Chris and I met in 2001 at a job we started within a month of each other. I thought she was cute but young — SO young with her “I just turned 21” to my extremely mature 24 years on this earth. Talking to her made me nervous, just like with most attractive women I was around. It’s really amazing that I ever dated anyone, really.
We sat near each other at work for a while, before she moved to a different shift. We talked sporadically, I think, though by now, both of us only remember the awkward, bad conversations. Of course. We became friends, sort of. Friendly, at least, with her inviting me to all of the many, many parties she had, but me only attending one. It was momentous, though, complete with me getting in trouble from my then-girlfriend for leaving so late, force-kissed by some drunk girl, and “what’s it like being a lesbian” interrogation from one of her friends. We still talk about it on occasion. I wore a pretty awesome t-shirt to it.
I tried for years to figure out if she liked girls. I mean, tried in the sense of thinking “I wonder if she likes girls” and then doing nothing about it. She said a few offhand things along the way that weren’t enough to make me know one way or the other, but enough to make me curious.
All throughout this, I was dating someone or another. I seem to have been trying to make up for years of non-dating with years of serial monogamy. She didn’t date much, something I never understood, being that she was perfect and all. But whatever. We would sporadically run into each other, highlights of which include actual plans to meet up at a bar (when we ran into a drunken co-worker) and a midnight run-in at an Eat ‘N’ Park a long way away from where we both lived. When she moved to Spain…then North Carolina…then back to Pittsburgh, we kept in touch, but it was when she moved to Los Angeles that we really started talking a lot.
A couple years later, on a visit home to Pittsburgh for family festivities, I decided to ask her out, just to get it out of my system. It had been ten years of knowing and liking this girl. It was time. I’d ask her, she’d say no, we’d stay friends, and we’d laugh about it later. Well…she said yes, much to my surprise. I was so nervous in the weeks leading up to the asking that I could hardly eat — something pretty unusual, to say the least — and I think I lost about 10 pounds. On the actual date, we were both so nervous that we had to postpone dinner until after our trip to Mount Washington because we thought we’d be sick if we tried to eat.
I don’t want to give too much away, but it was a really good date.