Friday, September 3, 2010


OR... This one time, at band camp...

My theatre friends tease me. Even the ones who read comic books and played Magic the Gathering in high school. (I have a startling number of friends who have this in common...) I was in my college marching band. And it was a really big deal. We were really cool. Shut up. We were. And as homecoming approaches, (the countdown and preparation for which are AT LEAST equal to those for Christmas. Just ask Scott Coffey.) my blogs about band will become more frequent.

But this blog is about this ONE TIME at band camp. This one particular time.

It was my senior year. And this kid- this sophomore named Ryan- just kept hanging around. Did I want a ride to practice? Uh, I guess. I mean, I'm a senior and I have a car. But sure. I'll take a ride to practice. Of course, now I'll need a ride home...

And when we thought we were having people over to our apartment to watch a movie and then everyone canceled, Ryan came over anyway.

And the night of percussion auditions when we were sitting in the grass outside of Memorial Auditorium and Ryan was laying there with his head in my lap and Travis gave me this look like "what in the world is going on here?" all I could do was shrug. Because I had no idea.

And then the next night, at posting of the block, when I made the band but not the percussion section (long story) and I was crying in the bathroom and Brandi came in to check on me, I said the strangest thing. "Tell Ryan Smith not to leave without me."

Wait, what? Why in the world would I care if Ryan Smith left without me?

Even stranger, when I came out of the bathroom, was his response.

"I wouldn't have left without you," he said.

Really? Why not?

We went to the party together, met with more raised eyebrows from Travis. Seriously, dude. Still no idea. And when I was too sad to stay at the party, (yes, that quickly with the drama...) Ryan brought me home. And made me macaroni and cheese. And stayed with me while I cried. And kissed me for the first time. He was nineteen years old.

We were dating exclusively within days. Yes, days. And we talked about getting married after a month. And in April of 1999 we went back to that spot in the grass outside of Memorial Auditorium, and he proposed to me. And we've been married almost ten years.

But it all started, for me, on September 6, 1996. The Friday before Labor Day. Posting of the block. Ryan tells me it's not a real anniversary. And he's probably right. But I still felt like remembering it.


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  2. Brandi, in my defense... he was a sophomore ;)

  3. WOW!!! This brought tears to my eyes!! I can totally remember that night... and Ryan and thinking what is it about this Sophomore??!!! But it seemed so natural between the two of you right away! You are so good together... and in a way, your wedding marks the anniversary of my husband, Dan "Wookiee" Smead, and me! But before your wedding... there was Homecoming, which marks the day that I fell in love with him "Love at first sight, the second first time I saw him!" And we can't forget the first time we met... the same day I met you, Mindy! I love that we share this connection!

    Thanks, Mindy and Ryan, for getting married in Conneaut, where my soul mate just happened to be living!

    Love to you both!
    Love, your little sis,
    Brandi Bette Smead