Brian and I originally met in the fall of 1997 at the University of New Hampshire. It was my sophomore year and his freshman year and we resided in the same dormitory and down the hall from one another. I remember the first time I noticed him. Our Resident Assistant held a floor meeting in the dormitory lounge and that's when I spotted him. I'll admit it, I was on the lookout for the hot boys in the building, so I was feverishly scanning the room for potential semester hookups- my roommate Ashley spotted a young cutey named Nick who was standing over to our right. Nick sported a labret piercing, thick black glasses, and jean overalls. Definitely cute, but not particularly my type.
I looked to the other side of the room where another group of strapping young boys were gathered and that's when I found him standing against the door frame, 6 feet tall, and with the most adorable baby face I'd ever seen. I was immediately attracted to him before I even knew what his name was.
I'm not exactly sure how it happened, or if I initiated it, but Brian and I became friends. My roommates Ashley, Kelli, and I all became friends with the "boys down the hall," including Brian. It was an amazing and extremely fun semester. We partied non-stop and I'm pretty sure that out of all of my semesters at UNH, I did the most partying this one particular semester. We had so much fun I ended up on academic probation (ouch) and Brian and his roommates were asked to leave the University (double ouch) on a permanent basis.
But did I mention it was really, really fun?
I wouldn't say that Brian and I necessarily dated that semester. We did have a few drunken make out sessions, but that was the extent of our romantic relationship. I returned to UNH for the second semester of my sophomore year and got my act together. It was sad to see three new boys living in Brian's old dorm room. I was sad that he was gone, but I was 20 years old at this point and the fraternity house ATO was directly across the street. Needless to say I didn't stay sad for long and my second semester of my sophomore year was also really, really fun - Details of which I cannot share.....but trust me, it was really, really, REALLY fun.
Ashley can vouch for that ;)
Regardless of how fun my time at UNH was, or how many boys I dated, I never forgot about Brian - the boy that lived down the hall.
Fast forward to Sunday September 24, 2006. A good friend of mine convinced me to join this fairly new social networking site called MySpace. Upon joining, setting up my profile, and uploading my picture I remember thinking to myself, "who should I look for on this thing?"
I was able to recall Brian's first and last name, so I typed it in, and there he was. His picture was staring back at me and it was the face I remembered - adorable baby face, except now, he was wearing glasses. I sent him a message that started with, "I don't know if you remember me, but I lived down the hall from you your freshman year...." Within minutes he responded, "Of course I remember you!" We sent a few messages back and forth with the typical small talk stuff - Where do you live? What have you been up to? We should grab a drink sometime. I was astonished at how quickly I had reconnected with someone from my past considering I JUST joined. We exchanged numbers. I had no clue that this would lead me to the man that I'm going to marry.
He called me the next morning at 10:00 am. I remembered thinking to myself, "Wow, eager beaver," but I was single and ready to mingle so I figured what the hell.
"What does your week look like?" Brian asked.
"Oooh, uh, I'm really busy with work and stuff, and the only night I'm available is tonight."
On September 25, 2006 Brian and I went on our first date. I don't remember anything in particular that stood out about that date except that we picked up where we left off. I wasn't nervous, I wasn't excited, I didn't feel self-conscious. I just felt normal, like I was having drinks with an old friend. I felt so at ease that it didn't feel like a first date at all. He walked me to my door and we kissed. It wasn't a kiss kiss. It was the type of kiss that friends usually give on the cheek when they are saying good-bye. A little non-romantic peck. We both miscalculated the whole cheek thing and our lips smacked together in an ungraceful, hey nice to see you, talk to you later, sort of way. I remember closing the door and thinking, "Was that a kiss?"
My super duper busy schedule for the week somehow opened up and Brian and I spent every night together that week. Our relationship became official in November when Brian shared with me that he "changed his status" on MySpace from "single" to "in a relationship." That was the extent of the conversation that established our exclusivity. Thank goodness our communication skills have improved tremendously since the early days of our relationship.
Where am I going with all of this and for the love of PETE, what is the good news I need to share? I'm getting there, I swear.
In the beginning Brian's job was not an issue. He worked managing a landscaping and irrigation company. In the summer his hours were flexible. He had to be in work at 7 a.m. and sometimes he would get out at 2. Sometimes 3. Sometimes 4. It didn't matter to me as he would usually come over to my apartment at 7:30 which gave me enough time to eat dinner, work out, and shower before he came over to hang out. He would be gone in the morning at 6:15 leaving me in peace to get ready for work. His occupation did not become an issue until that February when he told me he wasn't going to be around for Valentine's Day.
Ah-hum what? Hell to the nah.
You see in the winter Brian has to plow snow and has to head into work when his boss calls and says "come into work." I was APPALLED that I had to spend Valentine's Day alone even though I had a boyfriend. I spent plenty of them alone as a single gal which is to be expected, but I wasn't prepared to spend it alone now that I was in a relationship. I wanted to be understanding but it was hard not being able to make plans for New Years or Valentines Day or Christmas or my birthday (which falls in January) because if a storm happened to blow in, Brian would have to go to work. All of our winter plans were on a tentative basis.
The issue of Brian's employment became a serious issue once we bought a house and got a dog. Plowing a storm usually involves working for 24-30 hours STRAIGHT, coming home to sleep for 12 hours, leaving for another 12 and then recouping on sleep for another 24 hours. One storm usually means that Brian is unavailable for a good 4 days in a row. He also plows 45 minutes north of our home which means he has a trek into work. He then is up for 24 to 30 hours and has to drive the 45 minutes back home which makes me a nervous wreck. In addition his hours are not set so I don't know what time he is leaving and when he will get back. This was fine when we were living separately without a ton of responsibilities, but now it's unacceptable, especially during this last big storm. How would I manage if we had children? Who would take the dog out (we do not have a fenced yard)? Who would watch the kids while I had to shovel in order to take the dog out? It just wasn't working.
Brian gave his notice on Monday - HALLELUJAH!!! I had told Brian he would need to start networking in order to find a good opportunity as most desirable jobs are found this way. About a month ago he was at a John Deere location buying supplies for work and inquired about positions within the company. The manager informed him that a management opening was available at the John Deere location that amazingly is 5 minutes from our home. SCORE!!! The application process was long, and drawn out, but based on his qualifications he was hired for the position. This means set hours of 8-4 Monday through Friday and AH-MAZING benefits.
The benefits alone give me a hard on.
Yes, me. Not him.
No, I do not have a penis, but if I did, it would be erect.
Anywho, he is working for a great company with plenty of opportunities to move up and around within the company.
Brian has been plowing for the last 13 years and is looking forward to spending a snowstorm with me and the dog by the fireplace with a glass of wine. I'm looking forward to it as well.
Congrats babe - I told you you could do it.