Sunday, July 18, 2010

On being 24 and in love

It seems so long ago now, that I was truly, actually, full on in love. For the sake of anonymity, I will call her Sadie.
Sadie and I met at Meramec CC, working on the college paper together. Truth be told, I didn't particularly like her. She was, I thought, stuck up, bitchy, annoying. The fact that I doubt she cared very much for me didn't help matters. And I was fine going along that way. We did our work at the paper and went our separate ways that first year. Besides, I had a steady girlfriend then, and was perfectly happy.
Our second year at MCC rolled around and I realized we were going to have to spend more time together, as she was named editor in chief, I was named production manager. Moreso than any two positions on staff, those two have to be in concert. So we met, and discussed our views and goals for the paper and came to an easy truce and friendship. As the year progressed, we became good friends. And that was all well and good. But then something else started happening. My girlfriend at the time, who I am happy to report is still and very good friend of mine, and I started having issues, and before too long we were done. There was more I could have done then, and I will address that in a later blog. So, there I was, single, working with Sadie for 10, 12, sometimes 20 hours straight, getting out the paper. Sadie was smart, she was beautiful, she was funny. I remember when I realized I'd fallen for her. We had a couch in the office. She and I had been working much longer than anyone else. We were supposed to take turns sleeping on said couch. When it was my turn to sleep, I saw her there asleep, and decided to let her sleep on. Her happiness was more important to me than my own.
Now, at this time I was probably 21. This is back story. On to the crux.
We didn't get together until several years later when we were both at UM-St. Louis. This time, she made the first move. I remember, it was my birthday. We had remained friends, good ones, and I had no inclination that her thought process had changed, aside from the playful flirting we had always done. So on my birthday, or a little before, I can't remember exactly which, I had asked if she wanted to meet me at the Galleria. I wanted to get some new jeans. My favorites at the time were American Eagle. I found a pair I liked, but they were $60, and I only ever got jeans there if they were on sale. I said let's go somewhere else. She said, "No, I'll get them for your birthday." I was not keen on it, $60 for jeans from a friend for my birthday? No, that seemed excessive. She was adamant. No talk her out of it. It was then I got my first inkling that maybe she had started to like me as more than a friend. But I didn't want to be presumptuous. We went back to school. We both had class that day. She went straight to class, I had an hour wait. So, like all newspaper dorks, I went back to the office. I had become quite good friends with our editor in chief. We will call him Brad. I said to Brad, "Dude, she bought me $60 jeans. We all know what that means.... What does that mean?!?!?!?!" He had his suspicions, but he kept them to himself. So be it.
Things went along just dandy the next week or so, though her flirting increased a bit. Not enough for me to make a move. I had been burned in this regard, with her in particualr, before. I wasn't risking that action again.
Then one night, she called me. Not out of the ordinary. We talked fairly frequently on the phone. We were talking and she said, and I quote, "So. Umm. Something I want to tell you. I like you."
She had said it first. I was over the moon. "Do you like me too?" I said, "Sadie, I never STOPPED liking you. I think you know that."
So there it was. We knew each other well. There was none of that getting to know you crap. One day we weren't together. The next, she was my girlfriend. When I first saw her the next morning, I kissed her. We held hands on the way to class. We sealed the deal with lunch the next day. I bought lunch for us at Houlihan's in Brentwood. Not the most romantic place to go for lunch, but she wasn't a big fan of fancy restaurants.
We were together the whole year she was managing editor and I was news editor, save for a small break between November and Valentines day. It was a miserable time for me, and I came to find out she was just as miserable.
I was named editor in chief. I turned 24. I was in love. I told her I loved her. She said it back. In November of 2003, her best friend got engaged. We went over to celebrate. We went outside to have a smoke, and she started talking about how she never thought she wanted to get married until she was in her 30s. Now, she thought different. I got the hint....

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