In honor of Chris & I celebrating our 20th Valentine’s Day enjoy this playlist from Spotify while you read the beginning of our story.
I was curvy, he was thin. I was short, he was tall. He liked tennis, I did not. I liked Garth Brooks, he liked Alannis Morsette. I drove a truck, he drove a car. I had several friends, he had two. If you would have told me I would marry Chris Plunkett I would have thought you were on drugs. We were as different as night and day.
As a matter of fact, when he did dig up the courage to ask me out I told him that I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend but if he wanted to be friends we could. He, of course, was completely offended by this prospect. Months prior I had told my mom I thought I was supposed to be like the Apostle Paul and never marry. She suggested I give my sixteen year old self some time to really figure that out. She’s always been wise like that. It was not until some flirting from him and the prospect of one of my friends asking him out that I took notice of what I might be missing out on with Chris Plunkett.
Our first date was to see the movie, “That Thing You Do,” starring Tom Hanks. That date was one for the record books. Chris asked if I could go out on a particular date and I said I could, but then I remembered a group of my girl friends were going to the movies the same night. I think I asked my friends if it would be okay if Chris came and they agreed (I guess). Imagine the scene of me, Chris, and another girl in the back seat of a GEO Metro with two of my other friends in the front seat. I told you-it was one for the record books. That did not run him off. We dated all through our Junior year of high school. It was a Nicholas Sparks book if there was such a thing in 1996.
In May of 1997 I broke up with Chris. We were too close. I was a horrible friend in high school. We had isolated ourselves and became so self-involved. That summer I dated a couple of guys all the while comparing them to Chris and mentally keeping track of how they all fell short of Chris Plunkett. He dated my best friend at the time. That played out like a high school movie.
My mom worked at our church and I was hanging out at her office that summer in between my three low-key jobs and Chris was there and asked me for my friend’s number. I’m sure her phone number was in the phone book but it wouldn’t be near as dramatic if he would have looked it up in the phone book. I squinted my eyes and gave him her phone number and secretly wished he would fall off a cliff. Within hours I received a phone call from my friend asking if it was okay that she goes out with him. I played it cool as if I didn’t care and that I was totally over him. But my wise mother saw the other side of that when I screamed and cried about it in her minivan. Thankfully, I had three low key jobs to keep me occupied that summer.
The first of my jobs was working at Pizza Barn about twenty hours a week. I had started working there as soon as my parents gave me my truck. In addition to Pizza Barn I had a babysitting job that was about three days a week and I had worked for that family the summer prior so it was easy and the last of my three jobs was at a local Christian bookstore. That’s where Chris chose to show up again. While looking at the latest book releases one day in rolls Chris Plunkett. I don’t even remember what he said to me but I remember a rage came over me and I slapped him across the face. I don’t remember any words just him leaving and me being so angry. Looking back I don’t know if I was angry or hurt or a combination of both.
As a senior in high school I was President of the embarrassingly small on campus Christian group called “Partners in Christ.” Being President of that club puts you in charge of See You At The Pole. See You At The Pole 1997 brought us back together for keeps. I needed someone with a video camera and someone that knew how to use it. Enter Chris Plunkett.