Finding love is possible
If you aren’t familiar with the band The Killers, I will do my best to explain. They had a song back in the day called, “When You Were Young” and I am reminded of a 22-year-old Loraine who is desperately seeking love. There is a line in the song that says:
You sit there in your heartache
Waiting on some beautiful boy to
To save you from your old ways
You play forgiveness
Watch it now, here he comes
Now for those of you that didn’t know me at 22, I was a hot mess. I truly believed that I would be alone for the rest of my life. I told myself that I was going to live and work in a city, be the cool aunt and die alone with cats. I was super dramatic, but after a few horrible dates, and a first love that broke my heart, I didn’t think I deserved it. I would go to clubs on the weekends with my friends, watch them hook up with guys and cry in the car on the way home. I’m telling you I had no idea who I was at this point in my life. I just knew that everyone was in love, or finding love, and I was the loner magnet.
I do however remember being at the Tropicana in Atlantic City. I was dancing to a U2 cover band on St. Patrick’s Day and this guy who was in my English literature class walked up to me. The music was loud, he was talking to me, I was shaking my head (I do that when I have no idea what someone is saying; it’s an Italian trait; then he smiled at me, and the music literally faded, and his voice amplified.
Ryan (the kid from English literature class): So Friday… Is that good for you?
My friend, Kelly: Yes!
Ryan: What’s your number?
Me: Uhhhh…. (856) 867-5309 (Guys I actually gave him this number from the song “867-5309/Jenny.”
Kelly: Here’s her number!
I literally died… I wanted no parts of this date. He wasn’t my type at all. Blonde hair, very blue eyes, just as tall as me and very into books. I wore jeans with holes in them, moccasins and band tees. Anyway, long story short I did go on a date with this guy. He invited me to Applebee’s in Mays Landing; we met there. It was Lent, and I told him I couldn’t eat meat on Friday. So, I ordered a salad, and this guy gets a steak and potatoes. While we are eating, he’s literally talking with his mouth open, telling me about his roommate who is a drug addict, and I could not even begin to make this story up if I tried. I wanted to get out of there in the worst way. So, I made up a lie that I needed to go back to work and help them close the store because the manager on duty was sick. I had such Catholic guilt over this. After dinner I thanked Ryan and rushed to my car. As I was walking to my car, he yelled out…
“Do you want to go see The Killers with me, next Friday? I know you like them!”
Me: I have to go!
I wanted to go to that concert in the worst way, but not with this guy… not at all. So, I got in my car and started driving and on the radio was none the less… The Killers.
After that date, I decided to stop searching for love. I focused on school, joined MySpace and created an amazing profile that I built with HTML code; I even had music on the page. And in late August before the term “DM” was a thing, I had a very adorable guy reach out to me. He looked familiar, so I accepted his request, and after a conversation or two, I learned that we had never met at all. His hometown was Vineland, and as scared as I was, there was something comforting about our conversations. Though they were all online for two months, I looked forward to our chats. I still went out with friends to clubs, but I wasn’t searching anymore. My friends thought I was crazy. They may have even thought I was making this guy up. But, I wasn’t, we actually traded numbers and chatted daily.
After two months of talking, I agreed to go out with this guy. I just wanted it to be on my terms because the last date was such a disaster. He agreed to meet me at my mom’s house here in town. I told him I wanted to drive, so he left his car at my house. I figured if anything happened to me, they would be able to run the plates on this guy’s car. I’m telling you I was a mess. The drive to our date location, Ocean City in the middle of September, was very comfortable. I felt at peace. I didn’t have to pretend to be someone I wasn’t. When we got to the beach, we ate dinner at then, Mack & Manco’s then we walked on the beach for about an hour; we even saw a shooting star.
In that moment, I knew that I found my match. This guy’s name was John.
John and I have been inseparable ever since September 2005; that first date was my end game. This man stole my heart in the few short hours we were together. The calm he provided, the laughs we shared and that comfort in his smile was in that moment and is still my everything.
We both told our families that we met in person. We were engaged December 2006, the day before my college graduation. We married March 8, 2008, and that is the day Father Carmel, announced that John and I met on “the” MySpace.
Let me say this: our marriage has been a blessing. With the best days of our lives of having our three children, Ava in 2009, Lily in 2014, and Keira in 2016. With the toughest days of losing my father in 2010, we have been tested. But through thick and thin, we find each other always because we have learned overtime that communication is truly the key.
Coming back full circle to The Killers, John didn’t look a thing like Jesus, but he did talk like a gentleman.
With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, know that love is possible, it will find you when you are ready for it—trust me. When you find that love, continue to fight for it every single day. I love you John Griffiths, thank you for giving me everything.
Loraine Griffiths is a fifth-generation Hammontonian, graphic designer, wife and mother of three. She can be reached through email at LifeWithLoraine@gmail.com.