Somehow our rooms started hanging out with each other a LOT during that trip (possibly because the senior girls had no interest whatsoever in hanging out with high school boys anymore...Or because none of us wanted anything to do with their little clique) - here we all are crammed into two VERY crowded charter bus seats:
|You have never seem a cooler group of people in your life. Admit it.|
Somewhere along the way, we were all told that, for safety's sake, we shouldn't go anywhere without a buddy. And somehow it made sense for Andrew and me to pair up? So we sat together at the musicals (Rent & Thoroughly Modern Millie. You guess which was awesome and which made us both reeeeeeeeeeally uncomfortable...Neither was awesome. Musicals are awful. Says the guy who owned more musical soundtracks than any other high school guy I knew...), on the bus, at concerts. I even suggested that maybe we should link arms while walking to make sure we didn't get separated. Not surprisingly, he also thought this was a terrific idea. I used my flirting prowess learned from Saved by the Bell and oh-so-casually rested my head on his shoulder during a concert, pretending to fall asleep.
So smooth. Not really - no one was fooled. THEN WHY DIDN'T YOU ASK ME OUT???
And yet, despite the 4-day weekend, he still hadn't asked me out (taking his time, finding the right moment, he says)... We got back from the trip on Monday (Memorial Day), and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday came and went. He was a little less chatty on AIM. I had practically given up on any hope of a relationship (I decided that maybe the Baptist thing was okay because hey, I could convert him! Mission dating: Always (never) a good idea!).
Then on Friday of that week, after many a pep talk from his best friend (who had been in THREE whole relationships, and was thus our resident relationship expert), it finally happened! He brought me a dozen roses and asked me to be his girlfriend!
Back story: it was the end of the year in AP French Literature and the World Cup was going on. Our class had spent the morning at our teacher's house watching France lose to Senegal. Senegal! It was hilarious. I ran to the grocery store down the street on my way back to school and carried the flowers very hurriedly to my locker. I sent my friend down to the choir room to fetch Rosie and bring her to my locker.
16-year-old me was ecstatic! We even got to sit together on stage for our choir's rendition of "Isn't It Romantic" - it WAS romantic!!! Gag, right?
AND this meant I got to go to prom with him! Right? Nope. He had asked another girl before he asked me out. And he wasn't going to bail on her because what kind of jerk does that? So I still give him crap for not taking me to his senior prom even though we were dating at that point... You can see how much we have matured since then.
But just because we were dating doesn't mean we really knew *how* to date... Our schedules were SUPER busy, so a week into the whole dating thing and we still hadn't had time to go on an actual date. And being rather inexperienced, we weren't even sure who was supposed to make the first move when it came to HOLDING HANDS!
Well, his best friend fixed that - he came up to us when we were sitting oh-so-close together and took our hands, interlaced our fingers, and walked away. Disgusted.
Okay, we had the hand holding down. But a first kiss? Huh?
It was after our final choir concert of the year (June 7, he tells me - exactly one week to the day after we started dating). We were all at Fuddrucker's celebrating (we now live about a mile from that Fudd's and they just TORE IT DOWN!!!), and he and I kept going off on our own, trying to find some way to work up the courage to kiss each other. But every time we got alone, someone would happen upon us and ruin the moment!
|He made sure to take a picture before it was completely demolished - now our kids will always know that whenever they see a yellow tarp, that's where Mom and Dad had their first kiss!|
I had my own car now, having just turned 16 (and being EXTREMELY lucky), so I didn't need a ride home from him - there would be no kiss on the door step...
And so it was that our first kiss was witnessed by another girl that he had to drive home. We hugged close, I craned my neck waaaaaaaay up (he's almost 10 inches taller than me), and experienced the lightest, softest brushing of lips. Then we sprang apart and said our good byes!
Imagine how awkward that girl felt when she found out she had witnessed our first kiss :P
That first summer of dating was a little bit ridiculous... We spent practically every waking hour together, to the point where his mom wouldn't let him leave the house to see me some days because he had been spending too much time with me (I thought she was HORRIBLE for doing that to us... Now that I have kids, I totally understand!). On days like that, we would simply sit in front of the computer instant messaging each other about nothing all day. My sister came home for a few short weeks and I totally ignored her because I was so obsessed with my new boyfriend! (And yes, it hurts to remember how obnoxious I was back then...)
Yeah, we were jerks. But he was going off to college and I only had a few months before the inevitable breakup!
He went to Peru for a week for a mission trip and left me letters so that I didn't miss him too much.
|He got a hair cut! I chopped mine off, too! My braces came off! We were suddenly a FAR more attractive couple than before.|
He started coming to Mass with me so that we could have that extra hour together on weekends. We began to have deep theological discussions on the trunk of his car, in which I questioned how exactly this whole "inerrancy of the Bible" thing worked in the context of John 6. And then, at the end of the summer, he discerned that God was calling him to convert to Catholicism!
Obviously a very truncated version of the story. I always tell people that I didn't convert for Rosie, but I did convert because of her. I'm not one of those people who just converts for their significant others -- besides, who would do that after three months of dating?
Wait, WHAT? This relationship that I assumed would end by September... Maybe there was hope? I still talked about the future in uncertain terms, discussing all the other girls he would date in college (but I didn't)... But a couple weeks before he left, he told me (in a letter) that he loved me (With some sort of stuffed animal? I don't exactly remember. Nor do I want to.)! And we decided to brave a long-distance relationship.
WILL THE LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP BE THE END? (Hint: No.)
To be continued... Part 3 here!