As Patrick and I prepare for a lifetime together I find it fitting that we take a moment to recall our beginnings. Every couple enjoys telling the story of how they met and we are no exception. Just as the saying goes, “when you aren’t searching for it, someone great comes along.” This is exactly what happened when I met Pat. In August of 2011, I had just returned to Kansas after spending the summer with a friend in Houston.
A co-worker and now my maid of honor, Clare and I decided to get out of Atchison for the evening and head to Kansas City…a trip we made all to often. Once in KC we heard about a Catholic, young adult event that would be happening that evening. This was totally our style…adoration followed by a BBQ. Needless to say, we were in.
At Saint Peter’s Catholic church as I stood in line for confession, a dashing, albeit very tall man walked by and immediately caught my eye. (Have you seen him folks… I mean how could he not?) It was in this moment that I distinctly recall experiencing a sense that some would call coincidence, I, on the other hand like to call it a God-poke. Due to many previous experiences in my life I believe that our God is a God who can and at moments does directly work in our lives. Anyway, I sensed that this man…this tall, unknown man would soon be playing a crucial role in my life. This intuition made me quite uncomfortable. I tried to brush it off as nothing more than my emotions running away from me again, little did I realize the significance of it all.
SEE ALSO: How We Met Part 1
Fast forward to the BBQ later that evening in the pastor’s backyard, Clare and I couldn’t find a seat. We decided to make ourselves cozy next to the beer coolers. I would never describe myself as boy-crazy by any stretch of the imagination, but for some reason or another I couldn’t shake the feeling that God was at work.
As I mingled around, chatting with friends and enjoying my Boulevard Wheat, I was still trying to play it cool and pretend as if all was well. Meanwhile, my mind was running off in thousands of directions. I attempted to conjure up every excuse I could think of to brush it off. Amusing myself with ideas like, ‘He probably already has a girlfriend.’ ‘He would never be interested in me anyway.’ There’s always my personal favorite; ‘Nicole you’re crazy… making this all up in your mind.’
Toward the end of the evening a college friend of mine, Paul wandered over to Clare and I to catch up. While filling him in on all my Houston adventures, Pat came over to say hello to Paul. Naturally, Paul introduced us…and then it happened…a line that has gone down as one of the stupidest things you could say to a stranger.
I want to stress how important it is that you recall all the random comments I had heard about Pat in the past few years. This makes what I said to a mere stranger seem a little less bizarre.
And so the conversation went…
Paul: “Nicole, this is Pat Padley.”
Me: “Wait…you’re Pat Padley?”
Me: “Oh my gosh, it’s the man, the myth and the legend.”
Yes, I actually said that.
I immediately realized he had no idea who I was and in my mortified state I tried to backtrack as best I could. I followed this awesome moment in time by attempting to explain that I knew his brother, Nick, but it was too late. The image of Pat staring at me with a blank and utterly confused look on his face will forever be burned in my mind as the moment I met my future husband.
Thankfully, this sort foot-in-mouth disorder is one I’ve been coping with since childhood, so I’ve gotten pretty good at recovering from the awkward situations I all to often find myself in. I laughed it off as nothing more than me being dramatic, which is basically what it was. Lucky for me even God can work with foot-in-mouth disorder and bring the best out of it. Only time and a few more Boulevards would help me recover from this one.
Find out what happens next: Read Part 3 here