The Night I Met My Husband

On this November the first, I celebrate my husband’s and my 4 year wedding anniversary and 14 years as a couple. It’s weird to think about how much time we’ve been together, yet here we are. And what’s most peculiar is how we were introduced purely by accident.

I have told the story numerous times on my blog, but I will do so yet again because it is one of those tales that intrigues me for the utter random happenstance of the whole thing.

Picture it, it was the height of AOL days, 2004. I would spend my late-teen evenings chatting with my friends online through IM or through a typical chatroom known as BakersfieldM4M. My friends and I would log on and broadcast one large conversation in the room, while simultaneously having our own individual private chats. This is where my now husband, then unknown, logged into the room and happen to see my username: MelancholysChaos. (Yeah, I’m rolling my eyes too.) He then confused me with someone else and decided to message and inform me that indeed he and Diego were still together. Being the sarcastic almost-eighteen-year-old I was, I acted as though I knew what he was referring to and carried on a conversation until I got bored and flat out asked him who he was. He told me his name, Charlie, and I added him to my buddylist after I learned that my very recent ex, Travis, had been a big fan of his. However, Charlie had not been attracted to my ex in the slightest, which brought me joy. (And when I say recent here, I mean a week to a couple days.)

For whatever reason, I would message this stranger whenever he came online, which wasn’t that often. Almost a week after letting me know he and Diego were still a thing, he let me know they weren’t. To which he proceeded to ask me out on a late night date to Denny’s.

It should be noted that I was still living at home and attending high school, in my senior year. So, for me to do a late night date I had to sneak out of my bedroom window and “borrow” the station wagon. To give the illusion that I was still in my bedroom, and not out galavanting around town, I put a coat hanger on my door-knob to where it slid in between the crack of my dresser and the wall. It was the most white-trash lock I could concoct but it served its purpose. To add to the illusion of my presence, I put on one of my favorite Disney movies, Sleeping Beauty. I quietly backed out of the driveway, started my car on the street, and made my way across town to Denny’s.

Again, for whatever reason, that night I chose to wear a pair of kahki’s and a red polo shirt with blue stripes. I tell you this because it was VERY out of character for me at this stage in my life. I was very much “goth” at the time. I wore nothing but black t-shirts, black dickie’s, black converse, and black eye-liner. I even dyed my hair black to match how I felt on the inside. (I was going through a phase.) Like I said, for some reason I did not wear any of that. As I later learned, if I had our relationship would very much have ended that evening. My husband liked him some preppy boys. Anything that remotely deviated from that path was shunned.

I pulled into a spot facing the empty street and as I got out of my shaggin-wagon I saw this white mustang drive by and turn into the same shopping center. Somehow I knew that was this dude. He hadn’t even told me what kind of car he drove but I was certain of it. (Those are the kind of thoughts one has when they encounter fate.) And I turned out to be correct.

For the next hour we sat in a booth having lame conversation as we attempted to get to know each other. He had a silver Motorola flip-phone that he kept spinning nervously in between his other facial tics. He kept rubbing the middle knuckle of his index finger along the side of mouth, like someone does when they have a goatee. Later I found out that he had briefly had one and developed the habit. My husband also has a tendency to twitch his nose in the most adorable way when he’s nervous and that night it didn’t stop.

As the evening wore on, neither of us having eaten anything at Denny’s, (I imagine he got a diet soda, his drug of choice) we decided to go back to his place.

I don’t remember if I messaged a friend to say I was going over to a stranger’s house in the wee hours of the morning. I want to think that I did, but more than likely not because I was (and still am) an idiot that thinks nothing of potential dangers.

He lived in this old brick face building downtown that had once been an elder care facility back in the day. It was also located across the street from a former morgue-funeral home (which is where we would later hold our wedding reception.) He lived on the second floor, at the front of the building with a beautiful view of downtown. Bakersfield isn’t much, but the view he had was wonderful.

He fancied himself a collector of DVDs at the time and was showing me the small tower he had amassed. The film he chose that night for us to watch had been decided at Denny’s when I told him that I had never seen “Philadelphia.” Now, he claims he had never seen it too, but I distinctly remember him saying that it was one of Hanks’s best roles. He popped the disc into the tray and we watched the 2 hour long movie about a man dying of AIDS. How romantic.

A remnant of my former relationship with Travis, some thin rubber wrist bands, chose that evening to break and I ended up throwing them away. I think they split when he discovered that I was ticklish and I was wrestling to get away. What a surreal picture to make a romantic connection with someone as we watched a man waste away from a deadly disease at the height of its terror.

When the movie ended he walked me to my car, like a gentleman, and I kissed him. I was annoyed that, that was all we ended up doing, but he wanted to wait until I turned 18, which was only a few weeks away.

I drove away that night thinking I would probably never hear from him again. Oh, how wrong I was. The dude blew up my phone. He was an over-the-road trucker at the time and had looooong hours of nothing to do, so he would call me and keep me on the phone late into the evening.

Looking back, I was so young and stupid. I had no idea what I wanted or who I was. Yet, we seemed to work. It is true that our lives have gone up and down over the past fourteen years. Nothing is ever perfect. For a brief year we ended our relationship yet continued to live together and sleep in the same bed. We were crazy and confused. But, there is truly no one else I would want to go through this with than Charlie. He is perfect in the strangest ways and we compliment each other like a broken window pane. Apart we are two jagged pieces of glass, but together we make the other whole. It’s sappy, but it’s true.

Advertisements

A Gay ‘ol Anniversary

It’s strange to think that I’ve been out of the closet for the past 12 years.  It’s really not that long, but looking at how much I struggled with my sexuality prior to my admission it is astounding that I ever came out at all.  I guess all it took was a pretty face.

In retrospect the face I thought was “handsome” was in fact not at all.  Looking at the pictures now I have NO IDEA what I was thinking at the time.  The dude is hideous.  But in that moment I was smitten and only two days after telling my friend, at her bowling birthday party, that I liked guys and her friend, I went on my first date.

The friend I had made my admission to was someone I had at once had a “crush on.”  She was a buxom 12 year old with a mouth like a sailor.  We could make each other laugh.  I think we went on one “date” that comprised of us walking the length of the mall.  Our relationship was a flash in the pan.  After that we never spoke again until her 17th birthday when I told her a part of myself no one in the world (and in reality myself) knew. It’s a strange bit of kismet when I think back on it now.

I had originally left my friend Becky’s birthday without saying a word.  I had no intention of telling anyone, in fact.  But when I went out to my car the battery was cold dead.  I don’t know if it just bit the dust cause it had run it’s last or because I left the lights on.  Either way, while waiting for AAA to give me a jump or a tow, I went back inside and told her.

The thought has crossed my mind so many times before, what if I had gone out to my car and it had worked.  Where would I be?  Would I have driven home and never-ever-ever made that admission to anyone? Would I have married some poor girl and forced myself into a life I didn’t want at all?  Or would I have told someone some day… At this point it’s all speculation.

Like I said, I don’t’ even know how I admitted it to her.  Seriously.  I was still struggling with myself.  Even the day after I had I mentally berated myself for saying anything.  How could I!?  I’m not gay!

Whatever caused that spur of courage I am grateful for it every day.  My life has turned out wonderfully because of it.  Even though it ultimately resulted in a ton of heartbreak, I eventually met the man I’ve spent the last 11 years with and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

We’ve mainly slept in London

We’ve been in London for two days and already we have fucked up our schedule. Jet lag is a bitch, yes, but there are ways to make it worse. For instance, he got the advice from his father that the first day you arrive try to make it to 9 o’clock. The last time we were here we failed to do that and end up waking at early hours. This time I suffered through the first day just craving sleep and walking around like a zombie (I had gotten 0 sleep on the plane.). We make it to bed by 9 and are out instantly. We then proceed to sleep until 4 in the evening. Evidently we were tired. So my tip: sleep when you’re tired. Good thing we have 2 weeks here or I would have been PISSED to waste an entire day sleeping. By the way, it gets dark by 4:30.

To not make the day a complete waste we went on a Walking Ghost Tour led by an amazing guide named Sara with a thick Wisconsin accent. As it turned out she was from Michigan but most people think she’s Canadian and the Brits love Canadians. So she goes with it. The tour was par for the course. It was good and very little happened. Except when the tour wound its way to St. James park and she explained that this park had a tendency to have moments of debauchery. My husband and I turn to each other and go “what kind?” Debauchery is such a vague term. Our ideas of misconduct happen to be sexual, cause as it happens in our little neck of the world parks are notorious hook-up spots.

So far things have gone well. We got ourselves set up with a weekly tube ticket that, when purchased at any train station (not tube), offers a good number of 2 for 1 specials on different tours, sites, and dining. Today’s ghostly tour being one of them.