Since my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary this week and since some of you requested to know, I'll go ahead and tell the story behind #7 of the post below...
In the Fall of 1974 I was a freshman attending college in California. That semester I was enrolled in a sociology class. The second week of class our professor gave us a rather unusual assignment. (This professor was a little odd -- a 1960's throw-back, hippie-type.) The assignment given was that we were supposed to walk up to a total stranger, tell the person "I love you" and record their response. I went back to my dorm room a little frustrated. I didn't want to fulfill this assignment and embarrass myself. After talking it over with my roommate, I decided to call a stranger on the phone rather than approach them directly. That way I could fulfill the assignment and record a response, but I wouldn't have to worry about the person recognizing me several weeks down the road. I picked up the dorm directory and started scanning down a page. I randomly chose a name and made the call. A young man answered the phone and I asked if I could speak to Mark. The young man said, "one minute," and went to get him. Then I heard another "hello." With as much boldness as I could muster I said, "I love you!" There was silence on the other end of the line...lots of silence. I said it again -- this time with more feeling. "I love you!" More silence and then this rather innocuous response, "Well, what do you want me to do about it?" Because I was trying to fulfill an assignment, I simply said, "Respond!" He then asked, "Who is this?" Embarrassed by my remarks I hung up the phone. A couple more phone calls were made before I was able to get a recordable response and the experience was soon forgotten.
Several months later I began attending church and met a young man named Mark. We began to get to know one another and soon we began seeing each other regularly. Several weeks after meeting Mark I was with him and his roommate and they began to tell me about the crazy girls enrolled at our college. They began to speak about one girl in particular, a stranger, who had called Mark at the beginning of the year claiming love and devotion and issuing the statement "I love you!" Something clicked in my mind and I said, "I know what that was about. She probably had the same class I had..." It was then I made the connection that I had never made previously between the name that I had called at the beginning of the school year and the young man who was sitting in front of me. I realized at that time that it was Mark that I had called. Mark and his roommate really didn't believe me when I told them the story, so I had to take them back to my dorm room and have my roommate verify my side of the story without her knowing why.
So...the first words I ever said to the man who became my husband were, "I love you."