Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Meeting Brian

This fall, we're closing in on 8 years of marriage, 9 years together. Hardly seems possible, unless you do the math. It's a long time for people like us. We met in November 2001, which I can only remember if I remember when we got married: December 1, 2002. For a long time, I had a hard time remembering what year! When I finally realized the year we got married was the same backwards and forwards, I didn't forget anymore.

We met on the internet dating site known as Match.com. If you believe their hype, they have led to more relationships and more marriages than any other dating site out there. I guess that was true for us. Meeting guys on the internet was kind of a hobby of mine. On Thanksgiving 2001, home alone, I was sad because my family was out of town and the guy I had been seeing had issued a mercy invitation for dinner. I didn't go. I'd rather stay home, eat Jack in the Box and wallow in my misery.

I got an email from a hot guy in a Navy uniform. We exchanged a few messages within a few hours and then he sent his phone number. It probably seemed a little stalker-ish to call within 10 seconds. Oops. By the end, Brian decided to come and visit me from Virginia the next week as he began his separating leave from the Navy. I stewed and worried and fretted. Things were going so well on the phone, I was definitely afraid there was something very bad wrong with him. When he arrived, I refused to let him come pick me up at my house, instead insisting I would meet him where he was staying. I sat on the hood of my car and smoked a cigarette trying to settle my nerves. Didn't help. When I finally knocked, I had no idea that the guy, who would stand on a beach in four months and ask me to do him the honor of becoming his wife, was opening the door. All I knew is that the guy who I would later stand barefoot in the sand, on a Virgin Island and promise to love and honor, thought an introductory kiss was the way to go.

To say I was "freaking out" would be an understatement of gigantic proportions. I put my arm out and started backing up. Quick study that he was, he gave up the idea of kissing me and suggested we sit and have a cigarette which probably saved me from falling backward out of the window. Nothing but raw nerves, I chain-smoked, grinding the ashes into a fine powder. The few drinks I had at the restaurant loosened my tongue enough for me to go on, ad nauseum, about the last guy I had been dating. Way too much information. In fact, as I recall, I pretty much gave a complete dating history. I had also arranged for my best friend to, ahem, be at the bar we were going to next, where she and I whispered about him the whole time we played pool. We were as bad as a couple of high school girls. Except I was 24. And obviously, very mature. I do remember Brian telling me later that he was sad because we already had tickets for a Rockets game on Saturday and this was Thursday...and going terribly. Just down right awful. In fact, he told me he had "a headache" and I gave him some Tylenol.

But we had a moment. A point in time where we locked eyes over the pool table and like in a movie, everyone and everything else just disappeared. It was surreal. It was at that point the date finally started.

The next night, we had a dress-up night and had dinner in Galveston at Willie G's followed by drinks at a local watering hole, Big Daddy's. I just love Galveston. I love the beach, I love the water and I love how the wind is always blowing. Brian was looking very well turned out in his suit and I felt like Donna Summer's Hot Stuff in my black suit and high-heeled sandals. He opened my car door, lit my cigarettes, ordered for me, held my hand. I liked it. I felt safe and important. He thinks I fell in love with him on this night, but I didn't. At least I don't think I did.

At halftime, we stood outside the Compaq Center in the December wind, huddled together, smoking, talking and apparently, falling in love. We never went back inside. I remember the drive back, hearing Staind on the CD player. Anytime I hear "It's Been Awhile", I think back to that night.

I think I fell in love with him at that Rockets game. On our 3rd date. Except I wasn't sure and wouldn't say it until a month later because I was so damn scared. He said it 2 days later. I freaked out. Of course.

I loved that he drove a standard. He would send me flowers because it was Thursday and they would be these DIY arrangements that would arrive via FedEx. He would often pop into work and bring me Dr Peppers. I loved watching his smile go all the way to his eyes. I loved (and hated) that he would stand up to me. He probably loves and hates that about me, too. I love that he very readily gave me his heart. Honestly, I had his heart long before I wanted it. Our first Christmas, a month after we started dating, he gave me a pair of diamond earrings. I intend to give them to one of my daughters when she gets married. Brian had asked me one day what I thought about diamonds. As my mother's daughter, that's an easy answer. I'm for 'em. "But you only give diamonds if you're serious. Don't even ask about diamonds if you're not serious," is what I told him. He was serious.

My very favorite band is the Dave Matthews Band. My very favorite song of theirs is called "Two Step". Love.this.song. When Brian and I went to see them, I told myself that if they played that song, it meant we were destined to be together forever. They did and we eloped the following December to beautiful St. Thomas. Almost a year to the day. Under my wedding dress, I was barefoot in the sand. And it rained some. Good for fertility, they said.

And here we are, some 8-9 years later.

I love that man.


Julie, Alex & Cooper said...

After such a wonderfully written and sweet love story this seems like a shallow point to bring up - but what is life without some shallow friends like myself? Alex gave me diamond earrings on our first Christmas. We fell in love in Hawaii, barefoot in the sand as well, and hope that after 8-9 years together, we remember our story with as much clarity and awe as you clearly have.

Georgia said...

Point of Order: we fell in love at a Rockets basketball game! Very important distinction! ;)

Brian said...

First of all, it was an introductory hug, not kiss. What kind of insane crazy person tries to kiss someone the first time he meets her? Hug!

Second, yeah. You did.


Georgia said...

No way did I fall for that sad, overused, tired line of c-r-a-p gushing out of your mouth like a waterfall. Did. Not. Happen. Besides, even if it did, how pathetic would that make me? It did reinforce that I was definitely "in like". So there.

And I remember you lecherously trying to kiss me.

Shawna said...

OMG! That really brought back some memories! I started tearing up!!! I remember waiting for and Brian to arrive at the bar that night. I knew something very special was happening for you that night. You acted completely different about him than any of the others. I'm happy for the both of you. Y'all are truly blessed to have him and all those beautiful babies!

Brian said...

Yeah... I remember someone saying, as we're walking up to Time Out III, "Is that...? OMG, I think that's my friend Shawna's car! What's she doing here? Is that weird, or what!?"

The first date -- gangbusters up to that point, as Georgia described -- very nearly ended at that exact moment. I thought, "AMBUSH!! RUN!!"

She, I, and our beautiful children are very lucky I had those Rockets tickets, and was too cheap to let 'em go to waste.