Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Love Story Part 2

No love story would be complete without a little struggle, a little heartache, and some cray cray moments. 

We continued to 'date' but it was pretty sporadic. We would go out here and there with no real commitments no real feelings.  Notice the word 'date' is in quotes because I thought I was dating him....and he thought I was crazy.  He blew me off a lot, he cancelled plans a lot, he wouldn't text back, and he had a lot of excuses.  My feelings were hurt A LOT in the beginning, and I will take the blame for feeling this way. I had an expectation for someone who told me (constantly) that he wasn't looking for a relationship and wondered what was wrong with JUST being friends?  He hadn't gotten the memo yet that this usually isn't possible between a girl and a guy.  I really, really didn't want to lose him as a friend, I didn't want to lose that companionship so I sucked it up and spent Friday nights alone, stared at a phone with no messages and just waited for the next time he'd ask me out.  This might seem desperate but believe me when I tell you, I was 100% convinced with all of my soul that I was meant to be with this person, and I was NOT. GIVING. UP. I gave him his space....and waited.

When we'd go out I was treated like one of the guys. No feelings attached. I hated every second of it, but I dealt with it because I knew that if he was with me then he wasn't with anyone else.  I had lost my privilege to partake in 'guys night' the night I decided to go a little cray when he made a comment about another girl at the bar.  I thought maybe we had boundaries but the reality was, we didn't.  He made it very clear to me how he felt and like most girls, I lied and said that was fine...and inside I was hurt. I felt defeated and rejected.

This is the part in the story I go blank and perhaps that's because it was blank. This is the part in the story I wish BW would chime in. Maybe I can convince him to write a guest post, an explanation of sorts. I don't know what happened. It was like a light switch. The calls stopped. The texts stopped. Our encounters at work turned in to casual 'hellos' in the break room. I am going to tread lightly here, because to this day, this is hard to talk about and its hard for BW to listen to.  I vented to friends until I was blue in the face, and until they told me to get a grip and get over it. Days turned in to weeks and weeks turned in to months of very minimal communication between the two of us. My world just fell apart and I had no control over any of it.

Now I was living in North Carolina with no friends, no social life and no dating life....just in time for the holidays.  What better time to be alone then on Christmas? I know! Christmas Eve! I was sitting around with family at dinner time on Christmas Eve still obsessing over BW and what had happened. I had a good friend that followed me along this entire world wind of a journey and coached me through every moment.  On this particular night while I was throwing myself a red and green pity party, and drinking cherry vodkas I texted my friend some words of desperation.  She texted back simply, "text him and ask him if he wants to play with candy canes." What? What does that even mean? Mind you, I hadn't spoken to him in weeks, and if I texted him I'm almost positive he wouldn't have responded.  And playing with candy canes? Seems legit.  The text was sent.

He responded almost instantly. He must really like candy canes... or the whiskey in his hand.  He didn't even acknowledge the candy cane comment and just proceeded to ask me what I was doing and if I wanted to meet him and his roommate out. Then I fainted. The End.  Kidding. However, I did slightly panic, hurried to get ready and met him out.  I could have puked the entire ride there. I had no idea what to expect. We hadn't spoken a single word to each other in weeks...months. Maybe it was the holiday season that was giving him a softspot for blondes with a strange yankee accent.  Well whatever the reason was, I was IN! 

We spent Christmas Eve together as if we hadn't left each other's side and continued to see each other more often on days that followed.  Things still weren't serious and we never really discussed what had happened. All I knew is that I was back perched up on cloud 9, with a slight chip on my shoulder, and a heart of steel.  One afternoon I was at his apartment while the guys discussed an upcoming snowboarding trip. I have never in my life been on a ski slope, never mind wearing actually skis or a snowboard but one thing was for sure.. I HAD to be there.  I rented a board, boots, bought pants I couldn't afford and invited myself on that snowboarding trip. 

January 17, 2011. I don't forget it. You know why I don't forget it? It is the reason I am writing this story, it is the reason I have the love I do. This was the day I tagged along on a guys snowboarding trip.  This was the day I saw something different in his eyes. This was the day he looked at me from across the table and mouthed four words that changed my life forever...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Love Story Part 1

BW picks on me for my insanely accurate photographic memory. Recently for my new job I had to study for one of the most challenging  tests I had ever taken. My method of studying is to just stare at the pages until it sinks in. Yes, it's as insane as it sounds and yes, its what got me through college.  So, to me, these memories are like pictures. So I remember a little too much. I remember the weather. I remember what he was wearing. I remember what we ate. I remember EVERYTHING.

Without even turning around he said, "where do you want it?", and with that they lived happily ever after.  Now wouldn't THAT be a story!! I guess I should give you more of a story then that, and perhaps an explanation.

I moved to North Carolina in August of 2010.I had just moved away from everything. I packed up my life and went.  I spent a few months enjoying unemployment, enjoying long workouts, and just exploring my new sights.  In October I went through a staffing agency to find a job. I just needed something to 'get by', something to pay my student loans.  They placed me at a mortgage insurance company in the city.  It was perfect. I loved being downtown, I loved the 10 minute commute, and I loved the fresh start. 

I never intended on meeting anyone at work but as a single girl I couldn't help but take an extra look at guys I would meet.  Some girls like the typical southern guy, I'm not one of them.  Its possible to be TOO sweet, its possible for your jeans to be TOO tight and its possible for your pickup truck to be TOO big.  Its not my thing.  Like the start of any job comes a lot of tedious tasks. My computer needed to be set up, my phone needed to be hooked up, and passwords needed to be set.  I had come back from using the restroom when their was a guy standing in my cubicle plugging in my phone.  I could tell you right now, from head to toe, what he was wearing but I will spare those details.  Without even turning around he said, "where do you want it?"  He was holding a phone in his hand and as he turned around, I replied, "anywhere is fine."  Then I blacked out.  I kid I kid.  I told him I had to go to lunch and asked him if he needed me to be there while he did what he needed to.  He said no.  I left and called every friend I knew. 

I knew that I HAD to meet this guy.  This was ridiculous. He spoke three words to me and I was convinced I needed to meet him.  There was something about him that screamed I'M NOT A COWBOY. I'm kidding- well sort of.  I missed home.  I missed my friends. I missed the bar scene we were used to. I missed FUN.  There was something about this guy that said something different- I was sure that he'd be able to remind me of home.  I had no friends here. So I was determined to find a friend in him.

I don't suggest writing this down, or taking my advice on dating because this is NOT how to do it folks.  I had no idea how to even initiate conversation with him. So, I did what any sane, single, Boston girl would do... I made up phone problems.  Email Subject: "Hey Bobby, something is wrong with my phone, it won't work."   IM: "Hey, are you busy? My phone is doing something weird." Here is the thing about BW, he is a go-getter, an all or nothing kind of guy. So, instead of replying to my messages he would just SHOW UP at my desk.  This backfires when you ain't got no phone problems.  After some back and forth nonsense and a boring Friday of work IM chatting, he asked me out for drinks. This is the moment I praised the lord for the desk drawer full of makeup for those 'just in case a coworker asks you out' moments.  I met him downstairs.

It was just like any other first date.  A lot of getting to know you questions, some silence, more questions... We sat there for a few hours when BW told me he'd love to keep our night going but he had to head home to let his dog out. WHAT? LAMESAUCE.  (sidebar- now that I know and love that little sonofabitch dog, she most definitely had to be let out...she doesn't like to hold it).  He drove me back to my car, where we sat for a few minutes. .... he asked what I was doing the next night.  And like the most amazing dater, single girl, loser face on the planet I said, "eh, yah I'm probably busy." I know, I know. I panicked! I even went home and told my mom what happened and she confirmed I was a complete loser.  I spent my Saturday night alone.... punching myself in the face.

Sunday was a new day and I was going to redeem myself.  We texted a little back and forth through out the day.  I could tell he wasn't much of a texter and this was really going to make my redemption hard.  It became late in the afternoon and he mentioned he was going out for drinks with his roommate and asked if I wanted to join.  This is where I, again, made up some excuse as to why I couldn't go. Then after a little pep talk with myself and a quick reminder of why I was still single, I texted back and confirmed I'd be there. 

We enjoyed another night out together where we got to know each other, laughed, drank, la la la.  He was doing NOTHING to WOO me, nothing to impress me... he was just being himself.  I, on the otherhand, was on cloud nine to even be in his presence.  How lame does that sound? But it's true. And I'm now his wife, so I'm allowed to say that.  We headed back to his apartment to play cards with his roommates.  I will never, ever, ever forget our first kiss.  Ever. 

I also will never, ever forget the moment  when I got home and laid in bed and my eyes filled with tears, and as I closed my eyes, I knew without a shadow of a doubt I had just kissed my soul mate...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

BFFs: Sh*t just got real.

Time changes friendships. Distance changes friendships. Babies change friendships. Marriage changes friendships. So, what happens when you mesh all those things together? Friendships change...a whole lot.

The last six days have been the hardest of this entire deployment; harder then the day he left, harder then Christmas, harder then Olivia's first steps. A news alert appeared on my IPad and I glanced over it. I saw the word, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to go back and look. All I knew was something happened in Afghanistan. This was the moment I realized I should have paid closer attention to when BW told me his exact location, but I did know this...it sounded familiar.  I am not completely naive to the news. I don't refuse to watch it in order to keep my mind clear. I do watch. I do want to know what's going on. I read the article. I read it once. I read it twice. I read it all. day. long.  The blasts, the bombings, the casualties were right where my soldier's boots stood. The blackout had started.

Blackouts typically occur when there are causalities. They cut all methods of communication to protect families from finding out things through here say. This all happens quickly, unexpectedly, and without warning. We don't get a call telling us there is a blackout. It just happens.  We are always told  'no news is good news.'  No military wife believes this and if she says so, she is lying. We may repeatedly tell ourselves this to make ourselves feel better for the moment, but when we have moments alone...moments to think, we are 'worst case scenario' thinkers. After about 3 days of blackout status I had heard that BW and all the soldiers in the 151st were ok. I didn't believe it. With every car door that slammed I waited for the uniformed officer to knock at my door. Again, 'worst case scenario' thinkers. I needed to hear his voice. I needed him to tell me he was okay. For six whole days, I did not know if my husband was dead or alive.

I don't blog for attention, I don't blog to invite ya'll to my pity party and I don't post on Facebook to get the most 'likes' or comments. I do it, well, because my friends are 100s of miles away, and this is how I 'talk' to them, this is how I tell my story.  I've said before, sometimes I write because I crave adult interaction. Sometimes I write because I have no one to talk to. I have one close friend in North Carolina, and last I checked...that's not alot. And I'm quite sure she's sick of hearing my stories. Friendships are hard. They are hard to find. They are even harder to keep.

I don't expect people to know everything, and I don't expect people to read between the lines. But as I lived these last few days, struggling to keep myself together, struggling to put one foot in front of the other, I wondered....where did all my friends go? Lives change. People change. I never imagined when I packed up to move 3 years ago, that I'd be leaving so much behind, and potentially giving up all the friendships I worked so hard to create. I do realize there are different kinds of friendships. For instance, one of my best friends is someone I've never physically met but remembers important details I tell her. One friend is raising an autistic son, and is a kick ass Mom who doesn't have time to pee alone but has a moment to tell me to 'hang in there' when things are tough.  One friend lives 1000s of miles away in another country and hasn't left my side in 25 years... One friend emails me everyday just to check in.  There are so many different friendships that work in different ways. But a friendship isn't a 'like' on Facebook. It takes effort. And where the hell did those friends go? Like any other relationship in life, friendships are a give and take. There are only so many times I can text and get no response...or call and get no call back...Here's the thing, if you're worried or 'not sure' if what I'm saying is about you, then it probably is. If you can lay your head down at night and know you're a good friend, then you probably are. But if you're second guessing yourself as you read this...then you have your answer. I want to be a good friend, I want someone to tell me when I'm not being a good friend. So, here I am telling YOU now.... This past year has been the hardest, craziest, stressful, emotional, roller coaster of a ride, and where were you? And if this is 'payback' for something I didn't do for you, then tell me. I want to fix it. Friendships aren't supposed to be vindictive. they are supposed to be supportive.

BW asked me a year ago, who my best friend was. I, being the girl that I am, responded with a childhood friend's name.  He yelled, "TRICK QUESTION, you're supposed to say me!!!"  I was so confused by this. Huh? My best friend has ALWAYS been her and I never imagined life any other way.  His feelings were hurt as he told me that I was his best friend.  Looking back, I get it. He's the person that has never left my side, who picks me up at my lowest points, and who shares in my happiness and my disappointments.

BW finally called today, and I heard his voice. I can't wait for him to come home, because right now, I need a friend....my best friend. BFFs