One of my favorite parts of photographing couples is hearing their stories. Each one is so special and unique to the couple who shares it. While I am privileged to hear so many different stories, my couples never hear mine. So I thought maybe I should change that. Today on the blog, I’m starting a series on “The Story of Us.“
To start, it was 2008, polos and pearls paired with Sperry’s were all the rage. You received double the cool points if the collar on your polo was popped, and you were DOPE if you layered two of them together and popped both of the collars (just kidding! Dope wasn’t even considered slang back then!)
It was September 2008. I was seventeen and a high school senior. I was focused on whatever boyfriend I had that week, cheerleading, and college plans. My sister and her new husband had moved to Florence, South Carolina earlier in the summer, and they had finally purchased their first home. My family and I drove down I-95 in an old Mercury Sable to help them move over Labor Day Weekend.
Of course, nothing was put together that weekend. We all slept on air mattresses and worked away helping my sister and brother-in-law get settled into their new home. My brother-in-law had recently taken a job as a youth pastor at a church. So that weekend, church members came over to lend a hand. One of those church members was a teen in my brother in laws youth group. That was Christopher. He was short, scrawny, had glasses, and really wasn’t my type at all. Like I said earlier, I was focused on whichever boyfriend I had that week and really just didn’t pay him any attention. If only I would’ve known…
I didn’t think of Christopher anymore until a few months later when my sister brought him up. She never really approved of my boyfriends and was always trying to set me up with someone who met her standards (which usually meant I wouldn’t think he was “hot”). I remember my sister had come home to visit and at dinner she asked me what I thought of him. Devoted to my boyfriend of the week, I shut her down.
A few weeks later, my mom dropped me off at my sister’s home in South Carolina for spring break. When my mom had left, I remember my sister turning to me and saying “By the way, you’re going on a date with Christopher on Tuesday.”
“What?!?!” I exclaimed. I was so mad! She was basically making me cheat on my boyfriend of the week!
“Just give hime a chance! Ya’ll would be great together!” She smiled slyly.
In my mind, I had already determined that we wouldn’t be great together at all.
Tuesday came, and Christopher picked me up in his Mercury Cougar. To be honest, I don’t remember much about this date at all. He picked me up in his Mercury Cougar and was very polite. He opened the car door and did all the chivalrous things that would make a girl feel special, but my mind was made up before the date even started. We went to a restaurant called Jack’s Place, and I’m pretty sure I ate chicken tenders (that’s all I would eat at that age). I don’t remember anything we talked about. All I remember is when Christopher dropped me off my sister turning to me and asking me how it went. “I’m just really not interested at all.” I told he
I can still remember it like it was yesterday. It was a Saturday afternoon and my youth pastor , who had recently gotten married, was moving into his new home. He asked the youth group if anyone could come over to help with the moving. This was one of his favorite “youth activities.” I thought to myself, "Sure, this will be a good opportunity to meet and get to know my new youth pastor and his wife.: I went over that afternoon. Their family came from out of town to help as well, and that was the first time I saw Tierney. We all have memories that just stick with us, and the first time I saw Tierney was something I’d never forget. I took notice of her early on that afternoon, thinking to myself, “Who is this girl?” Naturally, I eavesdropped on every conversation trying to figure out how old she was and where she went to school. Towards the end of the evening, I heard someone talking to her about school and then heard the name “Liberty.” Well, I instantly thought about Liberty University and that any chance I had was gone. Why would a college girl go out with a high school student?
A few months later, I found out that it wasn’t Liberty University, it was Liberty Christian School. We were the same age! As I got to know her sister ,Cassie (my youth pastor's wife), the more she would talk to me about Tierney. Of course being a guy, I was really intrigued by the prospect of being set up with a beautiful girl. Skipping ahead a few months to March of 2009, Tierney came back into town for her spring break and Adam talked to me about asking Tierney to go out to dinner. Unfortunately, her spring break took place while I was still in school, but undeterred I talked to my parents about skipping class one day to take this girl out on a date. Surprisingly, they agreed (it was my senior year and I was about to graduate so I had some leeway).
It took me all day to get the courage to finally text. I text Adam since I didn't have Tierney's number to see if he would ask Tierney about grabbing dinner with me. He told me she said yes, needless to say I was one excited guy. The day came, and I drove to pick Tierney up and take her out and about town. First, we went to Jack’s Place. I can’t remember what I got but I remember she got chicken tenders (she won’t admit it, but that’s all she eats). I remember being so nervous that day trying to impress her. Next, we drove across town to the mall where we went to Barnes and Noble. We looked around at the books made some small talk then walked around the mall some more. Afterwards, we headed back to Adam and Cassie’s place. I dropped her off and anxiously wondered to myself if she had a good time.
Over the next few weeks, I realized that she and I weren't meant to be (or so I thought at the time). I chalked it up to good memories and moved on.
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