I am not the kind of wife that remembers and celebrates every little thing about mine and Brian's relationship. In fact, I just realized a couple of weeks ago that our anniversary is on Tuesday. So, in celebration, I thought I'd share our story.
Brian and I both went to the same college, only I was there first. I had the BEST dorm room, it faced the parking lot/main walkway to classes (it was a small college), and it was in the hallway where everyone walked to/from the cafeteria as well as between the girls' and boys' dorms. We hardly ever had the door shut, we were a social hub, and we knew a lot about what was going on outside too! One fall I noticed there was a new boy (not a freshman) who drove this really cool jacked-up jeep, so I started spying. I mean, I did my homework right there by that window, so I just kept my eye on it. Soon, I figured out that Brian drove that jeep.
I didn't know his name at the time, but I soon learned it when my roommate and I bombarded him at lunch in the cafeteria one day. He was sitting alone, we were 2 and confident, so we took it upon ourselves to join him. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Soon, Brian joined the little group of boys I often hung out with who affectionately called themselves the "not-so-pretty-people." This was because we lived in Southern California and at our school we were surrounded by above average beauty. The not-so-pretty-people weren't ugly, just normal looking, like the rest of us! ie. pasty white from playing video games all day instead of deep bronzed tan from going to the beach everyday, a little doughy from those late night runs to In 'n Out Burger (which was within walking distance, very convenient), or possibly so skinny that it was a little embarrassing to swim with no shirt on. Anyway, what these guys thought they lacked in looks, they more than made up for in personality and humor!
I graduated first (2001), but came back the next year to attend a mutual friend's graduation from Cal State Fullerton (2002). At the time, Brian lived with this friend of ours in this crazy guest house place that had a half address. Sometimes when we all get together, the boys still talk about "127 1/2"...that's what they refer to it as because that was their address. After that visit, Brian and I started to email each other daily. He had this crap job where he was done with his work by 11am and had nothing to do but play online the rest of the day. He would tell me stories about this place and had names for all his coworkers like "giant Barbie," "Dirty Old Man," and John. John was someone we knew from college who also worked with Brian. Through these emails we really got to know one another...then we discovered IM.
At the time, I was living in Oregon and just starting my Masters program for my teaching certificate. Brian was still living at 127 1/2 (although at one point he was living upstairs, so it was really 127 1/2B), and attending graduate school at Fuller Theological Seminary. We would still email regularly, and often talk for hours via instant messaging. I remember at one point having the "DTR" (this is Christian College speak, and stands for "define the relationship"), the first of many, and agreeing that we lived too far away from each other to be more than friends. But there was also an agreement that whoever graduated first and got a "real job," the other one would do his/her best to move to the same place so we could date. This agreement will be important later in the story.
As time went on, it became clear that I was going to have to move if I wanted to really be a teacher and make enough money to have my own place. My dad had recently moved to Arizona, so at the teacher fair, I checked out school districts in the Phoenix area. As luck would have it, I got a job and moved to Phoenix in July 2005 (I know...if you've been to Phoenix ever in July you understand how horrible that was!). This left me only a 5 hour drive away from Brian, and made visiting easier. I also had other friends in the area, so it didn't have to seem like I was coming JUST to see Brian. However, after a few visits, we needed to DTR again.
That fall, our mutual friend was getting married. He had moved to Merced (Fresno, really), and Brian had moved to a new place too. Brian was in the wedding party, and my friend, who I still to this day love for doing this, cornered Brian into officially making me his "date" so that I could sit with him at the head table. ...and then we were dating. This was October 2005.
I started making once a month trips to see Brian when I had 3 day weekend preferably, but sometimes just leaving right after school Friday and coming home Sunday night. We had fun. We'd go out to dinner at crazy places that he couldn't go alone or with another guy, we'd eat Little Ceaser's Pizza on the sidewalk, I'd stay up all night watching girly movies on his cable and crying until he ended his shift at 1:00 in the morning. One time I even made him dinner and delivered it to the store where he worked (by now he was working at Starbucks). There was never talk of marriage, we were just having fun...until I reminded him of that deal we made. He didn't remember that we said whoever got a job after graduating first, the other one would try to move there. I will NEVER EVER EVER live in Southern California EVER again, so Brian was going to have to move to Phoenix.
Brian had a friend he used to work with at Starbucks, who had moved into a new division of the company, a division called Food Service, and he really liked it. He got out of the store/retail, made more money, and worked from home. Brian thought this sounded like a good place to grow in the company...after all, he didn't want to do 4am shifts forever!! Plus, his degree is in Philosophy...what else is he gonna do? Soon enough, a position opened in Food Service...in Southern California. I told him if he got the job, I would move there, because I could teach anywhere, but I knew that job was important to him. And he agreed that if he didn't get the job, he'd put in a transfer to Phoenix, and move here. Well, he didn't get the job.
Veterans Day 2006, we packed all of Brian's stuff into a little U-Haul trailor and headed to Phoenix. He started working at the Starbucks at the Ritz Carlton, so he would come home and tell stories about seeing famous people (because nobody's gonna pass up a starbucks no matter how famous you are!), mostly athletes, and meeting a lot of VERY VERY rich people. But he still was working 4am shifts, and he even had to work Thanksgiving Day. It wasn't ideal. However, within a month of moving, the same job he applied for in California opened up in Phoenix. (do you believe in fate?) He talked to people, practice-interviewed, learned as much as he could about that division of the company...and whattyaknow, he got the job.
The rest is history. He proposed January 7, 2007, we got married in Vegas the following June (the 22nd, as a matter of fact), enjoyed a honeymoon in the Caribbean, bought a house, and now it's been 3 years and we have a baby. My how far we've come.