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Thursday, September 16, 2010


For about 8 years of my life, I had the upper hand in my relationship with Brandon, my little brother, and was able to dominate him physically. I had a mean headlock and wasn't afraid to use it, except of course when mom came around the corner, and then I'd pretend like I was gently petting his head. "Here here brother, sweet brother..." I knew I was in trouble when he started to outgrow me, and those big sister headlocks were suddenly a thing of the past. I ran for my life.

I knew I was in trouble the first day of high school, and with school map in hand that I tried so desperately to hide, all of the sudden, MEN were before me: real, grown-up senior boys with hair on their faces. We freshmen girls gawked and knew them all by name - not that they ever had a clue who we were, but man oh man, walking to my locker would never be the same.

I knew I was in trouble when I couldn't hide that I WASN'T passionately in love with teaching English and the education system as a whole. I couldn't put on the act anymore, and though I loved being with kids, I fervently wanted out of the classroom, out of the box that was suffocating me alive. So I joined Young Life staff. More trouble.

There are moments in our lives when we know that we're in trouble; we know that ain't nothin' gonna stop me now, it's alllll downhill from here.

I knew I was in trouble last Thanksgiving break, when I found myself over the border in Mexico speaking to a group of high school friends; we had no internet or cell phone reception, or flushable toilets for that matter. Here I was on Thanksgiving day, officially done speaking, with no talks to plan and organize, and not a soul around me; I sat on the bunk in the musty storage room and began thinking about all that I was thankful for. And James kept coming to mind.

We had been officially dating for less than two months at that point when it hit me: I'm in. Oh heart is in it to win it, and I'm in. I'm in trouble now.

Three days later, upon arrival back in the bay area, James and I had had an impossibly perfect day when this positively trouble-filled conversation ensued:

"James, if you're going to back out, you'd better do it quickly."


"I mean, if you're going to leave, if you're not IN this, then break up with me now. Fast! Stat! Do it!" (How do I tell him that my heart is in it, that I really, really, really like him? Every other man leaves - but my heart is in it, and I don't want another lonely night of bon bons, vino and a chick flick ... really now).

"What makes you think I'm going to break up with you? Have I given you any indication of such thing?"

"I'm just sayin' - let me off easy if you're out!" (I ... like ... you ... can't you hear me?)

"Cara, I don't know how else to tell you this, but I'm in. I'm in, I'm in, I'm in, I'm in. I'm not leaving. I'm in."

"You're in?"


"Yes, I'm in."

Pause. Tears.

"[insert James' full name here], you're planning on marrying me, aren't you?"

"I am."

"Well, all righty then..."

We were so in trouble that Sunday in November, we didn't even know it.

Happy almost one-month anniversary, love.


Brenda Joy said...

I'm glad you found trouble, and trouble found you :) beautifully written.

Habbala said...

I love this story. So much.

Anonymous said...

It so reminds me of the "when in the course of events" your Daddeo proposed....similar circumstances 34 1/2 years ago....when I too knew he was my 'keeper'!!! Thanks for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

this almost makes me cry with JOY! Love that James Henry Meredith is IN FOREVER! congrats Cara Heather Meredith... you found a keeper. Big time! love you aha