our little love story: the days after

July 12, 2011

her story
After our first meeting, I was so intrigued with Ben. I remember asking other fellow co-workers about Ben and where he came from…
Someone told me he came from NY, so in my mind it made sense why he always came to work dressed nicely but with sneakers on.
Another time, I asked a gay co-worker if Ben was gay (he was just quite well dressed and stylish) and he replied, “Oh honey! He is too rugged to be gay!” With relief, I sighed.
My BFF and I would sit in the very last row of our American History 101 class and be passing notes back and forth. One thing that I could be found doing during that class was signing my name Rubyellen Bratcher (and that was before Ben and I even started hanging out, letting alone really talking as friends!). Another thing, BFF and I did during that class was ditch it and I made her go with me to work (she worked at the Gap too) because I just wanted to go check out Ben. He was just the cutest guy ever and I was in love! At least with his face cause I really didn’t know him yet.
I really didn’t work that much anymore, maybe one day or two days a week, but I would look up his schedule and if someone was trying to get rid of a shift when Ben was working, I would gladly pick it up.
I also remember working at the cash registers and Ben would often be working on folding clothes at the front of the store and when the line would die down, I would just stare at him. I know, so strange! He was (and still is) so hot that I couldn’t (and still can’t) resist. But I remember getting nervous that he would look up and catch me and I would be found out! Good thing he never caught me.
Ben and I were friendly at work and I was always so happy when we were working together because I would make sure to talk to him. I would even get to work 15 minutes early, cause I knew he might be in the back working on stock and that means I would get to just chat with him a bit. He laughs about it now because I am always late and never on time! But back then, he thought I was just a timely person.
My 20th birthday rolled around, just a little over a month after I met Ben and us becoming friendly at work, I was thinking about chopping off my really long hair. I thought I would ask the “cute guy” what he thought and and base my decision off that. Silly, I know. Well, I asked Ben if he thought I should cut my hair and he said, “Go for it.” and so the next day, on my 20th birthday, I did. That decision is funny now because he actually prefers my hair long and just said that because he was just carefree like that. He didn’t know I was basing my decision just on what he said.
After work, I would always go home and rave and rave about the “cute guy” to my mom and my closest friends. I know my slight stalking, for lack of a better word, was kind of a strange, but I really couldn’t resist! He was hot and I couldn’t help it!
Now here is the thing… I too had just gotten out of a relationship. I had my first boyfriend at the age of 14 and he broke up with me once a year until I was 19 when I finally did the breaking up myself. It was one of those things where you break up (usually cause he liked another girl), but then we would get back together (yeah, I was kind of dingbatty that way). Really, just young kinda stuff.
It was hard though cause I was always one of those dreaming girls who wanted to just have one boyfriend my whole life and I think that is one reason that kept me holding on for so long. Plus, we were also good friends, had the same circle of friends, knew each other since we were like 6 & 7 (he was younger than me), went to the same church, and our families were good friends. It is tough to get out of that cycle in those circumstances. At that age, I thought that was as good as it gets and my dream guy was really just a “dream,” only stuff you see in movies. Now I see it was just not healthy to try and be in a serious relationship at such a young age, we were both just too immature, but I am thankful for that experience because God really used it to grow me and make me more appreciative for what lay ahead.
Anyways, we had broken up in August of ’01 (of course, drama was involved with that as he liked one of my closest friends, but thankfully her and I are still close now and she was in my wedding!) and I met Ben in September. I didn’t really think anything would ever happen with this cute guy at work. Oh, did I mention my ex-boyfriend worked at the Gap too?! Yup. He did. Awkward. I thought I would just admire Ben, be friends at work, and life would go on… end of story. Little did I know, God had other plans…
his story
That fall, while working at the Gap at Brea Mall, I continued to actively pursue employment in the advertising field, but God kept closing doors (though I did not know it was God at that time), keeping me there. I remember when Ruby and her cute self would sit there in the stock room waiting to clock in. We would chat briefly, but nothing more. She was such a sugar-coated, adorable girl; she possessed an effervescent personality that was quite addictive; endorphins were released just from talking to her.

I also remember when she asked me if she should cut her hair, and being so happy-go-lucky with an open mind to trying out just about anything new, I said, sure, why not? Little did I know she thought so highly of my opinion! While I do prefer her hair a little longer, she was (and is) so pretty, the hair cut couldn’t take anything away from her beautiful glow.

Now what I don’t remember is the cuckoo-sounding infatuation she had! I’m not denying any of it was there, but looking back, it’s truly hard for me to believe for two reasons: 1) It just doesn’t really match her personality. Yes she’s passionate, yes, she can get quite giddy, and yes she knows how to dedicate herself wholly, but she doesn’t think irrationally! 2) I still don’t see why she would be so infatuated with me. She’s been blessed with jaw-dropping looks, paralleled by a creative, sharp, sharp mind. I ask her all the time what in the world she sees in me. And while it still boggles my mind, I’m actually glad it doesn’t make sense, because that’s exactly the way God operates. He’s the one who changes people’s hearts. He’s the one who made, and continues to make, Ruby view me as someone loveable, as she overlooks my faults. Only by God’s grace!

More of the story to come in a day or so (Ben isn’t used to blogging daily), but as Ben and I write this out, we are discovering it is longer than we thought, so you may just get more than a week’s worth of lovey doveyness from us! Hope you don’t mind…
And don’t forget to check out Snap It Pretty! Hurry up, spaces limited!!!

28 comments on “our little love story: the days after”

  • such a sweet post…i probably ran across you at some point, i practically grew up at the brea mall and live in fullerton….small world right?

  • megan lane says:

    ok you guys are way too stinking cute!!! it is so fun reading about your story. and your hubby sure is a humble, sweet guy!

  • this is just so darn cute. Keep them coming!
    Sarah M

  • Dani F. Boyd says:

    I knoooow what you meaaaan! I had a boyfriend for years when I was young too! Same church, same friends, just like you. Good thing God helped me get out of that and amazing thing God made me meet the love of my life, my hubby querido.

    Keep posting, I'm loving this!

  • I'm a longtime reader and first time commenter. Hi! You all are too cute! And what a small world. I'm an OC'er as well.

  • Esther says:

    Ruby these posts are adorable. I love reading them!

  • Whitney Lane says:

    Loving this little series!! Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂 God is so good.

  • Victoria says:

    For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8,9

    Thanks for sharing! Your story is adorable and a blessing to my soul 🙂

  • i am loving this series soooo much, friend! more than a week of this – heck, yes!!!

  • Miriam says:

    something i love about love stories is how different the perspectives are from each person (for example, if you ask my husband & i when our first date was you will receive two different answers). thanks for sharing this with us…i know it's really personal!

  • Charlotte says:

    love this cute story and that your husband is writing it with you! my husband would not humor me with this kind of thing, but its great that your hubby is jumping right in! can't wait till tomorrow!

  • Mrsink says:

    I love these stories!! You guys have a sweet beginning to your relationship 🙂

  • thinkpriddy says:

    This is so wonderful! thank you for sharing 🙂

  • jozen says:

    awe! can't wait… love how ben is so humble 🙂

  • i love this!! turn it into a book! ill read it!

  • Morgan says:

    I loooove this, Ruby! You two could not be any more adorable and perfect for each other. God did good work! 🙂

  • Fairlightday says:

    So fun reading this! It's fun to look back and good too, as you start to realize things and your actions make a bit more sense. To answer Ben's questioning thoughts about what he calls your “cuckoo-sounding infatuation,” it's just being a 19 year old girl! We're crazy and want to be in-love with the “perfect' guy and it certainly helps if they are super cute and sweet to you. 🙂 Guess it's just how God made us! I know that's how I was, especially about my husband. 🙂 Can't wait to hear the rest of this story!

  • Sini says:

    I love this post and the previous too! I can't wait to read the rest 🙂

  • Craftyminx says:

    Rubyellen, your story is cracking me up here, because I was completely infatuated with my now husband for years before he even knew I exsisted. We worked for the same company but at different locations and I would look at his picture in the online staff directory and swoon over how hot he was and tell all my friends about this really hot guy at work that I would never get to meet.

  • Bethany says:

    I'm really loving reading your story! I had my husband read part of it this morning and he said: “Sounded like they had some of the same issues you and I had!” (He's 7 years older than me, too!) I told him, “Yep, if only she had put a picture of her up when she was 7 and him 14!” (Occasionally, I love to put in his face that I'm sooo much younger than he is. 😉 Just because he had a problem with it at first. Ha!)

  • Allison says:

    Ah! This story is so cute already 🙂 Thanks to both of you for sharing (and sharing your adorable pictures)

  • I love, love, love your blog and reading about you, Ben and your adorable little girls. This story about how you met is just so special and romantic. You are truly a blessed young family.

  • OMG! I'm reliving the whole story! haha… You were major stalker status! haha. Just kidding!

  • Ms.Tips says:

    ok guys…i'm getting hooked on your love story!! too adorable! I wanna read more:)

  • This made me smile a billion times. Can't wait to read more!

    p.s: young ben looks kinda like brave 🙂

  • kakikopi says:

    awwww… very heart-melting 🙂

  • Martina says:

    I love your story and this he said/she said format. Great idea! I was 14 and my now-husband was 16 when we met and started dating. It was amazing to fall in love so young and grow up together in a lot of ways. 12 years and going strong!

  • I love both of you! God has truly put you both together for a reason, and one of those reasons is giving such pure, genuine overflowing love to those you meet. Just from the first time we met you guys, we were just drawn to want to hang out with the two of you. ;). Thank you for impacting our lives so greatly!

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