Me & Robbie King (sung to the tune of Me & Bobby McGee)

9/16/2008 03:18:00 PM Posted In Edit This 3 Comments »
My good friend Elizabeth is/was posting her “Our Story” so when her children get older, they will know the true story and unabridged version of how their parents met. I wish I had great stories and photos of when I met Robbie. I don’t have a lot of photo’s of us since I hate HATE having my picture taken and I don't remember most of the details since I don't keep a journal but I decided to do my version of “The Story of Us”

My best friend lives in Springfield and in 2002 rented in a small apartment complex. Jerri was a neighbor that I got to know through Chris and she and I became fast friends. Jerri met Rob (nope, not my Rob(bie)) and they fell in love and then planned their wedding for May 18, 2002. Jerri’s Rob had a son, David, from a previous relationship who was just a bit younger than Lizzie. David and Lizzie were best buddies and since David was to be the ring bearer in the wedding, Jerri asked Lizzie to be the flower girl. At that time, I was in a relationship with a great guy named Steve but deep down knew I didn’t love him. The relationship was headed nowhere fast and I so desperately did not want yet another failure in that department that I was hanging on to it with every shred of dignity and pride I could muster. Steve had decided he did not want to travel to Springfield that weekend for wedding festivities and I was, as usual, disappointed. One of many disappointments in a well-hidden line. But this was probably God throwing in His wisdom.

So Sam, Lizzie and I headed off to Springfield during a torrential downpour on Friday, May 17th and it took forever to get there. By the time I made it through Chris’ front door, I was frazzled and soaked and ready to tear out my hair. I’m sure I looked quite the sight. As we came to the door, Jerri and Chris were there to take our bags, give us towels and welcome us. Jerri then introduced me to her brother that had flown in from Arizona to be an usher in the wedding. His name was Robbie. He was very handsome and very tall. He shook my hand, said “Hi nice to meet you, I don’t feel good, I’m going back to Jerri’s apartment.” Wala. He left. And I thought, ‘well that’s a fine how do you do’. (He apparently had eaten bad Taco Bell and was very sick from it but I didn’t know it at the time and to this day he won’t eat Taco Bell)

I’m sure I have great stories about that time period. Oh - probably like how I threw-up all over him the night after I met him. Or how I was sincerely impressed with the fact that his hand from tip of middle finger to the base of his palm is longer than a long-neck Miller Lite and then I, trying to be funny, asked him if it was true what they say? And he said, "What do they say?" (with an all knowing smirk, of course) and I, realizing what I'd said to an almost stranger, said "Men with big hands have big....gloves." Or how we ran out of alcohol in the middle of the Bachelorette Party and while on the Beerrun I also picked up a Playgirl magazine and he came back from the Bachelor Party just in time to catch three of us girls gawking unabashedly at the Centerfold. Yep, those are great tales to reminisce with the grandkids.

But in all honesty, there were also those moments when I wasn’t being lewd and lascivious that are forever etched in my memory. Like during the rehearsal when I looked up over the tops of the heads of the people in front of me and caught him looking at me and I couldn’t for the life of me look away. Or how during the rehearsal dinner I got stuck in the back between a bunch of people and he offered to get Sam and Lizzie refills on their soda since I couldn’t easily get out. Or how I was mortally embarrassed because I elbowed him in the ribs and nearly knocked him out of his chair after he made a joke about the soda refills and I realized he was in the middle of a prayer before he ate his dinner. And how he danced with me at the reception and I found out he was a phenomenal dancer and made me look like I almost knew what I was doing. How he kept giggling at me because I’d bitten my tongue and I kept saying ‘my tongue hurth’. And how he talked about his boys and how much he loved them and missed them. That part impressed me most of all, I think. The look he got when he talked about his kids. And how very much I wished I could stay in Springfield and get to know him better but had decided I needed to go home and work out the relationship I was in. And I truly tried. About a week after I got home, I wanted to talk about my misgivings and see if there was chance to work this thing out and when I said, “I’m not happy”, Steve packed his stuff up and moved out. Nothing about ‘what can we do’ or ‘I’m ready to do whatever it takes’. That was it. He moved out. End of that chapter.

I talked to Robbie a few times on the phone after that but not seriously until that July. He had decided to stay in Springfield for a while since he had accumulated a lot of vacation time on his job in Phoenix and then eventually, he officially moved to Springfield. We started talking on the phone. A LOT. He made a few trips up to see me and I went to Springfield to visit him. He told me he was falling in love with me and I think I freaked out. Then gained enough sense to tell him I was falling in love right back but that was after several weeks of the freaking out part.

He was having a hard time finding a good job in Springfield so in October, he moved back to Phoenix. I was more depressed about that than I let on. I knew the statistics of long distance relationships and I knew, too, that I usually ended up in with the statistic side of the crowd so while I was hopeful, I was also realistic.

We continued to talk on the phone even more. It worked out well. He was working at the Arizona Public School systems and could only work after school let out and because it was 2 hours earlier in Phoenix, my nights-free started at 7pm his time so we would sometimes talk until probably 2am. Of course, he was working the entire time but it was a lot of those deep conversations that you can really only get when your only means of communication is on the phone, not face to face and you feel more comfortable telling all your secrets. Probably something like this blog. I keep reading and editing it remembering other people will actually read it.

In March of 2003 he asked if I would come visit him in Arizona. Of course, my initial reaction was no. NO! What would I do with the kids? What would my parents say? And then, it just sort of unfolded. Bebe took the kids for the week, I just said I’m going to Phoenix and then he bought me a plane ticket and on March 27th, 2003 - I went. After several dilemmas, including losing my wallet which included my drivers license that I knew I couldn’t get on the plane without, I boarded from St. Louis International Airport and I headed off in my cute little black knock-em-dead dress. He picked me up and after 6 months, it was like we had never been apart.

He was working about 2 hours out of Phoenix so we had quite a drive and of course, talked the whole way. We got to his hotel in Show Low, Arizona and he was the epitome of a gentleman. He’d had his car brought up from Phoenix even though he had a company truck so I would have a way to get around, he had everything I could want or need right there and I was ready to have a fabulous time. That very first night he told me he had a poem that he had written for me and he wanted to read it to me. It was his story of us, condensed into a poem and it was very funny. At the very end of the poem, his face got red and he said, “I can’t finish it.” My reaction “Hell-O! FINISH IT ALREADY” And after a few hems and haws, he did. It was not at all what I expected. The last line was “Would you do me the honor of being my wife?” I think I choked. I’m sure my jaw hit the floor and for a full one tension filled minute, I just stared owl-eyed. He was the first to recover and explained that was not the reaction he was hoping for. I was still choking, I think. I look back now and think “DUDE – NO BRAINER!” But I was scared. I’d been down that road before and I had been seriously hurt, almost to the point of no recovery. And I’d come back, better than before and vowed to myself I’d never let another human being put me in the position of being so vulnerable, so defenseless and so beaten down that I couldn’t find myself anymore. And as much as I loved Robbie, I didn’t want to go back to that.

It took me two days to realize I wouldn’t be going “back to that”. It took me two days to realize I was staring at the best thing (besides my kids) that could ever happen to me. It took me two days to realize he was my soulmate and he wanted to share his life with me. So while he was 15 feet up on a ladder in a school in Show Low Arizona, I looked up at him, said “By the way.....YES!” and the rest, as they say, is history. We got married 3 months later.

There you have it. I'm sure there are more details and I'm sure I left some out but that's the 'Story of Us'.


Elizabeth said...

Love it, love it, love it! You made me LOL, and I learned more about Robbie's tenderness (which I already knew he had). I'm so glad that you found shelter from your storms!

Sabrina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sabrina said...

I echo what your friend Elizabeth says. Robbie is truly a wonderful person, and the best man you've ever had the honor of being married to. He is one who deserves you.