My Leslie

Many of you know that I've been married for a dozen years now.  All the time, I ask people about how they met, what their first date was like or to tell me an interesting story about their courtship.  Occasionally, people will ask me about Leslie and I.  Well, here's the real story.  Don't bother asking Leslie, she gets it all wrong!  ;-) I was a server at the Olive Garden restaurant in Everett, Washington.  I was 21 and trying to figure out what I actually wanted to do with my life, so it wasn't too horrible a job.  I was walking in to the restaurant one day and saw a new hostess through the window.  I was immediately smitten and felt something like a shock go through me when I first saw her.  Of course, I was horrible at asking a girl out, sure I was going to get turned down and drug my feet about asking her out.

One day a couple weeks after I had first seen her through the window, she cornered me and made it quite obvious that she wanted me to ask her out.  So I did.

"You want to go do something?" I said.

"Sure," she says, "what do you want to do?"  This is the point where I am supposed to have an answer, but my mind is a complete blank.

"Um, we could go to my apartment and meet my room mates," I said.  OH MY GOD.  Did I just ask her to go to my apartment, this girl I am totally infatuated with, can't stop thinking about, and I stick my foot in my mouth like a total idiot.

"That sounds good, I'll follow you," she says.  Okay, now all I have to do is drag my foot out my mouth and away we go.

She followed me to my apartment, we hung out with my obnoxious friends (20 to 21 year old guys are not always the kings of smooth and understated or at least my friends weren't).  Then took a drive to watch the sunset at the beach.  Part of our very long conversation was about our future grandchildren.

So to sum up - I'm a horrible romantic (both in the way that I am in no way smooth and that I really believe in it), I believe in love at first sight, I can't imagine my life without Leslie, and I love weddings because everything good in my life comes from the moment I met my spouse.

This photograph is of Leslie when we were engaged but not yet married in 1993.  I had decided that I was going to be a portrait and wedding photographer and this was taken during my first studio class with a 4x5 camera (the kind with the bellows that you sometimes see in westerns).  This was the third hour of sitting in the exact same spot for Leslie.  What a trooper to put up with me!

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