A love story to commemorate 7 years of honoring legal contracts…

2 May

When I was 25 years old, I was a student at the University of Kansas, had just gone through a painful divorce, was single-momming it with my toddler, and working a couple of jobs.  One of those jobs was at a record store on the main shopping strip of the small  town I lived in.

Brad was a musician who lived in Los Angeles, and when he wasn’t touring with his band he was a roadie for other bands.  At the time of our ‘meeting’ he was a guitar tech for Pete Yorn, and they had 3 days off in Lawrence, Kansas before their show at the Granada.

I was at work when Brad and the guys he was on the road with came into the record store.  Brad saw me sitting on the counter, ignoring and scowling at the customers (the way that all record store employees do) and decided that he had to talk to me.  He asked from across the store who we were playing over the speakers.  I rolled my eyes and said in an elitist voice “Jesus- it’s ‘Built to Spill’!”.  He tried again to approach me by coming up to the counter and asking if we had any “Flux of Pink Indians”.  I sighed heavily because I had to actually get up from sitting on the counter and go to the computer and check.  As I was checking, I snarled at him “You’re in Kansas, buddy.  Do you really think we’re going to have ‘Flux of Pink Indians’?!”.  And we didn’t.   He smiled really big and said ‘thank you’.  I didn’t acknowledge his appreciation and went back to sitting on the counter.  Keep in mind- I’m not a complete asshole, but as I previously stated I had just gone through that painful divorce so my top priority was making all men feel like total shit in my presence.  And for some reason, this completely hooked Brad.  He called one of his best friends that day and told her that he just met the woman he was going to marry.

3 days off in Lawrence is a long time to have free time for a traveling band.  So throughout those 3 days, Brad kept popping into the record store to see if I was working.  He knew from his previous attempts to approach me that I was pretty unapproachable and he had to be careful with how he decided to get my attention.  The night Pete was supposed to play, Brad decided to go by the record store one more time to see if I was there.  I was just closing up the store and locking up as he walked up.  I remember walking by him and noticing he was wearing a “Minor Threat” hoodie that I had never seen before, and as I was walking away from him I stopped and turned around to look at it again.  When I turned around he had also turned around and was staring at me.  I glared at him for looking at me, and marched off.  He then ran back to the club and started asking every employee at the club who “the girl with the black dreadlocks was who worked at the record store” because he knew this was his last chance.   He ran into my friend, Megan, who told him who I was.  Megan had worked with Brad many times before when he had roadied with other bands, so she knew he was a good guy and could give him my info without concern.  Together, they fashioned a little note written on a discarded piece of cardboard, went back to the record store and lodged it between the doors to be found in the morning when the store opened.

So, the next morning I got a call from my friends at work.  “We have an admirer note for you!!  Come to the store and get it!!  Hee hee!!” is what they were sing-songing to me through the phone.  When I went in to retrieve the note, my coworkers (who were also my best friends) had already done a background check on Brad to make sure he wasn’t a creepy scumbag.  They had pulled the CD’s of his band, and done some pretty decent investigation on him.  Normally, when I would get notes or advances from males of any kind, they went straight into the trash- ESPECIALLY if I didn’t know who the guy was.  But for some reason, I kept this one.  I don’t know why, but I couldn’t throw it away.  It was sweet and innocent, and had his email address on it in case I wanted to contact him.  It lived in my purse for a few days, and finally I decided to email him.  Emailing strangers is COMPLETELY out of character for me, but I figured that if he turned out to be a douchebag, I could just block him and never talk to him again.

So I emailed him saying that I was the girl who he left the note for, and wanting to know if he was some crazy person or stalker.  He wrote back, and was funny and cute and totally unimposing.  I proceeded with extreme caution, and we emailed each other every couple days.  Then we emailed each other daily.  Then multiple times a day.  But because I still hated men and was so cautious, it took months before I would give him my phone number.  And even longer before I would give him my address- but when I did, I started receiving care packages twice a week in the mail of funny things he picked up on the road from all his touring, or boxes of clothes because he knew I was a broke single mom who couldn’t afford to go shopping and he said “Girls need new fun things to wear all the time”.  Throughout all of this, he never put any ‘relationship’ expectations on me, despite his feelings .  FINALLY, I let him come visit me- but I made him stay at a friend’s house while he was in Kansas because I was still overly cautious.  Then I went to LA to visit him… then back and forth and back and forth between Kansas and Los Angeles with more and more frequency until finally I told him I loved him, and he gasped and said he had loved me from the first time he saw me- and that started our plans for being each others #1 for keeps.  Fast forward to today, our 7 year wedding anniversary.

Our relationship started out with emails.  Months and months worth of emails.  Not many people have complete documentation of the growth of their relationship- but we do.  I have the first year of ours printed out and saved in a box that I eventually will to get made into a little book for just him and me.  And I still have that note he left me, mounted on the first page of our photo album.  And every time we hit a rough patch and I want to smash his head in with a hammer, I look at that little note- and it reminds me why I shouldn’t smash his head in with a hammer.

Yeah, Brad and I are pretty fucking cute……. happy anniversary to us.

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39 Responses to “A love story to commemorate 7 years of honoring legal contracts…”

  1. Drooling Isn't Pretty May 2, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    this is the cutest thing ever 🙂 i guess love at first sight exists for some people.
    P.S. thats a fucking epic wedding outfit

    • Kristen Ferrell May 2, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

      The pull that we have towards people upon first seeing them is a weird phenomenon. All of my long term relations have come from that crazy “eye lock from across the room filled with people” and somehow KNOWING that you have to meet that person. My first long-term boyfriend and first husband were like that, and Brad was like that with me. How do we know from a glance that there’s something there? It defies science and logic. But I’m glad it exists.
      And thanks for the wedding dress compliment!!! It goes to show that you don’t need to spend thousands on a wedding dress. The top of that was part of a friends old prom dress, and the bottom another friend made for me. It probably cost me about $30. 😀

      • Drooling Isn't Pretty June 6, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

        i think thats the way to go, if its true love you dont need all the pomp and circumstance of some couture gown or whatever.
        love your blog, thanks for replying 🙂

  2. Rosemary May 2, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    I am in love with this story! It is so perfect, and so perfect for you guys. Here’s to 70 years more– cheers hun! ❤

  3. Rosemary May 2, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    I am in love with this story!! It is so perfect, and so perfect for you guys. Here’s to 70 years more– cheers hun! ❤

  4. jamie May 2, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    oh man! i remember when he was in town for work, and then he came in my record store to say hi one day and i asked what band he was with and he was all, nuh huh, i’m here visiting kristen! wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

    • Kristen Ferrell May 2, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

      Because Lawrence is so small, by the 2nd time he came to visit everyone downtown knew who he was. It freaked him out- but I thought it was totally adorable. What I thought was so funny was that he already knew a bunch of people in town before him and I ever met…so he was already a little bit ‘local’. 😀

  5. whitney May 2, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    awwwwwwwww, i fucking love that story!! tell it again! 😀

    i remember, about 7 years ago, before i knew of you, i saw f-minus out here and was talking to brad, (i was in the middle of doing my own dreads) and he said “oh, yours are coming together!! my wife in kansas has them alllllll the way down her back! ::big smile::” i’m guessing you two were just about married by then. you can tell how happy/proud he was to have you. 😀

    hehe, i too have an entire box full of all the shit james sent me back when he was in texas. we also had emails upon emails and mailed letters and goofy shit that we sent each other. and i know what you mean about looking at those things to keep you from wanting to strangle them! haha!!

    happy anniversary you two!! <333!

    • Kristen Ferrell May 2, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

      haha… Brad started referring to me as his “wife” before we officially decided to get married. He told me he was in it for keeps, so I might as well be his wife.

      And yes- hold onto those keepsakes for dear life. Brad and I have had some very rough times, and sometimes you need those reminders to keep things together. They reintroduce you to why you got together in the first place- and that is vitally important when things get shitty.
      I can’t picture things getting shitty between you and James… you’re both so cute and laid back. Brad and I, on the other hand, can get very nutso and overly-emotional. So we need the reminders. ha!
      xooxoxoox

  6. Metro Catpiss May 2, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    Congrat-u-fuckin-lations! x7, even!

  7. hayley g May 2, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    awww! 🙂 i have all types of emails and notes from my man because we met in high school and they do really help when you want to set him on fire!

    • Kristen Ferrell May 2, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

      It’s amazing the power those little treasures have. Seriously!!!

  8. J May 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    Congratulations on your anniversary!! that is such a touching story!
    Me and my husband also had “email love”… we met on Myspace. this month it will be 4 years since we first met. and we were living on different sides of the world back then. the first time he came to my country in 2006 he brought me a package of sweet stuff by Kristen Ferrell!! the angry grandma bag and the “heavy metal kitty” t-shirt. We’re so happy.

    • Kristen Ferrell May 2, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

      I LOVE THAT!!!! I got to be a tiny little part of your greeting!! I’m smiling so big right now!!!

  9. christine May 2, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    That is just too fucking cute. I LOVE IT!!!!!!! congrats!

  10. Ben Cave May 2, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    This story is adorable! I think it’s awesome that you guys were penpals, and built up from there!
    Congrats! : D

    • Kristen Ferrell May 2, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

      I think us being penpals was the only way that I would have let him get near me because at the time I was so defensive towards boys. It allowed us to really take the time to get to know each other before ‘relationship pressure’ set in… which is kindof how it’s supposed to be, right? Or maybe I’m just old-fashioned.
      😀

  11. Tawni May 2, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    Oh my god. You just made my eyes fill with tears, damn it. What a sweet story. Your happiness just makes me so happy. Congratulations on 7 years of honoring legal contracts. (: xoxoxoxoxoxoxo.

    • Kristen Ferrell May 2, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

      You’re such a big-hearted cuddly bunny!! It’s been a long road, and unbelievably rough at some points… but I think that if we’ve made it this far, we’re good to go for at least another 7! Ha!!!
      Super huge hugs to you!!!!

  12. Katie May 2, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    That was sooo sweet!!! It’s nice to hear a happy love story now and then. But you may have gotten the last good guy, cuz all I’ve met are douche bags!

    BTW, I made the move to NYC (with no money and no job), took two months but I got a job, so it looks like I’m here for the duration!!!

    • Kristen Ferrell May 2, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

      There still are OODLES of good guys out there! Unfortunately, there are more douchebags than good guys, so ya gotta weed through the bullshit. But they really are out there! I promise!!

      AND YAY FOR YOU IN NYC!!!! You’ll do great, lady!! Just keep your chin up!!! 😀 xoxoxoxoxo

  13. LRA May 2, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    Congrats, y’all!!!!! I just went through a heart-breaking divorce last summer. Your story gives me hope!!!!! 😀

    • Kristen Ferrell May 2, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

      UUUUGGGGGHHHHHH!!!! HUGE thumbs down to heartbreaking divorces!!! They are terrible horrible things that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, and I’m so so sorry that you had to endure one!!! But yes-oh-yes, the pain does go away and things absolutely get better!!! I PROMISE!!!! And the divorce just means that there’s someone better out there waiting for you!
      🙂
      xoxooxoxxoox

      • LRA May 2, 2010 at 10:25 pm #

        Thank you for your compassion, darlin’! xxxxx and ooooos to you too! 🙂

  14. Suzanne May 3, 2010 at 3:17 am #

    I normally find other people’s love stories creepy to read, but this is different because it’s authentic and honest. In fact, it is so damn sweet, you should get Ed Brubaker, Warren Ellis and Adrian Tomine to each write a comics about you two.

    • Kristen Ferrell May 22, 2010 at 9:32 am #

      Yay!!!! I also am not a fan of ‘love stories’- so I love that I don’t have a creepy one!!
      Thanks!!!! 😀

  15. Lucy Wade May 3, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    Awwwww that is the most sweet and wonderful love story!!! ❤
    I think that you and Brad are one of my favourite couples! Total sweethearts!
    I remember seeing you guys on your honey-moon (well I didn't know this at the time of course, I didn't really know either of you guys at the time) apart from me going to many F-Minus shows…. (and being VERY obsessed with them)! I am not the least bit surprised he was fixated on you starting off in that record shop. You are very beautiful!
    I love those kind of rare moments in life when you are transfixed with someone immediately, it's so special but also kind of weird that you can't stop staring at them.
    I am happy for you and Brad, happy anniversary! xx

    • Kristen Ferrell May 22, 2010 at 9:31 am #

      Oh Lady Lucy… thank you!
      The things that attract us to people have always intrigued me. I’ve been listening to all these psychology podcasts, and the experts are still out on why people are attracted to each other. Some people say it’s because of people’s ‘scents’ they give off, some say it’s behavior displayed, etc etc etc. But none can account for why you can look at someone from across a room and think “That’s the one” without knowing anything about them. That’s what happened with my exhusband and my first long term relationship, and what happened when Brad saw me. But you’re right- it is weird, and pretty great.
      xooxox

  16. nicole May 6, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

    awww man, you guys are too fucking cute!! this story is a total fairytale-come-true! =) men can be annoying, but damn, sometimes it pays off, right? especially when they’re cute. haha but shh, don’t tell ’em that! but sincerely, congrats to you two– it’s SO refreshing to not only see two people who really like each other after getting married, but are genuinely fucking cool people, too!

    i read your post about sluggo kneeding brads eyesockets &busted out laughing!! holy crap, i am so in love with sluggo! it cracks me up because he looks exactly like my smoky cat except my cat is a grumpy old man to virtually everyone except my brother &i. i kind of wish he was as nice as sluggo! anyhow, i HAVE to share this link with you.. aside from the fact that the cuteness level is out of control, there’s a smoky /sluggo doppelganger!!
    http://seaofshoes.typepad.com/sea_of_shoes/2010/05/cat-cafes.html
    xoxo nicole

    • Kristen Ferrell May 22, 2010 at 9:25 am #

      SOOOOOOO CUTE!!!! I love it!! And that kitty DOES look like Sluggo!! ha!

      Men can be maddening. And there have been some SUPER rough times that we’ve been through where I’ve wanted to just kill Brad, or pack me and Sully’s things and leave. But we’ve always worked through them and right now things are better than ever. Yay!!
      Thanks, lady!! 😀

  17. M May 8, 2010 at 1:52 am #

    After a really messy split from my other half (which I’m proud I came out of emotionally unretarded) this is the most inspiring tale. Congratulations to you and Brad!

    • Kristen Ferrell May 22, 2010 at 9:20 am #

      I’ve always told myself that messy breakups and bad relationships are there to show us what we DON’T want in a relationship so that we can keep our eyes out for what we DO want. It’s hard to find a silver lining when you’re in the midst of relationship trauma- but that’s the lining I’ve always stuck with… and I think it’s kept me from getting too emotionally retarded. 🙂
      Thanks for the congrats!! xoxo

  18. Alissa May 10, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    Cute story! Thanks for sharing!

  19. ike May 21, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    That’s Conan.

  20. daMamma July 24, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    Late to the party…. again.
    : )

    Gosh that is the sweetest love story I’ve heard in a very long time. Happy happy 7th to you both and may you have many many more 7ths to come!

    My little monkey-man (my 3 years old son) loves the background on your web page. He says they are “Hearts of happiness”. After reading your love story, I do believe the little man has that right on the money. (*LOL*)

    Now for something totally off topic, but made me think of you today. I was browsing through my oldest boy’s facebook photos (he’s 28) and came across one of him and his girlfriend (I think she’s “The One”) and guess what she is wearing.

    She is wearing one of your tops! It just made me grin silly. Some time back, when I had first discovered your blog, I was so impressed (okay, still am!) with your art I just HAD to forward the address of your store to my boy.

    I’m glad he kept the link. Now I’m a tweak jealous as his girl has something off your line and I still can’t afford something for myself! (*LOL*)

    • Kristen Ferrell July 27, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

      Your little monkey-man sounds 100% precious!! Tell him I collect hearts for a rainy day. Sully and I actually used to do that… we would pick little 3-leaf clovers, and pull the little heart-shaped leaves off them, and he would give them to people who he thought looked like they needed to smile when we were walking around the downtown area of the small town we lived in (I really only suggest doing this if you live in a small town, because big-town people tend to be creepy). Sometimes we would just put them in an envelope and take them out when he was feeling sad. He was about your little fella’s age when we did this. I like that age. A lot. At age 12, he is no longer impressed that fields of hearts grow out of the ground (though I still am… haha!).

      Give your oldest boy and his sweetheart a huge hug from me!!! That put the biggest smile on my face!!! Thank you so much for letting me know this, wonderful lady!!!
      Yay!! 😀 xoxoxoxo

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