Our Love Story
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The flirting
At one point, during one of our social mixers, they split the singles into two groups to see which one could correctly identify various TV themes which they played.

Practically speaking, I should have just sat the entire game out since I was the most clueless person there. You see, my parents, to their credit, limited the three McManus boys' television viewing to several hours of Saturday morning cartoons, Walt Disney World on Sunday nights at 7 p.m., and an occasional Christmas special, provided we had completed our homework for the evening.

But, being the social butterfly that I am, I not only stayed in the game, but had fun pretending as though the answer was on the tip of my tongue when we went into our little huddle. I locked eyes with Amy, and could sense that she got just as much delight in watching me in action as I did in making my humorous Muppet-judges-in-the-balcony-type sarcastic comments.

The singles' campfire
Saturday night wouldn't be complete at a Christian retreat without the proverbial roaring bonfire, S'Mores and a round of Kum Ba Yah. Thankfully, they skipped the Kum Ba Yah song in lieu of something more meaningful.

All the while, Amy and I were sitting next to each other on a rustic wooden bench, deeply immersed in a discussion about Gary Chapman's book "The Five Love Languages." The tongues of fire lit up her creamy complexion, highlighted her pretty brown curly hair and seemed to make her blue eyes dazzle even more.

I had just interviewed Gary on my previous radio talk show. I knew his points well. The five love languages were physical affection, gift-giving, words of affirmation, time and acts of service. The key light-bulb-moment of the book was that you best communicate your love for someone else when you choose to love them in their top love language, even if it feels unnatural to you. And vice versa. You will only truly feel loved when your significant other "speaks" to you in your primary love language of choice.

Amy and I were both re-evaluating our most recent relationships in light of Gary Chapman's truthful discovery. Needless to say, we both found our discussion to be eye-opening.

A friendship blooms
Over the course of the fall of 2001, my friendship with Amy grew. We couldn't get enough of each other. Typically, we hung out in groups. There seemed to be some kind of outside chance that her engagement might still be resurrected. But, alas, despite some counseling and time, she became more and more convinced that she had made the right decision, eventually leading her to FedEx her engagement ring back to him in November.

To be clear, neither one of us had a hint of a romantic interest in the other. We were good friends, becoming closer in a platonic sense. We weren't necessarily each other's type per se.

Her fiancé was shorter, more athletic, Hispanic. I'm 6'3", white and dorky in my own way.

She's 5 foot 4 and a half inches tall, brunette, and had recently rededicated her life to Christ within the last several years through the San Antonio Metro with speaker Todd Phillips. By contrast, my last girlfriend was 5'8", blonde and had accepted Christ some time before.

Nevertheless, we found ourselves drawn together time and time again. When the University of the Incarnate Word was set to hold its annual Christmas lighting of the trees, I was only interested in inviting one person to the San Antonio tradition. You guessed it: Amy Holzer.

Her blue eyes sparkled more intensely in the candlelight than normal as hundreds of us walked slowly through the multi-colored, beautifully-lit trees, singing familiar Christmas carols.

Continued >> The Thanksgiving Dinner

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