Love at first sight — it always seemed a silly notion to me until it happened.
It was more than six years ago that I had the T-Shirt Babe contest for IMAO. I had been thinking about it for a while as a way to help sell t-shirts and, more importantly, find out if I had any attractive readers, but I was pretty hesitant about it because I knew it could have been a huge disaster. What if no one entered — or only horrible candidates? But eventually I got over the idea of possibly looking foolish and took a risk.
And no one entered. At least in the first week, and I was panicking. My blog would be a mockery; everyone would laugh at me and my blog… which is like a million times worse than people laughing with my blog at others. But as the deadline came near, eventually numerous entries started coming in — all of them great entries.
And then I saw her. SarahK. And as far as I was concerned, the contest was over. There was our winner. There was the female face that best represented my blog. It was love at first sight.
Unfortunately, I had set it up so there were eight other guest judges, all with the same weight as my vote. They would pick five ranked choices, with their first choice getting five points down to the fifth choice getting one point. And as the judges sent in their votes, I realized she wasn’t the clear cut winner to the other judges like Harvey, John Hawkins, and the Puppy Blender because they were stupid, I guess. What I hadn’t thought of doing, though, was to have a third party count the votes and declare the winner.
Now wouldn’t it be a neat twist to reveal now — more than six years later — that I rigged the vote so SarahK won?
It would be, except I didn’t. She won fair and square. By one point. If she had lost, I don’t know what I would have done. It’s not that the second place winner was bad — it’s just she wasn’t SarahK so she was no one to me.
After she won, SarahK and I got to talking — and she was single and thought I was cool and stuff. And eventually she invited me to go hike the Grand Canyon with her. This was another thing I knew could be a big disaster. Not only had I not hiked or camped since I was a little kid, but I am not a very social person. I have a lot of anxieties and things that had sometimes made social interactions a hard thing for me. I worried that it would be a very terrible, awkward couple of days stuck with someone who would soon be fed up with me. My instant response was “no”, but somehow I pushed myself, and I agreed. And it was one of the greatest things in my life. I can’t even describe it. And the Grand Canyon was neat too.
So, I had a t-shirt babe contest thinking maybe I could meet a cute girl who liked my blog, and here I am now married to SarahK and about to be a father. It’s a fairy tale. Never in my life will another plan come together as well as that one. I am just unbelievably blessed.
I’ve heard it said that the command by God that is most often ignored is, “Be not afraid.” It’s a tough one we deal with constantly, but the greatest things in life will be done by overcoming your fears. So take a risk now and then and don’t worry about looking like a fool. If you can do that, who knows what you can do?
But you’ll still never be as awesome as me. Sorry.