Friday, August 10, 2007

How I Married Periwinkle

In honor of my anniversary, I'm posting this here. It's another oldie from myspace.

How I Married Periwinkle

So awhile ago I read some blogs and a few people were telling the story of how they met and married their spouse....since I'm already forgetting details of the nothing-short-of-miraculous events surrounding Troy and my marriage, I thought I'd give it a whirl.

The very first time I met Troy was at Elaine Swatniki's house for our very first rehearsal for our very first Good Friday show that we did in 2001. I can't remember the exact date but it was a Sunday and it was probably in January or early February. I was in a relationship. Troy made fun of me (fueled by Jon Judd and Jason Winters who had permission to make fun of me because we'd known each other for years. Troy did not ask for my permission, he just did it). And he was ten years older than me. Needless to say it was not love at first sight. I did not look across the room and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my future husband was looking back. I wish I had, it would have saved some heartache.

We worked on the Good Friday play. I remember he said things like "gal" and "bag" which he pronounced "beg." I also remember that while he seemed genuinely committed to the things of God, he was old. I don't mean old like he played shuffleboard and wore dentures, just that I always felt like I needed to step it up to impress this "adult" with my theatric ability and spirituality. He never made me feel that way, I just like to attempt to live up to ridiculous standards set forth by myself.

Time came and went and flew by, as time is wont to do. My other relationship became more serious. I got a ring. Another Good Friday came and went. Then I wrote a play. And I needed a God. For the play, that is. I asked Troy. He agreed. At the time I guess I thought it was more because he found me a superbly talented playwright and less because he liked me. That's probably because I didn't know he liked me. But he did. He still made fun of me and I was pretty okay with it by this point. I've always known I'm an easy target and what's life if you can't laugh at yourself and allow other people to laugh at you too. And I guess, looking back, grown up boys are still a lot like little boys on the playground. They don't pull your hair and tease you if they don't like you. But just for the record, Troy never pulled my hair. We rehearsed all summer. I was still engaged. But really, the relationship was on the fritz, we just didn't know it yet. As the summer dwindled to an end, my fiancĂ© started showing me his true colors. And they weren't colors I was terribly fond of. In fact, they were colors I generally despise. Colors like phlegm green and hot pink. And, I mean, hot pink is ok for some things, like leg warmers. But it's bad for others, like lipstick and bridesmaid dresses. So maybe someone out there likes that he's hot pink. I just wasn't sure I wanted to be married to hot pink, you know? And at the same time, Troy started showing me his true colors and they were more like periwinkle and wisteria and a really good earth brown. Like my brown sweater that I love, only better. Now, I certainly didn't want to marry Troy. For one, I thought I was way too immature for him. For another, he still said "gal" which made him seem old because no one my age actually referred to women in such a way. But he was Godly. He was mature. He was stable. He was predictable—in a fabulously good way. He was, what do they say, father material?

But I went back to school. I booked a florist. I was getting married. I knew the guy. He knew me. It was comfortable. It hadn't yet occurred to me that comfortable makes a great pair of old jeans but not always the best husband. And not long after I started my senior year at PLNU, Troy and I got together to write the Christmas play. (Remember how I had written and Troy had written, well now we were writing together). He came over so we could finish the play and apparently I made him a hot pocket. (That's how much I was still with the other guy and not with Troy. If I had been with Troy, or thought that I ever would be, a pocket sandwich would not have been my choice for lunch). We began rehearsing the children's Christmas musical starring Troy as Uncle Yule and the adult Christmas play starring me as Mary and Troy as Joseph. Needless to say I was seeing him a lot—on a strictly professional basis.

In October my Dad went to the Men's Retreat. When he came home my mom asked him who he'd hung out with. He replied, "The guy I wish was going to be my son-in-law." I, of course, didn't know that until much later. Troy was the leader of my parents small group at church and they'd gotten to know him through that. My Dad, apparently, preferred him over hot pink.
Around the same time, as rehearsals continued, Troy chose to tell me about how his sister had married "comfortable" and "comfortable" had turned into "crazy and not at all a good decision." He told me about how a day came when his sister woke up and thought, "I have made the biggest mistake of my life." I hadn't told Troy that I was starting to question my engagement. Troy hadn't told me he liked me and, in fact, planned never to do such a thing. The story just, kind of, came up in conversation. It wasn't even a story I'd never heard. In fact, I think when it came out of his mouth, it was the third time I'd heard it. But it was the first time I truly heard it. I spent the entire drive back to Point Loma in tears. It wasn't an easy decision to make. But when I made it, when I realized that the relationship was on life support, when I admitted that I was tired of hot pink not being periwinkle, I knew, instantly, that the right decision had been made. I didn't know I wanted to be married to periwinkle, I just knew it existed. I knew that there was a color out there that I wanted to wear for the rest of my life and it wasn't hot pink.
So here is where the story really begins…

I'll spare all the gory details surrounding the room when the pink hit the fan. It was a pretty nasty situation but it always hurts to set the bone. Turns out hot pink liked to tell not so much of the truth and make me look…you know what, it really doesn't matter because it just so turns out that periwinkle liked me. He liked me so much he asked my father for permission to date me. My dad must have fallen off his metaphorical rocker because this was the same guy he'd hung out with at Men's Retreat…the son-in-law material. And, it just so happens that when you've had the bad and you find the good, the bad makes the good much more obvious and much more clear. I knew Troy. Troy knew me. We'd worked closely on several plays and for better or worse we knew what made the other tick. We also knew ourselves, so we spent the first few steps of the Let's Get Together dance attempting to dissuade the other from pursuing the relationship. It didn't work. We're both rather stubborn individuals. We officially called a spade a spade on December 7, 2002…a mere 38 days after I stopped wearing hot pink.
He came down to see the one-act I had directed at PLNU. Afterward, we went to Bennigan's in Mission Valley and talked for so long I thought we'd have to help them close. Sitting across the table, Troy asked me if I'd date him…officially and exclusively. I thought people would think it was too soon. I told him there was probably some rule about waiting a respectable amount of time before jumping into a periwinkle ensemble. I could see in his eyes that he didn't agree. But he'd waited a long time for me and, it seemed, he was willing to wait for as long as I needed. Well, within reason, of course. I excused myself and took a trip to the restroom. That was all the time I needed. He was perfect for me in all the ways that mattered.

I knew.

Before I even agreed to call it official, I knew that if Troy was crazy enough to have me, I'd have him. Forever. For always. So I marched back to the table and told him we were together. Hereby and henceforth and so on and there was no law about appropriate amounts of time between significant others and…yah. Bennigan's will always hold a special spot in my heart. And every time I eat there, I make a particular point to use the restroom. It's important to revisit the site of epiphany.

A week after we made it official I started Christmas break. Every day, and usually for multiple hours, Troy and I were together. I can't remember the details of the days but I remember talking for what seemed like glorious eternity. I never grew sick of his voice, his face, his intellect. It was as though we wanted to devour each other's life, everything that had happened right up to the point where we sat across from each other at Bennigan's. I remember the first kiss. I remember certain conversations. I don't remember the first time we said we loved each other but it was sometime during those three weeks. And I can't speak for Troy, but when I said it, I meant more than "I love you." I meant, "I will go to the ends of this earth and back with you and honor and cherish and respect and adore you. And yes, I will love you." That's what I meant.

And then I had to go back to school. And like, practically the whole church went out to lunch at Sizzler that day. And I was in the worst possible mood ever because I did not want to leave his side. But he kept loving me. Even though I was a royal…you know.

It's alarming that I passed my classes that semester. I think pretty much every thought was about how much I adored periwinkle. I managed to get my homework done, while simultaneously conversing with Troy on instant message. I managed to stage manage The Sound of Music all the while daydreaming about getting back to my apartment so that I could call him.

We talked about marriage pretty much from day one. And on April 1, four months after we started dating, he asked me. Sitting on the rocks, outside of Tom Ham's Lighthouse, with the moonlight bathing the water, he gave me a fortune cookie. It's true, I suspected…just a little. And the fortune read, "Will you marry me?" And I asked it if was a mean April Fools joke. And he said it wasn't. And I said, "There's nothing I want more in this whole world than to marry you." Because periwinkle is a pale purplish blue. It's blue. Which is good and dependable and a lot of people like it. But it's pale and purplish and different and calm. I'm really probably more bright yellow than anything. Like how you can you stare at the sun but only for a minute before it gets annoying. I'm animated and fiery and you can wear me to the beach on a warm Southern California morning and no one complains. But sometimes, blinding yellow really needs a peaceful periwinkle to tone it down. And so we somehow found each other—and it was kind of like we made our way down an overgrown path and met in the middle.

And on August 10, 2003—just eight months after we sat across from each other at Bennigan's—we stood across from each other on the stage at Mountain View Community Church and pledged our undying love and commitment to one another. It was perfect. Three and a half years later, it is still perfect. I mean, periwinkle is a little cluttered. He procrastinates. He can't fix cars. And he doesn't like to cuddle in bed at night. But aside from these things, he is the single most perfect person for me. When you find your soul mate, you know it. You know it when you look across the table into his eyes. You know it even before you know you know it. That's my story. That's how I met and married my one, true love.

And oh. I just read it all. And I forgot so many things. I forgot about how when I first told Troy that I stopped wearing hot pink this look flickered across his face and—hindsight being 20/20—he might have already loved me in that split second. I forgot about how on Thanksgiving day I spent like an hour and half getting ready to go watch Troy play football. Because, yeah, like a guy in grubby sweats playing football is going to take notice of the girl who's perfectly done hair is flying ridiculously in the wind. I forgot about how his nieces--now my nieces--ages 6 and 9, told him they approved. I overlooked so many details that somewhere along the way I forgot to remember. But it doesn't matter because that's what they mean when, at the end of fairy tales, they say that they lived happily ever after. Because all we really remember is the big picture and how much we're in love forever. We forget the details. And that's ok. Because together we make this brilliant periwinkle sky with a giant blazing sun smack in the middle. And together it is beautiful and calm and vibrant.


  1. Cristy Booher (Alford)August 10, 2007 at 4:06 PM

    I love that I know the inside story now...I witnessed it all from a distance. But I remember knowing that you had made the best decision of your life when you turned from hot pink. I couldn't be more happy for you now! I remember wanting to have what you had (and still have) finally came, just mine seems to be more like a kelly green.

  2. just had to comment, and I never sweet and beautifully written. can you write our story for me! can relate on SO many points. loved being there to see it all unfold and love seeing you guys love each other so sweetly. and by the way, jay was red and made my pink more bold over the years. Blessings, Dena

  3. Lori...I stumbled on your blog today ---and found your love story.
    I love love stories,and thank-you for sharing yours!

    I started dating my husband when I was 15 and he was 26....Today is our 42nd wedding anniversary....
    Our love story continues.....