You may have heard of it, I’m not sure if anyone still cares though… Maybe one or two slack jawed yokels.
In the early weeks of autumn ’04 I was just about done with the idea of throwing myself into any sort of commitment, I was 20 years old and completely content with the idea of staying single forever. I had recently had my heart broken for the last time and the devastation of years of heartache had sent me into a downward spiral of man hating. After months of spending my nights alone eating fried chicken in bed with the lights off and sobbing to the tune of High Fidelity playing on loop in the background I was finally ready for casual dating… and a much needed shower.
Meanwhile in West Brighton Terrence was scouring through his friend Linda’s friends list on the myspace and stumbled upon my face, I believe the quote went something like “Who’s this? I’d like to stick my dick in her.” (or at least that’s the story we stick to). Linda urged him to contact me and he apparently fussed and argued that I was too cool for school but after a bit of name calling bent and sent the following message my way.
When I received the message I was sitting around with my roommate and best friend Stephanie, we mocked Terrence endlessly for his forwardness and elitist list of bands that took up most of his profile and went on with our night. I had ignored him. I’ve never been one to respond to creepy emails on the myspace with invitations to chat on AIM. I considered responding only because Terrence was a friend of Linda’s but in the end decided that he was lame and moved on. (Ha!) No more than 2 days had passed before I received yet another message from Terrence.
At this time it had become apparent to me that Terrence wasn’t going to stop until I replied. So we briefly chatted about politics and life on Staten Island. It wasn’t long before I gave him my screen name as well, although he was timid still and it was a while before either of us ventured into talking live. It was during the Red Sox / Yankees World Series and the Red Sox had just won, I had come home to a few IMs filled with exclamation points and joy. Both Terrence and I were rooting for the Sox (despite our native NYC roots, screw the Yankees). He was still online and we ended up talking until Terrence had to leave for work the next morning. This went on for about a month. Whenever one of us was asleep we’d wake up to long emails or a screen full of IMs and butterflies filled my tummy with the anticipation of replies.
It was the end of November now when we had finally agreed on a crowded meeting place. A friend of mine was showcasing some of his sketch comedy at a local coffee house and I had Terrence meet me there. I took Stephanie’s football playing boyfriend with me as protection and sat nervously awaiting Terrence’s arrival. He was late and I was only getting more and more nervous when all of a sudden a short scrawny man appeared as if from nowhere at my side and introduced himself to me. (Months later Terrence had admitted to arriving at the show over 30 minutes before approaching me, he was nervous and every time he came in, he’d go right back out… smoke a few cigarettes and then go back in, see me, get nervous and go right back out until he eventually manned up and raced to my side. ADORABLE!) After the comedy we went across the street to Martini Red and had a few drinks while being sandwiched up against the wall trying to have a conversation despite all the constant bodies pushing through us, it was Thanksgiving eve.
A few days later we had gone on our “first date”. No one told me this was a date, I was so oblivious to the dating world that I had seriously thought we were just hanging out. Which I guess was a good thing because I would have been a hundred times more nervous than I already was had I been let in on this tidbit. I treated us to bad pizza and he treated us to a bad movie, we chatted nonstop about our friends and lives and shared a brief and awkward goodbye that Terrence still kicks himself over. Just a hug.
We had been spending a ton of time still emailing and IMing, talking on the phone and sometimes even laying around in each other’s bedrooms but still no one was man enough to make the first move. That is until one night when I felt the Earth shift a bit and Terrence’s determination to climb out of the clutches of the friend zone had become glaringly obvious. I was so nervous; I liked him too much, yet every time he went in for the kill I darted away like a flea. This had gone on for a few awkward hours in Terrence’s bedroom until I eventually closed my eyes and laid back so I wouldn’t see him coming when all of a sudden I was startled by the sound of fireworks coming from the ceiling. Terrence describes it as the best kiss of his life.
Both of us were at a place in our lives that had no room for serious relationships and we even discussed this at length. Of course this changed almost immediately for both of us; only neither of us was brave enough to declare it. Months went by and Terrence and I were falling in love fast but were still too stupid to say anything. Terrence blames me for scaring him off with my strong anti-relationship views but I was just terrified of going through another devastating heartbreak.
The night I had realized that I was in love with him was late December, my mother had gone on vacation for the holidays and I was sort of house sitting for her. Terrence came over to make us dinner, it was steak and potatoes with green beans smothered in butter and bread crumbs. The surest way to my heart is with medium rare meat. We had dinner and cuddled on the couch watching a movie, that’s when I realized I was already in too deep but couldn’t figure out a way to stop shoving my foot in my mouth with all my anti-relationship bullshit.
A million weeks flew by before I had decided it was going to have to be up to me, I was bursting with admiration for this scrawny awkward man and I had done a really good job of scaring him away from me. So on February 2, 2005, I told him he absolutely had to come over… it was 10 minutes before midnight, hours of fear had come down to this moment… I had to do it. So I told him that I loved him and that I wanted to be his girlfriend. I cried like a girl and he accepted.
And 5 years later we’re still here. As a prize for putting up with me this long I made Terrence a nerdy afghan and to show his love and appreciation he shouted me out on Switched. This is how two nerds express love. That and homemade sauce for spaghetti and meatballs.
This about sums up the rest of the story. ❤
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