I kinda started this story a while ago when I wrote about how my relationship with Dave was divinely inspired. Ahem. Anyway, I’ve been loving everybody’s love stories in Grace’s Love Story Linkup and it’s making me nostalgic about how Dave and I got together. And! The 6th anniversary of the night that we met is coming up on Saturday so…. what the heck?!
Dave and I met at a wedding of mutual friends. I mentioned in my other post about how he and I had the same friends in college but we never knew each other. I was really good friends with his cousin Therese who talked about him and hung out with him all the time! It’s so weird, we never knew each other.
Leading up to the wedding, I was newly single and pretty depressed about that situation. I was also very bitter about men. That year, Carrie Underwood’s song Before He Cheats came out and it became my man-hating anthem. Now, I don’t like country music, and no man had ever cheated on me, so it was nonsensical of me to latch on to that song. But latch on I did! Anyway, I flip-flopped between being angry at all men, and being sad and weepy about being single. In my sad and weepy moments, I thought of Kyle and Sarah’s wedding coming up and tried to figure out what single guys would be there. One of the first guys that I figured would be there was Dave Johnson. “He’s nice” I thought. “And he’s really tall.” This was a must. So that settled it. I was going to go to the wedding, have a good time, and check out Dave Johnson. My girlfriend Pam flew in for the wedding and we drove there together. I told her my plan and she approved like a good girlfriend.
It took a little while into the reception for me to really set the plan in motion. If I remember correctly, Pam (who is more gutsy than I am, especially with guys) started dancing with Dave and I was dancing with another guy who I already knew, and Pam did that old movie dance partner switcheroo thing. And bam! There he was! So that’s how we met. Dave knew the guy I had been dating but Dave had graduated the previous year so he didn’t know the status of that relationship. This is why his first words to me were, “So…. How’s ____?” I kind of grimaced and shook my head and he said “Sorry. Didn’t mean to be that guy.”
But he wasn’t sorry.
And that was it! We hit it off and hung out the rest of the night. It was so exciting! We didn’t end up exchanging information at the end of the night, but I waited anxiously for him to friend me on facebook over the next few days. That is, until Pam said “Hey, isn’t he your friend on facebook already?” Duh! After that I think I might have made the first move on facebook, but it didn’t take much. We started with just wall posts, then we went to messaging and then to e-mail. Our correspondence was the highlight of that summer for me. I can still feel the intensity of the butterflies in my stomach when I would check facebook and see he had written. I was increasingly smitten with him as we corresponded because I saw that a. he could write well (growing up in this McFamily, sloppy spelling and poor grammar is highly deplorable) b. he was really smart in a way that I couldn’t understand (science! math! eek!) and c. he was really really funny. In the meantime, I was setting up my classroom and nervously trying to prepare for my first year of teaching. Dave’s messages and e-mails grounded me and helped me to face it all with extra spring in my step. At the end of the summer, right before Labor Day, I finally squeezed an admission of affection out of Dave. And then he promptly went on a long weekend excursion with friends and said we should talk on the phone when he gets back. It was the longest weekend ever!!
When he got back, he put off calling me for a day or two because he came down with a really bad cold. It was torture! But when we finally talked, it was after my first day of teaching. It was wonderful. We talked effortlessly for about an hour. I told him about my nightmarish class and he told me about his weekend and more about his life as a grad student. Finally, when the conversation hit a lull, Dave addressed the elephant in the room. We were both interested in each other, but we were looooong distance. He was in Duluth Minnesota and I was in Albany New York. Dave was reluctant to start a relationship over the phone so he proposed another meet up. Homecoming weekend at our alma mater, good ole’ Steubenville, was coming up on the first weekend of October. Many of our mutual friends would be back there for the weekend so we decided to meet up then.
September seemed to last forever! But it was great. My first class and my first year of teaching were awful. Truly, it was terrible, and that first month was the pitts. But we talked every night and on the weekends, we talked for hours at a time. Our phone calls and the anticipation of the upcoming trip to Steubenville kept me alive that first month. Then finally, it was time. I scored an amazingly cheap flight out to Pittsburgh and Dave borrowed a friend’s car to pick me up when I landed at midnight. [Ha! Back in the day when I could keep my eyes open past 9:30!] We went back to campus and there were lots of friends there to say hi to, so after a couple hours of that, Dave and I decided to take a walk. We walked all around campus, and checked out the new Louis and Elizabeth dorm with the fancy-pants fountain out front. Then we sat on a bench and talked. It went something like this.
D: So, you wanna…?
Ack. Imma gonna two part this beast.