The Story of How We Met

My first impression of The Guy was that he was arrogant. Actually, that is not true. My second impression of him was that he was arrogant. I’d never thought that about anyone, so it left a mark. My first impression was that he was intelligent and interesting. I was 20 and a serial monogamist, so perhaps not the best judge of potential dating partners, but I was not wrong 😉

We met through a Myspace message where he’d been browsing University of Nevada profiles and thought I sounded, well, intelligent and interesting. Later I asked him how my profile had prompted his interest? The black background hinted that I was dark. One “obligatory” photo of each person that was important to me suggested I might be nice. He liked my use of complete sentences which indicated that I was able to hold intelligent conversation. And he saw that I had traveled so it became the ice breaker.

The subject of the message he sent read, “My yorkie could beat up your yorkie.” I must admit it piqued my interest because he wrote in complete sentences and articulated a thought beyond, “Wanna hook up?” So I responded and we sent several messages back and forth. Finally, I signed onto an Instant messenger and we had a chat in real-time. I had just arrived home from Mexico, which I mentioned. Instead of asking how it went, he reminisced coming home from his own long trip living in Ecuador studying Andean bears and hunters. Upon feeling the culture shock, he told me not to do what he did which was give away all of his belongings. He also spoke of teaching in the ghetto of California and was working toward his Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology. During his undergrad, he’d completed something like 6 degrees. I kept asking questions but didn’t get any in return, so the exchange rubbed me the wrong way.

I told my cousin later that day that I had spoken to the most arrogant guy I’d ever met. We didn’t talk again after that and I deleted him out of my history, happy to forget about him completely. Several months later, 7 to be exact, I was once again signed into the messenger and he asks, “Who is this?”

Knowing exactly who he was, I of course pretended not to know him (the nerve of him, to forget me before I forgot him!) until a few exchanges led him to remember our conversation.  This time, we didn’t speak of traveling. I was having problems with my boyfriend at the time so we talked about that. Surprisingly, he was supportive and turned out to be a fantastic listener. A few days later, I indicated that I had a break between classes and wouldn’t mind company. He offered to come to campus early and meet me. The date was February 14th, 2008.

“Meet me outside of the Business Building,” I said.

“You mean the Anthropology building?” He countered.

“No, Anthropology has one floor. The building even reads Ansari Business Building. Meet me outside of the Business Building.” Needless to say, I won our first argument.

The first time I saw The Guy, he was sitting on the blue benches directly in front of the Business Building facing the entrance. He was slouched comfortably with his legs sticking straight out and crossed at the ankles. His hands were clasped at his waist over his brown jacket and he was squinting into the sun. I don’t know if he was trying to exude nonchalance but I felt nervous. I put an extra spring in my step in order to appear cheerful, bubbly.

Front left bench is the exact bench I first saw him sitting upon.

It was cold that morning and I remember telling him, “I’m rotating, like a rotisserie chicken,” slowly turning around and around under the sun. I can’t remember a thing that we said, except that I laughed for 2 hours.

Some time after my last class, I noticed a flyer indicating the Vagina Monologues would be playing later that evening. A play made for feminists, intellectuals, and liberals was enough to convince me. I devised a persuasive argument to entice my boyfriend to go, citing Valentine’s Day for support. As it turned out, he did not answer his phone all afternoon.

I distinctly remember sitting on my bed, scrolling through the list of contacts on my phone. I stopped on The Guy’s name, my finger hovering over the “call” function. Finally I pushed it, held the phone to my ear, and hung up before it rang. What was I thinking?

To my horror, the phone began vibrating in the palm of my hand. I racked my mind for an easy excuse as I answered the phone.

“Hey sorry, I was on the phone with my Mom. Did you just call?” He asked.

“Yes, but I didn’t mean to. I was trying to call someone else, sorry.”

I felt brilliant. I had no idea if he suspected anything but asked what he would be doing for the evening since the Vagina Monologues were playing and I couldn’t reach anyone else. He said he was not occupied and I offered to pick him up. He politely declined and said he would find his own way.

“Are you sure? I don’t mind at all, it would save on gas and I have a parking permit and you don’t.”

He politely declined again, opting to walk, and later telling me he didn’t need a psycho knowing where he lived.

We met, we watched, and we said goodbye by the dim yellow light of the parking garage. The band Evanescence blasted from my speakers as I drove away and I wondered what he thought of it. I spoke to him every day after that.

One day about a week later, my boyfriend and I argued and I asked him if our relationship was going to work. In a fit of rage, he hung up on me and dropped off a box of all the things I’d ever given him. The Guy was the first person I told while standing on my balcony tearfully recapping the incident.

The next day, he invited me to his apartment after classes. Apparently I passed the not-a-psycho test. It took me awhile to find the address, since his apartment was part of a duplex nestled behind a large house. As I parked and got out of the car, a short tan little dog came running toward me.

“Her name is Fuggly,” The Guy informed me as he entered his apartment and resumed organizing a tall stack of DVDs. Little did I know, but that tall stack of DVD’s is a signature move on his part. He will watch and stack, watch and stack, for weeks on end until it gets out of hand and then put everything back in its place only to restart the stack again the same night.

The first restaurant we ate at together was a pizza parlor called The Blind Onion. I didn’t and still don’t believe in men having to pay for women so I put my credit card down at the end of the meal. There was absolutely nothing remarkable about my card, but he said to me, “That’s a really interesting card. Let me see it!” I handed him my card and he replaced it with his own. We laughed at my gullibility.

When I dropped him off at his house, he politely declined the leftovers but upon my insistence, took them. I later found out he had been eating canned food warmed over a candle because he couldn’t afford his electric bill. He made pancakes to share with his dog when he could afford electricity.

One month after I met him, I told my sister this was the guy I was going to marry. I don’t know how I knew, but I just knew. 2 months after meeting, we both whispered “I love you” while the other was asleep because our practical sides knew it was illogical. While star gazing in a hot tub, a shooting star prompted him to say it out loud. It was pure magic.

We will have been married for 5 years this December and the road has taken us down many paths, some separate but mostly together. We’ve been through grad school rejection, post-grad unemployment, 2 deployments, hormonal problems, and moved to several states. We’ve been atop Machu Picchu, hiked along the Amazon, stared over the sparkling waters of Hawai’i, and explored new cities. It hasn’t been easy nor have I always been as sure as I was, but from the super lows to amazing highs, he’s been there. He’s the strength when I am weak, steady when I am not, blunt when I can’t find the words. We are opposite in just about every way except the ones that matter and I dare think we could be that cute old couple some day.

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