I had been in and around Jerusalem for a couple of weeks. I’d met lots of incredible people; from hospitable shopkeeper's, to the always fascinating backpacker crowd at the hostel. I’d even run off to Egypt for the weekend with a few new friends on a whim.
I'd also met Geoff Carroll. Met may be the wrong word. I knew of him from college. He was the slightly odd, albeit handsome, Jesus follower running around campus with long hair, the same outfit everyday...and tassels. Yes. Jewish tassels. In his words, "Jesus would have worn tassels, and I wanted to be just like Jesus - so I wore them!" Same with the long hair; he only cut it when research showed that men in Jesus day likely kept their hair short. Same outfit? Vow of simplicity of sorts. He really is that good.
As far as our relationship in college, I remember speaking to him on a few occasions, each of which required me to reintroduce myself. "Yes, we've met, I'm Jamie." Everyone knew Geoff Carroll. Clearly, I had not made such an impression.
A couple professors encouraged me to look up Geoff while in Israel (since he was going to school in Jerusalem and all). I contacted him, making sure to link my blog so he could “remember” who I was - though white girl knocking on his door in Jerusalem was a good clue.
I really am not into sappy, but I do remember every detail of seeing him for the first time in Jerusalem. He looked much better with short hair. He also welcomed me with a hug as an old friend. He’d made dinner for me to eat before the Bible study we were heading to with his friends, at which they drank wine while passionately studying and discussing scripture for few hours. This was my kind of man.
Over the next 2 weeks Geoff and I managed several adventures and outings together. Aside from his whole not going to Egypt with me thing, I was pretty impressed by the guy. Only problem was, the just friends thing was awkward from the start; just wasn't an option for us, apparently. I was not interested in dating. I was also not interested in being away from Geoff.
It was a handy time to have a best friend around. I stopped into their hotel before meeting Geoff for dinner, seeking sanity. I confessed that although I didn't feel like dating, if Geoff had asked I'd likely marry him on the spot. I was conflicted, to say the least. They knew me well. They asked good questions. They liked Geoff. I headed to his place for dinner.
We went shopping at a nearby grocery store, walked back to his apartment, and cooked hamburgers together. It was the first time we had hung out, just because. My flight left for Texas in 2 1/2 days. It was time for the DTR (define the relationship) talk. I hate those.
Thankfully, Geoff skipped the awkward stuff and basically just asked if he could court me with the intention of marrying me.
For starters, although I entertained the dream a bit, in reality I didn't think a guy like Geoff could really like me. Second, did he really mention marriage already??
I said yes.
That night, he called my dad back in Texas, introduced himself, and repeated the “court with intent to marry” concept and asked for my parents blessing. The first thing my dad said when I got on the phone was, “You’re supposed to warn me about stuff like that!” He also said yes.
Long story short, he made it to Texas in late July, we were engaged by August 3rd, and married on September 30th. No dating required.
The phone bill was another story.
May 23, 2013. Evening. Jerusalem.
On our way home we stopped by a rock we've named Evan Galui, which we first wandered to on a walk the day after we started "courting." It's our place.