Three years ago today, I met my husband.
Sort of. At least, in the flesh.
See, for those of you who aren’t my mother, grandmother, cousins, or friends in real life, (so…I guess that just leaves the Facebook creepers…) I met Mike on the internet.
I’d tried online dating a few years before, and once I was single again – I figured I’d give it another try. It’s sort of a win-win for girls, in my opinion. Yes, you have to sign up and pay a membership fee for most sites, but you usually make that money back after a few random dinner and/or movie dates. Thanks, guys I never went out with again!
Anyway. So, I rejoined match.com like three years later, and went out with some teachers, some computery types, a lot of runners (not, like, professionally) and some super-sensitive fellas. Somewhere in the middle of all that other stuff, I emailed some guy with a beard and glasses. And then he didn’t answer me…
After six months, I was still looking, and I decided I’d let the membership end. It was almost summertime, I was thin again, and my few remaining single friends and I had big plans (i.e. go to bars, drink too much, make out with strangers, etc.).
So, I cancelled the membership – and decided to give it a go the “old fashioned way.” My account was paid up for another week, and the day after I canceled everything, Mike, the bearded guy, emailed me back. Four weeks later.
So, we emailed for a few days (I told him his timing was awesome, he apologized for taking so long to get back to me), and I gave him my number. We decided to go out to dinner that Friday night – and we discovered that we only lived three miles apart. Now, Rule #1 of online dating is you never tell a stranger you just met on the internet where you live. But I’m lazy, and he promised not to rape/murder/kidnap/human traffic me (yes, I realize a raping/murdering/kidnapper would make such a promise), so I gave him my address (sorry mom!) and told him to pick me up.
At the time I was living in a townhouse, and I didn’t have a lawnmower. The G-man took it with him when he moved out, so my grass hadn’t been cut in a while. And it was mid-May, so the grass? It was tall. Like, the neighbors hated me. I was that guy. When I gave Mike my address, I warned him about the front yard.
“I don’t know what would horrify my mother more. The fact that I told you where I live, or the fact that I’m letting you see my grass like this.” Later, I told her I said that to him. And, I was right — she couldn’t decide which was worse.
Anyway — he also warned me that a coworker spilled a bottle of water in his backseat on the way to a meeting in DC, which went undetected for several hours, so now his car had a horrible mildew smell he couldn’t get rid of. Sexy, right?!
I promised to ignore the smell if he promised to ignore my grass. We were off to an excellent start.
Now, up until this point — every first date I had was agonizing. And I don’t mean the dates themselves – most of them were all really good. But the anxiety I had all day leading up to each one was terrible. I don’t know where it came from, really — I’d usually talked to these guys in advance, I knew what I catch I was (modest, I know), and I’m definitely not easily intimidated… But every first or second date I had, my instinct was to flee at the last possible second and just stand them up.
With everyone, except Mike.
All day before dinner, I was totally calm. Not once did I think I might throw up.
He picked me up for dinner (he forgot my address, and said he almost passed the house, but then he saw the grass, and figured he was in the right place) and he was ADORABLE. Ashley = Smitten.
We went to Catonsville Gourmet, stopped for some booze (yay, byob!), and were walking to our table when we ran into his parent’s best friends. After some brief introductions and some awkward we-just-met conversation, we sat down and started talking…
He was smart and cute, and funny and charming.
I told him that there was a chance I could be allergic to shellfish, but I eat it anyway. (True story, my grandma ate shellfish her whole life, and then one night she almost died because she had shrimp for dinner…) So, I usually warn everyone I’m with, “Hey, if my throat closes up, tell the paramedics it was the crabcake.”
Most people react with horror.
“You’re still going to eat that?!”
“Do you carry an EpiPen? Where is it?!”
“Do you think that’s a good idea?!”
Mike nodded and said, “Well, I’m allergic to Mister Bubble. I don’t know what you had planned for later, but if bubble bath is involved we should pick up another brand.”
Can you be double smitten? Yes. You can. And I was.
After that? Our second date was two days later — we went to the movies. While we were walking around the mall after the movie, he kept randomly making up songs. And then he’d stop and say, “I’m sorry, I don’t know why I’m singing…”
I do. It’s because you’re in love with me.
Two weeks later, we met each others’ parents. A month after that I unofficially moved in (he had AC, I did not, and I don’t like sweating — a trait we share, conveniently). A month after that he took me to Jamaica for a week (where I learned hammocks make him nauseous, Ritz Carltons are awesome, and hurricanes are serious business).
By October, we officially lived together. In December, we adopted a puppy. A week later we were engaged.
Best three years, ever.
Love you, Bubz!