In honor of Valentine’s Day, this is the story of how M and I met.
It started waaaaaay back in 2006 when I was 19. To preface, before I met M, I dated a lot. Most of them were stinkers, too, if I’m being honest. Not high-quality, bring-home-to-Mom types. More like “artsy” faux bohemian hipsters with dangerously low BMIs who smoked clove cigarettes or kept joints in their Iron & Wine-esque beards. I had a type. I also liked to lurk The Stranger’s LoveLab and read dating profiles for laughs. This habit started when I was a little girl and once, during a girl’s camping weekend with my mom, my friend, and her mother, we read the personals around the campfire and giggled while munching on s’mores. Good times. I would continue to read them and laugh judgmentally or be grossed out. Sometimes a combination of the two.
To preface M’s story: He had just moved here from the Midwest for work and knew approximately zero people. He used The Stranger and some other sites to meet people and make friends. He had met some ladies and been on dates but he wasn’t that into any of them. He would talk to them online for a little bit and things would be all good, but when he met them in person there was zero chemistry. He felt like he was wasting time, so he took down his profiles (but forgot the one on The Stranger!).
So one night when I was probably supposed to be studying, I was clicking through profiles on LoveLab and cackling away and having a grand old time judging people and feeling very superior to everyone on there (who were probably getting dates while I was home sitting in front of my lap top… but that is neither here nor there, dear reader). Then I stumbled upon M’s forgotten profile. First, I thought his profile picture was totally cute. He was pale and had dark hair (part of my “type,” minus the emaciation). Then I read his profile and it was actually funny. Not creepy-funny or sad-funny, but funny-funny. It discussed his job a bit and his truck’s ability to mock any attempt to parallel park it (that’s a near direct quote that I still remember to this day!). At the end it had his AIM screen name and on a whim, I added him to my list, not expecting much.
The next day he popped up online! I introduced myself and we got to chatting. We swapped pictures (he was cuter in every one!). After a few hours of talking, M asked me to dinner the next day at a nearby restaurant. I said yes and didn’t think much of it. We had been flirting a bit, but he didn’t call it a date, and I’ve always been extremely dense when it comes to guy liking me, so I thought it was a friendly thing.
Despite thinking it was a friendly outing, I did gussy myself up a bit in the way that only a 19-year-old art student can: Lots of black eyeliner? Check. Black skirt, black Converse, green skull shirt, and grey hoodies? Check, check, check, and check. Despite most of my outfit coming from thrift stores and Hot Topic, I looked good (I will note that my style has evolved a bit since then. Just saying.). I walked the few blocks from my apartment to the restaurant (Mama’s in Belltown FTW!) and saw Mr. M waiting outside. He was so handsome. He was tall, had beautiful eyes, and a pretty mouth (he hates it when I refer to his mouth as “pretty,” but it is! In a totally masculine way, of course. Plus it makes me sounds like a creepy Deliverance extra when I describe his mouth in this way.). He was wearing an outfit that is totally in tune with his software-developer-guy-style he keeps today: a t-shirt, hoodie, jeans, and tennis shoes. I was also struck by his jaw. He has a very Russian-looking jaw. It’s hot, trust.
Anywho, after introducing ourselves in person (we may have hugged, I don’t remember), we went inside and sat down at a booth. I had been to Mama’s many times (because it’s awesome), so I knew what I wanted, and while he looked over the menu, we got to chatting.
We talked about everything, even stuff you’re not supposed to bring up on first dates, like politics and religion. We even touched on former relationships. We talked and talked and talked and not once was there an awkward pause. We laughed a lot, too.
At one point during dinner a mariachi band came to our table and played a song. M, being the gentleman that he is, tipped them. Again, being a gentleman, he paid for my dinner despite my protestations. Despite all this, I still didn’t know we were on a date.
M then offered to walk me home (I thought he was just being nice. Again, dense.) We talked some more and when we got to my door, I went to open it and he spun me around and kissed me. Kissed me good. Real good. It was only at this point that it donned on me that I had just been out on a date. A really awesome one at that.
After the kiss, he said he’d call me and we said our goodbyes. I floated upstairs to my apartment and started to tell my roommate about my date when my phone rang. It was M! I was surprised because he didn’t wait the 3 days that all boys wait to call girls, but very happy to see his name pop up on my phone. I answered and he told me had had a great time (me too!) and we planned to see each other the next day.
And we did.
And we saw each other almost every day after that for a year.
And then we saw each other every day after that since then. And we still talk and talk and talk and laugh and laugh and laugh.
Happy Valentine’s Day!