Saturday, August 3, 2013

Storytelling Sunday: A Courting Gift

When cleaning out the garage recently, I came across three books which are precious to me because they were special gifts.  The Lewis Carroll was inscribed to Paul from Tom, one of his best college friends. The friendship book, given to me by my best friend from 8th grade, also had a very sweet inscription.  The final book, Backgammon for Blood, though, fits Sian's call this month for Storytelling Sunday to tell a story about "something given in love." After reading my story, do pop over there to read some of the other stories.
I first met my husband, Paul, in high school. We both competed in speech and debate tournaments for our respective schools. I don't think we ever actually spoke to each other, but I did have several friends who went to his school, so he was on the periphery of my debate world. I remember times when we were at parties together or our teams had dinner together at a restaurant.  At 6'7" (two meters), he definitely stood out from the crowd! 
When I went to college, Paul and I again found ourselves in concentric friendship orbits. One of my good friends, Steve, had a very good friend named Tom; Paul was one of Tom's best friends. So, even though I didn't know Paul well or Tom at all, Steve often regaled me with tales of adventures that the three of them had together.  The three of them, along with their friend Chuck, also played a very competitive, testosterone fueled, cut-throat brand of backgammon.   Their bible was a book by Bruce Becker called "Backgammon for Blood."
I was intrigued when, in my last year of college, Paul and I moved into the same rooming house. I noticed him right away . . . he was definitely tall, dark and handsome. I remember asking him to help me hang a map in my room, since he could reach all the way to the ceiling! During the first part of that year, I was involved in the last stages/death throes of a serious relationship followed by a series of short-term, very fun,  non committal relationships. Many nights when I would come home from dates, Paul would be sitting in the dining room studying, and we would talk for a while.  My roommate Lynn and I would sometimes bring huge baggies full of pennies to the ice cream parlor where Paul worked and buy huge sundaes, paying for them with hundreds of small copper coins. He'd just shake his head, make us our sundaes and tell his co-worker to count the pennies.  Before long, we began eating meals and studying together. He even taught me how to play backgammon.  We had the luxury of becoming friends long before we had to worry about navigating anything romantic.
By the time spring rolled around, I had a major crush on him.  By then, I realized he was smart, kind and funny, as well as tall, dark and handsome.  But I had no idea how he felt about me.  
Until my birthday in early March. He gave me a backgammon set and his copy  of Backgammon for Blood. In that moment, I realized he was serious about me, even if he hadn't yet expressed himself in a more conventionally romantic way. We made that leap a few short weeks later. . . . and the rest is history! 

34 comments:

Amy said...

Love it! Not sure what else to say ...just that I love it! :)

Karen said...

What a beautiful and touching story Rinda. I hope you still play Backgammon together x

Becky said...

What a wonderful story! What else can I say!xx

Kirsty.A said...

Now that's love!

Missus Wookie said...

Oh that is a wonderful story - Wookie & I were friends before we were moved into anything serious. Games were a big part of our courtship too.

sky-blu-pink said...

Wonderful story! Sean and I met at 21 so we have grown up together too.

Sian said...

What a perfect story! It firs my mood today so well and I have enjoyed every word of it..and I know everyone else will too :) It conjures up such a great picture

and a sidenote to everyone: having had the pleasure of meeting the man in question I can assure you he is everything Rinda says he is!

Eleanor said...

How very lovely. I too first met the man who would later become my husband whilst in another relationship, I knew I would marry him, there were just a few minor details to sort out. :D It's our thirtieth this year.
We also played card games, board games, dice games and yes, Backgammon!
Was intrigued by the Wasp in the wig, so looked it up (you learn something every day). I was stung by a young wasp 2 days ago, it's still big and red and itching - it was a feisty wee thing.
Sorry, waffling here.:) Glad I came by.
x

dogmatix said...

What a lovely story. I love that the gift that means so much to you looks so unconventional to others.

alexa said...

Oh, what a gentle story of lots of types of love: I think you have them all in here, Rinda :).

Ladkyis said...

That is so romantic and so beautiful, thank you for sharing.

Irene said...

You and Paul have something very special. It is wonderful when friendship blossoms into love.

JO SOWERBY said...

Aw Maria that is such a wonderful story of how you two met. I love that you had a friendship and links which eventually led you to each other. Now that is a beautiful story,
Jo xxx

Mommy2CVC said...

I love to hear how people met stories! I've known you for 19 years, but have never had the pleasure of hearing that story! You two are perfect together!

Sheena said...

What a truly wonderful story x

Melissa said...

What a wonderful story about how the two of you met & how that book told you more than he had yet said!

Miriam said...

Just lovely...really lovely Rinda.

scrappyjacky said...

Such a wonderful story,Rinda.

Carrie Rosalind said...

Aww such a sweet love story! So cool that you have a memento to remember it all by too. <3

Carola Bartz said...

What a story!!! I love this, Rinda - so sweet. I actually like when "things" take some time and develop at their own pace.

Karen said...

What a great story, and it's so much fun to read a backstory about people you feel you already know quite well. :-)

Sinead said...

This is such a lovely story, thank you for sharing! My story is about books this month too, love the memories they can conjure up!

Cheri said...

What a sweet way to discover that a sweet man is sweet on you! Love this story Rinda.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

What a wonderful story!

Jo Murray said...

Such a good story Rinda...well told. You two were destined for each other.

Jo said...

This is a beautiful story and it's lovely that you still have the book x

AnnieC said...

oh Wow Rinda, that blue sky is amazing! And I can see the little lamb :o)

Louise said...

a sweet story..one that i enjoyed reading x

Deb@threeisacharm said...

Such a beautiful story, Rinda!

Jane said...

a lovely story that book must be very precious to you

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

And a book sealed the deal. I love it! Such a sweet story, Rinda, and it's left me smiling...

Chipper Newman said...

That was a wonderful story! Definitely a book given in love.

Jimjams said...

WONDERFUL story Rinda - always best to start as friends!

Gail said...

What a wonderful story Rinda. Perfect for Sian's suggestion for this month.