Friday, February 11, 2011

five years ago

Have I ever told yall how Matt and I started dating? No? Well, pull up a chair. It's Friday night. Let's chat awhile.

It's our five-year dating anniversary today. February 11, 2006 was the day we officially became "us."

I told our "how we met" story once last year, for one of the Kelly's Korner blog carnivals. Go re-read it if you're fuzzy, cause I'm not going to just re-tell what's already been said. I'm going to give yall the down-low on our actual DTR (that's 'define the relationship' if you're not from...I don't even know what circles use that lingo. Mine did, though). Trust me, this isn't going to be a mushy-gushy blog. There are about to be some hilarious pictures. And awkward moments.

So we'd been casual friends for a few months by late January. We saw each other every day at work and frequently at other social events. We tended to find a spot in the corner where we could ignore everyone else and focus on our own extremely deep conversations, usually about pirates or aliens or Matt's unfortunate choices in facial hair. Wait, what was that, Erika?? Oh, yeah. At this point, the previously-cute Matt had decided to grow a MUSTACHE.That's the only picture I could find, so squint real hard and you can see it. A true molest-ache. Ew.

Anyway, so we'd been hanging out, but never really alone. We tended to include a third party, which I'm sure was not at all awkward for said third party (sorry Alyssa and Catherine!). In fact, here we are with Catherine on one of our first times hanging out at a park. I actually have no idea who took the picture, because I'm almost 100% sure it was just the three of us at the park!

We make a cute trio, right??

Anyway, I knew I liked Matt, but I really didn't know how to "do" this whole relationship thing. You see, I'd never really had a boyfriend before. In fact, at the ripe old age of 22, I thought I was probably so old and past-my-prime that I may never get to have a boyfriend. Ah, the drama of the early 20s...but anyway. So even though I was pretty sure he must at least be somewhat interested in me, due to the amount of time he spent talking to me, texting me, and otherwise stalking me, I didn't know how or when we would ever be anything more than friends-who-stalked-and-flirted. It has a romantic ring to it, doesn't it?

But one night Alyssa and I went out to dinner (Doc Cheys, YUM!) and she tried to set me straight: "Look. You guys need to either make it official, or you need to stop. It's sketchy." Those may not have been her exact words, but I got the point. Unfortunately, I didn't feel like it was my job to bring this up with Matt. I'm pretty sure it says somewhere that that's the boy's job.

On Saturday, February 11, I went to my usual 8:30-3:30 shift at the store. Matt worked a similar shift at Chick-fil-a that day, and we each knew the other would be getting off at around 3:30. We hadn't made plans to meet up, but it just so happened that we would often "stop by" the other person's work after he/she got off...I know, isn't that such a coincidence?? Fancy seeing you here! So when I got off, I headed towards the mall. About 1/2 a mile down the road, I saw a familiar car going in the other direction. Yup, we were crossing paths on our ways to see each other. Isn't that presh.

We both pulled over into the closest parking lot: the Cingular store.

We pulled into the back of the parking lot and rolled down our windows, staying in our respective cars with our respective heaters blowing. We chatted about nothing for awhile, and our conversation was full of those long awkward pauses I've come to cherish. I now know that Matt thinks about what he's going to say (imagine that!) long before he says it. If we're in a group, it frequently happens that he thinks about his words for so long that everyone else has moved on to a new topic and he never had a chance to speak. Being rather shy, he never just jumps in and interjects his thoughts...he just stays quiet. Well anyway, apparently that day, he had something especially important on his mind.

He started the DTR with a disclaimer: "Well, I know that it's about to be summer [it was February!] and you're going to Mexico and I'm going to Europe...and next year I might be moving to Alabama and you'll probably be going to law school [my how plans change]...but do you think you want to date me?"

Those were some really good points. I'm glad I thought them over for about 1.2 seconds before I said YES, YES I DO. And I think I might have even smiled like an idiot.

As I sat there in my Pathfinder, looking at the mustached boy in the blue Honda.

I figured that yeah, it could be hard...but it could also be really worth it.

We stayed in our cars a little longer, talking about nothing in particular. Then we had to part ways. I don't remember what he was doing, but I was going to a movie with a friend. And although she was a really good friend, I didn't want to tell her what had just happened. For some reason, I was just so happy being the only one that knew that my life had just changed. That I was so excited. That I was so nervous.

She figured it out anyway, though. Friends are like that. And only a short day or so later, we were Facebook-official, which is the crowning achievement of any relationship, right?

Valentine's Day came a mere three days after we started dating. I'm pretty sure we both pretended it didn't exist. I mean...awkward. Our relationship was slightly too young to merit celebrating V-Day. I did, however, find this picture of myself from V-Day. Obviously I was still committed to looking my Valentines-iest best!

So that's pretty much our story. We "made it official" sitting in SEPARATE cars in a Cingular parking lot. We pass that building (which later became AT&T, which they then later abandoned, and it is still not occupied) every day on our drive to and from work and it always makes me smile. One day we'll drive our kids past there and say "look, kids. That's where Daddy sat in his car like a total dork and asked Mommy out!"

We've never really celebrated our date-iversary. By the time our one-year anniversary rolled around, we were already engaged, which sort-of trumped the one-year anniversary. In the following years, it's never really occurred to me to celebrate it too much, especially with it being so close to Valentine's Day. But when I thought about it today, and I realized that it symbolizes Matt and I being together for five years...well, it made me really happy.

We've come a long way since then. And we have a long way to go. But I'm so glad we took the chance.


  1. I think it's neat you remembered your date-aversary. Ours is coming up too!

  2. ha...I love Alyssa's straight-up-ness with you.
    and I love this story.Happy Date-iversary.

    I have no idea what mine and James date-iversary's far too complicated.

  3. That is a very sweet story, and if you ask me, would make wonderful material for a movie :) Now I'm off to read about how you met!

  4. What a sweet story, Erika! It made me smile and was appropriately read on Valentine's Day (as I'm sure you intended.. ;) ). Ian's also a man who thinks before speaking, but man, when he does, it is quite profound! I can see Matt's the same way. :) Happy Valentine's Day! We will celebrate with an all women's Bible study. Ha. Maybe I'll bring some chocolate!


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