Updated: May 24
The fourth of July is a big deal in my family. The ENTIRE clan plus so many friends get together!! We eat the best BBQ, swim, play corn hole, talk for hours; it’s the best time. Two years ago, Mason (my cousin) brought a boy to this shindig. I was pretty skeptical. Mason and I are close, and I was over boys being dumb. Ben was so kind and very charismatic but, still, what if he was just full of crap trying to win over the family?
Mason and Ben both work at Dillards, and this is how their paths crossed. They ended up in the same friend group, but Mason couldn't stand him. He was, as she put it, your typical frat guy in a corporate company. Ben on the other hand had a crush on her since the first time he saw her. Ben's side of the story goes like this:
"It was no secret that she wasn't a fan of mine and saw clearly through all of my bullshit... One night in particular, the group was smaller than usual at our favorite bar. Mason and I found ourselves talking alone at a table in the corner, entirely oblivious of the rest of the group. The questions that were being rattled back and forth became more and more intimate, the stories were getting longer, and the night got later. Everything she told me had me mesmerized and it didn't take me long to realize she was the woman I had been searching for my entire life."
When Ben took on the challenge of meeting Mason's family, their relationship was still super fresh, I'm talking pick an apple off the tree and eat it fresh. The moment he arrived, he greeted us with kindness and joy. He asked sincere questions to my family and me, he played with the younger kids, and fit right into our conversations with the same unique humor and values. He seemed to be perfect.
Ben proceeded to come to many more family gatherings, always that same charismatic personality he had at the Fourth gathering. I learned he wasn't putting on a show. He was just who he presented himself to be; a kindhearted gentleman and the perfect man for Mason.
That following Thanksgiving, Ben proposed surprising Mason and the whole family. She said YES! Of course! The best part is we were taking a family photo, so the picture captured all of our reactions.