Once upon a time, a college student named Erica (me) met her now husband (Terry) on an adult chat website while he was still married to his now ex-wife.
This is significant because Erica had always been a good Christian girl who, from the time she was twelve, wanted to be a missionary when she grew up. Her dream had always been to run an orphanage for street children in the heart of Bogota, Colombia…or somewhere in Ecuador as she decided when her first love, best friend, and obsession during junior high and high school decided that was where he wanted to run an orphanage when he grew up.
Of course, during her life at home with her parents, Erica had always been incredibly sheltered and undeniably over-protected. She was clueless when it came to knowing whether or not a guy ‘liked’ her, especially after she began going on summer mission trips where crushes became known as ‘sunflowers’ and everything but friendship between individuals of the opposite sex was strictly forbidden.
It wasn’t until years later, when she was attending a small missions college in Bloomington, Minnesota, that one of her guy friends informed her that the reason she’d never had a boyfriend or even been on a date was because she was such a good friend. She thought that was absurd but he assured her that she’d be hard-pressed to find a guy willing to risk their friendship with her in order to date her.
Taking this as truth, Erica was ecstatic when the one guy who’d made her heart go pitter-patter from the moment she’d laid eyes on him decided to take her on her first date ever as an apology for missing her birthday party.
Granted, as part of her ‘sunflower – boys must be friends – True Love Waits’ indoctrination, Erica had committed to not only remain a virgin till marriage but had also decided to take things one step further and vowed to not even kiss a boy until they were at least engaged to be married and thought it would be the most romantic thing in the world if she waited until the minister said, “You may now kiss the bride” to have her first kiss. Therefore, that first date was incredibly chaste and indescribably boring.
Undeniably unrealistic expectations, you say? Yes. Very. But it wasn’t until she was 21, walked out of her second non-accredited college, and was told by the man she’d moved halfway across the country for that he was engaged to another woman that she realized exactly how unrealistic her expectations were…