Friday, August 9, 2013

Journey to Us - Part 4

You can read the first 3 parts of our love story here.

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So it was the Summer of 2007 and I was trying to figure out my new direction in life. I wasn't taking classes but I was the manager at a local restaurant. We had just fired our night manager and I was working 14 hour days to cover her shifts. I came home one night around 1 am and turned on my computer to check my emails. My AOL instant messenger popped up (this is 1. making me feel old and 2. bringing back great memories) and a screen name I didn't recognize had sent me a message. The details are now lost from my foggy brain but I'm sure it said something really smooth like "hey".

Let me just stop here and clarify one thing. I did not - in any way, shape, form, or fashion - want to date anyone at this point in my life. Actually, I was contemplating whether or not I ever wanted to date again. I was settling in comfortably to the thought of being single for the rest of my life. I know people say this a lot but I actually mean it. I'm a loner by nature and tend to hate roommates (my OCD personality makes me a horrible one anyways) so I really thought I could do life on my own. The one person I had trusted most in life had just cheated on me and I didn't think I'd ever be able to fully trust anyone again. I also didn't believe in soul mates. I thought you could choose to spend your life with anyone and be happy; and I still think that to an extent. But more on that later...

So that's where I was. Back to the regular scheduled programming...

I typed a quick hello back and went to bed, not really thinking anything of it. Over the next few days I discovered that the man on the other side of the screen name was T and we began some general conversation. At some point I got an email from him, we exchanged phone numbers, and started texting. He could probably tell you how long this went on. I'm really not sure if it was a day or a month...sometimes my memory sucks. But nonetheless we decided I'd come watch him play because he was living about 3 hours from where I was.

That night was certainly an experience for me. I got lost 500 times on the way there, was running about 2 hours late, and was a bit flustered. When I finally made it, T had told the parking lot attendant to be looking out for me and direct me to where I was supposed to go. I had just enough time to run by the locker room...sorry...clubhouse (apparently that is the baseball version of a locker room. Don't forget.) and T cam out to say hi.

Now remember.

This is about 2 years after our initial meeting. Maybe 3 (remember? My memory...).

I was worried it was going to be a little awkward but it wasn't at all. After the game (which I remember that he pitched in but I couldn't tell you anything else at all about the game, though he could probably recall pitch by pitch) we went to Applebees and the conversation flowed easily. I quickly remembered what drew me to him in the first place; his kind spirit, outgoing personality, and genuineness. That night I knew that my satisfaction as a single lady was in jeopardy. This guy was magnetic (if you're reading this T, don't let your head grow too much). His personality made you want to sit down and stay for a while and he was... homey.

I really don't have another word for it. Not homely but just...

Ok. Right here I'd like to say "just like home" but I realize how ridiculously cheezy that sounds. I really have no other way of explaining it except you know when you've had a really long day and at the end of it you can finally sit down with a good book (or whatever relaxes you) and take a deep breath? He was that deep breath for me.

Ok. Still a little too cheezy but I honestly don't know how else to put it. Moving right along.

I felt comfortable and natural with him and genuinely enjoyed the weekend. I went back to Auburn and we continued to talk and I'd visit when he was playing close enough to my town. After maybe a month (???? I could be really off) he asked to meet my family.

Oh boy.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before but I happen to have 10 sisters, a brother, and mom and dad. Not to mention that my aunt, uncle, their 3 kids, grandmother, and grandfather all live relatively close and are always at the house. T knew this and was still asking to meet them.

Sink or swim, right?

T swam beautifully.

I believe there was around 17 people at dinner that night? About 10 of those were kids and they all wanted to be right next to T. He took it in stride and was the same guy I had witnessed prior to this meeting with my family. He spoke warmly to them, got down on their level and played with them, and when they all asked to go to the pool that night he never wavered and seemed to enjoy himself.

If I hadn't already been in trouble, this night would've done it.

I have always wanted kids, and lots of them. In that moment I was able to see how he would be as a father to my children. I was a goner.

I had no idea why but I couldn't shake him off as temporary like I'd been able to do other guys since my breakup. And to top off my trust issues, this guy played minor league baseball.

Come onnnn.

I didn't know anything about baseball (still don't, to be honest) but I had heard stories about baseball players. I wasn't sure I wanted that. I didn't want the long distance, I didn't want the worrying about him on road trips, I didn't want that lifestyle.

But I wanted him.

That's all for now. Until next time.