I suppose it’s strange to say this in a post titled “How We Met”, but the truth is that neither Dan nor I really remember exactly when we met. I’ve stayed close to most of my college friends, and at some point somewhere in 2005 (he’s in the background of my photos from the 80s party in fall 2005), Dan became a part of that larger group of friends. I don’t really remember meeting him, just that after a certain point, he was a fixture. In those early years, (or, okay, until the winter of 2008) I was always dating someone else. (And when I ask Dan about meeting me or if he liked me back then he says, “You were always dating someone else.”) I don’t know how much we really interacted within the larger group, which often got together for poker nights or bigger parties. I remember blips of Dan: the 80s party when he wore a full on Ghostbusters costume (complete with proton pack) the night he took over my poker hand and won lots of money when I had to leave early. After my last breakup in winter 2008, and two back-to-back longer relationships, I knew I needed some time on my own, and that’s naturally also when I noticed Dan a lot more. (There was one poker night that spring where I thought, “I really like the sound of his voice.”)
A group of us went to Cape Cod in June 2008, and Dan wore Led Zeppelin t-shirts (the rest of my college friends HATE classic rock) and talked obscure Mets relief pitchers with me (the rest of my college friends also HATE baseball) and when he left a few days earlier than the rest of us, I was so shocked that I missed him.
That summer, when I was thinking about what I wanted to do with my friends for my birthday, I decided it would be a great idea to make them all go to a minor league baseball game (remember when I said they all hate baseball?) because I knew Dan liked baseball, and maybe that would get him to come.
He came. And we sat next to each other and talked the whole time; Amy told me later that Dan hardly talked at all when I was out of my seat getting more beer. It was so magical. Baseball at night is magical as it is, but that night, it was different and I KNEW I wasn’t imagining it. (I have a long history of liking people who never liked me back, and used a lot of ink in my journals dissecting things they said, wondering if they might like me back.)
I actually had a blind date the very next afternoon, and when I got home from said blind date I couldn’t stop comparing that guy to Dan, and how I felt with Dan vs Blind Date Guy. And so on Sunday night I wrote Dan an email that goes down in my personal history as the only time I EVER flat out told a guy that I liked him, rather than waiting for clues or for him to make a move. (Or, okay, I told him that Saturday was magical, and not just because of the baseball.) And then I had tiny panic attacks every time I opened my inbox, until two days later when I received the most swoon-worthy email from Dan ever. (Seriously, I just re-read it: still swooned.) So I wrote back and said “dude, we should hang out sometime.”
And then I didn’t hear from him for over two months.
No seriously, he wrote back to that email, but it was two months later. During those two months I drafted clever multiple choice quizzes to send Dan to determine why he never wrote back; I practiced my death glare in case I saw him at a party; I pondered just ignoring him forever; I cultivated conspiracy theories; I wondered if I had the guts, if I saw him in person, to just say, “Dude. WTF?”; I just couldn’t let it go because I was so sure that I hadn’t imagined it this time. So, so sure.
And it turns out, I hadn’t imagined it. Dan was just concerned about the “dating in the group of friends” thing, and his crappy work schedule at the time, and the age difference (he’s six years older), and a number of other things. I told him he was a dummy, once I finally had the chance. When he did write back, he asked if he could take me on a “proper date”, on which we talked for hours and hours and we both instantly felt 100% at ease and comfortable.
I knew right away that what Dan and I had was something pretty damn special, and that I could really, truly picture it lasting. (Don’t worry, I gave Dan a lot of crap for taking so long to figure it out.) I’m so glad that I was right.
this week in wedding plans: Our engagement photo session! Getting the ball rolling for our favors! I might even open the box that my veil came in over a week ago!