How I Met Mumbles

Some of you reading this know the story because you were there, or because maybe you read about it on our wedding website or I’ve told a version of the story over dinner or drinks upon being asked or you patiently listened unwilling when I gushed about every detail there ever was after Mumbles proposed.  But for those of you that haven’t heard it, I thought I’d share the story of how I met Mumbles.  If memory serves, yesterday would have been the anniversary of our first date eight years ago. 

It was a spring semester at California State University, Fullerton, when sitting in Geology class in an ordinary, cold classroom in McCarthy Hall that I first laid eyes on Mumbles.  I thought he was oh-so-dreamy and whenever he’d saunter into class, I’d perk up just a little hoping to catch his eye.  A first year member of sorority, I soon noticed that Mumbles was a member of the fraternity that happened to be paired with our sorority for that year’s Greek Week event in April, noting his dashing good looks were a bit diminished with his enthusiastically competitive Mohawk. (okay, yes, I kinda liked it.)

It was days after said event that I noticed him on campus speaking with one of my sorority sisters and decided to do some Nancy Drew-esque investigating, which in this day and age involved some serious sleuthing: sending said sorority sister an inquisitive text message asking for information about the cute fraternity guy I had been drooling over in class. From a somewhat terse reply I learned only that dreamy guy’s name was Johnny and that said sorority sister seemed displeased to have been asked about him. Not understanding why she seemed upset, another sorority sister offered an explanation: they’re dating. “Of course the boy I think is cute is already dating one of my sorority sisters,” I reasoned. And I left it at that.

But it wouldn’t be left for long. Later that week, I bumped into Mumbles on campus while he was campaigning for student office.

“Hi, I’m [Mumbles], we’re in the same geology class,” he said.

A little bit in shock at the name he gave so nonchalantly but secretly happy that cute fraternity guy was chatting me up, I wondered what kind of jerk gives a girl the wrong name. Wrong phone numbers, sure, I’ve heard of that…but the wrong name? Wow, college guys really step it up a notch! (I did eventually learn the truth about the name mix-up: sorority sister had been talking with Mumbles when I spotted them but the pair were very quickly joined by Mumbles’s roommate, Johnny, after which Mumbles then walked away. Thus, she had been standing with the real Johnny when the crucial text message had arrived. Gah!)

Mumbles explained to me that while he’d been visiting our professor, Dr. Knott, during his office hours to go over material, he was wondering if I might consider studying with him for an upcoming test. Blushing, I agreed (not confessing quite yet that I actually found geology to be interesting and, in fact, used to collect rocks as a child – in case you’re wondering: no, that’s not ideal pre-first date material). It wasn’t more than a few days later that Mumbles was knocking on my parents’ front door answering questions from Stick Girl’s Dad about his intentions and devouring baked goodies made by Stick Girl’s Mom.

With all the time Mumbles and I spent studying together, we probably should have received A’s, but chapter reviews and vocabulary memorization gave way quickly to long conversations about life, faith, family, and love. Feeling butterflies in my stomach but also very comfortable around him (is there such a thing as calm butterflies?), I surprised myself when I asked Mumbles to take me to my sorority’s spring formal just a few short weeks away. I was shocked yet again when his reply was an indecisive, “Can I get back to you about it?”

Huh. College guys.

Later agreeing to take me to the formal, I wondered if it we were simply study buddies or if perhaps (fingers crossed) the butterflies he possessed happened to be the rarest, most calm species of stomach-dwelling butterflies the dating world had ever known. Getting ready with mutual friends just before the big dance, I thought I had my answer when – one lip gloss application from being ready to go – Mumbles was nowhere to be found. Asking around, a few people mentioned seeing him leave. (!)  And just as I was about to write him off and tell those butterflies to move on, Mumbles gallantly reappeared with a bouquet of flowers in hand.

And that’s the story of the beginning – how a girl who used to collect rocks as a kid now finds herself with a rock on her finger, having tied the knot with her best friend, Mumbles, the handsome fraternity guy from Dr. Knott’s geology class.

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