when chris & i were engaged, we were living in charlotte. we had decided that as soon as we got married, we'd move to a city in south carolina where there's a christian school that he was hoping to attend. we packed our stuff for the weekend & away we went, feeling all happy & excited to be going on a trip to find our first place together. i'd never lived with anyone & had only briefly had an apt of my own, so this was a pretty big deal!
we got to said city in sc & after driving around the dinky, unattractive campus for a few minutes, he turned to me and said, "um... i don't think i want to go to school here. i think i should go back & finish up in tennessee."
as i've mentioned before, i'm a yankee snob & somehow, the idea of living in tennessee was absolutely horrible to me. like living in north or south carolina was ok, but somehow, when you crossed the line into tennessee, you became an instant hillbilly. i wanted to say. "NO! i'm not moving to that stupid, redneck, hillbilly place!" but i didn't. i loved my man enough to be willing to go with him to tennessee & look for a home. the thought of my first married home being in that god-forsaken state was really hard for me to swallow - it totally didn't meet any of my expectations for my future life. but i went. i can't say i was happy about it or even pretended to be, but i was willing & hopefully i didn't whine too much. i was trusting that God would see my attempted submission & steer my almost-hubby to a more desirable location. like after i said, "yes, i'll go", i'd hear a voice from the sky saying "this is a test, this is only a test." i'd swipe my hand across my brow & say, "phew! that was a close one!" God would snicker quietly at me & then we'd be off to some other more "acceptable" state to start our future together.
that's not how it went. we drove all around the rinky dink lil town that chris knew all too well from years spent delivering pizzas & we called every number we could find for the rentals with signs out front. we were able to get into a few & eventually, we found this one little duplex, the landlord showed it to us & the next thing i knew, we were signing papers. we gave him a check & he gave us the keys & it was then that i said, "oh crap!!" in my head. cuz how was God going to undo this? money had changed hands, the deal was done.
we went to a little barbecue joint that chris really liked, to celebrate his imminent return to clevegas. i ordered the beef (clearly this was pre-vegetarianism) and he had the pork. i'd never eaten a barbecue sandwich before & i didn't especially like it, but still trying to be the nice almost-wifey, i tried not to complain too much.
we drove across the county line to find a motel for the night because chris was going to take me out for a night on the town. show me a yeehaw good time in the big city about half an hour away. we had taken our stuff into the stinky hotel room when i started to feel sick. the rumbles came a-burbling up my guts & i was in PAIN! i spent large portions of the next 12 hours hugging that disgusting motel toilet or sitting on it, holding the trash can.
i felt guilty for ruining the nice night that chris had tried to plan for us. i told him to go alone. he might have, i wouldn't know because i was either puking or comatose for the most part the whole time we were there. he brought me some pepto from the gas station next door & i remember him telling me my tongue was black. i felt embarrassed for being in a motel room w/ the man i loved & i couldn't stop crapping my guts out & no doubt making some seriously disgusting noises.
finally the next morning it seemed like the food poisoning had subsided & even though i was feeling drained (for very good reason) i didn't want to stay at the motel 6 and the scene of my shame anymore, so i insisted that i was fine & we could go on back home to charlotte. we had to pass close by our new little house on our way back home, so we decided to stop & look around again, this time without the landlord looking over our shoulders. we wouldn't be moving in for another month still, but wanted to be able to make mental plans.
we were turning onto our new little street when my stomach grumbled & then i farted. or rather, i thought i farted. as it turned out, it was more of a shart, but i didn't realize it right away. it wasn't until i stood up from chris' nice little car that i realized what had happened. i was wearing cute, short little white shorts & was mortified to find that i had crapped myself right on his car seat! there was no disguising it, no hiding it. if death had been an option at that point, i'm pretty sure i would have chosen it. chris was quick to realize my distress & he whipped my suitcase out of the trunk & carried it straight into the bathroom for me. i was able to change, but alas, the water was turned off in the house, so there wasn't much clean-up to be done. i found a plastic bag into which i stuffed all the dirty items & i shamefully walked back out to face chris. i hung my head in my most mortifying moment to date. he just hugged me & told me it was ok & he loved me & then he took me to a gas station for as much of bath as i could manage in the cigarette burned sink. i threw the bag of nastiness away. i never wanted to see or remember that incident again for the rest of my life and i could buy new shorts.
the car was cleaned & the return trip was made. i was probably a lot quieter than usual on the 6 hr drive because i was afraid that he would be so grossed out by me that he'd dump me. or mock me. he'd move back to tennessee without my nasty self. and it was then that i realized that i didn't want him to go without me. while i didn't relish the thought of living in tn, i would much rather live in tn with chris than live without him in charlotte. that was a defining moment for me. it was a good & positive moment of humility & thankfulness. humbled because of my sickness & thankful that the man i loved would overlook my ickiness. he was the one i'd been looking for all my life & i was lucky enough to find him when i was only 21.