Jane and Johnathan
How We Met
Johnathan and I met in college, I was a junior in the middle of sorority recruitment, he was also a junior and president of his fraternity, Sigma Pi. My friend Caitlin had been telling me since we rushed Chi Omega together as freshman that I needed to meet her boyfriends roommate/ best friend “Barger” because she “just knew we needed to be in love” I always laughed and brushed it off because I was in a long distance relationship with someone from home. Fast forward 3 years to my junior year, now single…Caitlin and I were driving around like crazy trying to find last minute recruitment outfits and eat in between practices when she asked if I wanted to swing by her boyfriends house to meet their new puppy…. I hadn’t washed my hair in 3 days (any sorority girl going through recruitment practice will understand this), I had no makeup on and was wearing Nike shorts and a baggy t-shirt…but um puppy? Yes we were going. We pulled up to the house and as we were getting out she said “oh yeah Barger is here”. Barger, the boy I’ve been hearing about since my freshman year of college, but STILL hadn’t met, which was unusual considering we were both in Greek life and went to a very small university in the heart of Richmond, Kentucky. I laughed and shook my head, way too focused on the puppy to care. I remember walking into the house and seeing this tall, dark-haired boy standing in the middle of his living room, wearing a muscle shirt, and drinking a beer at 11:00am…. Later I found out he knew I had a major crush on Tim Riggins (I mean what girl who watches Friday Night lights didn’t??) and he thought that was a Tim Riggins thing to do…I still make fun of him about that to this day. We introduced ourselves even though we both already knew who each other were (turns out she’d been bugging him about “needing to fall in love” with me as well since freshman year). He shook my hand and in this sweet, deep southern voice said “Hi I’m Johnathan”.
I honestly get butterflies just thinking about that day and how I had no idea that on that hot August day my life was going to change forever. I don’t know if it was his kaleidoscope looking baby blue eyes or his southern charm but there was something so drawing about him I knew we were going to be more than just friends. Johnathan and I went from complete strangers to something I couldn’t quite explain at first, but I knew I wanted to find out. We barely knew each other yet instantly we became inseparable. We did everything together. I never wanted to not be with him because he made me feel like i’d never felt before, he made me laugh harder than I thought I could, and it helped that he was easy on the eyes too. I had to break it to him that was leaving in 3 months to study abroad in Ireland for the spring semester. He begged me to stay, then begged to come with me. I knew though that if it was meant to be it would be. We spent the rest of the time we had together growing closer and closer. When it was time for me to leave I knew I was leaving a piece of me behind. He wrote me countless letters and Skyped me everyday. One night while I was in Ireland he told me he was in love with me.
When I got back and saw him for the first time it was like my world was spinning on its axis. I told him I was in love with him too and the rest…is history. I never thought that I, being a northern girl from Boston would fall so madly in love with a small town boy from Barbourville, Kentucky…. I guess that fate has a funny way of working out like that.
p.s we ended up taking a trip back to Ireland last May. This time…together.
How He Asked
It was Thanksgiving Day and we decided we’d do dinner with his mom’s family that morning, and then drive to Lexington to do Thanksgiving with my dad’s family that afternoon. He asked me to drive to Lexington and I was mad because he knows I hate driving, but since he always does I said “fine”. On the drive down he was on his phone the whole time and I yelled, “you’re making me drive and you’re spending the entire ride looking through twitter!”…Little did I know he was texting my sister finalizing a plan that had been in the works for many weeks (looking back now I feel like a total brat lol oops) We pulled up to my grandparents house where we do Thanksgiving every year and all 20 members of my family pack in and join. My dad and uncle were outside frying a turkey and Johnathan and I headed for the door. I walk into the house and joyfully yelled “Hellooo” followed by “what the heck”. In front of me was a string of Polaroid pictures hanging throughout the entire length of the hallway. It took me a minute to realize they were photos of Johnathan and me, and in between the photos were individual what I love about you cards. There were rose pedals leading from the door down the hall into the living room, and the acoustic version ‘’perfect” by Ed Sheeran was playing. Once I realized what was happening I instantly started to cry. I walked down the hallway looking at all the photos of us from the last 3 years, flooded with memories from where to began to where we were in that exact moment.
I walked into the living room to find my whole family there. I began to weep even harder when I saw my poppa siting there with a huge smile on his face reaching out to hug me. My poppa was diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia two years ago, and its been a battle ever since. We weren’t even sure he’d be here for Thanksgiving, but there he was watching this life changing moment for me. I remember having a sigh of relief moment knowing that no matter what happens, he knows i’ll be okay, he knows Johnathan will always take care of me.
I turned around to find a banner hanging over the fireplace that read “Soon to be Mr. & Mrs. Barger” and Johnathan on one knee asking me to marry him. Without a second of hesitation I shook my my head and said “Yes!” with tears rolling down my cheeks. And in that moment we began our forever.