How Did You Meet Your Mate?

Posted by on Sep 20, 2012 | No Comments

My wife and I taught a marriage preparation class where our favorite icebreaker question was, “How did you meet your future spouse?” Common answers were, “Through friends,” “In a bar,” or, “We were classmates.” But the answer from one couple, which I’ll share later, has always stood out in my mind as the story to be topped.

Laurie and I met when we were teenage members of Civil Air Patrol, a civilian auxiliary of the US Air Force. Imagine Junior ROTC crossed with Explorer Scouts and you get the general idea. I was her Flight Sergeant at a search and rescue training camp. She thought I was a jerk. Given the fact that I was a fifteen year old boy–she was right. Four years later I had matured to the point where she thought I might be worth a second look. After some encouragement from a mutual friend who thought we’d be good together, we started dating. She’s spent the last 33 years helping me smooth off some of those rough spots in my personality that caused her initial rejection.

Several of our closest friends are in mixed marriages–which in our part of the country means that a University of Washington Husky married a Washington State University Cougar. Both of these long lasting relationships started in bars. And none of their children are attending either university.

A cousin told me how her mother sent her to college with the express purpose of earning an MRS degree–which means finding a husband. She was interested in the college life but not so much in that MRS degree. For awhile she managed to put her mother off with stories about non-existent boyfriends. When mom lost patience and demanded to meet the current beau, my cousin enlisted the help of a classmate she barely knew–and in whom she had zero romantic interest. When her mother showed up he played the part and mom went away satisfied, for the present. But the seed was planted in the mind of her accomplice and he asked her out, several times. She finally acquiesced and the rest is marital history.

When we meet couples I like to ask that icebreaker “How did you meet your mate?” Partly because I like to know about them but also because I’m looking to top the unusual response by the engaged pair in our marriage preparation class.

Their answer was, “Over a dead rat.”

There was silence in the room until I asked, “A dead rat?”

“Yes. We were lab partners in a college biology class and our first assignment was to dissect a rat.”

I asked if they’d be putting a frosting facsimile of their benefactor on the wedding cake. Sadly, no. It didn’t fit within the theme of their reception.

How about you? How did you meet your mate? Leave you answer in the comments. It’s fun to share stories, even if you can’t top, “Over a dead rat.”

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    September 20, 2012

    That’s a cute one. Do you know how & when I met your dad?


    • Dennis
      September 24, 2012

      It was a blind date, of course. Seems to have worked out.

  2. Kathy Eberly
    October 7, 2012

    I loved this post! The dead rat is a classic! My husband and I met through eHarmony. I’m not sure I was impressed at the first date but by the third I knew he was Mr. Right. (His willingness to pray for a crisis I was in won me over). It’s been almost six years and I know that this was the right decision!

    • Dennis Brooke
      October 7, 2012

      Kathy, I know of several great marriages that started through online services like eHarmony or Equally Yoked. As you can tell from my story, it wasn’t love at first sight for my wife or I either. But it’s the long run that matters!

  3. Denise Hisey
    November 22, 2012

    I was babysitting my husband’s 1 year old niece. We tease her and tell her she was a young match-maker!

  4. Dennis
    November 22, 2012

    Denise–I hope you made her the flower girl!

  5. Janalyn Voigt
    March 19, 2013

    How handy. That dead rat will be a conversation starter all through their married life!

    My husband and I also met through EHarmony. We emailed back-and-forth for about six months before meeting. No sparks flew, but by then we’d both given up on meeting a potential spouse through a computerized dating service. We lived close enough to one another that we decided to hang out as friends, though. The rest is history. :o)

    • Dennis Brooke
      March 21, 2013

      Another eHarmony success story. Starting as friends can be a low pressure way to develop the relationship. Never tried it mysefl…