Sunday, September 15, 2013

How I Met My Husband

This past week, my husband and I celebrated a not-so-significant, yet important milestone in our life: 4 years since we'd met. Time flies so fast! And, at the same time, it feels like I've known him all my life. In honor of this wonderful anniversary, I want to recall how we met. 

Since I like telling stories, I will not go for a "long story short." It will be a long story long. Sometimes stories are better that way. 

In 2005, I returned from America where I had spent a year as an exchange student. My family had moved to Omsk, Russia by that time, so I joined them there. Even though I was a junior at an American high school, Russian school could not care less, and I had to go to the 11th grade again. It was a new school with new people, so, to say the least, it was challenging. In addition, in Russian schools kids learn British English. Needless to say, I lost all of my British accent by the time I came back from the States. Teachers usually frown upon American accent and try to break it as soon as possible, but I got lucky. My English teacher, Oksana Demidova, did not mind it at all. Moreover, in the middle of the school year, she left us to get married and moved to America. I loved her and missed her, but little did I know that Oksana and her family would become a major part of my life later. 

After graduation, I got a scholarship at a local state university to become an interpreter. I figured that English was something I was not bad at, so I decided to pursue it as a profession. During the year, my college instructors did try to break my American accent, but they were unsuccessful. Through my mother's colleague, I found out about Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC, which worked with students from Omsk region. They offered full scholarships to students with outstanding academic record and good English skills to come and study an economic profession. I applied and got selected! I was ecstatic, since I fell in love with the States when I had lived for a year with my wonderful host family in Missouri. Before leaving for school in August, I emailed Oksana, my former English teacher. I knew she lived somewhere in the States, but I was not sure where. Oksana responded very quickly and told me she would be in Omsk in a couple of days with her whole family. It would be so great to see her again! Moreover, she lived in Raeford, NC, which was within 30 minutes from my University! What are the odds?

After I met Oksana, her husband David and daughter Sasha, they promised to take care of me in the States. And they did! You see, when you travel overseas, you are allowed to bring only two suitcases, about 50 lbs each. Not bad, unless you are leaving home for four years. When I got to the dorms, I was shocked: students literally brought their homes with them! Lamps, linens, curtains, fans, bean bag chairs, and mattresses, to name a few things. I brought only clothes and was discouraged. Oksana and her family supplied me with everything necessary for a freshman. I felt so blessed! I spent all my weekends in their home, and it was wonderful.

Oksana and her daughter Sasha

Fast-forward three years. Oksana was teaching Russian at a military base, and I started helping her students to get ready for their final test. After six months of an intensive Russian course, soldiers would hold a 20-minute conversation to show everything they've learned. I would talk to them on the phone, so that they would hear another native speaker and learn to adapt before their test. In the very beginning of my senior year, I spoke with a couple more students over the phone, one of which introduced himself as David. In perfect Russian, he told me about his huge family of 7 and how much he enjoyed learning the language. I offered him my help, which he gladly accepted. We Russians really appreciate when people of other cultures show interest in Russian. A couple of weeks later, I asked Oksana if David still wanted help, since I had not heard from him after our initial conversation. She promised me to find out. 

When Oksana approached David at school and asked if he wanted my phone number, he said he did not do blind dating. However, it was nothing like that; we truly wanted to help him learn Russian and do well on his exam. At that time, I started a busy semester with 24 credit hours and did not look for love to add to my hectic schedule. I guess that is the point: love comes when you do not expect it. Next day, David called me and offered to meet him at a coffee shop one afternoon. On September 11th, 2009 I met him at the Coffee Scene and... my life changed forever. We spoke only Russian for an hour and a half, and I kept thinking how hopelessly out of my league David was. Handsome, smart, funny, strong, he was much more than what I had hoped for in a husband. Before we parted, David asked if we could meet again to speak some more Russian... over a dinner. That was definitely a hint that he liked me, too. 

We met two days later at Barnes and Noble and spoke Russian for another two hours. The time flew by quickly, as we genuinely enjoyed each other's company. At the end, he asked me if he could call me and speak with me in English. That was so cute! Of course, I said yes. He did call me later. And texted. And took me on a date a week later. And met my parents (and was approved by them right away). 

It may seem like a lucky arrangement of random events, but... when I think about it, I can clearly see that it is much more. All my life I was preparing to meet my husband: going to the States as an exchange student, meeting my English teacher in Russia who later became David's Russian teacher at Ft. Bragg, NC, moving to the same state as she, and getting a scholarship at a military town. David went into the military because he was not in a serious relationship and was not looking for one. He ended up at Ft. Bragg, studying Russian. It was not even on his list of preferred languages! How can all these things line up perfectly to bring together a Russian from Siberia and a Texan? The answer is quite obvious: God brought us together and blessed us with each other. I strongly believe that because I tend to trust facts. 


  1. Молодец, Тая, интересно пишешь! Блоггер :) Скажи, а они все русский учат или на выбор?

    1. Спасибо, Никита! Очень приятно :) нет, они не все учат русский. Очень популярен арабский. Кому какой язык попадется. Как в Германии?