Jason David Baker, I love you with all my heart.

7 comments:

aunt connie said...

Regi,
I loved the blog and sat in the library reading and crying like an "old" aunty or something -- 'specially since Jason has been special to me too. I wish you both the best.
You're a great writer!!!

Jason Baker said...

WOW! WHAT CAN I SAY? I didn't cry but I wanted to!!!!!! How did I convince you to marry me?!!! I enjoyed the writing! You certainly have talent (on loan from your dad?)!!! When can we have some pineapple and cottage cheese?! Sounds good to me!
Very Glad to be Your Man!
Much Love, Jason

Lyndie said...

welcome to blog-dom. good to have you with us.
looking forward to hearing more of your memoirs. there's a whole future out there, just waiting to be remembered. oh joy! :)

~d said...

well, reading about your recent history is almost as good as hearing about it firsthand. congratulations on the engagement and thanks for including a picture so we can put a face to your mr. wonderful :)

Regi said...

~d You are, of course, invited to attend the wedding if you wish. Our guest list seems to keep growing, but as they say, 75% of people don't show up...or something like that. I could be in real trouble if they all show up.

The wedding is in Ft. Wright KY which may be a bit of a drive (straight south on 75 about an hour and 45 mins). My mother is planning a shower at the end of August (last saturday of the fair) at their house. I would love to see you there. If not, I will probably just show up at your house for some good talk and sweet tea. Just kidding :o)

~d said...

send me an invite (if you wish), for i will surely forget, and i will do my very best to make at least one of the two events!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Regi! I enjoyed reading your story! You sound like a fun person to be around! I've seen you before, but don't think I've actually met you. I know your Uncle Phil & Aunt Kim and their children. Anyway, I "stumbled" on to your blog from somebody else's blog ~ don't remember whose! You know how blogs are! Your quilts are BEAUTIFUL! They are so diverse! How fun! Have a WONDERFUL week! ~Ruthanne Willard

P.S. I have a myspace and facebook
if you want to see who I am.