I had lovely, relaxed sleep last night and I’m finally ready to put together a blog that contains more than pictures and youtube videos. Additionally, today is our 3rd anniversary. It is also the day before I take a week long hiatus from blogging. Therefore, everyone gets a mega-blog today.
The Story of Us
Oddly enough, I think I’m supposed to have started the blog with the story of us. I’m pretty sure that I put a little Cliff’s Notes version somewhere in the blog, but I haven’t done the full-out version…well…ever, actually. It’s sort of a complicated and yet oddly simple story, so it’s easy to sum it up in a handful of sentences. We met at Disney World. We were good friends and then we started dating. Now we’re getting married. And we lived happily ever after.
See? Pretty easy.
I feel like I should extend the story in honor of our anniversary, though, since there was more to it. So here we go:
When I met Kyle, I was already happily dating someone else. I was 19 and I had just moved from Utah to Florida with Zach (my then-boyfriend) so that we could do the 5 month Walt Disney World College Program. I had never moved away from home and I was pretty wiped out. I was put into an apt with 5 other girls and Zach was in the building next to me with 5 other boys. We had arrived with only two suitcases each, so after I hung up the seven or eight shirts I’d brought I walked over to Zach’s apartment to kill some time. I let myself in and walked to the back of the apartment, where Zach’s room was. When I walked in, there was someone sitting on the other twin bed and I have to admit that immediately a little alarm bell went off, because this person had ridiculously distracting bright blue eyes. And that’s how I met Kyle.
I have to stop right here and just throw out the fact that Kyle and I were both in relationships while we lived in Florida and absolutely nothing happened between us. There’s a sinister connotation that comes along with telling people that you met your fiance because he was your ex’s roommate. So I have to put that in there to the credit of everyone involved, including Zach and Kyle’s ex. So there.
Anyway, I’m not really sure how Kyle and I got to be such good friends. He had his convertible which made him a very valuable guy to know and he had also been to WDW a lot, so he knew his way around. I think mainly we became really close for three reasons:
- I abandoned my own apartment about two weeks into the program when I got into a fight with one of my roommates and basically moved in with the boys,
- Kyle and I both worked nights, while Zach worked days, so we had a lot of time to hang out, and
- Kyle’s long-distance girlfriend was incredibly high maitenance.
Honestly, it might have been that last thing more than anything. They had a lot of issues, most of which came out of her being problematic, and so we spent a whole lot of time talking about his relationship. Being the resident ovary-carrier, I was the only one in the apartment who really wanted to spend three hours saying things like, “it’s totally understandable that you feel that way” and “I’m sure she knows how much you love her.” In retrospect, he probably needed to cut his losses and get over it because she caused him a lot of unnecessary stress, but at the time it gave us something to talk about.
I’ll be honest, it’s not like I was completely oblivious to the fact that Kyle was pretty damn cute. I can remember a handful of uncomfortable moments when he’d be walking around the apartment half-dressed because he was actually completely oblivious to the fact that I was a girl and I would have to sit and stare intently at the Weather Channel and do this whole IlovemyboyfriendIlovemyboyfriend mantra in my head. I do remember confessing to Michelle that I was feeling vaguely guilty because every now and then I got butterflies while I was talking to him. Mostly, though, he was just Kyle and it was like having a little brother around. Plus, he and Zach were pretty good friends, so the three of us had a good time together. You have to remember, at this time I was still very in love with my boyfriend and dead set on getting engaged sometime in the next year.
Fast forward: We left. Kyle took us to the airport and everyone got a little choked up because we were never going to see each other again. We did the whole “keep in touch” thing, but it was pretty half-assed because I’m terrible at keeping in touch with anyone. There were a couple of phone calls in the first 2-3 months after we got home, but it was sort of a given that we were phasing out the friendship. And then I just happened to have something that I needed to send to Kyle and I couldn’t get ahold of him for two weeks, so I left about ten messages. I thought he was blowing me off, but it turned out he had gone through this awful breakup with the girlfriend he’d had in Florida and he was seriously a little mental about it.
That actually turned into at least 1-2 hours of phone time a day for an entire summer. He was in this terrible place and I had a lot of time on my hands because I was just working and living at home. I have actually never seen anyone take a break-up so hard. Completely flattened. Things got better for him when he went back to school at Ohio State, but we kept up with the nightly calls. Zach and I moved in together that fall but he was really tolerant about the whole Kyle/phone thing. I think the fact that he knew Kyle and knew he wasn’t threatening helped. Still, in retrospect we spent a ridiculous amount of time talking to each other, considering I was living with someone. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20.
And then I got dumped. And I can only describe it as having my brain sucked out through my eyeballs. All of the judgment I’d had about Kyle being squashed by some 18 year old sorority girl flew out the window and I ended up lying on my bathroom floor with the phone pressed to my ear like a life preserver while Kyle read me stories from the Akron newspaper so I didn’t throw myself into traffic.
Yeah, the break up sucked. Some teenager at Zach’s work asked him out and moved us into this whole new life-evaluation phase that quickly turned into me tossing stuff off of our balcony. It was Christmas time and I had to pack up and move back in with my parents in about two days and honestly Kyle was about the only thing that had me holding it together. The fact that he had lived through it was proof that I wasn’t going to actually shrivel up and the fact that I was going a little crazy was proof that he wasn’t a complete nut for falling apart about it. That winter break between semesters had us on the phone about 6 hours a day while we contemplated the theory of relationships in general and how it was a big conspiracy designed to make people feel bad about their lives. I really don’t know what I would have done without him. Most nights I would call and just be on the phone with him while he played his guitar and sang because I didn’t have the energy to carry on a conversation.
That sort of blended into a couple of months and things got less awful. Zach had a change of heart and we entered weird vague negotiations about getting back together. I moved back in, mainly because I was still sleeping on the floor of the hobby room in my parents house (they’d given my room to my little sister while I was gone) and I wasn’t sure if things would work out with us. We had taken a week off and booked a trip to Disneyland with Zach’s family over spring break, but as it got closer I was just more and more sure that the break up had actually been a good idea (gut wrenching as it was). So I switched my vacation plans and decided to go see Kyle over spring break, who was the only person I knew east of Colorado. I’d never been to Ohio and Kyle and I were still logging about an hour a day on the phone. And so, Zach went to Disneyland and I headed to Columbus.
I don’t know, actually, what I thought when I was headed out there. I know I was confused about the other relationship, but I don’t think I was really thinking anything about changing my relationship with Kyle. Ironically, however, our misery had made us somewhat more attractive. When we lived in Florida we’d both been happy and slightly plump. Our change in circumstances had led him to spend 3 manic hours per day working out at the campus rec center and had increased my devotion to my eating disorder. So when we saw each other…
That week is something of a blur. I loved Ohio, because it wasn’t Utah, and being with Kyle was honestly like being home. When I got back, I probably should have just grabbed my stuff and turned around and flow back out east. I definitely had the opportunity. Zach came back from Disneyland full of newly refreshed hope for our relationship and I had to explain that I was falling for Kyle. I’m actually lucky that he gave me the two days I got to get my stuff out of the apartment. I would have thrown me out right then and there.
After that…still blurry. Terrible campus apartment with two girls I didn’t know, school full-time while working 40 hours a week, phone calls with Kyle every night that lasted until 1 or 2 in the morning. Everything just went into fast-forward. Kyle went to Italy for that summer and it was very much like my world went on mute. I don’t even remember anything I did while he was gone. I still refused to consider the idea that we could be having a relationship, but whatever we were doing I had gotten hooked. We didn’t see each other again until the following January when he met me in Orlando for the WDW half-marathon. We were in a really bizzare place by then. I’ve never been more comfortable with anyone, but every time he reached out to hold my hand I felt very much like a seventh grader who has to stand in front of the class and give a book report. I don’t think just holding hands with any guy has ever made me feel so much like a stammering schoolgirl.
I applied to Ohio State for law school a few days after I got back and I had my acceptance almost immediately. By then we were both avoiding talking about anything that had anything to do with anything about our relationship. I’d been dating a whole lot and whatever Kyle was doing I didn’t want to hear about it. And still, we stayed on the phone together and just didn’t bring up the fact that I was going to be in his city in a very short amount of time.
The Important Part
Kyle flew out to help me drive from Utah to Ohio and again it just felt like I’d been holding my breath until he got there. And so, on August 1st, 2005, I was having a perfectly normal conversation with him about nothing at all when he suddenly turned to me and said, “so are we dating or are we just going to spend the rest of our lives together and pretend that we’re not in a relationship?” Totally caught off-guard. I responded with something like, “oh, I don’t know. I’m pretty in love with you,” and he looked at me like I was an idiot and said, “yeah, I know. That’s why I’m asking.” And then it was official, which is why today is our anniversary. I really wish this part of the story had more to it, but that’s honestly it. Apparently Kyle had been referring to me as his girlfriend for months and all of my friends knew I was in love with him, so it’s not like it was even news for anyone. I think maybe our parents were surprised, but that’s about it.
The trip to Ohio was wonderful. The first few weeks of law school dumped a whole new social circle on me and everyone just took it for granted that Kyle and I were together and that this was old news, so we just sort of started in the middle part of a normal relationship. And then I was busy with school…and then we went to England…came back…Kyle moved down here…he proposed…
It really is like our story ended when we started dating. It’s terrible, but it was sort of anti-climactic. I’ve now been 90% sure that we were spending the rest of our lives together for three years, which takes a bit of the excitement out of dating. I’m not going to pretend for a second that we haven’t had ups and downs and bad fights and all the other stuff that comes with being in a relationship, but the bottom line has always been that this was going to be it and we just needed to make everything else in life work around that fact. If anything, we’ve made each other boring because we just spend time doing Disney things and talking. Yes, we’re still talking. It turns out that that’s going to be our big thing: the talking. We just talk all the time. Every now and then we still call each other and spend an hour or so on the phone out of habit. It’s just that now we’re doing it because he’s in the living room and I’m in the bedroom and neither of us wants to move. We’re pretty lame that way.
So I got engaged to my best friend and I’m getting my Disney wedding. I also got to stay friends with Zach, lived through my breakup, made it out of Utah alive, and accidentally finished law school while playing board games and watching PBS with my boyfriend. Not the big romantic-comedy plotline that I was anticipating, but it works. It’s sort of funny, we were both looking so hard for that love-of-our-life person and the whole time we were on the phone with each other, getting advice on how to get other people to be attracted to us and propping each other up when we got rejected. It really feels like we just looked at each other one day and this lightbulb went on.
I guess it’s lucky for us that we’re equally slow about that sort of thing. In fact, the whole theme of the story is “lucky for us”. Lucky that we went to Disney at the same time, lucky that Kyle and Zach were roommates, lucky that we were both in relationships, lucky that we both got dumped, lucky that Verizon has unlimited night and weekend minutes, lucky that I got into Ohio State, lucky that we figured out the whole point of everything was that we get to be together. Just really lucky.