For our 10th anniversary, I wrote a series of 33 drabbles (f-locked) about how we met and got together. For those who haven't heard the story, it's our 15th anniversary, so I'm going to wax sentimental for a moment.
Bobby and I met when we both went to the same high school magnet program for math, science, and computer science. We were in homeroom together and had most of our classes together. We became fast friends, mostly because we shared a similar eccentric sense of humor. Going to the magnet program was a major turning point for me; it allowed me to cast off associations with the majority of people who had known me in elementary and middle schools, when years of abuse by peers gave me a reputation of being shy and also put into place some pretty strong biases against associating with me. Going to the magnet school, I had a chance to start with a clean slate.
I was hardly popular, though; I had a small group of friends that weren't of the hardcore nerds and weren't of the popular kids either. (Yes, even nerd magnet programs have popular kids--mostly jocks, go figure! That eliminated me right off.) Bobby, on the other hand, was popular. I still tell him to this day that I don't know why he had much to do with me*. Walking in the hall with him, every other person it seemed would call hello to him. I didn't recognize many of them, so I'd ask, "Who was that?"
Shrug. "I don't know."
* I recently asked him why he wanted to be my friend and, eventually, my boyfriend. He told me that he thought I was cool. And I wasn't hard on the eyes either! :D
Throughout much of 9th grade, our relationship was entirely platonic. We had a slew of inside jokes and horsed around constantly. One day in mid-May, I was sitting in homeroom with my best friend Lily, and we were typing notes back and forth to each other on our graphing calculators (it was a nerd school!!), and she typed to me, "Why don't you just admit that you're in love with Bobby?"
At first I dismissed it. I knew perfectly well that Bobby and I were just good friends! Then I had a serious holy-shit moment: Holy shit. I am in love with Bobby!
Bobby was also cool and also was not hard on the eyes. Here we are at Homecoming in the 10th grade, which would have been about four months after we started dating.
But the actually getting to the "started dating" part is the good part of the story. At least, it is looking back. At the time, it was fairly mortifying.
I was pretty precocious romantically for a magnet school kid. I'd had 1.5 boyfriends before Bobby (the 0.5 was a boy who asked me out at the end of 8th grade and I never actually went out with before he broke up with my parents' answering machine halfway through the summer). All 1.5 of my boyfriends had asked me out; I wasn't particularly interested in either but agreed because it seemed the thing to do. Neither, not surprisingly, went very far or lasted very long. Bobby, despite his popularity, hadn't had a girlfriend at all. So neither of us was particularly cool or suave in approaching the opposite sex romantically.
There was an end-of-the-year dance coming up on May 31. It was being held in the school's courtyard--which was a very cool spot for a 9th grade magnet kid--and everyone was going. It was going to be awesome.
Bobby and I had a mutual friend, Will, who Bobby went to middle school with. Since Lily had made me realize that, yes, I was in love with Bobby *insert teen-worthy hyperventilation here* I had been drawing little hearts with the number 33 inside of them. 33 was Bobby's hockey number. Well, on the day of the dance, Will spotted one and immediately knew what it was.
"You like Bob!"
He grudgingly coaxed the information out of me that, yes, I did indeed "like" Bobby. (The word like has such a different connotation when you're 14-going-on-15!) He proceeded to tell me, "You will ask him to the dance then." Of course, I refused. Someone like me didn't ask someone like Bobby to the dance. We were friends, yes, but we traveled in completely different circles, and there was no question as to who was the socially superior. Finally, Will told me, "I'm going to ask him for you, then."
"Okay," I told him, figuring it'd keep him off my back and let me once and for all forget Bobby, because I knew he'd never say yes.
I should also add that, at this point in our academic careers, Bobby had a foot out the door of the magnet program. It wasn't for him. He had started the proceedings to return to his home high school for his sophomore year.
Will did indeed ask Bobby to the dance for me. Unfortunately, he called Bobby over to my computer during computer science to do it. I was mortified! I remember pleading, "Please, Will, don't," over and over again, then just staring at my keyboard, petrified. I didn't hear what Will asked or what Bobby said. I had to ask my friend Kara, who was sitting next to me, what Bobby's answer had been.
He said yes.
But we weren't to the dance and safe in each other's arms yet, and love-shy nerds know no bounds when it comes to dreaming up ways to avoid confronting a potential mate! When we arrived at the school for the dance, Bobby was at the school door with his friends. So I did the logical thing and refused to get out of the car. Luckily, Lily bodily dragged me from the car.
Despite the fact that the dance was held in the courtyard--a confined space--we managed to not come within 20 feet of each other for the first hour of the dance. We didn't even look at each other. Finally, a slow song came on, Lily grabbed me, Will grabbed Bobby, and they dragged us together and pushed us at each other. Lily said, "She likes you, you like her, so dance." So we did, and that was beginning of the past 15 years.
Bobby never did ask me out, and I sure didn't ask him. Asking someone out, of course, meant that you were together in high school terms. The next weekend, he accompanied me on a band trip to a local theme park. We spent the summer together, including a week in Ocean City with his family. Somewhere in there, I guess we gave silent assent to the fact that we were, indeed, "going out." He never asked me to marry him, either, and I sure didn't ask him. Yet again, we sort of arrived at the conclusion that we would get married someday. So we did.
He also decided to stay at the magnet school and ended up being quite successful.
At the dance? OMG was Bobby hot! He had on a New York Yankees T-shirt and jersey open over it, a pair of jean shorts, and sandals with socks. His parents still make fun of him for that outfit--and the copious amounts of cologne he apparently nabbed from his dad--but at the time, he could do no sartorial wrong in my lovestruck eyes. Right now? I can see him out the window right now, squatting in the garden and picking strawberries. Fifteen years later, OMG, he's still hot!
This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!