“My love is like a red, red rose.”
When Shakespeare penned these words, I think he was on to something. Only in my case of love, it is a red, red ribbon.
In the seventeenth year of my life, I packed up and went off to college. My roommate, Heather, and I sang “Wide Open Spaces” by the Dixie Chicks all the way to Omaha. We set up our dorm room, went to dinner in the cafeteria, and that’s when I met “him.”
Now, “him” doesn’t seem to recall this first encounter. Turns out we all had a mutual friend named Dean. Dean went to high school with Heather and me in Colorado. The other guy at our table, “him,” met Dean through another mutual friend who also happened to know my family and graduated from our high school more than ten years prior. Confused yet? Welcome to Bible college in the Midwest.
As we ate, and “him” didn’t utter a word, Dean explained, “This is Jeff. I’m going to hook one of the two of you up with him by the end of the school year.”
I leaned over to Heather with my response: “And it won’t be me.”
A few days later, classes began. The second day of classes, I turned 18. My professor made me lead “Happy Birthday to Me” in front of the other students.
I had a red ribbon in my hair.
Why a red ribbon? Two reasons. First, I played volleyball. We always wore ribbons in our hair. I owned a bright blue one that I wore both in high school (Go Lions!) and in college (Go Royals!). But red is my favorite color so I had to have one of those as well.
I wore that red ribbon a lot that first semester of college. I also happened to have all of my classes with Jeff. In time, Jeff started talking to me and walking with me to class and sitting with me at dinner.
Five weeks into the school year, we started dating. Jeff liked my red ribbon. He said it’s what made him notice me.
Today, Jeff and I celebrate nine years of marriage. Last night, I saw a red ribbon sitting on our coffee table. For a moment, I wondered if it came with a Christmas package.
Then, I remembered.
It’s our red, red ribbon. I put it in Kyla’s hair last weekend when she sang in the Christmas Eve service at church.
Most of the time, it’s tucked away in the closet. But not today. Today it happens to be sitting out in our living area. Seems appropriate. Don’t you agree?
I’m thinking of putting it in my hair.
(Above picture is from one of our first dates. I have the red ribbon in my hair.)