Erin asked: Maybe you’ve talked about this before, but I have a terrible memory – how did you and NSG meet? What’s your best memory together from before Roo?
Erin, my friend, your memory is truly terrible – how could you not remember everything I’ve ever blogged about?
In November 1999 I went through my first post-college breakup. It was your standard we love each other/we hate each other/we’re not speaking/ one of us wants to get back together/ then doesn’t want anything to do with the other person / then the other wants to get back together kind of process, and it was freakin’ miserable. This went on until about August, when it came to a screeching and surprisingly satisfying halt.
At the end of September I decided that it was time to get myself back out there – not to meet anyone, just to quit moping and start having some fun again. So when a volunteer from the place where I worked invited me to a party, I convinced my friend L. to go with me and we went.
Half an hour after we got there, these two women walked in. I took one look at the one with dark hair and thought: I want to know that woman. We started talking to them – cheesily enough, about how anyone ever meets anyone at a party. I can’t remember exactly why this happened, but at some point NSG’s roommate, California Girl, actually invited me over to come and see a tree that they had. (That sounds even weirder and dorkier in writing than it does in my head). So I got digits.
L. got me all amped up over the next few days, and I finally called NSG and asked her out. I was in the middle of an election season and was working day and night. And she wasn’t home when I called, so I left her a voice mail saying something clever and suave like “Hi, we met last weekend at that party and talked about our houseplants, and I was wondering if you wanted to maybe go out with me sometime, like in 2 weeks?”
We went to my favorite park on our first date, and hung out on a picnic blanket by the pond and shot the shit. I swear I caught her looking at my cleavage (of course I picked the shirt on purpose), though to this day she still swears up and down that she didn’t. Later she ordered a beer at the restaurant, which seemed totally normal at the time, but now I realize how incredibly nervous she was, since she hardly ever drinks.
It was weird to be on a date with someone who wasn’t the person I had broken up with the year before. But she just… made sense. She was quirky and random and generous and had her own way of looking at things, and knew how to laugh at herself. The first time I slept over at her house she made me pancakes in the morning, bopping around the kitchen wearing only pajama pants, her 2-inch long hair in a bam-bam style ponytail on top of her head, singing a song she had made up on the spot about pancakes.
At the end of October she and California Girl had a pumpkin-carving party at their house. We listened to Beth Orton and stuffed ourselves with apple crisp and pumpkin pie and pumpkin ale while we played in pumpkin guts. We tucked ourselves into bed that night, still smelling like pumpkin and too stuffed to do anything but laugh at ourselves, and I thought: I could fall in love with this girl.
That was one of my favorite times we had together, because it was the first time I really thought there could be an “us.”
I was right.
We “dated other people” for a while, meaning neither of us really did but we both felt better saying that we could. On my birthday in December she asked me to go steady (she definitely didn’t say it that way but I love how Gidget it sounds).
We moved in together a year after we met, and got married almost three years after that.
Boy is she ever the person I want to grow old with.