At a dinner one night a few of our friends asked us about how Sheena and I got together. It actually started because Sheena was asking one of our friends how he got together with his significant other. At the end of the story, a few of ’em mentioned that we should blog it… now that I think of it, it was probably their way of saying “dont tell us this story again! just write it down so we can pretend that we read it!”… well anyway, here goes!
WARNING: This post is extremely long and could quite possibly be boring to some. If you would like the cliff notes version, scroll to the end of this post!
My senior year in high school (waaay back in 2000) I went to see my friend Finny host a talent show at his school. His co-host was Sheena Oommen. I thought she was cute, but never really thought much after that. I figured she was just some other girl. We really didn’t run in the same circles at the time, so I just left it at that. Plus I was way too shy to ever approach anyone so it didn’t take much to talk myself out of meeting her.
Fast forward to around 2002ish. Now Sheena and I were becoming closer friends. Somehow our circle of friends started to intertwine and we’d see each other more often. We both went to the University of Houston and we both were leadership in HYPF (Houston Youth Pentecostal Fellowship). I’m horrible with dates, but I think it was around 2005 when HYPF did it’s first mission trip to Mexico. It was a small group so we were all able to get to know each other pretty well. It was that mission trip that really turned my attention to her. Before this, I always thought she was pretty cute and a cool girl to hang with, but after seeing her heart on the mission field is when I saw her in a different light. I even remember our friend Earl pulling me aside asking if I was interested in Sheena. Of course I had to play it off and say no… so I didn’t do anything about it. I felt that it wouldn’t be right to mess up a good friendship, so I just left it alone.
As time progressed, we would hang out a bit more (in group settings) and we became better friends. Each time we hung out would show another attribute of her I really liked. But again, she was just a friend, so I left it at that. At this time I was around 23 years old. I never had a “girlfriend” and I started thinking to myself “I’m I real loser… I should get out there and meet some people!” So I did. I met a few girls, got to know them and made really great friends but I always ended up comparing them to Sheena. Whenever I did that, no one ever really matched up. So then I finally came to a breaking point. Towards the end of 2005 I told Sheena how I felt and wanted to see if she might feel the same way… Her response: “oh Sajan, I just think we’re really great friends….” REJECTION! Not really what I was going for, but I respected the fact that she could openly tell me how she really felt. And the best part is that our friendship never changed. We still remained very close friends and nothing got weird between us.
2006 came around and friendship continued to grow. Our mutual friends would ask if we were going out, and we honestly said that we were simply friends (although deep down, I wanted more). Midway through the year, I scratched up the courage again to see if her feelings had changed. But this time, I decided to write her a letter. That way there wouldn’t be any awkwardness due to being face to face. I didn’t want to be pushy, but after about a month with no response to the letter, I figured I’d talk to her about it and see what was up. She said that she was still thinking about it. That was fair enough, but in my mind that was rejection #2.
I’m not a “put your eggs in one basket” sort of guy, so then I decided to entertain actually being set up by friends and dating other people. Which I did. And it was great! I never realized how cool it was to meet a total stranger and just begin to get to know them. It was fun and exciting. The nervousness, the excitement the constant checking if your breath smells bad or if something was on your face… I dunno, it was just fun. I met a few really great gals in that process as well. In my view of things, I was just talking to other girls to be certain if I’m not looking at Sheena with rose colored glasses. I’m happy that I was able to date and meet other people because it made me realize that although the other girls were awesome, Sheena was the perfect fit for me. It actually gave me more confidence in knowing that she was “The One”.
So 2006 was coming to a close and I decided to write Sheena another letter. This one got a relatively quick response. Sheena thought about it and she felt that a relationship wasn’t what she was looking for in me. REJECTION #3! I was a little hurt, but no point in feeling sorry for yourself, so I just rolled with the punches. I continued to date other girls and I was open about that fact with Sheena as well. Again, we remained very close friends and nothing changed on that front.
I believe it was March of 2007. I had to try again. This time I simply asked her to pray about it. She was always on my mind. I would pray that if it was meant to be, for God to send me a sign. I don’t recall what the sign was, but I do remember feeling peace about it and just knowing that I should be patient. So one day in the middle of 2007, Sheena and I went to TCBY (a yogurt shop) in Rice Village. We were just hanging out having some yogurt and very quickly Sheena spits out the words “I like you”. I was sorta taken aback. It’s been roughly 2 years of me chasing her, but in 3 words she had me.
So at that point I thought to myself “finally! I have a girlfriend!” Now we can move forward with our lives. Date for a bit, eventually get married, have kids… happily every after, right? Incorrect my friends. I wasn’t her “boyfriend” yet. She took me to the Houston Arboretum for what I thought was a date. While we’re walking around she says “lets ask each other questions to get to to know each other”. What? Get to know each other? We’ve been friends for years now! What’s there to know? So my first question to her was “is this a date?” which was followed up with a prompt “no! We’re just getting to know one another”. I should consider that as Rejection #4, but since I now know the outcome, I’ll let it go.
As we got to know each other, I now agree with Sheena that it was good for us to do that. Although we were friends for such a long time there are things you learn about a person while your friends but there are different things you learn under the stance of a suitor. So we dated for about a month and wanted to share the news with our friends. Our discussion went sorta like this:
Sajan: I wanna start telling our friends about us
Sheena: yea, me too, but I don’t want our folks to find out before we can tell them
Sajan: me too… but if we tell our folks then you know that’s basically walking down the path marriage, right?
Sheena: yea that’s true.
Sajan: yea, ok… lets get married.
Now finally the rest is history. 1st & 2nd homes together, traveling near and far together, a life changing baby girl together, going through new jobs together, supporting each other’s passions together and many more perfect memories together all in a very fast 5 years!
We’re not publicly lovey dubby people and this blog has gone well past my mushy limit, so in accordance to our current mode of operation:
To my Dear Sheena,
I like you. (a lot)
The Cliff Notes Version:
For those that don’t want all the details, but want a general run down, here it is:
September 2006 (Labor Day) @ Oyster Creek Park
her answer: NO
November 2006 I wrote her a letter
her answer: none, but later said that she was still thinking about it
December 2006 I wrote another letter
her response: Absolute NO
March of 2007 Sheena realized that I’m amazing and tells me she likes me (finally!)
We date for roughly a month (April, 2007)
Tell our folks in May, 2007
Engaged in August 15, 2007
Married March 8, 2008
Sheena might have a slightly different version of our story, but this is my recollection of it all. No matter which way you cut it, I wouldn’t change a thing!
Today we celebrate 5 years of marriage!