So I thought it would be appropriate for me to discuss how and when I met the love of my life. WOW so long ago (or so it would seem). When Andy and I separated I moved into the dorm on base. We had single rooms like a studio apartment but very much smaller. There was a door to the bathroom which I shared with the next door neighbor.
I had lived there about a month and really didn't have any friends and as you know my family lives in Oregon so I was pretty much alone. The "friends" I considered to be "my best friends" during my marriage to Andy didn't really for the most part turn out to be very good friends at all. Either they didn't have anything in common with me because I was now single or they felt like I had abandoned my children and fled the scene. Of course if you know me and are a good friend you know the truth but if you don't know the situation well sorry it's the past and I don't care anymore. However, at the time it hurt a lot. I had lost my husband, my children were with him and I had no friends. So how did I handle that? Well believe it or not I drank. I drank a lot everyday. Sometimes I would go to work still kind of drunk, uniform would be mis-buttoned, hung over, whatever I was miserable.
My supervisor at the time felt that since I was going through such a horrible ordeal the best thing for me would be just to ignore me. So that is what she would tell people to do. Just ignore her (not in a bad way but basically ignore the fact I was hungover). OK so note to self if someone you know is going through a hard time let them know you care, bug the shit out of them whatever just don't and I repeat don't ignore them. Understanding this first hand I can tell you ignoring someone in need of a single friend is not the most productive way to handle bad situations. One girl named Angela Weldon worked in the Orderly Room of my squadron and lived next door to me and she and I became really good friends.
Anyway, so after about a month of this I really wanted to see this Mike Tyson fight. Man he was the fighter to watch back then and I didn't have cable and Angela refused to get it, she could care less so I knocked on the door of this guy cop who lived across the hall from me and asked him if they were watching it. He said yes and so I figured well what do I have to lose. So I said do you think that I could watch it with you all. He said of course as long as I didn't mind watching it with a bunch of cops. hmmmmmm let me think this through. I am single and you want to know if I mind watching a fight in a room full of single men? WOW had I died and gone to heaven? Really that was better than a night club. (hee hee)
Needless to say he didn't have to twist my arm. So I went over and of course IMMEDIATELY noticed this one particular guy. Man was he hot! Phew! so hot I definitely was going to need a drink. So I walked across the hall to Angela's room and said who is that guy that has dark hair, always cracking jokes and has this small Hitler looking mustache. She said that is "Paul Brechtel" he just asked me who you were. Could my night get any better than this? Later after the fight there was this dorm party. Picture a frat party but all military in a dorm basement - got the picture that was exactly what it was like. Anyway Paul was not there. Man was my night in the crapper.
Then out of the blue here comes a stampede of men and in the mix was my Paul. Angela dared me $20.00 to walk up to him and plant a big kiss on his lips. So well that's easy and I get money too, win win I thought. Until my Paul threw his arms up in the air and starts yelling your married your married. OMG! Are you kidding me. My husband and I are separated, and have filed for divorce and he lives with his girlfriend and you're yelling "Your married-You're married for everyone to hear. Boy did I feel like a tramp.
Normally that would have basically been enough to put a sock in it, but I was determined to show my Paul what he was missing out on. So I decided I would go upstairs and reapply my make-up first and while I did that figure out some great scheme of how to show him. Well when I got upstairs to my surprise there he was waiting.
We SECRETLY dated for 3 months. I say secretly because for those of you that don't know "Military" stuff. Here it is in a nut shell. My Paul had an assignment to Andrews to fly security for Air Force One. I was still technically married and in the military they tend to frown on dating when you're married. So we snuck around. His best friend Marc in the dorm across the hall didn't even know. He introduced me to his friends both male and female and whenever they did stuff I just tagged along. No one knew we were dating and no one cared but we got to spend time together.
Then it was nearing Thanksgiving and we had all gone out and partied and stuff till like 5 a.m. and I was dog tired. So when his friends dropped me off at my Paul's house that he shared with two roommates, I decided just to stay. The next morning he went downstairs to see if the coast was clear for me to get in the get away car and his roomies were up and waiting. You see what I forgot was my purse laying on the kitchen table. So reluctantly we had to let everyone in on our little secret. That was another one of those times when you really want to bury your head in the sand rather than walk down the stairs where your secret boyfriend and his two male friends are watching you walk down the stairs making you feel like a school girl. Good Lord I was 28 for crying out loud I shouldn't have to sneak around.
So we continued to date and then January 31, 1997 came and my Paul had to PCS to Andrews. I was devastated. I thought I would die without him. At least now I have friends. On the way to the airport Paul said we should have gotten married. See I had to go to Saudi Arabia for 90 days on March 1, 1997 and my assignment to where ever would hit while I was there. We wanted to be together everything was so perfect but we had only known each other for 6 months and we were scared.
So we decided on that 20 minute drive that we would get married in DC at the court house on my way to Saudi so that I could get a joint assignment to Andrews or a neighboring base. I made all the arrangements and flew here the end of February we got married on February 28, 1997 at 1:00 p.m. and the next day I left for 3 months. (The only picture of this blessed event is below 2nd to bottom on the far right it has hearts in the background and a pink border. It was taken by the JP at the courthouse) We were married by the JP in Washington DC and only have this one photo. (NO FAT COMMENTS PLEASE)(Drinking adds weight)
I felt like my life was an empty cavity and one day when I was not expecting anything but watching a fight and having a few drinks I looked up and there he was, my soul mate.