"We met at an Auburn/LSU tailgate in Baton Rouge."
That's what I tell people.
It is the truth.
But like many a southern single, it was manipulated.
Well, let's say orchestrated.
And bless his heart, he didn't have a clue.
I was living in Charleston, SC at the time, living my best life. Andrew was finishing up at Auburn. My girlfriends in Charleston who went to Auburn did their best due diligence on Facebook to see which of their guy friends hadn't gotten engaged or married. If you know anything about Auburn University, it's this: you will get towed on campus, and if you reach 21 and don't get "A Ring by Spring", the devastation is massive.
Looking on Facebook for a single man from Auburn University past the age of 22 was like finding a girl from Louisiana who doesn't know how to peel crawfish: it rarely happens.
So after I confirmed his attractiveness and dimple, it was decided. I would be Mrs. Andrew Lee. We just didn't know it would be sooner than any of us expected.
Andrew reached out to my girlfriends to see where they were staying in Baton Rouge for the Auburn/LSU game on October 20, 2007. My birthday.
At the time, my family still had a condo near the south gates of LSU. I told them to tell Andrew that we had room if he needed a place to crash.
I messaged him on Facebook extending my hospitality. And my mischief.
I told him, "Andrew, you are more than welcome to crash at our condo. We Cajuns love to host. I'll have plenty of food, plenty of drink, and the only thing you won't have is a W."
Momma took my girlfriends and me to Galatoire's on that Friday afternoon. There's no better place to be on a beautiful fall Friday, in the main dining room, of course. On the way from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, my sister called me because her neighbor was having jambalaya for a large group of college boys. Her neighbor, who went to Auburn, was hosting her family friend from Selma, Dobbins, and his motley crew of friends. If you know anyone from Selma and don't know Dobbins, you may need to rethink your Selma roots.
So we called ol' Andrew Lee and asked, "Are you eating jambalaya at 7:00?" He said, "Creepy. How do you know this?"
He explained that his group was able to squeeze him in with their guest- house accommodations which happened to be my sister's next door neighbor.
That night, my friends and I went out on the town to celebrate my birthday. Meanwhile, my future husband met my mom, dad, sisters, nephews, and played poker in my sisters home.
The next day, my sister called to wish me a happy birthday, and more importantly confirmed Andrew's cuteness.
On a beautiful fall day, I got liquid courage in the form of a Bloody Mary, and weaseled my way to his tailgate.
"Oh wow, look who it is! Ah-Ah-are you the guy that I messaged? This is so crazy to bump into y'all!"
We laughed, and I met his brother and friends. It was organic.
The dynamic - not the circumstances. Obviously.
With one second left on the clock, Matt Flynn completed the pass to Demetrius Byrd to win the game 30-24.
I was elated. But did feel a little sorry for these weirdly nice fan base of people.
My family's seats are on the 50. Andrew was at the very top row of Death Valley.
We flushed out of the stadium in a sea of purple, yellow, orange, and blue.
I am walking with my sweet Auburn friend when I hear a taunting, "Haha Auburn, go home!"
And as God and His providence would have it, it was Andrew Lee being accosted! I come to his defense and I say, "HEY! We barely won that game! Our ass-hat of a coach eats grass! I think you should say 'thank you for coming to Baton Rouge!'"
The crowded flow pushes us every which way. Andrew puts his arm around me and says, "Come on, house divided."
I take him back to his tailgate which was near Nicholson Extension by way of the Bell Tower.
That's opposite ends of campus.
I don't waste opportunities divinely given to me by The Lord Almighty.