Our Crazy Life

Raising three kids just one day at a time

The Story of Us – Part 4 April 17, 2009

Filed under: our story — Jamie Payne @ 9:34 am

The only reason why I got up the nerve to call you was because….

He had a reason to call me other than the burning desire to reconnect with the crazy drunk girl who sloppily gave him a phone number to a phone she couldn’t be reached at for an entire month?  Did my cousin put him up to this?  Did she feel sorry for me because I had decided to leave my seemingly happy existence in Chicago and move to cheesehead land? After this butthead gave me his explanation as to why he had bothered to call me in the first place, I planned on spilling my beer all over his lap.  I was NOT a charity case!!

Jason: …my mom was reading her Star Magazine a couple of weeks ago and she just happened to look at my horoscope.  It said that I had met someone from out of town and she’s “the one”.  I knew that it was you.  The only problem was that when gave me your phone number and the date you’d be moving, you forgot to write down your name.  I had to call Wendy’s house and talk to your uncle Ron so I could find out your name. 

My next rational thought after I gently placed my Bud Light back onto the bar? I wanted to marry this blue-eyed cutie and have his babies. 

The next couple of months went by in a blur.  I started my job with Albany and spent all of my free time with Jason.  We went to dinner and to movies.  We took our bikes to High Cliff to ride the trails.  He introduced me to more of his friends and everyone made me feel so comfortable.  If Jason was working anywhere near my office, I’d even meet him for lunch.  I liked his parents and he liked mine.  We became inseparable.  

After dating for 3 months, we decided that we both need to move out of our parent’s house and decided to look for apartments together.  To say my dad was displeased would be putting it mildly.  I knew my feelings for Jason were the real thing though.  I was 100% in love with this man and I wanted to spend the rest of my life loving him.  So we searched the area for an apartment we both liked and finally found one in Appleton.  We decided to move the week that my parents would be on vacation up at the lake house.  It would be so much easier on my dad if he wasn’t there to see me move my things yet again. 

The night before the big move, Jason and I decided to just stay in and get to bed early so that we’d be fresh in the morning.  Since we had picked up the key to our new apartment earlier in the day, we thought it would be a good idea to take another look at the rooms and figure out where things should go.  I was totally exhausted and borderline crabby when we got there.  Jason and I made our way to the bedroom where I slumped down to the floor; trying to visualize the best arrangement for my furniture. 

Jason knelt down in front of me and had this weird look on his face.  What was he doing?  I was trying to have a conversation with him and he was just staring at me.  I thought I had a good idea of what it was that he wanted.

Me: No, Jason.  I am not about to make out in a empty bedroom.  I’m tired and I just want to go to bed.  

I closed my eyes, laid my head against the wall and sighed dramatically.  I had to prove my point!

Jason: That wasn’t what I wanted to ask you. 

I looked up to find Jason smiling at me with a ring box in his hand. 

To be continued…


The Story of Us – Part 3 April 9, 2009

Filed under: our story — Jamie Payne @ 10:17 am

I knew.  The second my eyes met his, I knew.  It was Jason…the blue-eyed cutie that I remembered. 

I suddenly felt like a total moron.  This person looked totally normal and here I was; standing in front of him with my parents!  I could feel his friends’ eyes on me…sizing me up.  Wasn’t I making a fabulous first impression?  One look at my dad’s face and you could just tell he wanted to be anywhere but there.  I was suddenly pulled away from my thoughts when I realized that Jason had just asked me a question.  I immediately said “yes”, assuming he had asked if I wanted something to drink.  To my astonishment, instead of a Bud Light, I found a pool stick being placed into my hand.  Oh Good Lord!  I sucked at pool!! 

This date was about to go south…real fast.  As I approached the pool table, I was desperately thinking of ways to get out of this situation.  It finally dawned on me that I was trying to be something I wasn’t…sophisticated, graceful, polished…and if I wanted Jason to get to know me, I’d better start acting like the real Jamie. 

Jamie: You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.
Jason: Why’s that?
Jamie: If I’m actually able to hit one of those balls with this stick-thing, there’s no way it’ll ever make it into one of the holes.  You’re about to find out I’m not very good at playing pool.
Jason: I guess it’s a good thing that I’m your partner then.

I think I started falling in love with Jason that very instant. 

I was right.  I totally sucked and Jason did most of the work for us.  We had fun though.  We laughed at my lack of pool playing skills and I found myself relaxing more.  I had just begun enjoying myself when my dad decided he was ready to go home.  Oops!  I had sort of forgotten about him during my embarrassing round of pool and he did not look amused.  Luckily one of my cousins (from Mary Joy’s side) jumped to my rescue and offered my dad a ride home.  I don’t think dad was thrilled at the idea of me staying out with a boy I didn’t know yet  but before he could argue, Mary Joy said she’d stay with me and we’d be home later. 

So off went my dad to sulk at home.  Mary Joy and I walked down the block with Jason and his friends to another favorite Neenah hangout.  Everything started feeling so comfortable.  After a few more hours of easy conversation it was time for us to go.  Jason had just ordered a beer and we were saying our good-byes.  As I got ready to leave, he reached for his beer and instead of ending up in his hand it ended up in my lap.  Jason looked mortified!   

Jason: I’ve been so nervous all night and just went I start to relax, I do something stupid.  The only reason why I got up the nerve to call you was because….

To be continued… 


The Story of Us – Part 2 March 24, 2009

Filed under: our story — Jamie Payne @ 10:12 am

I absolutely loved working in Chicago.  I always felt so proud that I was part of something so large.  Robin, my roommate, and I made the commute via train from Naperville to Chicago every day.  Once I got out of the train station, I could just feel my adrenaline start pumping.  My walk to work was right along the river and it was just so beautiful!  So why in the heck was I going to leave it all to move to Wisconsin?  Despite everything I loved about Chicago, my family wasn’t there anymore.  My dad and Mary Joy were living in Wisconsin and my mom and Peter were now in Georgia.  I was lonely and sad.  So I finished up my last month working in a job that I loved to start a new chapter of my life. 

I still remember my how I felt when my dad and Mary Joy drove down to help me pack up my belongings and move.  I was so scared!  Was I going to be happy living so far from all of the hustle and bustle of a large city?  Would I like having a much slower paced job at Albany?  Well, I couldn’t turn back now.  

During the drive, my thoughts strayed to the blue-eyed cutie.  During the few times that I had thought of him throughout the past month, my face would get red with embarrassment.  I seriously doubted that he was going to call, but….what if?  What if he did call?  I was pretty sure I knew his name.  During a panic attack a couple of weeks prior, I called Mary Joy and asked if she would call my uncle and look into it for me.  He told her he had been talking to a boy named Jason.  Was Jason the boy with the beautiful blue eyes? 

When we reached Menasha there was a slight dusting of snow on the ground.  We worked quickly to move my furniture and other belongings into the house.  I was just about done unpacking when the phone rang.  My dad answered the phone and I remember him saying “Jesus Christ!  The tires on the truck aren’t even cold yet!!”.  Yes, my daddy took the Lord’s name in vain, but he had just gotten his baby girl back and apparently there was already a call for me.  My heart started beating way too fast.  Who was on the other line?  Could it possibly be the blue-eyed cutie? 

Me: Hello?
Other Person: Hi….Jamie?  This is Jason.  We met at Gord’s during Wendy’s birthday party.

Ah ha!  His name was Jason!!

Me:  Yes, hi.  I remember meeting you.
Jason: I was wondering if you wanted to go out tonight.

Was he freakin’ kidding!  I just moved to a new state where I knew NO ONE.  Of course I wanted to go out!!

Me: Um, sure.  I’m going out to dinner with my parents, but I can meet you out later.

We made plans to meet up at Gord’s later that evening after I had dinner with my parents.  I was a nervous wreck.  What in the heck was I going to wear?  This certainly wasn’t like when I’d go clubbing with my friends in Chicago.  I decided on jeans and one of my favorite Ralph Lauren button down shirts.  Nice, but not slutty.  All throughout dinner, my dad looked like a little boy who had just lost his puppy.  It was my first night with him, and I already had plans.  Mary Joy was 100% on my side and thought it was great that I was already meeting new people. 

I had convinced my parents that they should come into Gord’s with me.  It was ridiculous, but I wasn’t sure about what I was getting myself into yet.  Let’s face it.  I had had enough to drink the last time I was there, that my memory was a little fuzzy.  My blue-eyed cutie might not be such a cutie!  I walked into Gord’s and started panning the room looking for anyone that I could recognize. 

I knew.  The second my eyes met his, I knew.  It was Jason…the blue-eyed cutie that I remembered. 

To be continued…


The Story of Us March 13, 2009

Filed under: our story — Jamie Payne @ 8:42 am

We had just rung in the year 2000 and it had been six months since my mom and Peter packed up our house and moved to Atlanta.  I was completely miserable without them.  My roommate’s boyfriend was now living with us and I felt like such a third wheel around them.  I was spending more and more time in Chicago with the man that I was dating but I knew that our relationship had no future.  I also knew I had to leave.  I had to leave my apartment, leave Chicago, leave my job and start somewhere new.  But where was I going to go?  Should I move to Georgia?  Or should I maybe move to Wisconsin to be closer to my dad?  Should I chose a place where I’d never been before? 

I missed being near family so I chose Wisconsin.  I went to visit my dad in mid-January for some snowmobiling and fun in the snow.  I decided to stay an extra day and visit a well known recruiting office to get an idea of what sort of jobs were available in the finance area.  I filled out their application, took the placement exams and informed the recruiter that I had not told my current employer that I was planning on leaving yet.  I wanted a chance to go back to Chicago and talk to my boss before Landmark called to verify my employment. 

I was such a bundle of nerves Tuesday morning when I went into the office.  I had no idea if I was making the right decision and kept thinking of calling my recruiter to tell her I had changed my mind.  Shortly after the CFO arrived, he called me into his office.  I thought nothing of it since our controller was out with a broken leg and I had taken over some of her duties until she returned.  I thought we were meeting to make sure I was on the right track with everything but one look at his face told me I was about to hear some bad news.  Apparently, my recruiter forgot to give me a day or two and had already called to verify my employment.  I promised Walt that I would remain in Chicago until the controller came back (approximately 2 months) but then I would be leaving. 

I got a call in February that Landmark had found the perfect position for me and they wanted me to come up and interview.  It was an accounts payable position for a company in Menasha.  The woman that I would be replacing was retiring in July so I had plenty of time for training.  I decided to drive up for the interview.  Everything seemed to go well but I was still nervous at the thought of moving.  A couple of hours later, Landmark called to tell me that Albany was making me an offer.  I ended up accepting their offer with the condition that I would not start for another month.  My dad and Mary Joy took me out to dinner so we could celebrate, but I still felt so unsure of what I was doing. 

My cousin was celebrating her birthday at a local bar with some friends.  Mary Joy thought it would be fun to meet some of Wendy’s friends so I would feel more comfortable once I moved.  I was beyond nervous.  Everything seemed to be happening so quickly!  After way too much to drink, I noticed my uncle Ron talking to a cute boy.  I knew Ron was just about as uncomfortable there as I was so I thought it was sweet that one of Wendy’s friends was taking the time to make him feel like he belonged there.  Who was this boy?  Many of Wendy’s friends said they recognized me from my school days in Neenah over 12 years ago so maybe I had gone to school with this boy as well.  After introducing myself, I noticed his eyes immediately.  They were the most beautiful shade of blue that I had ever seen.  I chatted with the cute blue-eyed boy and my uncle until Mary Joy decided it was time for us to head home.  Since I had more to drink in that one night than I normally had in an entire month, I did something totally out of character.  I wrote my name, the date I’d be moving and my father’s phone number on a napkin and handed it to the cute blue-eyed boy before I was yanked out of the bar. 

The next morning I woke up with not only a hang over but with this horrible feeling I had done something stupid the night before to embarrass myself.  As I tried to go over all of the details, I suddenly remembered a boy with beautiful blue eyes.  Had I really given him my number on a cocktail napkin?  Yes, I was pretty sure I had embarrassed myself by babbling to a complete stranger and then made matters worse by giving him a phone number that I couldn’t be reached at for another month.  Wait a second…maybe this wasn’t so bad.  Who in their right mind would actually hang onto the phone number of a girl who apparently couldn’t have more than a few beers without making a fool of herself?  I felt confident that the blue-eyed cutie had gone home, thrown away my napkin and had already completely forgotten about me.  I would probably never see him again.

To Be Continued….