February 14, 2015

How We Met

 Because I've seen some floating around the internet, today - on the day of love - and all that jazz, I felt inspired to copycat and join in on all the fun. So pleeeaaase let me humor you with my very own tale of...

 How We Met
(the short, non-informative, straight up fact version because that's how stories about me and written by me end up sounding like.)

Sooooo... let's get started shall we?

 Well...It all started this little fate-filled night in the fall of 2007.

  It was towards the beginning of our sophomore year, and we both found ourselves at an 80's skate night put on by our university. I don't remember being particular fond of  attending school events, but I was an RA that year and was dutifully hyping up the fun and encouraging student participation. Which meant I had to be there as well.  Brian, on the other hand,  loved any and all events, and was 100% sure to be in attendance at all of them. He even went on to be VP of student government the following two years - planning and running all student events. Totally cringe worthy in my mind.


    Unknowingly, Brian and I had several groups of mutual friends, which really wasn't so unbelievable given the size of our school - it was a small private university. And there I was skating in a beautiful hand holding line with several of those shared amigos - all girls, (because that's how I rolled) wheeen Brian came up behind me and grabbed me around the waist and skated off. And skated off we did - half way around the rink with his hands on my hips, and me having no clue what was happening. And then, without a word or introduction or so much as a "sorry," he let go and skated away. I never even saw who it was that had grabbed me.

    And for all of you who know me in real life (as I like to call it), know I have a personal bubble the size of the Titanic. So naturally I was more than irritated at the whole scenario - I mean the nerve. You could go as far as to say I was offended. Not that it mattered, because I had no idea who the guy was. But the nerve. However, it never occurred to me that my friends might know who is nut job was. BUT they did.  And I guess I had ranted about it so much that they decided to pass the word along to Brian. I can't imagine I ever intended that to happen - sometimes I just liked to rant for ranting's sake.

     But being the kind person he is and was, Brian took it upon himself to find me on the good old Facebook and send me a message apologizing for the whole thing. Apparently he was skating too fast and didn't want to crash into our large group who was taking up the entire rink, so instead he "steadied" himself by grabbing me. His message caught me off guard and the gesture was sweet and surprising, so I wrote him back totally embarrassed, with a message that probably too cheerfully said  everything was perfectly ok and fine and I didn't think twice about it. And I never thought twice about that message.

   I'm going to sound like a real anit-dating/maybe man hater in this little telling of a tale - and that's not it at all. I promise. I was an athlete in high school and veered strongly on the side of being a tomboy. Strongly. When I was 15 my mom told me I wasn't allowed to buy any more Nike t-shirts because they didn't count as real clothing, and Adidas and Reebok were out too. She also had to convince me that baggy t-shirts and shorts was not appropriate going-on-a-date attire. I fought her on that one. I'm serious, it was really bad. I was really bad. So much so that I'm very thankful I didn't have a clue, because if I did I would have lived all of high school mortified at myself. I remember my mom once asking an older friend of hers what she should do about me, and if I would ever care what my hair looked like. (In retrospect I think she told me about that story after I had (ahem) "improved" somewhat.)

   Anyway, I wasn't into anything that was remotely feminine or emotional, and therefore wasn't that into boys. I had crushes here and there, but they were the safe crushes that could never/would never turn into anything because I always picked guys well out of my reach. I had two crushes unexpectedly turn into boyfriends during high school, and I managed to scamper out of those real quick because "What?! You love me and want to kiss? Ok..........no." At least they went something like that. I think.

   On an emotional level, I just didn't really like someone else being able to hold the cards - if you know what I mean. And I also had spent a few years in boarding school, and felt well equipped to just live life on my own. I don't think I would have known to tell anyone this at the time, but I never really planned on getting married. So I wasn't a man hater or anti anything, I just never really thought about dating or relationships at all. Way not normal, yes, I know.

So, back to the story.....

    Brian probably wouldn't have given that little exchange on Facebook a second thought either, except that in finding my profile, he noticed that I had Chihuahua, Mexico listed as my hometown. So he googled it. And for whatever reason he found it intriguing.  He had the luxury of stalking all 18 months of my Facebook life and began asking those kind, informative friends of ours more about who I was. You know that RA from Mexico? What's she all about?

   Every now and then they'd casually let me know that that guy from way back when was asking questions about me. That he was interested. I shrugged it off.  I just really wasn't interested in anyone or any potential anyone. And hello! We didn't know each other. But the more friends who mentioned him the more I began to notice this guy who would slow down just so he could open a door for me - always just "happenstance". He started showing up at all my little regular hang out places and even some intramural games. Unknowingly, he introduced himself to me on three different occasions. Twice in the library when I was stopped by one of our handy mutual friends, and once when I was hanging out in someone's dorm room. I guess I was doing a pretty good job of not acknowledging him, but it was safe to say that by January I was well aware of who Brian Meagher was.

    That spring semester, I ended up changing my minor to Spanish because I had a convenient 12 credit head start via a CLEP test. I was really just interested in taking all the college classes I found to be of interest regardless if they had anything to do with my major. So with a minor pretty much halfway completed, I was able to take all the random classes I wanted. It was a sweet deal.

   It turns out Brian also had a Spanish minor, and as I turned the corner into that first Spanish class, low and behold, there sat Brian. I don't really know why, but I headed straight across the room and sat down next to him in the front row,  I think I just wanted to see if he'd squirm, and I also didn't know anyone else in the class to buddy up with. Not that I really knew him at all either. But I do remember his look of shock as I sat down and that huge smile that he couldn't get off his face. He threw a "Hey, you're in this class too?" at me. And there he had it, a sure way to talk to me three days out of the week. He never missed a class. Neither did I - but for totally different reasons.

   Brian offered me an invitation to study together, to go to dinner, to go out on a date, and to meet up at school events - every single time he saw me. And I always turned him down - I knew his intentions plain and clear, and unfortunately for him, I had just turned down an ex-boyfriend who had asked to pick up the dating game again. So my reserve of not dating had already been thought through and set in stone.

   Since our dorms were across the street from each other, Brian always (conveniently!) walked me home from our Spanish class. And it was during one of those walks he found out I loved The Office.  He also learned that I could never watch it because it was on during one of my night classes. I had also pledged to make it through college without a computer, so Brian, the opportunist that he is, offered his computer to watch online episodes of the The Office with me the day after they aired.  Seeing this as relatively harmless and also a great solution to my predicament, I agreed, and let him step into being a part of  my life four days out of the week. It was a big deal - my reserve was high, and I was well aware of his motives. Those dear mutual friends of ours were hover-ers, and wouldn't let me forget. (And I now love them for it!)

   He was relentless in finding ways to see me. I remember times he would call and say he had something urgent he wanted to talk about or show me face to face. And once we met up he would show me a stack of dvd's and ask if I wanted to watch one, or something else totally not in the realm of "urgent". And while I found his pursuit ridiculous, he was also charming and very funny, and I really did like his company. He was a class clown, life of the party sort of guy, and he stumbled over his words every single time we were together. I was so amused by him, and so totally confused why he would ever find anything interesting about an introverted girl like myself. Were our friends embellishing his side of the story?

  But that's pretty much how that semester went. I found his pursuit amusing, he was adamant about finding ways to be around me, and he never had an agenda once we were actually hanging out. So I just kinda went with it. I had this unspoken rule that I'd hang out with a guy until he made a move. And then it was hasta la vista, I'll see you never. Total shut down. I remember one day he gave me the soundtrack to "Once" and said he thought I'd really like it and maaaaybe there was a song on there that reminded him of me. I listened to the first song "Falling Slowly" and immediately turned it off. I knew that was the song he was referring to, and since I very much wanted to keep him around, I decided to just not listen to the rest of the cd because - maybe that really wasn't the song, and he didn't really like me at all. Sooooo, so stupid. I know. My denial was so stupid, and geeze girl, get a grip and just date the guy. I knoooww...

 But the drama - I just didn't want the drama that went with dating. I mean - what if he wasn't the one? And at the time I was so very certain he wasn't the one. He had a million jobs, knew everyone, and could pretty much convince any department on  campus to pull a favor for him. And everyone knew he was going to be a governor or general or something successful someday. And seriously, that just wasn't really a kind of life I saw myself living. I was planning on going to an orphanage in Africa after college.

  Well, the semester came to a close, and Brian had made every effort possible, without being overtly obvious, to see if I was at all interested in being more than "just friends". He bent over backwards to help me out with the most mundane life problems. And I was quietly observing from the sidelines wondering if it would be all that bad to give a relationship a chance, because geeze, it was feeling so incredibly nice to have someone like him in my life.

   I went to live with my grandparents for the summer. And unbeknownst to me, they lived an easy 20 minutes from Brian's house. He was only going to be home for two weeks before he started an internship in Atlanta, but he made sure those two unexpected weeks together counted for something. Without the barrage of friends watching our every move, I finally conceded to go on a date - an eight hour excursion to Canada for an air show. It was a fun day, and we came home and just said goodbye.  That was the last night we were going to see each other. I drove home wondering if things were going to be totally weird when school started back up.

  But late that night I got a call from Brian. It was before I had joined the rest of the world in texting.
His dad had wanted to know how the date was and essentially challenged the thought that an 8 hour date should equal a little more than "just friends". And "Really? You really don't know where you stand with each other?"  I mean, maybe Brian made that whole "dad part" up. I don't know.  Maybe he was just really thinking those things, but regardless, we had that famous DTR talk - and that was it. Brian headed off to Atlanta the  next day, I ended up working at a camp for the summer, and in our first three months of dating we spent less than one day together. Which, let's admit, was probably the way it needed to go, because as much as I liked Brian, I still was having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I was dating someone.

  Oh, and those 12 hours? They were spend in Gatlinburg, Tennessee at my grandparent's 50th anniversary family vacation. Brian drove up from Atlanta, to spend ONE day with me and my 50 relatives. That's where he met my parents. My aunts berated me for not kissing him good bye, and my cousin affirmed the fact that this guy was head over heals for me to drive all that way for such a short time. I didn't really know what to do with myself, nor did I realize the depths of love this goofy, great, charming, handsome guy had for me. He did though. And he set out for the next two years trying to make me his wife. I was hopelessly unromantic. And Brian veered hopelessly to the other end of the spectrum, and we've come to even each other out. Our dating conversations went something like, "No, you cannot fly me to New York for dinner for my birthday." and  "Yes, I can buy you a gift for no reason at all. Your other purse has holes in it!"  

But those can be stories for another day.

  So, Happy Valentine's Day to you all! 

I hope regardless of who you spent it with, that it was, indeed, a great day, and that you cherished those you love.


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