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Thankful Thursdays #55: true romance

Last week, I embarked on a new adventure in my Thankful Thursdays feature by taking the first of my top ten thanksgivings, and fleshing it out a little by sharing my testimony.  Continuing the adventure, I’m now moving on to the second thanksgiving on my list:

2. My wonderful, most perfect husband. I always tell him he is perfect to me, because although he’s obviously not literally perfect, he is everything I need him to be and honestly, I don’t think there is anyone in the world I could love as much. I feel that I have been blessed far beyond what I deserve, and I’m so thankful for it. He completes me.

I was corrupted by romance novels at the tender age of twelve.  (Is that a funny way to start telling you why I’m so thankful for Dennis?  Bear with me! lol)  My Dad has always had a hobby of buying and selling, well, pretty much everything, and I found a bookshelf lined with romance novels in our basement that he had been selling at the flea market.  I snuck them away one at a time, devouring them and wondering if I’d ever find a man as wonderful as the ones in the novels.  (I was corrupted, I tell you!)  They captivated me because they depicted such colorful and passionate people, and relationships (and details I really didn’t need to be reading!) that were so much different than the ones I observed in real life.

The men and women were gorgeous, of course.  Physically perfect.  The men were tall and strong, bold, brave, always stepping forward to defend or rescue their woman when necessary (which was alarmingly often), serious, brooding, forceful in a take-charge sort of way, and passionate.  Without realizing it, I came to believe that these men and these relationships were normal and what everyone had (except my parents, who I always knew weren’t normal-lol).  I decided I had to have this too.

Dennis with his cousin Mike and friend Coz

The first time I laid eye on Dennis, I was seventeen years old (he was 30, total cradle-robber! haha) and had just started taking a class called “Personal Efficiency” at the Church of Scientology.  Dennis was on staff as the Promotions I/C (in-charge) at the time, and we passed each other one day while I was exiting the church to go to the classroom behind it, and he was passing me to go into the door I had exited.  I smiled at him as I walked down the stairs to go to the classroom, trying not to let my eyes devour him and reveal how cute I thought he was, and then looked back over my shoulder to check out his butt as he ascended the stairs and I remember being impressed with what I saw.  It was pretty much lust at first sight for me! LOL!

Dennis and his friend Jack, the one who just got baptized!

At this point, I had never had a boyfriend, never been kissed by anyone other than my cousin when we were six years old, and was utterly convinced that I was going to die an old maid.  I was desperate, and thus began a relationship with someone who was very ill-suited to me (picture a gothic emo dude that cries to Phantom of the Opera while screaming his ex-girlfriend’s name), simply because he asked me on a date.  I was absolutely miserable in the relationship but was unsuccessful in my feeble attempts at breaking up.

Dennis, front left, with his band, Zencraft in 1992

Dennis worked with my boyfriend, let’s call him Dragon, and he started coming over for Dragon’s “Mage” fests.  Mage is a role-playing game like Dungeons and Dragons, and neither Dennis nor I was very much into it (OK, so I wasn’t into it AT ALL), so we very innocently started hanging out together instead of at the Mage parties, with no ulterior motive other than escaping Dragon’s crowd.  Dragon trusted Dennis and thought nothing of it when Dennis whisked me off to the movies every week.

Although the only time we had to talk was during the ride to and from the theater, I was absolutely thrilled and astounded that communication between a man and a woman could be so easy.  So relaxed and comfortable.  Dennis didn’t make me feel like I was an idiot, he actually considered what I said, and didn’t judge me.  I found myself able to speak my mind rather than keeping quiet for fear of sounding stupid, as I did with Dragon.  The exchange of ideas and thoughts was free and effortless, and just so…wonderful.

Dennis and I doing target practice (at my foot, apparently) in his parents' backyard, 1998. I want to make lots of excuses for this horrible photo, but I'll let it be. :)

After only a few weeks, my growing affection for Dennis, and the realization of how lacking my current relationship was, gave me the the strength I needed to end things with Dragon for good.  But what I got with Dennis wasn’t exactly the story-book romance I had always thought I wanted.

Dennis took me to my senior prom, 1999

Let me tell you, if you have been corrupted by romance novels like I was, please do not let the men in them be your standard for potential suitors!  If I had done that, I would never have married the most wonderful man I’ve ever known.  Dennis is strong, sure.  He has practiced martial arts since high school (check out his fab nunchuk skills–promise I didn’t speed it up–and part of his staff form in this video).  He also plays the guitar, so he’s got the sexy musician thing going for him too.  :)  He’s intelligent, witty, and kind.  But Dennis isn’t particularly tall, and although I find him very attractive, he’s not one of the tall-dark-and-handsome super-studs that parade through romance novels.  He’s easy-going and probably wouldn’t recognize if I ever needed to be defended or rescued until I’d already been slaughtered.  He’s a complete and utter goofball (you’ll also see evidence of that in the video), he snores to beat the band, is missing a tooth, tries to kill us every time he gets behind the wheel (or so I’m convinced), he lifts his pinky off his spoon when he eats soup, looks like Shrek when he wakes up in the morning, and his hair is thinning and going gray.  Where was that in my romance novels?

What I found instead was something real, and with time I’ve come to realize it’s so much better than fiction.  You won’t find any man in the romance novels suffering from food poisoning and curled around a toilet when his woman calls him and asks if he can bring her insulin to work because she forgot it.  And him have to change his pants twice before leaving the house to bring it to her, because, well, you know, accidents happen when you’re suffering from food poisoning.  (For the record, I did not know he had food poisoning when I called him!  I would never have asked him if I had known.  But he came anyway!)  No man in the romance novels ever whined like a baby at the suggestion that he try a new food, or threw back the shower curtain and started doing kickboxing while wet to air dry, or tried to pee without using his hands so he wouldn’t have to wash them afterward, and ended up making a huge mess instead (that he most definitely cleaned up himself, thank you very much).  I had no warning for what I got with Dennis, but my journey with him has been a complete joy.

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Sometimes, as in the case of the Pioneer Woman (if you haven’t read her book, From Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, I recommend it highly!), real-life romance does live up to the novel and you get your beefy hunk that is so masculine that testosterone oozes from  his pores and your knees go weak if you even sense he might be within 500 miles.  Dennis and I did, and do even more so now, have a strong physical passion for each other, but it was never the driving force behind our love, like it seems to be in the romance novels.  It’s more like our souls are linked together and I need him in my life to be complete.  I crave him and relish our time together, no matter how it is spent.

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What I got with Dennis is true romance.  I really feel I took the most perfect man alive away from every other more eligible woman, but I don’t regret it one bit!  He’s all mine, and I’m keeping him!  :)  And I really hope that every person reading this feels the same way about their partner.  Or that, if not, you will follow Jesus’ advice that I have to repeat to myself when Dennis is about to push me over the edge with his antics (believe me, they’re not all funny or adorable): take the log out of my own eye so I can see the speck in his better to help remove it.  (Matthew 7:1-5)  So far, I’ve kept myself so busy pulling logs out of my eyes that I haven’t had much time to try to remove any specks from his, and I’m pretty sure those specks I’m seeing are just splinters left behind from the logs in my own eyes!

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So there you have it, the concise “story of us,” and why I feel such gratitude for the man in my life.  He proved to me that reality can be stranger (we’re an odd couple, all right!), and much better than fiction.  I thank God every day for him.

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Dennis putting the finishing touches on a coconut cake he made for me. :)

At The Flying Pig before this back room was turned into the massage room.

Paddle boating on the Arkansas river

Dennis was doing some Kung Fu moves with this bat'leth (Clingon weapon for you non-Trekkies like me) before I snapped the shot.

Us today! :)

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About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

21 responses »

  1. Thanks for sharing! It is good to see that love does happen and we can all find that perfect person for us. I wish you and Dennis the best and you are very blessed. :) He sure is something to be thankful for! :)

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  2. What a great tribute:) Lucky you.

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  3. I’m smiling ear to ear. I love your story (and your honesty–hehe), and I love how it shows that God is infinitely creative. He doesn’t write two stories (or love stories) alike–and that’s a GOOD thing! We should never try to limit His creativity in our lives by trying to strive for a story that’s already been written, that we feel covetous about.
    And I do feel that way about Adam–that I snatched up the best guy in the world. It’s real, and I love every second of it.

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  4. Aww, so sweet! I especially love the picture of you and Dennis dancing at your wedding. Thanks for sharing this story. I love hearing how couples get together! You seem like a match made in heaven. Has it been a “work in progress” or has it always felt so comfortable? I have a darling of a husband too, thank God. Poor guy gets teased by our friends and family because he “chased” me for a long time and I thought I wasn’t interested. But now? I think I’m more in love. =)

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    • Like Jenna said, no story is the same and every relationship has its own unique dynamics, but for us it was instantly perfect. Or perhaps it feels more that way than it really was because I was coming out of a relationship that made me so miserable and Dennis was Dragon’s opposite. Every relationship takes work to grow, and I admit I’ve had to work on myself quite a bit to be a better wife to Dennis. I was awful when we were first married!

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  5. Thank you for sharing this story with us!! I have to tell you my two favorite pictures: (1) The wedding picture of the two of you dancing….that just says “JOY!”. (2) “Us Today”….Happiness.

    Smiling out here in CA! :)

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  6. Such a great story Veronica, you’re a very lucky lady and he’s a very lucky man :) I remember the nunchuk video from back on Myspace…too funny. I loved hearing all the details on how you met, feel in love and grew from there :)

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  7. Awww, such a lovely story and great pics! And Dennis and all the guys in those pics are cuties! I was there off and on during the time you met Dennis and was with Dragon, lol!
    I also love and appreciate my honey, Dean, too! We also met as Staff..almost 20 yrs ago!! Wow, how time does fly, huh? :) we are celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary in a couple weeks, too! WOW! :) May you guys continue being happy and together for many years, as well! Thanks for being our friends all these years, we need to get together more often…ya know that? Hugs! :)

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  8. I like the reality of your love story (and mine) much better than a predictable novel. Great description of life and love.

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  9. Thank you for stating to the world (or at least World Wide Web) our story. By the by the “wave” I was doing in picture with Jack was a two fingered “wise man points the way” from Ed Parker’s Kenpo Karate. In case you want to use that caption for future reference. And oh yeah,. I love you like words can’t describe.

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  10. what a wonderful post, thank you so much for sharing!!
    I cannot remind myself often enough NOT to believe in those stupid books, because otherwise you will simply miss Mr. Right, as you are too busy looking for the prince on his horse.

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  11. My Italian Smörgåsbord (Aka Barbara)

    do good marriages really exist? :) happy for you but still cynical regarding romantic relationships… don’t see much love around. judging from the pictures though you two really look happy in love. you go girl.

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  12. Awww, this is such a sweet post, Veronica! You two are adorable together and your love for each other really shines through.

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  13. Love your post! I totally relate to your complete “gaga-ness” (is that a word LOL?) over Dennis. I have the same thing with my dear hubby (a/k/a “Big Daddy”). We celebrated 26 years and at 25 our girls wanted to throw a party for us. But, I literally couldn’t let them. I was afraid I would cry through the whole thing…The more we age and the more couples drop like flies around us, and SOME of the couples we know are still married, but never experience the complete devotion, complete LOVE that we feel for each other, the more emotional I get about how truly blessed I am to have found a best friend, wonderful father for my children, and complete partner in life.

    I was in a car accident once and suffered a badly broken arm and nose. My husband brought me home from the hospital and single handedly got our girls ready for the first days of school, bought school supplies, signed forms, all the while taking care of ME.. even getting up with me in the night to give me meds and/or talk when I wasn’t tired enough to go back to sleep. At that moment I told him I was convinced he loved me more than my own parents!

    And Veronica, I also agree with you about the love stories. I heard on the John Tesh show one early morning that romantic comedies are bad for relationships because they are impractical. Not for me. I can find comparisons (moments when I choke up thinking about it sometimes) between our relationship and almost every sappy love song, movie, and novel.

    Now, did we start out this way since the get go? Oh.. we were CRAZY about each other but we still had a little drama here and there. We all have bumps along the way. We all grow up and gain wisdom. But it is that complete devotion to each other that got us to this point.

    We are all so blessed to have gotten the chance to know what the rest of the world is seeking.

    My husband just told me not to long ago that he still gets excited just to see that my car is in the driveway and that “Gina’s home!” Wow…. it doesn’t get much better than that!

    Thanks, Veronica, for sharing your love story!

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  14. Pingback: Thankful Thursdays #56: taking time to slow dance « Veronica's Cornucopia

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  16. Pingback: Dennis’ Blog Take-over #1: Of Veronica, and an introduction to my mind « Veronica's Cornucopia

  17. Very nicely put together. I enjoyed your story and especially the video. Your nunchuck skills are incredible. Dennis better not get out of line.

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