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Month: March 2010

How We Met

Me: So I read their story on theknot, their wedding website, and their story was

David: (interrupting) Story?

Me: You know, story about how they met, or how he proposed.

David: Why do people put that up? I find that a little ridiculous.

Me: Why do you find it ridiculous? People like stories. I LOVE stories. Hollywood makes billions from stories.

David: Yeah it’s just, anyone who knows the couple knows their story.

Me: Well some people don’t. Relatives don’t often know the story. And it’s nice to be reminded.

David: I just…(whispers) find it a bit sappy.

I’m a sucker for sappy, so I’m going to go ahead and write David and my story of how we met here.

In 1998, I had thick eyebrows, braces, and a predilection for baggy clothing. I spent most of my time playing the violin and playing the tennis. My appearance and these two hobbies naturally made me extremely popular and coveted by many a teenage boy. While nary a fellow actually approached me to discuss the matters of the heart, I am sure each budding man who shared a class with me harbored deep feelings of desire and longing for the day I sauntered up to him and sputtered, “Hello, I seem to have misplaced the rubber-band that was holding my central incisor and lateral incisor together. Have you seen it? If you do, don’t touch it. It probably has my saliva all over it.”

More than 20 miles away and less than 50, David, with his translucent skin, gloriously curly hair, and forward-thinking glasses was also playing the tennis. In addition to tennis, he was dabbling in video games, learning to drive, and boating camp. Having recently experienced his first kiss, our young Cassanova was excited to meet more young women and experience the romance he had observed while viewing The Princess Bride, a movie he had watched no less than 20 times and would eventually watch over 50 times en route to becoming a man.

That summer, our paths crossed when we both became part of a local tennis team to represent Northern Virginia in the AAU Junior Olympics – not to be mistaken with the official Olympics, which did not even occur in 1998. During the pre-Olympic practice sessions, David and I did not speak. I’m not sure he even attended the pre-Olympic practice sessions. David, did you?

Our not-speaking all changed during the first few days of the Junior Olympics. David, deciding he preferred spending time with the females rather than the males, made fast friends with the four young women on the team. He chatted up a storm with all of us, talking about music, movies, television, and radio programs. He also shared his feelings about a recent tennis-camp femme-fatale with whom he was enamored. As 13-14 year-old girls, we listened him to explain the situation and advised him on how to win her heart. We asked probing questions, such as, “Do you talk to her?” and then provided thoughtful guidance, such as, “You should talk to her.” David took vigorous mental notes during these discussions.

We parted ways after that tournament, only to re-connect in 1999’s summer Olympics. Sharing a similar sense of humor and tendency to stay awake late, we spent a couple of the nights chatting while my roommates fell asleep. When David left, I lay awake in bed, thinking it would be delightful if he would be my first kiss. Then I thought about how complicated the kiss might be, since we both had braces. I dismissed the thought and returned to thinking about the importance of winning the upcoming tennis matches. After 1999, it would be a while before I saw David again.


By 2007, I had blossomed into a compelling, thoughtful and absolutely delightful woman. One day, I organized a classy evening of laser tag with my good friends – including Ryan and Helen. They had originally said they would probably not make it because they were going to watch Shrek 3. While we were in the briefing room for the laser tag event, I got a call from Ryan, telling me they were on their way. Delighted, because with laser tag, the more the merrier, I told him to hurry and that they would make it for the next round.

When they arrived, I noticed they brought friends. I saw David and I said, rather excitedly, “David Lastname!” Then I took it down a notch. “I’m not sure if you remember me, we were at AAU together! I’m MyName!” He laughed and said, “Right, I remember you.”
“Good!” I smiled, then I got back to business. “Everyone gather around so we can review the laser tag strategy. Those 12 year olds are killing us out there, so we all need to step it up a notch. Connor, you’re not carrying your weight. I have half a mind to kick you off the team.”

Unlike Connor, David was surprisingly good at laser tag. He was so stealthy that I didn’t even see him in the arena, but I think he had one of the top scores in the game. After laser tag, I learned that he and Helen used to work together. “Let me get your number,” he said, “I’ll call you.”
“Sure!” I replied, giving him my number, assuming he was just being polite. A few days later, he called, and we made lunch plans. A few weeks later, we were dating. A few months later, we were traveling together. A few years later, we were finishing each others se…sen…sente…David jump in here.

It turned out that after watching Shrek 3, David, Helen’s other friend, and Ryan were deciding where to go for dinner, and Ryan mentioned that I had organized laser tag. David, recognizing my name, said, “I used to know a MyUniqueName…” and Ryan, realizing that David really meant, “I want to go to her!” made the executive decision to take the group to laser tag. Ryan and Helen have since received Thank You notes from me.

“See, I knew, I KNEW this would be good,” David said one day a year later, while we were driving. “This? What is this?” I asked, seeking clarification. “Us,” he replied, “you and me. I knew we would be good together.”

And that is the story of how we met.


Having a Quarterlife Crisis is So In Right Now

Yesterday I read Welcome to Your Quarterlife Crisis , a feature on twenty-something ennui. The piece starts with a depressing anecdote about an empty relationship between a 26 and 27 year old. They’re each going through the motions in their lives, not sure of what to do next with respect to their jobs, living situations, and futures. This section of the piece is perhaps best summarized by Fountains of Wayne’s 2007 masterpiece, Somebody to Love starring Demitri Martin.

The feature goes on to talk about the twentysomething generation’s pervasive inability to make a decision and find satisfaction, with women being more conflicted than men because they are torn between their biological clock and a drive for career success.

I’m no stranger to the first-world problem Welcome to Your Quarterlife Crisis discusses. Just yesterday, feeling a sudden onset of panic over my state of affairs, I resolved to act by updating my Facebook profile picture to something hip and forward-thinking. Behold. Pretty good eh? To the casual observer, it says, “She drinks out of mugs and takes pictures of herself.” To the critical observer, it says, “She is hiding her mouth.” And to the astute observer, it says, “She is hip and forward-thinking. Casual observers need not apply.”

Anyway. Welcome to Your Quarterlife Crisis, which dedicates almost three thousand words to discussing ennui and a whopping twenty-five words to suggesting a solution, advises those going through a quarterlife crisis to establish a five-year plan. A five-year plan is a plan cleverly named after its duration. The first time I thought about a five-year plan was a first date I had with a suitor four years ago:

He asked, “What’s your five year plan?”

Intrigued, I leaned in and said, “Well if this date goes well, in five years I see us together, married, in a house, with a baby, maybe two, because I’m biologically predisposed to twins, on the way.” Then I winked and said, “What’s YOUR five year plan?”

“Grad school.” He replied.

That relationship ended up not working past a first date (he clearly lacked a sense of humor), and I pursued a different five-year plan which included starting, graduate school, traveling, a career change, home ownership and some meaningful relationships. Nothing quite worked out the way I envisioned, but things have worked out okay –knock on wood- and I managed to accomplish (read: stumble into) most of the things on my list. So rather than spending time on feelings of inadequacy (read: I’ll probably still do this every once in a while too, just maybe less) I’ll keep plugging away and see what happens next.

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