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  • Writer's pictureBillie Proffitt

Our Story for The Knot

I’ve been trying to figure out how to edit the story of how we met for our friends and family to read on The Knot… Especially since the man I’m marrying is the son of a son of son of a son of a preacher man. No, I didn’t repeat myself, his father is literally the third generation of preacher men. (Is that the correct plural – like saying “Priai,” in LA speak?)

Oftentimes as we travel and meet new people they are confused by us. When asked where we live we explain that his place is in Minneapolis, but I have a key and keep a closet there, and my place is in West Hollywood, but he has his own codes and keeps a closet there – the questioner usually gets even more confused part way through as we smile back, holding hands, or kissing… in Boston, or Sydney, or Augusta, or in whatever other random city we are when the subject arises.

“So how did you meet?” it begins.

“He asked me to dance at a honky-tonk in Nashville,” I beam.

“I did,” he proudly responds, usually with a kiss somewhere on my face. “The live band was playing Wagon Wheel.”

It seems our relationship is a down-the-rabbit-hole kind of magic brought together by the universe, or better yet to call it by what we both believe in: god, or God in his more traditional Lutheran upbringing. (Big difference.) The more questions that are asked, the more questions usually arise. “But – but?”

He was in Tennessee for a conference in the summer of 2014, when he approached me at Legend’s Corner. I had moved back to The States and after feeling guilty for knowing the harsh middle of Australia better than that of the lush and fertile bread-basket middle my American homeland, I booked a one-way ticket to Texas and rented a car, spending the next two weeks on a solo road trip looking for clues of my ancestors through numerous states. However, after meeting him, it didn’t finish where or the way I expected to.

About six days before getting to Nashville, I called my dad from the middle of (seemingly endless) Kansas sunflower and wheat fields explaining my dream husband – “I need a humble, respectful, hard-working, down-home farm boy who lives in the city, because his brothers run the farm; we only have to be there to help for harvest a few months a year. That is who I’m going to marry, Daddy.”

My father laughed to the point of not being able to speak at this notion, trying to explain that this “is absolutely not how farming works, Babydoll.” And wasn’t everyone around the Pacific surprised to find out about his dad’s walnut tree farm… which only harvested once every forty or so years! Ha!

The first time we were asked, “how long y’all been married?” was outside on Broadway about thirteen minutes after we exchanged first names. Without so much as a pause, he pulled me in close by the curve of my waist and answered the girl using a fake southern drawl: “Almost eight years now, would you believe it?” and planted one right on my lips, as if he’d been doing it for a decade.

She and her girlfriends all squealed in unison. “See, y’all, it does exist! We saw you two on the dance floor and knew it was a true love story! We just had to hear it!”

A few days after leaving Nashville, Sam Hunt’s Leave The Night On premiered on radio stations across the nation. I melted into the feeling as a country song spoke my heart – day-dreaming of the man that I wished I could still reach over and touch. Somehow, I had woken up that day to a text from him asking nearly the same question, “Is it too early in Cali yet to ask how you are this morning?”

The song wasn’t going to keep me warm at night, but it was comforting to know that we weren’t the only ones living in the hell of being away from the only person we could think about. It was another a good ol’ who'd boy fallen for a wild California Girl who’d seen a fair bit of what the world had to offer… And out of everything all she wanted, was him.

With all the up’s and down’s we’ve ridden between the space in our physical lives, any maybe more-so our cultural ones, it seems quite poetic and entirely meant to be, that one month after four years later, we will actually be, married.

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