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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Love and Harry Potter, Part 1


This week leads up to our sixth wedding anniversary.  Since our story is a pretty good one, and yes, I’m biased, that will be my topic for a few posts. 

Part 1 begins at Butler University in Indianapolis in 1990.  Trevor and I were both freshman that year, and we had a speech class together.  We had a lot of fun during that class, writing each other notes back and forth, whispering, and laughing.  Trevor was gone a lot because he traveled with the debate team, and speech class really wasn’t as fun when he was gone.  We studied together in the C-Club, though I’m sure we spent more time talking than we did studying.  I had a car, so I would drive T places if he needed a ride.  We were good friends for the two years he stayed at Butler, but after our sophomore year, he returned to Lexington to finish his undergrad studies at the University of Kentucky.  I missed him, but we wrote to each other, and even sent each other audiocassettes for a few months.  After a while, we lost touch.  I always wondered what happened to him, what he was doing, and if he was happy. 

Fast forward to the year 2001.  I was back living in Valpo.  I had stayed in Indianapolis after graduating from Butler, and I taught for four years.  After an unfortunate mistake (aka marriage #1), I moved home to heal and try to remember who I was.  It was really hard being back, having a new job, and having to make all new friends.  In the middle of everything, I got a surprising message on my school email account.  As soon as I saw it was from Trevor, I remember smiling and laughing out loud.  I was SO happy to hear from him again.  He had put my name into a search engine; apparently he had always wondered about me, too.  We emailed back and forth and talked on the phone for about a year.  In the summer of 2002, I decided to drive down to Lexington to visit Trevor.  I was nervous about seeing him only because I wondered if we would have enough to talk about after almost ten years.  I shouldn’t have worried because he was the same wonderful guy he had been in college.  We had a really fun weekend together…if you don’t count the heinously jealous girlfriend T had at the time.  She was mean, rude, and hateful to me.  Bad move, sister.  I honestly had no designs on T at the time: we were both seeing other people and I wasn’t interested in breaking up anyone’s relationship.  She spent the entire evening ignoring me, trashing me to the friends she had brought along with her, and generally being a snarky female dog.  The Hag aside, it was amazing to spend time with Trevor again and I really loved seeing Lexington and all its beauty.

Another year went by before T and I saw each other again.  We had continued to email each other throughout that year, and I was happy when he said he wanted to come see me after a wedding he was going to attend in Chicago.  I was in graduate school at the time, so I was pretty busy at night.  He was patient and waited for my class to be over one night, and then we went to a bar for a drink and something to eat.  I remember very clearly that we had homemade potato chips.  One of the chips sort of looked like a state (I don’t remember which one) and T and I started a chip-whittling contest.  We each took a chip and tried to make it into a shape just using our teeth.  I know, juvenile, right?  We had the best time trying to decipher each other’s chip shapes and we laughed late into the night.  At another point during his visit, we went to my parents’ house for a cookout.  My mom had made a chocolate mousse with a new recipe, some sort of alternative ingredient that was supposed to make the mousse healthier.  Trevor was the first to try the dessert, and he audibly yummed his way through it.  A few minutes later, my mom took a bite of the mousse and actually shouted, “Put your spoons down!  It’s terrible!!”  Curious, I took a bite, and it was pretty bad.  But Trevor hadn’t wanted to hurt my mom’s feelings, so he gamely ate the entire dish of the tainted mousse.  Score one for him!  That evening, my brother called me.  Matt has always stayed out of my romantic life, so I was surprised that the reason he called was to talk about Trevor.  Matt basically told me that I was a fool if I let T get away.  I hung up really confused.  Trevor was a friend, a good friend, but I didn’t think about him in a romantic sense, did I?  Then I started thinking about the time I spent with him, and it was like a bolt of lightning hit me in the head. Things were so easy with Trevor; I could be myself, there was no drama, and we laughed all the time.  OMG.  This was how it’s supposed to be.  All of a sudden, I started thinking maybe my brother wasn’t such a hamster brain after all. 

Trevor went back to Kentucky, and I stewed.  He was still dating The Hag, and I had to get rid of her.  In my defense, he wasn’t happy.  The only reason he hadn’t broken up with her at that point was that he was lazy; he didn’t have the momentum to do it.  And I wasn’t about to move in on him until she was history.  As we continued to email and talk on the phone, I slowly dropped subtle hints that I might be interested in dating him.  By subtle, I mean that, at one point, I said, “So, when are you going to dump The Hag?”  Uh huh.  Smooth, no?  That was the summer that the fifth book of the Harry Potter series came out.  T and I were and still are HUGE fans of the Harry Potter books, and we were both reading the book at the same time.  We would email each other throughout the day so we could talk about the book, and I was anxiously await for my dial-up connection to bring up AOL so I could hear, “You’ve got mail.”  Each time I heard that announcement, my heart would do an extra bump in my chest.  It was sweet to talk to him about the book and spar a little about our opinions of the plot and characters. 

In fairly short order, The Hag was history, and it was time to make my move.  I knew Trevor wouldn’t ever broach the subject of us being a couple, so I would have to do it on my own.  Here comes one of the insanely geeky parts: I sent him an owl via email to invite him to come back to visit for the Fourth of July.  (If you haven’t read the Harry Potter books, sending an owl is the way wizards send mail to one another.)  I even pretended the owl was from my cat, Judy, because I wasn’t quite ready to totally put myself out there yet.  What if T wasn’t interested in being more than friends?  I had gone through a string not-so-great relationships, and I wasn’t excited about throwing myself at someone who didn’t feel the same way.  Luckily, Trevor answered my owl in the affirmative, and he came up to visit that weekend.             

Trevor had broken his finger playing softball the week before, so he spent a lot of the weekend in a Lortab haze.  I often wonder if that’s why he agreed that we should start dating.  But agree, he did, and we dated long-distance for the next two years. 

To be continued…

3 comments:

  1. Such a great story of how you guys met and "courted" - can't wait for Part 2!

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  2. What a terrific love story. You two are truly made for each other. ;)

    Do you still have any of those courtship mix tapes? It would be awesome to listen to one of those on your anniversary.

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  3. Hey...I remember that "hag"...she wasn't very nice. I laughed out loud as I read the words "audiocassettes". I think I have a vague memory of my mom having some of those. ;-)

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