Sunday, April 01, 2007

How we met

For some reason I feel compelled to write the story of how I met my husband.

I graduated from college in the winter of 1999. It had been a tough year for me but I still graduated cum laude and was pretty proud of myself for completing school and also making major changes in my life. See that same fall I had been in the hospital for 3 days with a bleeding stomach ulcer brought about by poor diet and drug and alcohol use. After getting out of the hospital I remained partly sober (more on that later) and finished school up while looking for a new place to live. The place I was staying at was with 3 roommates that were not great influences and we were all pretty much going our separate ways anyway.

So I found a roommate who was younger than I was and had an apartment already. She was an ok rommate but we just didn't click really. The building had walls like paper and I could hear way too much from the frat type boys living all around us day and night. I slept with earplugs and planned to figure something else out after graduation.

When I graduated I was working as a waitress of sorts at a greek restaurant. It was PT and helped pay the bills but I did feel like it was time to get a "real" job. I had fallen back onto drug use only twice in the months since my hospital stay and I also felt like working two jobs might keep me so tired and busy that I wouldn't find myself in situations where drugs were available.

So I found out from a friend about a job that was temp grading proficiency tests for high schools across the country. The job was only during the school year and required a college degree so I applied. I can't explain why but I just had an overwhelming feeling that this job would change my life. I assumed that it was going to lead to some great career eventually in the education field.

I passed the interview process and was asked to come aboard the team along with several other 'newbies'. This was a strange job but the hours worked for my night job since we finished at 4pm everyday and it did add extra money to my bank account. We were trained and then sat at desks in a room not unlike a high school classroom. We read essay after essay (since I was on that team with my English degree) and gave grades on a scale of 1-5. The job was monotonous and tedious and every other nice word for boring out there. There were times I would stare at the point on my pencil and seriously consider poking it into my hand in order to get an ambulance ride out of the place. I still had a feeling the whole time I was being trained and began work that there was something about this job that would change my life. It was a powerful feeling that I couldn't ignore but I didn't really do anything about it either.

I do remember the first time I saw my future husband. He was wearing a Nirvana t-shirt and I wondered if he had good taste in music since I was a big nirvana fan all through college (and beyond). A few days after noticing him he came up to me during a break and introduced himself and I was surprised that his name was Curt. I found it ironic since that was also Kurt Cobain's name and I was drawing this Nirvana connection to him at the time. We chatted akwardly that day and off and on for several days further. We exchanged email, addresses and emailed each other samples of our poetry since we learned that we were both big fans of poetry. This came about since he was reading a Charles Olsen book one day and I came up to him to talk about it and he was surprised I even knew who he was. Oh how I wish I had saved those early emails between us and could go back and laugh about how cute they were.

So one week we were behind on our grading and they offered for anyone who wanted extra hours to come in on a Saturday to work. I was working over 50 hours between my two jobs but was still thinking it was best to stay busy and make lots of money so I accepted the extra hours, as did Curt. I would do anything at the time to stay out of my terrible apartment too so it was just more of a reason to take the extra hours. It was that Saturday during our first break of the day that we chatted and he convinced me that we should ditch the rest of the day of work and go out to lunch. I was totally game and we went to my fav deli up the road from the University. I remember getting the Montclair which is a veggie burger and smoking a half a pack of cigarettes since I was so nervous about being out with him.

I was pretty hurt still from a rough break up about 3 months prior to this (a whole other story) so I was very reluctant to have a boyfriend at the time. I was up front with Curt about this and he said he was fine with us just being friends. He tells me now that he did not want to just be friends at the time but the guy is just so polite that he couldn't be mean about it. We took hiking trips with his dog (now our dog Sebastian), went to my favorite Chinese buffet restaurant, and talked on the phone a bunch. Then we finally decided to have a first date. I'm not sure how he convinced me but I was already falling in love with him at the time so I did agree. He came to my crappy apartment with yellow daisy's (he remember me telling him yellow was my fav color) and took me to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner. I am not a girl of fancy tastes so for me Ruby Tuesday's is a pretty nice restaurant if a chain, but still we had some good food and conversation. We couldn't decide what to do next. We were both freshly sober (he several months more that I was at the time) and it's not that easy to be a sober 20-something on a Saturday night. We decided to try a mini golf (putt putt) place but they said it was too late for golf. They were still open for a litte while so we played skee ball (one of my favorites) and some video games. We used our skee ball tickets to get some plastic vampire fangs that I still keep and cherish as a token from our first real date. The rest of the evening is locked into my valt and will not be shared but it was magical and Curt was nothing but a gentleman the whole time.

So it was on March 15, 2000, a little over 7 years ago. Who would have known that we would have lasted this long and on top of it be even stronger and more in love than before? During the next several months Curt helped me to quit smoking, which was something I had tried to do so desperately over and over. He also helped convince me that I didn't need my night job and after quitting it I was so much happier, especially since I had a nice guy to spend the evenings with. Eventually the state in which I was living became impossible and I moved to my own apartment. This was supposed to be great but I spent so much time at his place that I ended up breaking my lease after 6 months and we moved in together. We were happier than ever and eventually decided to move out of town. It was then that I found a link online that lead both of us to our seasonal jobs at Yellowstone Nat. Park. We had an awsome road trip in 2001 and a great experience working out in the park. When our jobs were over we found ourselves here in FL and have been living here happily ever since.

I am not trying to sound cocky but I truly don't know any couples that have as loving and caring a relationship as we do. He is my lover and my best friend and I feel so grateful and happy to have shared so much with him. He is an awesome father to my son and always protective of us both. I pray that we will have many more years together to share our love and friendship.


No comments: