It was beginning of the pandemic, my brother, and his family moved in with my parents and me. I was finishing up my final year of schooling, which was now online. I was also recently laid off, because I was at the time considered a “non essential worker”. My brother had gotten a job offer in Nashville, and was begging me to go with him. I really did not want to, the thought of leaving the greatest state in the world (Texas) was not something I was interested in. But I felt something calling me to Tennessee. I prayed to God and said, “ If you want me to move to Tennessee, I’ll do it. But you need to make it super obvious to me that Tennessee is the right decision.” And he sure did! Within the span of 3 weeks, God provided new jobs for both my brother and myself, an affordable and safe apartment, and the funds to move cross country. This was in June of 2020. About three months into me moving to Tennessee I met Vince through another guy, who we will call “Bob” for discretion purposes. I had been invited to a party by Bob, whom I had just met and had been on a couple dates with. When I got to the party, Bob decided he liked blondes over brunettes, and I was left in an awkward situation. I was too prideful and embarrassed to leave the party! So instead I decided to make it my mission to meet new people and make friends (and cue Vince, stumbling into the picture). That night I drove Vince and his friend home from the party. Vince had noticed my Texas license plate and asked, “ Texas huh? You like George Strait?” And then proceeded to play Amarillo By Morning on repeat for the 15 minute drive. This happened beginning of August 2020 1 month passed and I had forgotten about our whole meeting, and was already back out there in the field and going on dates again. When I randomly got a text from a number asking, “How was your Labor Day weekend?” To which I responded, “who is this?” From there we began texting back and forth until he offered to take me night fishing followed by a Waffle House dinner!! HE NEVER SAID IT WAS A DATE. When we got to the fishing spot, Vince immediately put on his headlamp and began what was our first date. My favorite memory from that night was when I tried to see if Vince was wanting to be romantic or just platonic, so I scooted closer to him…he scooted AWAY from me!! THAT is why I never knew we were on a date, or that he even liked me.
The year 2020, like most people, for me started off pretty rough: losing a grandparent, ending of a long four year relationship, and obviously COVID. Fortunately I had a lot of close family and friends help me through it Due to COVID and recently becoming single, I found that I had a lot of time on my hands. I got to spend time with friends I hadn't seen in awhile, read, get more invested in church and after a reasonable amount of time, I decided to start dating. I came to quickly realize that I did not like the dating scene, or the prospects that were coming out of it. I got to the point that summer where I was praying for someone to come into my life, someone to take the next step with, someone I could call 'my wife'. That August, one of my groomsmen, Don, was up one weekend to visit and have a small "guys" getaway from the wife and three kids. I told Don, "I've got the perfect plan". It just so happened that another friend of mine was having a pretty big get together that weekend at his house with his roomates. Don I show up to the party earlier to help set up and get things going. Later on in the night my friend that's hosting the party pulls me aside and asks me to do him a favor and keep a girl away from him for the rest of the night. Trying to help him I said, "sure man, where is she?" He points to this gorgeous girl sitting by the fire pit. Stunned, I ask, "so... you want me to talk to the pretty girl for the rest of the night?" My friend said firmly, "Yes sir". Like a man on a mission, I saluted him, and I was off. I had her laughing, smiling, she even saved me from falling in the fire. This girl was even kind enough to drive me and Don home that night after the party and we listened to "Amarillo by Morning" the whole way home because she was a Texan. We exchanged numbers, and said goodbye It wasn't until about a month later when I was talking with a lady that cut my hair at the time asked about the girl at the party. I told her that I hadn't reached out and that it may have been too late. She insisted that I reach out. So I texted the girl from the party, "how was your labor day weekend?". This led to a first date (it was a date) of fishing and Waffle House after. Emily and I have been together ever since.