Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pre-Engagement Dating (441 Days to Go)

As I mentioned in my last post, our engagement was relatively traditional if you will.  We had been dating for exactly ten and a half months which to some might seem a little early, but right from the beginning we had hit it off.  I think that's partially thanks to the fact that we met through online dating.  We skipped over some of that awkward "so who exactly are you?" conversation and could on the very first date get a little more in depth.  I can't remember everything that we talked about on our first date.  But I know that we went from hot chocolate at the diner, to watching the Superbowl over a few drinks, to just relaxing and talking before we even realized how incredibly late it was.  We talked about the business he ran with his father--a scuba diving shop.  We talked about my schooling--a masters in forensic science and how someday I wanted to work for the FBI.  He was probably the first guy to not go running screaming from the room when I told him I wanted to carry a badge and a gun some day.  In fact, he thought it was incredibly cool.  Granted, I thought his job was awesome.  But what's not awesome about getting to do what you love and when you love to swim in the ocean, it really doesn't get a whole lot better than that.  

It was as if that fateful night a little over a year ago, we started a conversation that still hasn't ended.  I'm not saying that every night we sit down to dinner we have stimulating conversations.  We're perfectly content to just smile and eat and since he's part Italian, he particularly likes the eating part.  Speaking of which, I'm still trying to learn how to go from relatively bland German/Irish cooking to Italian spices.  But what I was trying to get at is that we still aren't tired of each other.  We still want each other around nearly constantly.  Early on in our relationship, I went to Seattle for the AAFS conference and we exchanged a couple hundred texts in the span of time that I was gone.  That's when I knew he was a total keeper because despite the fact that I was 3,000+ miles away, crazy busy sightseeing, preparing for my own presentation to give, and going out nearly every night, I couldn't keep this red headed Scotch/Italian boy off my mind.

A week after I got back, he introduced me to his parents and told me that he loved me.  No, not in front of them, but in the truck on our way out to dinner.  It was so sweet and simple.  And every time that I drive past that spot, I can still picture it plain as day.  That's just the way my guy is.  He makes being romantic look ridiculously easy and I'm jealous because I try very hard and usually fall kinda flat.  Since then we've survived countless fire hall bingos (hey, those old ladies are crazy!), a gas camping stove that is determined to blow itself up, teaching me to scuba dive, and even an underwater panic attack I experienced around Halloween this past year.  Long story short, I have pretty bad allergies that created too much sinus pressure once I hit a certain depth.  Migraines are bad above water, try having them below water when you can't properly scream or explain the pain to anyone.

After I graduated we started to talk about moving in together.  I'd been living on my own for about a year at that point so the logistics of taking a fully furnished bachelorette pad and moving it into a fully furnished bachelor pad proved interesting to say the least.  We had two of everything.  Two dining room tables, two beds, two couches, two microwaves, two of everything.  Most of the duplicates went into a dumpster after a failed attempt to Craigslist and yard sale.  It was very difficult for me for a while because it felt like I was giving up most of my possessions and my freedom all at once.  It was made more difficult when we were having to discuss what to do with my cat who was just shy of turning two at the time.  One of my good college friends had given me the cat when I'd gotten my own pad and it was breaking my heart that Diana was having a hard time adjusting to the move.

But we survived the ordeal of moving in together with relatively few fights, but none of which did any lasting damage.  And usually when we do fight, we manage to get it resolved before we go to bed at night.  I remember one particular fight that happened during the moving period.  I went to bed alone that night because he was out late and when I woke up in the morning, a daisy was stuck in the foot of the bed and a trail of petals going to the dining room.  There was a huge bouquet of flowers and a card.  The card was your typical "I love you" Hallmark card but written on the blank side was an apology for not being there to help me move furniture as he'd promised to do and promising to not let it happen again.  The rest of the move went smoothly from that moment on.  It was the sweetest thing anybody had ever done for me and as upset and hurt as I'd been the night before, it was all erased.  I know I've made my mistakes too, but I've never been as good at coming up with romantic apologies.

Ever since we've made it our mission to never go to bed angry with one another, and if possible not even angry at the world in general.

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