Charles and I celebrate our 5 year anniversary on Friday. In honor of this I will [hopefully] be posting 5 extra blogs dedicated to our story...for the romantic at heart. Here is the second of five.
Sorry to ruin the ending. Yes, we did end up getting engaged, but stay tuned to see if we got married. This post might need more length [and depth] eventually added to it, it's already after midnight and staying up till 2 am last night was almost as much fun as grocery shopping with three kids. Since we are traveling in Ohio right now, I don't have my scrapbook, journals, or calendar from then so I'm going by memory [or lack there of]. So here goes nothing...for now.
Charles and I dated the fall of 2004 & Spring of 2005. Previously I'd been in two long distance relationships so this was the first time I'd been able to see "my boyfriend" everyday [if I wanted to...which I did]. It was new and amazing. I was beginning my Junior year of college and he was [doing wires] at Turner downtown. We saw each other here and there during the week and always at college group and the weekends. We stayed up way too late talking on the phone and txted quite a bit. I saved all his txts in a journal, it's really sweet to go back and read them.
I know the first time we held hands was after a deep conversation that awoke some hurt in me while leaving a baseball game. We hadn't really talked about physical boundaries in our relationship yet and then he just reached down and grabbed my hand, took it in his and suddenly I felt taken care of it. IT was going to be okay HE had me. The healing began. He made it clear in the beginning we wouldn't kiss until we got married. I, was against this, but...well just wait and find out what happen.
I remember he dropped me off one night at my apartment and asked me if they had marriage student housing, to which I replied "do you see a ring on my finger?" I wasn't interested in talking marriage until he was talking bling, I mean, commitment. Earlier that night, something small, but something enough to make me remember happen...he leaned down on the floor to get something and barely touched my ankle...on purpose. He still does that today and it always reminds me of the first time he purposefully touched me to let me know...hey, I like you.
I remember the first time we held hands in front of our friends...at a coffee shop after college group. I felt like we were holding a banner that said "look, you never saw this coming did you? yep, we're together...stare." He was brave. I was not. This has not changed.
He bought me things like, easels, told me to paint-to create-to write. We would stay on my back porch and talk for hours in our separate chairs...not touching or being so typical boyfriend/girlfriend. We'd climb trees late at night. I once told him "I'd like to hear you play the piano", I think it was 2 am, he got up, I followed, we walked to campus, he found an open practice room and he played for me for hours. We wrote a song together. Another time he tried to teach me "Lean on Me." I'm not musical and I wasn't paying attention to the music anyways...just him. Watching his reflection in the piano and listening to his voice...painting-creating-writing. I'm not going to lie, this is when I became jealous of the piano and wished he'd play me...I mean...look at me. Our time together was always random and spontaneous...like new love is.
We went camping once with a group and I couldn't sleep and we out of my tent to sit by the fire, he was there...sleeping outside [so typical of him]. We talked for hours. It started to rain. He told me too loudly he liked me...[so like him] I told him everyone would hear...[so like me].
On Halloween, we missed a party because I was sick. We watched Cheaper by the Dozen and made a decision that we wanted at least a dozen. So there, if you want to know where it started...it was that movie. We went to Texas for Thanksgiving. We went to Oregon for Christmas. On our way out to Oregon to meet his family we had a plane change in Vegas. We promised each other that if we got laid over we'd get married...we did get laid over...we didn't get married. We chickened out.
Favorite picture #4 of us [Oregon]
Valentine's is my favorite holiday and he took me to Macaroni Grill and after the appetizer the waiter brought us a guitar instead of our meal. He stood up, announced to the restaurant he was about to sing to me. He did. A song he'd written for me. At first I thought he was proposing...Again, he was loud and I was worried everyone would hear him. So typical. Someone paid for our meal and I still listen to the song he wrote me. His love was and has always been loud. We'd go into stores or up mountains and he'd stop people and ask them, "Isn't she beautiful?" "Look at her skin." Actually, he still does this. Although I've managed to keep the singing down [a bit].
I sat on the front row as he preached in small churches. I sat next to him in his truck [that had to be parked on a hill to get it to start]. I sat next to him on the couch where he made me watch movies I wish I'd never seen [too epic or too smart or manly or graphic for me]. I sat next him at dinners, gatherings, and movies. I didn't mind really, I was sitting next to him.
As March approached, sure I'd hoped he was thinking about asking to marry me. I liked summer weddings after all. My lease was up in August. We'd see. Then, he got a temporary contract in April in Connecticut. He would be gone for 4 months. Long distance...again. Sigh.
April 2, I woke up and got ready to spend my last day with him. He called and said he couldn't meet me, but to go to the middle of this field and he'd left something for me. I spent the rest of the day finding notes [and him at times] around the city. Resturants, activities, The Zoo, Downtown, you name it...I probably went there.
It started in a field and it ended in a field. As I drove to the last place, I played a CD he had just sent me to. It was a song about a hot air ballon ride. Well, the wind intervened and we weren't able to do that [that night], but again, I didn't really mind, I was next to him. On one knee he talked and I tried so hard to remember every word he was saying. He opened a box and I said Yes.
He left the next morning and came home 4 months later...to rehearse for our wedding day.
I visited him once and he took me to NYC. I had no idea. He put me on [my first] train and I stepped off at Grand Central Station. We spent the whole day together exploring. He also surprised me by taking me to see Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. It was one of the things on a list of "we should's" we'd made. See a broadway play in NYC. He remembered. We did.
He's like that.