The special addition of Destiny’s Child at the Superbowl last night evoked quite the near-memory of almost-encounters. It seems that JJ and I had our own special Adjustment Bureau at work in our lives during the years prior to our first introduction. As we count up the number of times we “could’ve” met, but didn’t, I find a special sentiment toward the idea of “perfect timing.”
If you were to make a movie of our relationship, it would probably be most interesting to have us literally crossing paths in the hallway of the second floor of Boyd Hall. I lived in the co-ed dorm my freshman year and the floor was split in half (yes, I lived with young men on my floor. I know it sounds preposterous to parents now). So it wasn’t uncommon to meet guys in our hallway, especially on the weekends when girls would have guests. Which was the case for JJ’s appearance – he dated a girl that lived across from me.
I met Natalie and her roommate, Amber, early in the year and enjoyed them; we occasionally ordered DP Dough together. I remember coming into their room one evening and Natalie was working on a letter to her boyfriend who lived at a distance. Who knew that I might come across that same letter later in life as I sorted all of JJ’s keepsakes before moving.
Later that year, I joined my sister and one of her best friends, Katie, at a Columbus Clippers game because Destiny’s Child was preforming afterward. We had discount tickets because Katie’s sister, Pam played for the ONU softball team and they had a block of seats. Pam’s teammate, Lindsay, joined us as well as Lindsay’s brother Bo (Beau?) and Bo’s roommate… JJ. (Sidenote: the same Lindsay also dated my cousin, Brad, but this connection was inconsequential to the particular Destiny’s Child experience).
JJ and I found out about these non-encounters much later in life (how did Destiny’s Child and the Columbus Clippers game come up in conversation? I have no idea.) and I sat a bit in awe that the Bureau opted for my first job to actually bring JJ into the light of my existence.
Upon review, I find the timing perfect. Had I met JJ at that point in my life – and in his – I never would’ve dated him. Our paths were so different that it simply wouldn’t make sense. I was judgmental and idealistic. He participated in extra-curricular activities which I would find distasteful. We simply had nothing that would bring us, let alone keep us, together.
I used to tell “my kids” that the right guy at the wrong time was still the wrong guy. I still believe it. I found the right guy at the right time. What developed in each of us over the course of the following 4 years before I crossed the aisle in church and asked him to help at open gym became absolutely necessary in the functioning of our relationship. It goes to confirm the other mantra I would recite to my kids – you have to be Me before you can be We. The Me that each of us were living couldn’t come together to form the We that exists today.