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How I met my husband

No, this isn’t my version of the TV show How I met your mother. I certainly am not that funny.

Yesterday was my husband’s 46th birthday. We met 26 years ago last month and began dating two months later. I always tell people who ask how we met that he just one day turned up on my doorstep. And for the most part that is true.

Twenty-six years ago, I was in my junior year of college. I shared an on-campus apartment with three other women – my best friend Kate, our friend from high school Joy and Barbara, a friend of Joy’s. It was a pretty nice arrangement. We each had our own bedroom, two bathrooms, a common area living room and a full kitchen with an attached dining area. There were two doors to the unit. One door led to the parking lot and the other opened to the street and faced the campus.

Ryder, Susan & Kate by a waterfall in San Antonio (Spring Break 1993)

One afternoon in late October, Kate and I were doing our homework when someone knocked on the door leading to the parking lot. I opened it to find a cute guy standing there. In an exasperated voice, he asked if Joy and Barbara lived there. It seems he had written down their address wrong and he had been to three other apartments before being directed to ours by Barbara’s boyfriend’s brother.

Of course, Joy and Barbara were not at home. After a few brief words, my future hubby was on his way. I can’t say I knew anything started at that moment. All I remember thinking was that he was cute and funny.

Later that evening, Joy mentioned that we had seen Ryder the previous spring. Kate and I had been heading over to check out a co-ed softball game. We arrived just a moment after Joy had been hit with the ball and broken her nose. As she mentioned it, I did recall seeing Ryder there and that he invited Kate and I to play, but we declined as we took Joy to the health clinic.

Over the next few weeks after Ryder made a few calls to talk to either Joy or Barbara but it always seemed that when he called, I was the person answering the phone and often they were not at home. I think it was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving that I ended up talking to Ryder for over an hour after he called for Joy who was still in class.

No worries about me stealing Ryder away from Joy. They were just friends who had a class together. Barbara as I said had a boyfriend. Ryder was friends with both of them.

Me with the huge pink teddy bear Ryder gave me on our first Valentine’s Day (1993)

After Thanksgiving, Ryder went to a basketball game with me and my roommates. I think it was clear to them that something was developing between the two of us. A few days later we went on our first date. We went to the mall to hang out and McDonald’s for dinner. And that is how this relationship started.

I don’t think either of us knew that nine months later (on my 21st birthday) he would ask me to marry him or that we would still be together 26 years later.

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