Two accounts of love at first sight
My husband Jason and I were students in a journalism history class at Delta State when we first set eyes on each other.
I was minding my own business in class, gazing down at my textbook, when a Yazoo County boy with a slow drawl entered the room.
My heart skipped a beat. My face broke out into a nervous sweat. I was mesmerized as I watched him make his way across the room, hoping he would take the seat next to me.
In the middle of my hypnotic trance, I fell out of my seat. Crashing into the floor, all of my books fell around me with a ear-shattering thud. But I didn’t care. I was in love with Jason Patterson, the man who would later be my husband and father of my children.
That is how the entire relationship began...according to Jason.
In truth, I don’t remember Jason that well. I remember we had a class together. I thought he was a slacker who never talked in class. And the one time he did talk to me, I had to inform him that I had a boyfriend at the time and turn away.
Our paths never crossed again until a few years later when we both worked at the same newspaper.
I think it’s funny how the stories seem to take shape about how a couple starts their lives together. The men’s version usually involves a female falling madly in love and making a fool of herself before they finally decide to give the poor girl a chance.
The women’s version is usually more accurate with the male trying his heart out to win affection that is usually returned years later.
My grandfather would really get my grandmother hot in the face with his version of how they met.
Paw Paw said he and his friends were in the back of a truck, heading off to play a game of neighborhood baseball. With the sun beating on his face, he got a glimpse of a house close to the gravel road they were traveling down.
He noticed a raven-haired beauty dusting a hand towel out of the window. He admitted she was “a looker,” and he continued to stare at her as the truck made its way down the dusty rural road.
Paw Paw then raised his hand and waved in her direction hoping to get her attention.
The woman then began to wave frantically at him, dropping the towel into the flower bed below the window. Her wave soon escalated into both arms flaring in the air, begging for his attention.
Paw Paw said she began to holler, begging him to come inside for a plate of fried chicken.
When Paw Paw turned his head to grin at his boys, the lovestruck female fell out of the window, screaming for him to come back.
Paw Paw said he felt so sorry for the lady he returned the next day to sit with her and her family. A few months later, the two were married, and he said she kissed him the whole way home from the preacher’s house.
That was Paw Paw’s version. Maw Maw’s version isn’t as exciting, and it’s over pretty quick.
Maw Maw admitted she saw Paw Paw heading to a baseball game in the back of a beat-up truck. She was dusting a towel out the window, and she did see the black-haired Paw Paw out of the whole bunch.
But she said it was because he was so fair skinned, he seemed to glow among all the other tan-faced farmer boys.
Maw Maw said Paw Paw did wave at her, and she returned the gesture with a half-hearted wave before returning to the kitchen.
“My daddy would have skinned me alive if he saw me hanging out the window, hollering at boys,” she said.
Maw Maw said Paw Paw did show up at her door the very next day wearing a new Stetson hat. She opened the door, and he took his hat off and asked if he could visit with her and her family for the afternoon.
The wild-eyed boy sat on the couch for four hours conversating with a rough farmer who was curious just what his intentions were with his daughter. A stern-faced mother and a litter of brothers and sisters surrounded the room.
But Paw Paw never buckled or showed fear. He shook Maw Maw’s hand and asked if he could see her the next day.
A few months later, the two were married. End of story.
There was no hollering from a window. No one fell out of one. And no one begged the other to come in for a plate of chicken.
I admit the men’s stories are usually more entertaining. But I’m not quite sure if they are more believable.
But I guess the vision of me falling out of my desk is slightly more romantic than me trying to ignore my future husband.
Truth be told, I was smitten once I gave Jason Patterson a chance. In a way, I guess I did fall in love on the spot.
Love at second sight doesn’t have quite the same appeal as love at first sight.
But out of all things, why did I have to be the one who fell out of a desk. He could have thought of something better than that.