Not only was Jude the President of A.C.T.S., but he also sang and played guitar in their praise band. Maybe some of you don't know, but I have been known to carry a tune or two and so naturally, I joined the band with Jude. This gave me plenty of opportunity to move into the friend zone. Great. Right where I wanted to be.
After hanging out with him a while, I might have flirtily (not a word) asked/teased him about whether or not he had any interests. A lady friend, if you will. And to my surprise he answered yes. My heart skipped a tiny beat because I was about 67% sure he might say me. bahahahahahaha. wrong. He meant Drea, the cute graphic design freshman he'd just met, (did I mention this was his senior year in graphic design, also? No. Ok - that's important.) which confirmed he definitely saw me as the girl-that's-only-a-friend-so-she-can-safely-give-girlfriend-advice. If you've seen 1 out of the batrillion chick flicks in the last 3 decades, you know what I'm talking about and I assure you, that girl is real. And she's me.
Here's what that was like:
And so, stranded on Friend Island (but with lots of points), I did what I had to do and became the best non-girlfriend I could. They dated for a year and a half (i know!) - but this ends up being good for me, too, because he stayed in grad school at Tech pretty much because of her (ok, and they have a great design program). In between times of super crushing on him (couldn't quite bring myself to actually sabotage them), I crushed on other dudes. What - I was trying to find my husband, remember?
But then - just like in the movies - their relationship starts getting a little rocky, they try taking a break, which didn't help (does it ever?), yada yada yada, they break up, he leans on non-girlfriend for sympathy and company. Perfect timing because I'm no longer into him. saga drama.
I was smack dab in the middle of a crush* for someone out of town when he tells me he's started having feelings for me. He followed this news up with gifts, letters, special surprise visits, songs written about me - the typical wooing kinda stuff. But too late now, buddy, because I was busy feeling something for someone not feeling something for me. You follow? Classic love triangle. To be fair, the out-of-towner was giving lots of mixed singles and so I held on to the string a little too long. Until finally FINALLY, I realized he was just the star in the song "Looking for the Moon" (you can find it on Spotify by Jolly Napier, introduced to me by dear friend Jill) and Jude was the moon. (We all know the moon is what you're really after!)
**I know I say crush a lot and it's making this all sound silly and pathetic, but trust me, it was.
So great - my old feelings for Jude came back to the surface and now he felt the same and now we could be together forever. Except not, because right before all of this love-triangle-disasterness I was elected as the A.C.T.S. President (do we all remember who was President 2 years before me...?) for the Fall 2004-2005 school year and had decided to randomly stop searching for my husband and just focus on the campus ministry i.e. be SINGLE for the next year (not hard to do because I'd been SINGLE my entire life, but still, I felt the need to make it official).
This meant several months of Jude chasing me - even sharing that he loved me, (to which I said, "thank you.") followed by several months of us both loving the other but not being together together. (I finally said I love you while we danced at my sister's wedding)
Right in the middle of our NO! We're not together even though we're always together! phase at a concert in Houston Summer of 2004.
This thankfully came to a close when in November of 2004, we realized the very official Relationship Status: Single I had made was actually causing more distraction than just being In a Relationship, plus I'm sure all of our friends were tired of hearing about the whole mess (Sorry Jill, Sara, Lauren, & David). We got the go-ahead from God after lots of agonizing, silly should-we-shouldn't-we-let's-call-this-discernment prayers where I'm sure He did lots of eye-rolling and it was decided: boyfriend-girlfriend. But not yet (that would be too easy). First, he must meet my parents and tell them about our courtship plans over Thanksgiving Break. I saw that eye-roll.
The Courtship & Proposal (read about it here)