When people ask me how the boyfriend and I met, I often want to keep it to myself because I know there’s a chance they’ll make a face, or make a joke, and my fist will want to rearrange their face and I know that’s both impolite and a violent impulse that doesn’t need to come out just right then. But as time has passed, I don’t get asked the question and it’s funny, because now would be the time that I’d laugh and say, “Oh, you ready for this story? It’s a fun one!”
As you might be aware, I’m a hermit of the worst kind. I like knowing people, I like having the opportunity to sometimes talk to people, but then I need quiet. How does one meet people when: a) you don’t like going out to crowded places, b) you don’t really like being the first to say something and c) you turn down invites to be social because you’ve reached your social limits for the week.
The answer is: welcome to the Internet.
Years ago, I had a dating profile. It was a funny ol’ thing because I’d get messages from folk who were, well, not so well presented, and some of the dates I got through that website were not successful (and that’s putting it kindly). When that happened, I’d disable my account for a while and wait until they lost their stalkerish urges and then, when I thought enough time had passed, I’d come back, if I felt like it.
One day, after hitting an all time low at a 4th of July party, I enabled my account and, to my surprise, I got a message from a guy who didn’t write me the usual “hey gorgeous” but actually wrote me paragraphs, all addressing things he’d read in my profile, things we had in common, but…silly as this may sound…the main thing that made me swoon is that he was a pretty decent speller (yes, I’m ridiculous). But when I saw a picture of him, I thought unkind things, judgy things, things I would later tell him and of course, he, in all his brilliance, laughed at me and would say things like, “You know you love it.”
Ah, yes, I do, but that’s me getting ahead of myself. I decided to give it a chance for a variety of reasons, really. One, I was tired of dating the guys my mind would judge as “Ohhh, pretty!” Two, the thought he put behind his writing was pretty darn impressive. And three, I had recently read an article that explained how easily we judge people by appearance and, that if we choose to give the person a chance, in spite of our initial impression, they may surprise us.
…Well, after judging people’s appearance positively and having it yield negative results, I was willing to give the opposite a try.
Best decision I’ve ever made.
There are people in our lives that we meet because they’re needed, at that point in time, and he was all of that, and more than that, all rolled in to one.
The first time I met him in person was because, well, we had a date coming up but I couldn’t wait. I knew he delivered pizza and that my area was included as part of their delivery area. He had told me he’d be happy to make sure he would be the one to deliver it, if I ever wanted it, and you know what? All nervousness aside, I did it. I would later find out (after he told me, of course) that he rushed back to the store (after a delivery) to tell everyone to not touch the delivery on the screen with my address – that it was his.
And later he would find out (after I told him) that at the time, I was watching a movie with my roommate, and I was going out of my mind watching that screen tell me at what point of “readiness” the pizza was, and then a steamy scene on the screen came on and I muttered, out loud, “Oh gosh, I hope he doesn’t show up at this point.”
Cue knocking, because I swear, my entire life is a comedy.
When I opened the door – let me tell you, judging a person based on what you see in a picture gives you 0 insight to chemistry. ZERO – I felt this tingly feeling that pretty much kept me from looking at him straight in the eye. I was nervous like a fucking twerp going to a new school on her first day. I took the things, signed the receipt, mumbled thank you, and when he said “my pleasure”, I remember how my ovaries pretty much dropped to the floor because my uterus melted.
Two words. Two fucking words. Embarrassing.
What’s worse? I. FORGOT. TO TIP HIM.
My brain had completely failed me, I was utterly embarrassed as I watched him walk away, yet somehow, I still had a date.
Five years later, we’ve had many wonderful dates, but I’ll still remember the firsts.
The first time we went out together, he tried to (he really did, but lemme tell you, I have a way of looking at people without looking at people that’s creepy) buy me a necklace without my noticing. A dragonfly jade necklace, because he remembered me saying I love dragonflies (I still have that necklace). I remember the first time he asked me to go with him to a friend’s birthday but I said no because we were still just “dating” and he didn’t pressure me, or try to force me into it or convince me, but he did bring me back cake (…and fed it to me. My ovaries, man. MY OVARIES.) Our first winter together, I really wanted to have lights, maybe even a tree, but the apartment was too small (and I spent more time at his, anyway X.X) and he took me on a drive around the neighborhood so I could see all the lights on the houses, including one that made quiiiite a show out of it.
When I think back on where we met, how we met, and how I almost didn’t respond to his message because I thought what I saw wasn’t going to work – man, I laugh, ’cause I used to hate being wrong, haaaate, but this? I was glad to be wrong. Ecstatic. And it’s been years and I still smile like a schoolgirl when I hear him open the door (meaning he’s home from work). I nuzzle closer to him when I come back to bed (because my bladder is made of tiny things, who the frak knows). And we’re alike in ways and completely different in others (I’m a ball of anti-social anxiety and he’s so not.) He’s my calm. He’s my safe haven. He’s home.
That’s probably why I’ve finally reached the point in time that I don’t care who knows, I’m happy, I got lucky, that in the midst of all the disappointments, the one least expected to was the one I was meant to meet all along.
And, amusingly enough, he later would tell me he had sent me a message before that, but I never responded and because I disappeared, he didn’t think much of it (…probably disabled my account? I did that a lot) so I could’ve met him sooner, though I’m kind of glad I didn’t. Before that 4th of July, I was still trying to get rid of an ex (an ex who had ways of ruining most first dates I tried to have), at the point that David came in, I had finally spelled it out (drew diagrams, made some graphs) so what was past remained the past.
And after that, well, the future waited, and I was all the more better for it.