Walk back in time with me a little to the year 2001.
Social media wasn’t a thing. Video on demand wasn’t a thing. My cell phone was only to be used in case of emergency.
But, I was working for an innovative new website called Dateline Alabama. It was created by one of the journalism professors at the University of Alabama to explore the idea of media convergence — bringing together video, images, and news stories all on one platform. Imagine that! (And, say it with me: Roll Tide!)
Anyway, I was the sports editor and, as a senior, confidently headed into the first meeting of the semester to see what direction that year would take.
There, in a baseball cap, already helping himself to some of the free pizza ubiquitous at these meetings, was the new video editor.
We chatted briefly, discussing how our departments could work together that semester, and we realized our small hometowns weren’t far from each other.
And that’s how I met your father.
It took me a long time, though, to realize he was the guy I wanted to be your father.
We worked well together that semester, covering everything from Homecoming events on the quad to celebrity visits to senior citizen dances. His perfectionism drove me nuts, and he was horrified that I would trash even the smallest piece of video if it didn’t make the final cut.
But, we laughed a lot. We had fun, and, oh my goodness, did we talk. Hours and hours and hours of conversation would fly by, which happens all the time for your dad and NEVER for me.
That should have tipped me off, but I was actually dating someone else at the time and had confused drama for romance (never do that, darling girls).
So, there was the other guy. There was the idea of graduating and making it big in journalism. And there was . . . well, to be honest, an immature 21-year-old who wasn’t really sure what she wanted or needed.
I said goodbye to the “Baptist preacher,” as I referred to your dad (who, of course, never became a Baptist preacher), and we headed in our separate directions.
Fast forward three years.
Social media was just getting started. I was learning how to text. And I was completely burned out after working round the clock as a news reporter.
I came back to the University of Alabama (say it with me: Roll Tide!) to attend library school and to work at Alabama Public Radio. I was reporting the news during Morning Edition, and your dad, as the operations manager at the station, was running the board. Because of our past, we were friendly, but basically had zero expectations for romance.
Then we started going out to breakfast. And talking again. I was no longer an immature 21-year-old, and I realized how valuable it was to have a man you can talk to, as the Sweet Potato Queens say.
So we talked and talked and talked some more, and it was like meeting him all over again. It never hurts to give someone a second chance. Because this time I knew I wanted him to be your dad.