This Saturday marked 10 years of being together for me and Pete. Woooo doggie! That’s one third of my life spent with the most wonderful man in the world. I am quite the lucky lady. Here’s how it all began…
At the end of my freshman year of college at the University of Florida I took a job as a hostess at a local restaurant called Gator Greats. Getting a job in Gainesville was no easy feat as there were upwards of 50,000 other coeds vying for any available part-time position that didn’t involve operating a deep fryer, and in truth that’s just what some of them wound up doing for it was that or dig yourself even deeper into debt with additional student loans. The most sought after job was serving tables at a restaurant – cash money in your pocket that at least in part was based on how hard you worked (better not to get into a lengthy diatribe on tipping). I desperately wanted a serving job but there’s this funny little paradox in the restaurant biz where you have to have experience to get a job, but you can’t get experience without getting a job. I suppose that applies to all sorts of occupations. Anyway, you have to get a foot in the door, so hostessing it was, in the hopes that they’d realize I was competent and hard working enough to move to the floor. Indeed they did, and within a few months I was training other new hires. One such trainee? None other than Pete Elder himself.
It was August 2001 and Pete had just come off of a summer long road trip with two of his best buddies during which they toured the country and many of its beautiful national parks. Having given up his serving job at Sonny’s for his nationwide adventure, he was now back and low on cash. John, Pete’s brother, tended bar at Gator Greats so he was able to put in a good word for lil’ bro. On his very first day, I was Pete’s trainer and on that very first day, I was hooked. Love at first sight? I don’t really believe in such things. But the attraction was immediate and I promptly decided, as Brandy so well put it, the boy is mine. A few plays – ex: bringing a group of my friends to sit in his section and leave him a big fat tip – and a couple of group hang outs later, and we were inching closer to coupledom. On Labor Day weekend 2001, I went down to South Florida to spend time with friends and visit my ex-boyfriend for his birthday. There was a Labor Day gathering to be held at our friend Ron’s house back in Gainesville, and I was going to miss it because I’d planned to stay in South Florida through late Monday. But while down there I had a few phone conversations with Pete that left me aching to get back to see him. Monday morning, as soon as I woke up, I bid farewell to my So Fla friends, hopped in the car and drove the four hours back so I could get to Pete’s house in time to go to the party with him…an event that we’d later deem our first date.
So here we are, ten years later, a happy little family living an amazing life in small town America surrounded by wonderful people that we love dearly. Later this month we’ll celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary with a trip to NYC! So. freakin. excited.
May 2002, Pete’s graduation day, the earliest I could find on short notice. I have a crappy scanner. Elderland out. XO.