Few people know that my husband, Jason, and I, have actually known each other since we were teenagers.
Growing up, we were both part of the same Judeo-Christian faith, part of an international organization with initiatives around the world.
One of those initiatives was bible camp.
I always laugh when I tell people that we actually met at a church camp in Pennsylvania one fateful August. I think I was 13 and he was 15, although we argue about the exact year.
Girls (pink) and boys (blue) were split into separate dorms. We weren’t allowed to make any purple, they told us. And at dances and events, there always had to be a bible’s width between us.
Although there were mostly sports and games, we also had modesty class and swing dance lessons.
Someone thought it was a good idea to put us together: Me at 4’11.5″ and him being 6’4″, there was almost a foot-and-a-half difference between us. It was inevitable that while learning a trick where he had to duck while I swung my leg above him, I accidentally kicked him in the head. (LOL.)
We kept in touch over the years
MSN and AOL Messenger were huge at that time, and many of those we both met around the world through church, kept in touch that way.
We were Sabbath keepers and would always be “stuck” at home on Friday nights.
After dinner, many of us would log online for “fellowship” (it was more an excuse to socialize). We would create huge chatrooms with dozens of people having random conversations for everyone else to read.
As we got older, he started dating and I started dating (not each other).
At one point, I remember him telling me his girlfriend broke up with him because sex with him was too painful (on account on him being well-endowed, he said). Haha. The things teenaged boys say to girls. Seriously. Lol.
We saw each other again during a church fall festival in Mont Sainte-Anne, Quebec in 2002.
He had bright blue hair.
There was teen bowling, followed by an evening party where there was Twister.
I wore the first thong I ever owned (because that’s what you do when you play Twister).
Needless to say, he always remembered me and I always remembered him. But, I don’t think we ever thought of each other “that way.”
And then we fell out of touch.
I heard he got married and joined the army, and I kind of just assumed that I would never hear from him again.
Jason and Precious as you know it
In 2008, Jason was discharged from the army.
Believing that he would serve as a soldier his entire life, it really destroyed him.
Sent back to his hometown in Ohio with no guidance, he was in between jobs. His marriage was falling apart. (He and his now-ex-wife separated shortly after.)
That’s around the time when he re-joined Facebook and added me as a friend.
Although Facebook had been around for about four years at that point, it was still kind of in its infancy. It’s not quite the Facebook we know now.
People treated it like their Live Journals, writing “notes,” posting stupid quizzes and tagging friends (oh wait, I think we all still do this).
I posted some note where I had to Google “[Your name] likes to” and share the top 10 results. I don’t know what possessed me to do so, but I decided to tag him. He found the whole thing hilarious and we started to chat.
I was working overnight shifts at The Toronto Star, and he was delivering pizzas until the wee hours of the morning.
He would be getting off work while I was just starting.
We were two of the few people who knew each other that were still awake at those hours so, we became friends. One thing led to another and here we are.
Moving to Canada
When we first started dating, Jason had been living with a couple of childhood friends.
They were making plans to move down to Florida — somewhere much warmer than lake-effect-snow-riddled-Ohio.
I was far more settled.
I had just started my own business. On top of that, I had a relatively well-paying steady job (if one could ever say that about being a journalist). My mom and I also had an established 7-year-old business.
We had barely started dating before Jason threw the idea out there to move to Canada. I thought it was nuts since we barely knew each other (we certainly weren’t the same people we were when we were teenagers).
But, it didn’t take long for us to move in together.
We pretty much thought that we were falling, albeit fast. And that if he had moved to Florida, we probably would never really see each other. So, it was one of those, “It’s now or never moments.”
Would I recommend anyone start a relationship the same way we did? Probably not.
But, it’s like they say in the movies. When you know, you know.
On a trip to Florida, we were in a store that sold graphic tees.
I saw one of a piece of toast with peanut butter running toward another piece of toast with jam.
The initials of my first and middle name are PB and of course, Jason’s first initial is J.
For some reason, we thought that shirt was hilarious.
He bought it for me and we’ve gone by PB&J ever since.
I know, we’re probably the cheesiest people ever.
This trip was back in 2009. And yes, I still have the shirt.
There you have it. That’s the start of the PB&J you know today. 🙂