Saturday, January 29, 2011

Falling in Love Like a Romance Writer

Recently, a book came out called Fall in Love Like a Romance Writer by Amelia Grey ( with stories from 67 romance writers on how they fell in love with their partners/husbands. This got me to thinking about my own story and the quirks that led to my own bliss.

 I was in Colorado working for Corporate America (and hating it) when I decided I needed to continue my education, no matter the cost, and get the hell out of my creepy job. Early in the year, I started the process of applying to graduate schools: University of Montana, University of New Mexico, Northern Arizona University and University of Arizona. I hoped one of them would pay me to come to their school.

I was accepted to two schools, one that paid me and one that didn't, and soon after, I had a dream about attending a school with brick hallways. I walked down the hallway and around the corner comes this guy, his arms full of those big honkin' text books and papers. He had dark, curly short hair, dark eyes, and stood a little taller than me. We collided at the corner and books and papers went flying. I apologized and helped him clean up, then woke up. In my heart, I knew this dream meant I was going to meet my future husband in graduate school.

I thought it would take at least a semester or two to meet this guy, and when I arrived at graduate school and met the men there, I was certain it might take even longer than that. EEEEEK! They weren't men; they were boys with adult bodies (some of them so potbellied, it appeared they spent most of their time in front of a TV watching either sports or porn).

When I look back on it now, however, it took less than two weeks. But I digress.

This one guy came sauntering down the wooden floored hallway toward me one day wearing a baseball cap, a red fleece vest, a white teeshirt, jeans, and sneakers. He was a little taller than me, had long dark wavy hair, dark brown eyes,and a neatly trimmed dark brown goatee. He wasn't carrying books. I took one look at him and said to myself, "I will never, ever, go out with that guy."

He was rude, had the social grace of a potato, and worse, he was from New Jersey. Gasp! I didn't see him much the first semester, but in the second semester, we shared a class together. A friend of mine remarked one day that he played on the weekends, but he seemed to be doing well in class, so being a direct person, I asked him about it . . . every Monday.

I'd ask, "What did you do this weekend?"
He said, "Watched a couple of movies, played racquetball, and went rollerblading."

I love movies and I watched them when I got a chance. How did he do it? Graduate school was tough for me and I couldn't imagine spending that much time watching movies and still get my studying done. I had to know how he did it. So I asked . . . every Monday. From his perspective, he thought I was just a gossiping busybody and therefore, it was none of my business how he did it. I just wanted to know his secret!

This went on for months and he never told me to F@$& off (I think he liked the attention of this "busybody" - read: pretty girl - asking him what he did each weekend). At the final exam, we sat down at our usual places and he got out his notebook to study one last time before the exam. I took one look at his notes and stopped. They were all neatly typed and drawn out.

"You type your notes?" I asked, dumbfounded.
"You type your notes."
"You typed your notes."
"When did you have time to type your notes?"
"I don't have to actually watch the movies, do I?"

His secret to his success at graduate school and movies was he listened to them while he worked. Sigh. That wouldn't work for me, but we'd become friends throughout the time I'd bugged him. We became even closer at the end of that summer when his cousin died and I listened to his grief. At the end of the next summer, he got up the courage to ask me out (and he still claims to this day that he doesn't know who it was that spoke with his voice). Our conversation went something like this:

"Siobhan, will you go out with me?"
"I don't mean to lunch or dinner. I mean go out out with me."
"I know."
"So you'll go out with me?"

Then on our first date (with other couples so he didn't feel so nervous), he avoided me and tried to get away from me. That confused the heck outta me and by the end of the night, I was left wondering if he'd been kidding. He'd invited me to dinner the next night (a few days earlier) and I was honor-bound to come, but I was determined to find out what the heck was going on. I cornered him at dinner and said, "Do you really want to do this or are you just playing?"

He said he really wanted to go out with me and bless his heart, he faced the firing squad of all my questions on whether or not he really wanted to go out with me, 'cause I wasn't playing. He stuck with me, though, and a little over a year later, we moved in together when I was pretty certain he was the man I wanted to marry. He'd helped me with the dog I'd inherited; he'd helped me with choosing a new thesis project when my original thesis fell apart; he was smart, handsome, generous, and sexy and I couldn't imagine letting him go.

The night I proposed to him, he accepted and then told me I'd beat him by two weeks. We married 18 months later. It wasn't until after I married him that I realized he was the dark haired, dark eyed guy I'd dreamt about before I got to grad school and it had only taken me two weeks to meet him. It just took years to realize he was the one I loved with all my heart.

We've now been friends for 11 years, lovers for 9, and married for 7. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)

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