Saturday, August 27, 2011

"They only pick on you because they like you..."

The first day of school always finds me a nervous wreck and that day in August 2002 was no different, in fact it was probably worse. I graduated from Malone the previous December and spent the spring substitute teaching, the summer working a temp job in an office while investigating the non-existent job market for Social Studies teachers in Ohio. At the end of the summer I had two options, I could take the full-time job I had been offered in the office or I could become the 7th & 8th grade supervisor at Faith Christian Academy. Despite the lack of benefits and the $13,000/year salary, I went with the job at Faith. Working in an ACE school is not exactly what I planned to do when I got my teaching degree but it meant I could work with kids, in my own room no less.

So, there I was, a Baptist girl in a Mennonite excessive make-up, no jewelry, no nail polish, and always a skirt; but none of that really bothered me because I was one step closer to doing what I had always wanted to a teacher.

I had two reassurances going into that first day of school... I already knew two of my students. My friend, Tina, worked at the school and three of her boys attended there. The youngest, Donnie, would be in my class. I had known Donnie since he was little and had been telling him since he was in about the 3rd grade that I was waiting on him to grow up so I could marry him....after which he would usually scowl and get away as fast as he possibly could.

Throughout high school and college, I worked for the Orrville-Dalton YMCA, usually as the Friday night closer, and there was one family that always came in to play Wallyball (a form of volleyball played inside a racquetball court) just as I had settled in behind the desk to eat my dinner, or do some studying, or read a book. Their daughter Alicia would also be in my class.

I did not know at the time that there was bit of a feud between the boys and girls with whom I would be spending the next year, and frequently Donnie and Alicia were right in the middle. I could never count how many times over that year I said, "You guys fight like an old married couple," or (as is required for all teachers to say at some point) "If he's picking on you it must mean he likes you."

I never really meant what I was saying, I just knew it was the easiest way to get them to stop fighting. So, several years later when I am sitting in my South Carolina living room going through Facebook and I see that  Donnie and Alicia are now  "In a relationship," I almost choked on my supper.  I had to check out both of their profiles to make sure it wasn't some kind of joke and then I called Tina to verify that I was really reading that correctly. Even then, it was only a high school relationship and we all know high school relationships aren't supposed to work out...well, except maybe Kevin and Lori.

Maybe it is my hardened, old-maid's heart (I threw that in just for you, Brad), but I tend to be skeptical of "young love." Surely love can't last without some experience and maturity mixed in. Well, Donnie and Alicia are still young (Donnie and Alicia will always be young to me), but they have also faced some things that some more "seasoned" relationships wouldn't have survived. When Donnie got hurt he faced a pretty intense recovery process, both physically and emotionally, but Alicia never left his side. When he went away to school, they made a long-distance relationship work. I am proud of them and their commitment to each other.

This wedding is special to me because of the two wonderful lives it will be joining together, because Donnie is the last of the "Weaver boys" to get married, and because I will forever be able to say, "I told you so!"

Love you both and wish you a lifetime of happiness! 


  1. awesome!!! what a great story!!!!

  2. How can those "Weaver Boys" ever be mean to you after such a beautiful story like this? I'm sure you could write many stories about them that showed their true colors. LOL
    Thanks for sharing this with us. Never stop writing, you never know who all you will touch.
    Susan Koppes Yoder