How Pete Remembers It
I was in Las Vegas for a bachelor party for my friend Wes Stewart. It was the last night that we were in town. I had just got done not losing a $1500 game of credit card roulette for the steak supper the 10 of us guys had and winning a $200 game of post-supper backgammon against Tyler Toungate. Us boys did a little gambling in the Planet Hollywood Casino and were on our way out to do what boys do. Three of us, Barrett Scruggs, Tyler, and I, got distracted by a group of girls walking into the Casino just as we were walking out. We stopped to chat a bit, and for the makings of an intriguing story, we told them that Tyler was the one getting married, and I was his best man. I started talking to one girl, who I now know is Hannah, and I asked if she had any Catholic brunette friends. She got really excited and point out Mary. I looked over at Mary and was floored. I said to myself, “she’s got freckles. You can’t get much better than that.” I walked over to Mary and started a conversation. She told me about herself and then asked what I did. It would have been the Acme of foolishness to think she would ever give her number to a dude in the Army, who lives in El Paso, and is from Wisconsin, while she was firmly established in Portland. I needed to be from Portland. Luckily, I knew a lot about a man from Portland. I borrowed a page out of Coach Stan Brock’s life and told her that I was in the Army, but I grew up in Beaverton, Oregon and had gone to Jesuit High School. Luckily for me, Mary bought it. We talked for all of 4 minutes, but I left with her number and was happy as could be. The next morning in the airport, waiting to go back to El Paso, I started to text her. Something just felt right. By the time I got home, I told my buddies that I was going to marry her. What do you know, I was right.
When my good friend, Kelsey, decided to have her bachelorette party in Las Vegas, I was all in. In my mind, this was going to be an epic weekend of warm weather, fun times with the ladies, and playing dress up in our fancy clothes.
On our last night in town, we were passing through Planet Hollywood en route to a country bar (complete with a mechanical bull). We literally — and physically — ran into a group of three boys, and stopped to chat for a few minutes. One man in particular caught my eye right away; he was tall, handsome, and looked like a cowboy. (In fact, he would later be known as “The Texan”, “Pete, the Tall Blonde Texan”, “Captain America”, or “The Tall Drink of Texas, a.k.a. the Most Handsome Man Alive”.) While he chatted it up with my friends, I chatted with Tyler (who we all thought was the bachelor at the time). All of a sudden, Pete was beside me, pulling me into a quick two-step dance, and asking me for my number. I gave it to him, figuring I’d never talk to him again (who actually ends up keeping in touch with anyone from Las Vegas, right?).
This initial encounter lasted maybe ten minutes. When he texted me later that night, and everyday thereafter, I started to realize that maybe this wasn’t a random Las Vegas interlude. I said as much to him the first night we spoke on the phone:
Me: “It’s so strange to me that we met in passing and only spoke for about ten minutes, and now here we are chatting on the phone.”
Pete: “Sometimes ten minutes is all it takes.”
Apparently Pete was right — all it took was a few minutes with someone significant for it to turn into something more. The rest, as they say, is history!