I keep putting off my Join the Movement post. I’m rebelling. It’s a hard post to write because I am still not sure what I am even supposed to write about.
I thought for this one I would talk about how Chris and I met, and what occurred before we started dating. I realize it has nothing to do with infertility. However, the events that took place in our past prepped us to deal with the future, together.
I was 16 when I got my first real job at Panera, a bakery-cafe. My first night there, I was training with a guy that went on to be one of my closest friends in high school. No, it wasn’t Chris. But this guy was showing me the line where the sandwiches and salads were made and these two guys came up to me and introduced themselves. One was a guy whose face has long since left my memory. The other was a 19 year old Chris. I introduced myself to them, giggling because, hey I was 16, and said hi. I made eye contact with Chris. I had no idea at the time that I was staring into the eyes of my future husband.
He became sort of a big brother to me. A few months after I started there, Chris became a shift manager. He would give me his meal discounts, open all the hot soup bags for me, and listened to me as I sat in the manager office after the store closed and everyone had left, giving me boyfriend advice. I learned years later that he in fact had major hots for me and I was completely oblivious. Which would explain all the little things he did for me. To me though, he was my Chris.
One night I got my period at work and there were no tampons anywhere. A store made up of 80% women, and no one had a tampon. Chris ran to Target on his dinner break and brought me back a box of tampons. Between my embarrassed giggles, I was pretty impressed.
There was one night that I cut myself with one of the knives. I did that a lot. I was in the back room, trying not to cry as I washed my hand in the sink. Chris ended up driving me home. He even came in and met my mom. He was the poster boy of every mom’s dream for her daughter. He was polite. He introduced himself to her. He was everything my mom was looking for in a son-in-law.
“I bet you guys will get married someday,” she told me a few days later.
“Mom!” I said, horrified, “He’s like my brother!”
That comment wasn’t lost on me though.
I had a girlfriend there who was a mutual friend. She ended up telling me one night that Chris told her he liked me. I was in a panic. I was so mad at him. He was my Chris. He was the one guy since my Daddy to treat me halfway decent and I was not going to do anything to jeopardize that with a relationship for crying out loud. After all, my brain rationalized, if we dated and it didn’t work out, I would lose the last important guy in my life.
I left Panera when I was barely 18, to be a PCA for a school internship. I got my belly-button pierced, got a tattoo, and my hair foiled for my 18th birthday. I went with my cousin to go to Panera not long after to see the people working that night. Never mind that Chris totally had a crush on my cousin. He told me later that I looked like Rogue from X-Men. (He is a little nerdy like that.)
After I left, Chris transferred to another store. We started getting together once a month to go out to eat. Some people might disagree, but it was completely platonic. We each were dating people and I would tell him everything. He was one of my best friends.
I told him one night about how my mom thought we were going to get married someday. He kind of did this awkward laugh and I started blushing furiously.
But I did want to marry him. I just didn’t want to date him.
I know. Weird. But he was the man in my life. The one I could talk to about anything. Why ruin that when I was an 18 year old immature brat? My rationale for it was that I didn’t want to date casually and ruin my chances forever if we broke up.
So we stayed friends. We went out to dinners, we talked on the phone, we dated other people. He asked me to be his date for a wedding several months down the road. We stayed friends.
Until he started dating HER.
I called him one night and noticed he sounded distracted. Finally he asked if I could let him go because he was with his new girlfriend.
Fuck no. That was MY guy.
It all went downhill from there. Suddenly, the man I always saw as my buddy, my confidante, was taken. Maybe my heart was changing, because his girlfriends had never bothered me in the least. But this was the first time I was ever shot down for another girl. And that simply wasn’t going to fly.
He became my biggest crush. I realized that night after I got off the phone with him that not only did I have the total hots for this guy that I had hugged twice in my life up to that point, but I realized something else.
I was totally, completely, desperately in love with him.
He has told me after that, that even though he was dating HER, he made a promise to me and still wanted me to be his date to his friend’s wedding. Some of you are raising your eyebrows. Hmm. Did he like me too? Was there something more than just a friendship going on? You know, I have never asked him that. Why he had me go to the wedding with him and not his girlfriend. It’s interesting. Every time I had asked him he gave me the usual, “Well I had asked you first. It wouldn’t have been fair to you.” Uh huh.
My parents weren’t too thrilled about letting me travel several miles north to stay overnight with a boy at 18. But this wasn’t just any boy. This was Chris, the Poster Boy. It’s probably why they didn’t put up too much fuss 🙂
For two weeks up to the wedding, I obsessively
plotted day-dreamed about stealing him away with a kiss. It was all I thought about.
Part two to follow. You know you don’t want to miss it.