Episode 9: How running and locking her car keys in the car led led her to the love of her life
How running and locking her keys in her car led her to the love of her life
Kanu: Welcome to Real Love, Real Stories, the podcast a platform for couples to share their love stories and for singles to find hope. This is Kanu, I'm the host and you are listening to episode number 9. And I want to introduce my couple for this episode. I have John and Irene and we're welcome to both of you. But where are you tuning in from?
John: We're in Staunton, Virginia.
Kanu: Virginia, okay, great, great. So, as you both know this is a podcast about couples sharing their love stories.
Kanu: So why don't we start by, you know, you guys sharing, how did your love journey begin?
Irene: Well, let me just jump right in there John. I always like to say he ran into my life. We met running. This was long before all these website internet connections or whatever, but I did, I literally met him in a park, where a lot of singles would go after work. John was in the Army. I work for the Department of the Army. There was this Lake that a lot of young singles would go to after work. And I saw him, and I thought he had great legs. He still has great legs, what do you like about how we first meet?
John: Well the... right around the [inaudible 01:22] is a pond and they road around the pond was ninth-tenths of a mile. And I was training for a marathon and so I would run one direction and then I will run the other. So, I have always run where everybody walked or ran.
I probably would have never met her. But sometimes I'd be running against the crowds and I would see her. We speak hello and whatever, but you know we never introduced ourselves or anything like that at that time.
Irene: Nothing. Nothing came of the initial, you know, laying eyes on each other that gets to be kind of a long story. He ended up asking a girlfriend of mine out initially who used to walk with me. The gal [inaudible 02:06] walking and of course, I was so angry with her because she knew I was interested in this guy, but he for some reason you'll were sharing how to operate cameras or something that's [inaudible 02:19].
John: I don't know, that was a long time ago.
Irene: Yes, you [inaudible 02:21]. That was Carol Sue.
Irene: And anyway, I don't remember what time frame went by, they didn't date for very long. She was a real woman's liver, you know, would open the doors herself and John is a southern gentleman. So, they didn't click very well. So sometime after this, I ended up locking my keys in the...
John: No before that, before that.
Irene: ...because they one?
John: Before that, this girl had a party and we weren't really going together. We just dated once or twice, but I was invited to the party and Irene was invited to the party also. And I think that was the first time that we actually... she knew my name, I knew hers, we introduced ourselves there.
Irene: I know that.
John: And at the park, we just recognize each other. Yes, I've seen you before.
Irene: You look familiar.
John: But at that party she knew, we introduce our self, I'm John, your Irene, you know, that's where it started.
John: Now go ahead.
Irene: Okay, so to continue the story, we had met by then. I locked my keys in my car at work one day. We both worked at this military base. I'd never seen John anywhere on the base, but I've never locked my keys in my car in my life, never. So, I didn't... oh I know, I was delivering a letter of reprimand to the office he worked in, unbeknownst to me where he was working. I was delivering a letter to one of his student workers summer hires...
John: [inaudible 03:53].
Irene: Anyway, I was delivering this letter and as soon as I close the car door, I locked my keys in the car and I couldn't believe I did that.
Kanu: Oh, my goodness.
Irene: [inaudible 04:02] into this office and explained what had happened and I think you just happen to walk through the reception area or something...
Irene: And I explained my situation and John... this was a prison, I guess you could say, confinement facility. John was a military policeman and he said I have lots of fellas back here in, how did he put it in confinement that would be very happy to break into your car for you. But how about if I just take you home and you can get your extra set of keys, you have extra keys, right? So, he did, and I think they said the type of car I had was very hard to get into, so that's what he said. This is getting along a little bit. He took me home, I got my extra set of car keys. We really hit it off just yakking in the car.
John: And I ask her out.
Irene: As a result of that. And the rest of that became history. We... that's how we first met and got, you know, dating and whatever. But like I said he ran into my life initially and he still has great legs by the way. Right?
Kanu: I love that. I love that. So, you know, I love that you met running because running is one of my love's I, you know, I've runs several marathons. I've run several half marathons and I know Katie runs too, so...
Irene: You keep it up it will happen. I don't run anymore my knees don't allow but John still runs.
Kanu: Oh, yes, that's awesome. So how many marathons John have you run?
John: I've run two and a couple of half marathons and on can, on a whole bunch of 10ks and 5ks.
Kanu: Get you.
John: Anymore, I just run for myself. I've not...
John: It's been almost a year since I run an organized race.
Kanu: Okay. Okay, and Irene have you run any marathons before?
Irene: No, never, never had the desire. I saw what he had to go through, the discipline people happen to do that. I never had that, but I was definitely the audience and you know, cheering on Seattle Marathon that is training for when we met was a miserable day. Wet and cool...
Kanu: [inaudible 06:13].
Irene: ...and that sort of turns off too. If you're not if you're on the fence where they wanted to go or not. But anyway, no, I used a lot of 10ks with John. We got our girls interested in running and they continued, we're all glad because it's good for them, good, you know, exercise.
Kanu: Yes, no that's exciting. Thank you. I've, you know, I'm just smiling because I love running and just hearing that story of connecting first when you were running. In men that, you know, said that you locked your keys in the car, but it sounds like it was sort of meant to because then when you ran into each other and he asked you out...
Irene: It was Destiny I believe. Yes, I think so.
Kanu: Yes, and what a gentlemen John to say let me take you home and you can get your extra set of keys.
Irene: Yes, and he has such an honest face. I, you know, today I think people would be a little more reluctant to say, oh, yeah, give me a ride to get my keys. But back then, no. And I have seen him around, she had dated a friend so.
Irene: He was [inaudible 07:11] bet and here we are 38 years later.
Kanu: Oh, that's so awesome. So, did you mention that you worked... you were working at an army base? Is that what I heard?
Irene: Fort Lewis Washington State.
Kanu: Oh Okay.
Irene: [inaudible 07:26] area.
Kanu: Yes, so I think it's appropriate for me to say thank you for your service, right?
John: You're welcome. Thank you.
Kanu: Yes, no, absolutely. Thank you for your service. Yes, and I'm just, I'm so honored to hear that story. And so okay. So, he asked you out while you were driving to get your keys. So, what was the first date like?
Irene: That's great that you ask that. Because, we went to a restaurant, went out to dinner. And it was overlooking Puget Sound. We had a window seat. It was a well-known restaurant in an old Victorian home in this little town near where we all live. And look the reason I said it was interesting that you mentioned that, because on our 25th anniversary. We took the train and went back to where we had our first date. Just out of sentimentality. And it was still there, and I think we even got the same table, [inaudible 08:20] you know?
John: Don't remember that.
Irene: But, yes.
Kanu: Is that restaurant still open until today?
Irene: Oh, it's not there.
John: Oh, it's not, well it wasn't 10 years ago. I don't know about now.
Kanu: Oh okay.
Irene: Within that area.
John: Shortly after we were there, 10 years ago. We heard Ray had close down...
Irene: Had close.
John: Actually, just within a year [inaudible 08:39].
Irene: We're very lucky it was still there on our 25th anniversary.
Kanu: Oh, yeah, I'm glad you've got to go back, even one more time.
Kanu: Yes. So, okay and then so that was the first day and then how long after that did you get engaged?
John: Well shortly after that. We had one or two, three dates and then she disappeared for about a month. She went to visit her sister in Europe...
John: ...and then so then when she got back. I don't know how we got back together. We just...
Irene: We kept in touch...
John: ...kept in touch.
Irene: ...as far as you, when I was coming back. Yes, first when we got back when I got back and we started dating, how, do you remember how long? I know it was November when we got engaged.
Irene: And we met in the early springtime, summertime?
John: It wasn't really long. I was 28 years old when I got married. John a year younger. When you wait that long, you got a pretty good idea what you're looking for...
Kanu: [inaudible 09:45].
Irene: I had kind of given up. I thought they stopped making that model. I was very... I had many friends divorced. I thought John was too good to be true. So, I was, you know, kept wanting to be sure that this wasn't all a big act. My little sister who was living with me at the time was so impressed with this guy. I was sick at one point and he brought a big bag of oranges because I had a cold. And she said, "Irene if you don't snag that guy I will." So that can of register with me.
I don't remember, do you, John? How soon that you actually proposed, I know it was in November of that same year.
John: Well, yes, we ran the marathon in November.
Irene: You ran the marathon.
John: I can't remember if just before we ran the marathon or just after.
Kanu: Okay. I don't remember.
John: It was before Christmas.
Irene: Because you went home to Christmas to meet the family and get my dad's blessings.
John: Yes. It's probably after that.
Irene: After that [inaudible 10:51].
Kanu: Oh, that's so awesome. So...
Irene: After that and you have a pretty good idea what you're looking for...
Irene: Getting in your late 20s or late 30s.
John: And then we, of course, were married in April.
Irene: The next year.
Kanu: Oh okay. Okay. So, what was the Proposal like?
Irene: I thought it was after we went to see a movie Fiddler on the Roof...
Irene: ...which had an antic song in it. And I think we had gone out to eat as well. But it was that scene.
Irene: You did the deed. That's the thing.
Kanu: I know right, I love that. I love that. No, thank you for sharing that. So, if I may ask, so since you've been married for 38 years. What are some of the things that you do with each other? Like I always ask this question about, you know, little annoyances that you deal with as a couple that you know, you probably wouldn't deal with if you were not in love.
Irene: There's always going to be little things you just rise above. I feel like John doesn't always listen, but now that he's retired. It's gotten a lot better. He's been retired for a few months now.
John: Thank you.
Irene: And now you certainly have things with [crosstalk 12:13]...
John: Well just I mean, we just got to remember we're on the same side. We're not against each other.
John: We are with each other.
John: And we're different people, we become more like longer we're married, you know because you're with somebody all the time, but we still stood out looking as even met, there are two different people with different likes...
John: ...and dislikes and you, in some cases you, grin and bear, other times, you know, go our separate ways. It all depends on what the issue is or [inaudible 12:54]. Overall, we do a lot of stuff together and we exercise every day together. Just allow out.
Irene: We love to hike, we cross-country ski, we biked a lot. Although it's a lot of hillier here than it was an Iowa. So, I have some form of a...
Kanu: They say that couples will exercise together stay very long together, right?
Irene: That's, there's truth to that, yes.
Kanu: Yes. So, what about maybe one quality that you love about each other.
Irene: I love John sense of humor. I always have from the very beginning and there are so many times where he can be so deadpan, and he gets me after these many years I'll fall for some of these things. He was good about doing that to my mom too, you know, and sense of humor would be a major one.
Kanu: Okay. What about you John?
Irene: Her ability to understand my sense of humor.
Kanu: Oh, that's good.
John: No, I know where she stands on things and we have a lot of mutual interest in things like that and we just work well together.
Irene: You just have to be able to talk about things, you know, don't let it fester. Communication is really important, respect.
Kanu: Yes, absolutely.
Irene: People say that all the time, but. That's true with us.
Kanu: Yes, and you know, I want to congratulate you also because you have a daughter who is getting married, Katie my friend. So, you know, I normally ask about what advice you would have for single people like me, but I think I want to switch it up a little bit and say what advice would you have for, you know couples like your daughter was getting married next month. So as a couple that's been together for that long.
What advice would you have for young couples like Katie and Micah?
John: Well you need to know somebody long enough to know them. You hear these stories of love in first sight. I don't know if that's really true or not. You got to know somebody.
John: You don't spend 15 years trying to know somebody, that's going to come automatically you get married, but remember and also remember that everybody has their own preferences or whatever and you got to respect that.
John: Yes, tolerance I guess would be here.
Irene: And in my additional comment to that is never go to bed mad if possibly can help it, you know. Your mate is not a mind reader. They're not going to know if there's something, you know, bothering you if you don't let them know unless you're one of these that blows up and I can do, I have a shorter fuse than John, but the advice to Katie and Micah would be, you know, communicate with each other. Give that other person their space when it's needed.
Irene: Doesn't mean they don't love you, but you know respect their boundaries and whatever, it still can work. It really can, you just need to talk to each other. Work things out...
Irene: ...often in the long run.
Kanu: Yes, no, that's really good advice and thank you for, you know, sharing that because I know, you know, we have people, listeners that are, you know, young couples, singles like myself, like I said and, you know, even couples that have been together for, you know, a long time and so just hearing advice from one couple to another, it's, you know, it's very helpful. So, thank you for sharing that.
Yes, so what about any advice for single people like myself who are searching for, for love and I love that you met in a running setting, you know, because I've often heard a lot of people that actually have connected through those running groups. You know, I wasn't able to do that, but I know there are some people that met, you know, the same way that you did. So what advice would you have for single people like me?
John: Well, I guess first would be to be aware. You can't get up in the morning and go I'm going to find that person today...
John: ...and the cycle happens. So, you've got to pick up the, what's the word? You will meet somebody either in business, working, or just casually and listen to them and you know what you're looking for. It may not be, you couldn't, may not be able to sit down and write it down. But in your soul, you know what you're looking for and you should make sure they're not married.
Irene: That's his humor, that's his humor.
John: Look for rings.
Irene: They don't always wear them, John.
John: Or suntan, where the ring was taken off. It's never happened to me.
Kanu: Especially summertime, right?
John: Yes, yes, yes. But I guess you say, you know when you see it, I guess and more times or not, you're not, so normally you will find that person at the least likely time or location that you expected.
Irene: You just can't try too hard...
Irene: I think that's what you.
John: But you do need to be in an environment with people that you would be interested in, be it, be it be at work, church, social groups or something like that. I find it very hard to believe people, you know, can meet online and make it go. If I'm not... everything is possible I guess...
John: ...it used to be in a, you know, person-to-person situation.
Kanu: Right, oh yes.
Irene: Follow up on that, you just have to get out there, you know, you just have to do a variety of things. You're not going to meet somebody sitting home. But yes, don't be, don't settle, I was not going to settle, I was getting very discouraged. I'll be the first to admit that you get down. You feel really bad. You just have to force yourself sometimes to get out there and like John said when you least expect it, you know, faith going to step in there.
Irene: You got to believe, you got to believe.
Kanu: Oh, absolutely. I am not losing hope that's why I'm finding hope in listening to love stories like your love story. So, yes, I cannot wait for one day to do an episode of my own love story. So yes, so I can share with everybody and say this is what my journey has been, and this is where I'm at. So that's my goal in the future is to be able to share my love story for sure. Yes, so.
John: And be and be cognizant of the fact, people don't get to married is... many people don't do this married as young as they get, you know, like your parents' generation. We were in our late 20s, Katie's in her 30s.
Irene: Yes, don't feel desperate. Don't...
John: Our other daughter is in her late 20s when she was married and it wasn't, you know, again it wasn't an act of desperation. If I don't marry this person, I'm never get married, maybe it's not meant to be. But keep yourself in an atmosphere, in an environment where there are potential mates and don't come on too strong. Don't go on too weak but be yourself...
John: ...because you're wasting your time trying to impress somebody doing things that you would not normally do, and I think many couples do that and they're this guy's great. And then they get married and you go, no I don't have to do that anymore, I'm married and you're not the same person anymore. And so, you got to be yourself.
Kanu: Right. Yes, I know really, really great advice. I just, a couple days ago I did an interview with four singles, which I'll be sharing that episode here next week, in one of the guys who was on there he talked about he does Meetup groups. Where, you know, people of similar likes, you know, it could be, I think he plays volleyball, he plays, I'm not sure what other sports he does, but you know for myself, I like to play tennis. Maybe I'll find a tennis Meetup group and, you know, hiking Meetup group and meet people with similar likes and then, you know, just see maybe something good will come out of that and then staying active and you know, and who knows, right?
Irene: It doesn't hurt to try.
Kanu: Absolutely, absolutely. Yes, so this has been really, really fun. I am so grateful that you were able to take time to chat with me. So, this actually concludes my questions and I just want to open it up to you to see if you have any anything else you want to add, any other tips, suggestions that you want to add.
John: Well, if you ever accidentally lock your car keys in your car, make sure you do have an extra set at home.
Irene: I couldn't have said that any better.
Kanu: And you know what? I hope a handsome guy will ask to drive me home so I can get my, I should say a single, handsome guy.
Irene: Even better.
Kanu: Yes. Well, I got.
Irene: We'll find out from Katie if this is all worked out for you. So, we wish you the best.
Kanu: Yes, absolutely, absolutely. So, thank you. Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me. I really appreciate it. Thanks for tuning in into this week's episode. I really hope you enjoyed it. Do you have a love story, or do you know somebody with a love story? If so, shoot me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Please go to my YouTube channel - Real Love Real Stories podcast and subscribe. And also follow me on Instagram and Facebook Real Love Real Stories. Until next time.