It all started at the going away party for my tonsils. And then, after I got my tonsils out, I woke up and had a boyfriend. THE boyfriend.
Ok, fine, oversimplification. It started many years before that, my freshman year of college, but we just kept getting derailed. First Kevin dated my bff from high school, even though I told him it was a bad idea. Before they broke up, I started dating a guy from the climbing wall. Once he graduated and moved away, it almost happened – Kevin read my favorite book and went to a coffee shop with me, things I know now were obvious Moves, for him at least. But I was already distracted by someone else, the jerk I’d date for a few years.
After I broke up with the jerk, when I was already halfway through grad school, I had to claw my way out of the hole I’d descended into, and the first thing I did was start playing frisbee. And drinking like an undergraduate. And enjoying being single for the first time in college. My close friends told me later, they sat Kevin down and gave him a talk about how I was single, finally, and he should wait a little while till the wounds scarred over. This is hilarious to me now, on many levels. Regardless, we saw each other many times every week, at frisbee, and hanging out afterwards with all the frisbee kids that summer. I wasn’t paying him any attention, though.
Until the fall. I’d had strep throat on and off (mostly on) for about six months. It was just a fact of life at that point – always on antibiotics, I just carried on with school and frisbee as if I weren’t sick, because who has time for that? But it got to the point where I’d decided to have my tonsils removed. The surgery was the week of Thanksgiving, because I’m a masochist. I decided to throw a going away party for my tonsils, because it sounded like a good excuse to get tanked with all my friends. Kevin came by, he was planning on just staying for an hour and then moving on to another party. But instead, we drank beer and sang pop music. I remember, he knew all the words to a bunch of Kelly Clarkson songs, and I thought that was hysterical. And I remember thinking, why do we never actually hang out? I like this kid! He ended up staying at the party, because he’d had too much to drink, but he never made a move. No game, that one.
So then it’s Thanksgiving, I get my tonsils out, and he offers to drive me back to Athens since I’m totally drugged up on Lortab (no shit: they gave me two liters of Lortab. I spilled some on my laptop and fried an early version of my dissertation, ’twas grand.). In the process, he plays disc golf with my brother, and eats left over thanksgiving food while watching football with my parents. Then he drives me home, and chauffeurs me around for two weeks while I slowly recover. Somewhere in there, because seriously, he has NO GAME whatsoever, I decide to take the bull by the horns, and I jumped him. And then, later, because I’m wonderfully awkward, I sent him a text message asking if we were dating, or what exactly?
And he said: “I assume we are in a serious, exclusive relationship. I am, at least.”
And that’s how it’s been, ever since. And all our friends collectively sighed, and said FINALLY.