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Thursday, November 21

Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop

I remember my freshman year of college as "The Year of All the Worst Classes". I had a brutal chemistry class taught by quite possibly the most boring person on the face of this planet. I don't know if it's possible to make a basic chemistry course very exciting, but lecturing in a monotone voice for an entire 50 minutes doesn't help. I also took a history class my first semester, and then a second required history course the following semester. The history class during the Fall semester proved to be pretty daunting thanks to a brand new professor who was super motivated to make sure he didn't come across like he was "the easy class". It was not an enjoyable class. However, when it came time to pick my next semester of classes, I realized he was teaching the History 2 class the following semester and thought, "Call me crazy, but I might take his class again since I already know his teaching style." Well, you can seriously call me crazy because, lo and behold, this newbie professor decided to change up his teaching style for his second semester on the job and did everything different. Way to turn a new leaf Professor Too Big for His Britches. I made a B in his class the first semester and a C that Spring semester. My ambitions to have a more predictable semester of history were squashed by all of his random pop quizzes and weekly essays.

Thanks to all of the studying that these 3 courses alone caused me, not to mention all the other classes I was taking, I found myself a nice coffee shop to claim as my second home away from home. It proved to be a useful spot to concentrate, unless my friends showed up, in which case, I knew an all-nighter at the library was on the horizon.

One particular afternoon, I was sitting up closer to the front of the coffee shop when a guy I knew walked in. I glanced up, simply because I have a habit of doing that every time a door opens, and noticed it was a familiar face. He was always very friendly, so it was no surprise to me when he came over to my table to chat a little bit. Somehow it came up that I couldn't get my iTunes to work so he asked if he could sit down and see if he could fix the problem. Not only did he fix it, he offered to bring a jump drive of some of his music to share with me the next time we "bumped into one another".

I started to see him a lot more regularly at that same coffee shop over the course of my first year at college. We often shared a table while we studied. Well, I studied. I only later found out that this soon-to-be college graduate with whom I shared a table wasn't taking any classes that really required studying. The worst of his civil engineering courses were behind him and he was cruising through his last semester of college. As it turns out, he was pouring most of his coffee shop time into getting to know me a little better. I realized this in hindsight. And I don't want to hear any of those "Oh c'mon! It was so obvious he liked you" comments. Remember: a majority of my brain was occupied with all the useless information I crammed in during "The Year of All The Worst Classes".

I remember the moment that I realized I really liked this guy. We were both sitting at a table and apparently we were both eavesdropping on a conversation behind us. The two people were throwing around a lot of big words and having this deep "coffee shop" conversation. He leaned over and whispered, "These people are using a lot of big words." I laughed a little, "Yeah they are." 

"We should start using big words too," he said.

"Yeah, we should."

There was a pause...and then all of a sudden...

"Grandmother," he said in a jokingly pretentious, la-dee-dah sort of way.

I laughed out loud. "What??" I asked, bewildered, yet still amused at his choice of words.

"Didn't you ever think that was a big word when you were younger?"

"I suppose so," I smiled. That was when I took one more glance at him, after he had already returned to reading his book, and I smiled...because that was when I knew.

He asked me on our first official date the evening we and a group of our college friends returned back from a Spring break trip spent serving alongside a ministry for the homeless in Fort Worth, Texas. We went to Red Lobster and headed to that familiar coffee shop where he let me know why he enjoyed my company so much. For the first time, we left that coffee shop holding hands as a couple.

A couple months later I spent the summer in Africa and while I was in Africa, he left to spend a year in SE Asia to help with tsunami relief. The first year of our relationship was spent writing emails back and forth and talking on Skype. I did have the opportunity to visit him over Christmas, and I gave him a CD with a bunch of different songs on it (nothing says true friendship or true love like making someone a mixed CD). One of those songs seemed very fitting, . He agreed.

On Valentines Day, he told me to go to the coffee shop and treat myself to a drink which he had paid for in advance, via a telephone call and a credit card number. I walked into the coffee shop that day, hoping that the college student working behind the counter would know what I was talking about when I requested my "already-paid-for-drink". To my relief, he did :-)

On my birthday, just a month after our first year of dating, I planned on chatting with him on Skype after I came back from church. I never made it to church that morning because he surprised me on the doorstep of my apartment. He had returned a little bit early from halfway across the world. I was shaking from shock and excitement.

Several months later, while we were sitting in church on Sunday morning, he leaned over and asked if I wanted to eat somewhere nice for lunch to celebrate my final semester of college exams. I agreed and then we discussed it in more detail after the service was over. 

"How about Red Lobster," he asked. 

"Ehh...I don't really feel up to Red Lobster today," I responded. 

So we decided on another location and headed that way. We took our seat and it was then that I realized I had forgotten my phone at home that morning. 

"I guess I forgot to grab it on my way out. Oh well, it's not that big of a deal." 

"Yeah..", he casually responded. "I'm going to go to the restroom real quick. Go ahead and order our drinks." 

He returned and then not long after, he received a text message from one of my friends asking if I was with him. "Oh, tell her that I left my phone at home." He then told me that my friend wanted me to come by the coffee shop once we were done eating so that she could return something (I don't even remember what it was) to me. And yes, my friend worked at THE coffee shop where I spent all my time. I didn't find it peculiar at all that she was there on a Sunday, the day the coffee shop is closed, because I assumed they were probably having some staff meeting later that day.

We arrived to the empty coffee shop and I walked straight to the counter and called for my friend. She had the music playing and I assumed she probably didn't hear me because of it. I failed to notice the song that was playing until I heard my sweet mister call my name. I turned to find him still standing close to the door, but a tiny box had appeared in his hand. He got on one knee and I almost fell to both my knees thanks to my legs turning into jello. It was then that I noticed the song playing was "Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop". I hugged my fiancé and then realized that he was trying to recreate our first date. I immediately apologized for not wanting Red Lobster. It was still a perfect day.

One more part of the plan that I unintentionally messed up: He went to the restroom while we were eating lunch so that he could call that same friend and let her know I didn't have my phone. The original plan was for her to text me and tell me to come by the coffee shop.

As it turns out, the owners of the coffee shop were fine letting us sit at a table and enjoy some drinks, even though the coffee shop was closed that day. The following November, on the 21st day, my husband and I linked arms and drank some coffee punch at our reception from two coffee cups purchased from our coffee shop.

The one where we fell in love.

Happy 4th Anniversary to my one true love, the Mr!

"I never knew just what it was
about this old coffee shop I loved so much
All of the while, I never knew
It was you."

In case you would like to listen to the song...


  1. sweet! I LOVE real love stories! Coffee shops are very romantic. I didn't want to go out the night I got engaged because I had so much homework for my last semester but he talked me into it and he tried to recreate our first date too. haha Congrats! I can tell you have a great marriage!

    1. Thanks Deonna :-) I always love hearing other's "how we met" stories too. Sometimes I hear my friends' stories in pieces because it's casually mentioned to help tell another story. Maybe I'm a romantic at heart, but I can sit through anyone's love story if they are willing to tell it to me :-)