Long story short, we met at work, got to know each other as friends, and simultaneously began to discover there was something more to our relationship. On the wall of Jessica's parents' house in Arizona (Jess grew up mainly in Louisiana, which for several reasons I find appealing) is a quote that she framed some years ago, and which turned out to be quite prophetic:
There is something sweetly inexplicable that passes between two people who are destined to meet when one day, after wandering often aimlessly through life, the heavens finally fall into alignment, and they happen upon each other unexpectedly. It is not quite, though some might call it so, the proverbial love at first sight that strangers sometimes experience, for in truth, the two find in each other something extraordinarily familiar and comforting. It is more a feeling of profound recognition than anything else, one that brings with it a sense of relief, as if their hearts are saying to each other, "Oh, there you are. Where have you been? I've been looking all over for you for the longest time."
—Peter Pezzeli, Francesca's Kitchen
It's not just similar backgrounds, interests, and values that make us compatible, it's also tiny details that most people would find irrelevant to the point of absurdity. I like that she's French and Irish; she likes that I'm English. We agree on tea, Christmas lights, and the Oxford comma. We agree the Grand Canyon is impressive, but we would rather spend most of our time looking for tassel-eared squirrels.
I've been dreaming of and fantasizing about this woman since I was about twelve; what an unexpected joy to discover that she actually exists! She's taller than I expected (6'1" to my 6'2"), but I find, somewhat to my surprise, that I like that too. There's a bit of an age difference (never mind the stats on that one), but we almost immediately decided that that simply didn't matter: Jess was, according to her mom, "born 40", and I like to joke that "I may be middle-aged, but fortunately I'm really immature."
A major purpose of our recent trip was for me to meet her parents (and her sister, Heather), for we have a wedding planned for late October, at which point we will officially be the Farrell-Churchills. (We're already breaking the name in...) If you want to learn more, well, you'll just have to keep checking in here, or better yet come visit us.
Trip pictures soon, I promise.