Archive for February, 2010
…Tim and I spent more time together. We drove back and forth visiting and while I still thought he was a good guy, I just didn’t care enough when he stopped calling to call him and find out why. I was busy starting my career and I knew he was busy starting his. I found out years later that he did try to call me and got a ‘this number is no longer in service’ message. Odd to me because the first 3 years we were married? That was our phone number.
Fast forward about 3 years. I’m fully entrenched in my job as a Montessori School Director. I have friends, I do things and I love my apartment — to this day one of my favorite places I’ve ever lived. I.AM.NOT.LOOKING.FOR.A.RELATIONSHIP. My roommate from college comes for a visit and we’re invited to go to a birthday party for friend of a friend. We get in the car, we make the 30-minute drive to the restaurant and then sit in the parking lot for another 30 minutes contemplating if we’re going in or not. It’s pouring down rain, my friend is in a wheelchair and that means I have to stand in the rain, put the chair together and then get to the restaurant. We finally decide we’re hungry and we may as well.
It was literally like a movie. I come running in through the door brushing rain off my jacket, trying to fix my hair…you know the drill and then I look up and say:
Me: We’re meeting a —
Him: You little s*$t.
It was him. Tim was standing there. I hadn’t seen him in 3 years and there he was standing in front of me calling me a not-so-nice name. But this time it was different. This time when I saw him I didn’t feel like he was a nice guy but I didn’t care enough. This time I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. This time my stomach did flips and my heart raced and I felt like I couldn’t breathe.
…weeks Tim and I spent a lot of time together. He made me laugh and I liked that but as time went on, I grew increasingly confused. Yes, I was still nursing a broken heart to some degree. Yes, I was an incoming freshman and he was an outgoing senior. But it was more that. He was very sarcastic and I didn’t understand that at all; my family is not a sarcastic bunch. I thought he was mean. I finally broke it off and according to Tim, he was now the heartbroken one.
I went through the next four years of college enjoying the experience. I dated some very nice guys and after graduation I moved to another college town where I had gotten a teaching job. During that time an old, old roommate called to see how I was doing. She had heard that I had been sick the year before, had a lung removed and was just generally very sick for a while. I assured her all was well and then she said, “You may want to call Tim. He heard you were sick and he’s kind of freaking out.” Really?
I thought about it and decided to give him a call. For some reason (or maybe she gave it to me) I had his parents number in Southern California. I called. His mom must have thought I was a whack job because she wouldn’t give me his number. But within an hour he called me. He was working about 2 hours away and wanted to see me. I drove down to the restaurant he was managing and we ate lunch. It was good to see him but again, I wasn’t completely infatuated. I thought he was a good guy though. I realized at that point that he wasn’t mean….by then I learned that sarcasm wasn’t truth. Tim asked if I would accompany him to a wedding that weekend in San Luis Obispo. I had never been there, it sounded like fun and I remembered the people getting married so I figured why not.
That weekend we drove down to San Luis and attended the wedding. We had a lot of fun and ended up staying the night to hang out with his friends a little longer. “I’m glad you came with me this weekend,” he said right before giving me the second of our three first kisses.
…was up on the table I felt a little….odd. First, I had no desire to dance with the boy that pulled me up there and two, it is soooo not in my personality to be up on a table dancing in public. By the time I could think straight there was no getting down. A sea of people were below me and they were not going to make room for me to descend upon them. So I did the only thing I could do; I continued to dance.
That is when Tim said he noticed me for the first time. He says he looked across the room and saw ‘this little girl with overalls and a striped tank top’ and thought to himself that he had to meet her. To hear him tell it, he made his way across the dancefloor and pushed his way onto the table. To hear me tell it, he appeared next to me, he may or may not have said something and I thought, “oh, I remember him”.
The next couple of weeks probably 10 million things happened as I began my college classes, listened to my roommate cry for her boyfriend at home (who was always smoking pot and worked at a flea market so I could never figure out why she had such a thing for him) and broke up with my own. I remember calling him on the phone just knowing he had cheated on me. I just woke up and I knew. I was devastated. To this day I don’t know if he was also or not. He sounded upset when we hung up the phone but I have never been one for keeping in touch after a break-up. During all this time Tim and I were hanging out, eating meals at the dining hall together and taking a tour of a fruit cannery (I would later find out he considered this our first date). The whole time I was fairly clueless thinking we were just friends and nursing my broken heart. Then it happened.
Tim and I had gone to some of his friends’ house for dinner and we were pulling into the parking lot of the dorm. He starting rambling on and on about how as an RA he wasn’t supposed to get involved with the students, how we would have to be discreet and I had to be serious about him or he wasn’t going to risk his job for a relationship with me. I.had.not.a.clue.
Me: Huh? RA’s can’t be friends with the students? I thought part of your job was to have friendships so that you’re there to help when something goes wrong.
Him: Yes, but you can only go so far and you’re a girl and I’m a guy RA. My residents are the boys. A lot of girls want to date an RA because they’re attracted to the ‘leader’ or the older guy.
At this point a look of frustration and a deep sigh came from Tim. He knew I was getting it as I sat there, confused but starting to recognize that he might be saying he wanted to be more than my friend and RA. It was right at that moment that he grabbed my face and kissed me for the first time. It would my the first of our 3 first kisses.
…18 I left my parents in Alaska and moved back to California to go to college. My sister Jennifer was a senior at the same college so there was a bit of a comfort zone going in. I remember getting on the plane with my then-boyfriend and flying together to Anchorage. My heart was so torn as I was excited to be taking off to college and independence but so sad to be leaving him; for being 18 I loved him as much as I could have. Little did I know that within 48 hours I would lay my eyes on my husband for the first time.
When my plane landed my sister picked me up and we made the 2 hour drive to the college town I would spend the next 4 years in. It was out in the middle of nowhere but it was beautiful. The stereotypical college town: everybody on bikes or walking, tree-lined streets, old houses turned into apartments, brick buildings and a huge creek/river running all through the town and campus. I loved it. Jennifer spent the next 24 hours taking me to buy a bike, showing me how to navigate ‘arena registration’ and purchase my books for the first time. Again, the comfort zone.
The next morning she drove me to the same dorm she had stayed in 3 years previous. I walked in the old brick, square building and stood in line by the mailboxes. Students and parents swarmed all around me. Some already knew each other and some looked scared as could be. I was glad at that moment that I was a military kid; I knew I would make friends and was comfortable with change. When it was my turn I walked up to the table and began a conversation with one of the Resident Advisors in the dorm. He was attractive even though he was super skinny, had receding hairline and had a little gap between his two front teeth. It would be later that I would notice his strong, capable hands, beautiful tiger eyes and wicked sense of humor (his butt was pretty good too).
“Here you go, you’re in room 352 and your mailbox is right around the corner there. Your RA is Addie. Let her know if you need anything.”
That was it. That was the first encounter and I don’t think either of us thought a thing about it at the time. Tim doesn’t even remember it. But then I do have the ‘tape recorder’ memory according to him…
The next couple of days were a flurry of activity: unpacking, figuring out what needed to be purchased, navigating town on a bike and meeting new people…lots and lots of new people. One afternoon one of those new people came and knocked on my door. My roommate was so busy pining away for the boyfriend she left at home that she had already gone back home for a visit! New Friend told me about how all the R.A.’s were taking the residents to a place called The Grad for dancing that night. She wanted to know if I wanted to get ready together and go. I told her and ‘yes’ and off we went in a huge sea of 18-year olds.
We walked the mile or so it was to the place and inside there was loud music, picnic tables and big screens the videos played on. Having no interest in meeting any boys I stuck with the girls I had met and danced in a group. I noticed lots of people dancing on top of the picnic tables and when George Michael’s ‘I Want Your Sex’ (a song I loved but at the time was way too niave to really understand) came on the next thing I knew someone had pulled me on top of a table to dance.
…a decision. I have been toying with the idea of documenting Tim and I’s love story on the blog. We wrote it down years and years ago when we first got married so we wouldn’t forget it but so much has happened since then and when I print this blog out into a book, I think I’d like it to be a part of it. So what better time than February to do this? Call it indulgent, call it sappy….it doesn’t matter to me.
In the meantime, we are on our 3rd snow day in a row, 5th day home. The first several days were wonderful. We took full advantage of the snow with sledding, baking cookies, building snowmen, snowball fights and all that a good snow gives you. I relaxed. I let the laundry sit, I let the ironing wait, I didn’t worry about sending in recaps until I had to address them. I drove down icy roads with a friend to gather some necessities, ordered pizza when the sledding made us all too tired to cook and spent longer than normal on a Sunday night with friends. It has been a glorious break and as is evidenced by the photos below, I wasn’t the only one having fun. None of the photos are photographically stunning or even in focus. I had a fleeting thought of really getting good shots and paying more attention but then I decided no, that would put pressure on me and I didn’t want to turn our snow days into a learning experience.