Can I be honest with you? I’m feeling exceptionally stabby today. I’ve taken just about all I can from people, so I’m rage-petting my dog and retreating to my safe space: writing. Adults, in particular, have proven to be one epic fail after another, proudly showing off ugly underbellies and spewing heartless volatility. I’m over them.
ANYWAY. Instead of focusing on the countless things making me extra hostile today, like am I suddenly and hesitantly respecting Mitt Romney?! I’m choosing to focus on what makes my heart smile by turning the “How I Met My Significant Other” made-for-social-media fun into this here blog post. The story of how my husband, Zach, and I met makes me smile and so I’m forcing it upon you.
Plus, it’s almost Valentine’s Day so let’s indulge in a little sappy crap.
Here you have it:
We grew up just a few miles from one another, in neighboring small towns. We attended the same high school, played the same sports, and likely crossed paths a million times. But because Zach was two years older than I, and our high school graduated close to 400 students a year, the age gap was monumental at the time. If we ever shared a class or hung out outside of school, we never knew.
After high school, we actually attended the same college and both majored in education. We knew a lot of the same people, many of whom had gone to our high school. Neither of us were Greek; instead we flew our geek flags high, participating only in academic fraternities. Except, of course, for actual frat parties. But again, if we were ever at the same house party together, we never knew.
It wasn’t until Zach graduated from college and had been hired to teach at our high school alma mater that we finally met. At a bar. Because, college.
I distinctly remember accidentally bumping into him, and when we made eye contact, I thought “well, hello there!” I was immediately attracted to Zach’s flawless olive skin and big hazel eyes. His facial hair was impeccably maintained and did a nice job of highlighting his bright smile. He had ridiculously white teeth which was a huge turn-on for me because I’m a simple, simple girl. I kind of recognized him, and he thought I was familiar, but we couldn’t figure out why. After chatting for a bit, we realized what it was: he had been at my house more than me in recent months! He’d been tutoring my brother in calculus, sitting in my seat at my family’s dinner table for the better part of the school year. He and my dad had also begun coaching my brother’s baseball together, going out to breakfast together! What the what?!
It was super trippy for me; I just couldn’t believe we were only meeting now! It was like the universe kept us from one another until the very moment we were meant to meet.
Then his annoying friend interrupted us and I later learned he requested Zach back off so he could ask me out. Being the nice guy Zach is (I hate this part of the story–fight for me, man!!!), my would-be husband stepped aside.
I was none too pleased with his friend, but went on the date anyway because I’m a lady and ladies always say yes to a free meal. The food was good, the date was awful, the end.
Fast forward to spring and I made sure I went to as many of my brother’s baseball games as possible. I’m a legit baseball fan, but I was also trying to reunite with the man who continued to eat my mom’s lasagna from my seat at the table.
I did my best impression of a flirty girl. That looked a lot like drinking beer after the games and pretending to care about discussions centered around pick-off moves and curve balls. I drove back and forth from college to all those freaking games, for all those freaking conversations, and NOTHING.
Finally, I confessed to my dad–who had become pretty good friends with Zach–that I was trying my hardest to drop subtle hints that I was interested. My dad laughed and told me something I’ve remembered to this day: “Men don’t do subtle. Especially Zach. Tell him what you want.”
I made a plan. Back at home, I knew my brother was expecting a call from Zach regarding a private hitting lesson or whatever the hell who cares, so I planned to intercept that call. OH YES. I waited by the phone…and waited. Then finally, I had to pee. Full disclosure: when Zach did call, I was on the toilet. Sure did answer anyway. The conversation went something like this:
Me: I’ve been trying to drop hints and flirt or whatever. I’m not good at this stuff, and my dad said you’re a direct kind of guy so here’s me being direct: I’m interested in you and wondered if we could, like, hang out not at a baseball game?
Me: *grateful to be on the toilet whilst I shat myself waiting for what felt like for-ev-er*
Him, in the loudest voice I’ve ever heard: YES! I AM INTERESTED, THANK YOU FOR ASKING! LET ME GET A PEN AND I WILL WRITE DOWN YOUR NUMBER AND WE CAN GET TOGETHER SOON!
It felt a little like a business transaction, but I learned that’s just Zach. Logical, pragmatic, business-y. He was still hot, so I didn’t give up.
I didn’t give up when he was almost two hours late for our first date. Baseball game went into extra innings.
I didn’t give up when he started falling asleep toward the end of our dates. I soon came to understand the exhaustion that is the first year of teaching.
And Zach didn’t give up on me when my ex would “pop in” at my college apartment, disguising his not-so-subtle reminder of his proximity with requests to borrow a toaster. Ex lived nearby, Zach did not. Got it.
Zach didn’t give up on me when I started asking those kinds of questions, like “where do you see us in a year?” I cringed just writing that.
A few months into our relationship, Zach didn’t renew his apartment lease and began the hunt for his first house. I was ecstatic when he invited my HGTV-loving self to come along, though I imagine his parents were probably like, “Why’s this girl here?!” He later confessed he knew I’d eventually be living with him and wanted to make sure I liked whatever house he bought. As far as Zach romance goes, that’s a solid four out of five stars. His proposal plan, which I ruined, was a 5/5, highly recommend.
17 years, 3 kids, and 2 houses later, Zach has earned every letter of his #HusbandWTF nickname. He exudes seemingly misplaced logic like when he talks to a baby with the same volume and intensity he used during our first phone call: HELLO, SMALL CHILD. ARE YOU HAVING A GOOD DAY? He’s goodhearted and makes me laugh like no one else can. But seriously, who doesn’t have a baby voice?!
Zach is a most predictable man, telling the same ol’ stories every holiday/vacation/whenever a certain song comes on the radio. His dad joke game is strong. Our kids’ friends have begun impersonating him and it’s really a thing of beauty. The kids and I laugh at (with?) him and roll our eyes all the time, but I take such comfort in knowing Zach’s shenanigans also give our family the gift of security.
Also? This picture.
Daddy, you hold ma hand so I eats?