Monday, December 26, 2011

Mondayszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz . . .

Whoops! Sorry, girls. Fell asleep there a minute.

I don't know about any of you, but on Monday's end, it has been an exhausting holiday. A great one, but an exhausting one, and I am looking forward to finishing this post, curling up in my Christmas jammies, and heading off to sleep

Anyway, I loved reading about all of your holiday traditions, and was surprised to see how similar some of them were to my own! I hope everyone's holiday has been wonderful and relaxing and enjoyable!

On to today's topic: relationship stories.

Here's a secret: Discounting the one I'm currently in, I've never been in a romantic relationship before. I mean, I've had crushes, and I've been on things that others called dates that I certainly do not (it was supposed to be a group thing, everyone else bailed, and his mom was along. Not a date, folks. Not a date.), but I've never been in an actual relationship. I'd never been out on a date, and I'd never been kissed  except for onstage encounters (most of them with the same guy . . . )

See, I went to high school with a group of peers who were vastly different than myself. My school was very much part of a farming community, and all the guys were in the FFA and liked to hunt and either played football or wanted to, and here was this weird, artsy girl who sang and liked theatre. For the most part, we didn't have much to talk about.

So the pool of potential dates dwindled to the guys I did theatre with a town away, and I don't know what you've heard about theatre guys, but a lot of the stereotypes are true -- meaning, a decent percentage of them are gay. I had the hugest crush on my best friend for a year and a half -- took him to my senior prom and everything -- before he came out of the closet. I think a part of me always knew, but I was still crushed.

So, I came to college, and I was just too busy, you know? And the one time I did manage to develop a major crush on a guy I was in a show with, I practically threw myself at him and he remained oblivious. After that, most of my friends focused down to the members of my fraternity, who were almost all either gay (theatre fraternity) or already taken, and I decided it just wasn't worth it. After all, I was a strong, independent woman. I was in college to get a degree, not a boyfriend, and I didn't need a man in my life to define me.

So how easily can a girl reach the age of 21 and remain undated, unkissed, unattached? Turns out, surprisingly easily.

Enter the Pledge Class of 2010.

The story of how my boyfriend and I met is not particularly interesting, largely because I honestly don't remember, and neither does he. It was certainly not an "eyes meet across a crowded room and all sound of the conversation around us dwindles as the orchestra swells to indicate that this, this is a significant moment." I'd seen him in a couple shows without really remembering, and when we'd voted in the class, he was one of the three names I had to check photos on to be sure I had the right person in my head. Our first real conversation was during pledge interviews, where the pledges of Theta have to interview so many members as part of their process. His was one of several that happened one night at the pizza parlor after our meeting. It was slightly unusual because we went off on a half-hour tangential conversation geeking out about Harry Potter and Firefly. Then he left and moved on to his next member, and I thought, "He was pretty cool. Who's next."

Terribly romantic, huh?

Probably the most interesting thing about the start of our relationship was that his jaw was broken at the time. Shortly after the night of the interview, he was mugged on his way home from a party. I remember getting the email from the fraternity president and thinking, "Oh, no, and such a nice guy, too!" I remember declining the invitation to visit in the hospital because I thought it would be weird, since we didn't know each other very well. I remember admiring his stamina and determination when he went through the next pledge event on low pain meds with a broken jaw and fractured vertebra, determined to complete the process even if he had to be stoned out of his mind at the time.

We started really talking at Theta's weekly study tables. And that's when the spark really began. He started asking each week if I'd be there the next. I started hanging by the door, waiting for him to walk in. We both made sure to arrange the walk at the end of study tables so that we would end up walking next to each other over to the meetings. Then there were the eye-catching moments across the room during the meetings, the goodbye or congratulatory hugs that lasted just a little too long, and finally, the invitation to coffee that I couldn't accept because I was going out of town for a week, followed by walking me home after some event and the first kiss goodnight.

Not a whirlwind romance, to be sure. Not a wild, crazy, sweep you off your feet losing of heads and minds. Not the gooey, gushy, crazy fairy tale romantic stuff I always thought I'd be in for when I pictured such things. But honestly, having been in this relationship for almost two years, and knowing with utter certainty that it will be lasting for many, many more, I can look back and say that this was really perfect for the two of us. There is love and trust and friendship, and it's been steady and sure from day one, which may make for a less exciting love story, but I think, in many ways, a truer one.

And now that I've waxed poetic, I'm going to wrap this up, say Happy Holidays to you all, and I'll see you again in the new year!

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