3 years since the last super bowl I blogged about...
3 years since my wisdom teeth were pulled...
3 years since I got the hell outta Queens...
3 years since Ryan and I have been together.
Oh, where to begin? I can hardly believe that I am capable of remembering all those times as if they had been vague fogs of yesterday, but it's true that I do. Yes, I have my writing, my blog, to thank for most of this. However, there is one thing I couldn't forget if I tried (not like I have, but you get the idea)
.....my first date with Ryan.
This is a subject of constant dissension with us, and the reason why we still have yet to mark an official "anniversary." I honestly consider it hogwash - I don't need a day to remember someone who steals the sheets every night and to whom I relay every banal daily activity to with the utmost excitement. But it's nice to have one, I suppose, so that you can prove to each other how long you've had to put up with them.
I don't mean to rude - I'm trying to skirt around the whole lovey-dovey-ness that people whom have the fortunate of having someone to be with often make the mistake of falling into, to the disdain of those around them. I too was once alone, and I don't like the possibility of my being one of those people that unintentionally rubs it in someone's face. I've been hurt too many times to act so impudent - however, it being the time of the year when our economy urges us to spend money in lieu of love (who can complain really, when no matter whether you're single or not, you still get candy and star wars valentines?), I shall momentarily forget this rule and be forthcoming in my telling of my first date with Ryan, some three years ago.
The moral of this story is that good things come when you least expect them. I say this in the beginning in hopes that even the most curmudgeonly of romantic souls will not completely curse me off at the end of this post without taking a bit of hope along with them.
The other moral is that no one means as much to you as yourself, and that takes the longest to figure out - so you might as well start now.
After finishing college, I returned to Triple Threat Television in February of 2008 as producer on the Winona Ryder Biography. I had just moved into my apartment in Elmhurst, Queens and was relieved that there was a job to pay for it. Things hadn't changed much since my last stint there in November, except for the faces: they had recruited all new interns to their Harlem office, and when I walked in they all stared at me with the gaze of startled gazelle.
One of the gazelles had a soul patch - this was Ryan. He didn't look very friendly, but then again, my first impressions of people are usually not very accurate. We were seated squished across from each other at small table with our gigantor powerbooks, forced to exchange occasional awkward glances as we worked. I don't remember much of our interaction other than he liked to show odd video clips (that usually ended with my shaking my head in pity and confusion), and that we grew to bickering almost immediately. That really should have been a tell-tale sign that we were meant to be together.
My legs, being incredibly long, needed lots of room underneath the table. Even in his tight pants, Ryan was somehow able to encroach upon my half of the floor. I berated him constantly for it - most of the time in good spirits, but also because it was really freaking annoying.
We talked a lot - he had come from Ohio and was starting anew here in New York for a career in film. I thought this very admirable for someone who had never been on his own in a strange place. One day, he told me about a bakery that was offering free hot cocoa. FREE and HOT COCOA are the secret words to my Pee-Wee brain, so I immediately wrote down the info on a sticky note and promised to check it out.
Here's something you should know about me if you don't already: I am hopelessly oblivious to attraction. I never once thought why he had asked, assuming it was simply a nice gesture. I went as far as inviting my friend Matt to join in on the free-givings; however, after 30 minutes of trying to find the place, we discovered the bakery was closed. I was mostly upset about missing free hot chocolate.
The next day he apologized profusely, insisting he didn't realize that they had closed so early. I shrugged it off. And it wasn't long before he invited me, along with my other coworkers, to a concert - the one-man-band (or, one-man-with-strange-piano-flute, as I later found out), White Williams, was from Ryan's hometown of Akron. He seemed very insistent on me going; and since I wouldn't be alone, I decided it would be better than spending my night unpacking hoards of boxes.
And it was. First, I chipped my tooth on a bottle of beer. (I figure I had this coming to me, after weeks of sipping teeth-first.) Consider it lucky, I suppose: a metaphor for either the wisdom teeth I would later lose, or the piece of my heart I would soon be sharing.
Second, I got drunk. We had pre-gamed before, so it wasn't surprising. Ryan didn't seem to object, as evidence by this photo taken shortly after.
Third, I danced.
I don't do this unless I am drunk enough to not give a crap what people think. But people don't dance at concerts, especially hipsters (these were 2008 hipsters, so they were even more hardcore.) But apparently - when the DJ is on before the next set, there's smoke machines going, and the spectators clear a giant space for you in the crowd so that they can witness the ridiculous spectacle (or to not get hit by crazy flailing drunken arms, either one) -
Perhaps at this moment, Ryan was watching my frenzied steps, high heeled sneaker-boots slamming the ground like a toreador on steroids, and thinking "This is the girl for me."
I tried to drag him into the empty dance circle that was only me, but understandably, he declined. And what continued was what could only be described as the furious, dream-like stupor of uninhibited expression that is only possible when caring about nothing at all. It was me, in all my odd, slightly spastic glory. And it's possible that this is what brought me closer to finding true love than ever before.
Later, I lay slumped at a column, falling asleep. Ryan came over to introduce me to White Williams, who I groggily shook hands with. He was not amused - but then again, hipsters never are. He spent the rest of the night trying to keep my eyes open - but I was content with feeling the beats through my butt, foggy lights passing over my eyelids. On the train home, we talked about one another - mostly about our families. I expected nothing of that night, but it seemed as if things finally felt right. The next time we saw eachother at work he asked if I wanted to hang out that weekend.....
"Oh, well, I have a lot things to pick up for my new place, but I guess you could come over and help me put up my bookshelf."
It's not a normal occurrence for someone you hardly know to agree to building a piece of furniture for you. Way out in the middle of Queens. On a Sunday.,,,,without there being a motive. Either they want to murder you or go out with you. Or they're gay and have a thing for interior design. I didn't think to wonder what it could be, and a date was the furthest from my mind. After all, who puts up a bookshelf on a first date?
....Apparently, we do.
I met Ryan in the electronics department of Kmart at Astor. I deemed this an acceptable meeting place. He carried my National Liquidators trash can to the subway for the trip back to Queens, making it talk to me in muppet voice as he lifted the lid up and down. This folks, is when the magic started.
He did put my bookshelf up - and we made a good team. I'm sure there's something to be said about getting to know a guy as he's using a hammer - I'll let you be the judge. I never thought I'd end up falling for a guy that day, in that circumstance, but when he asked if I was going to kiss him, I did. And I haven't stopped kissing him since.
..........well, unless I'm eating and breathing, but you get what I mean.