Thursday, October 24, 2013

Why It's President Obama's Fault We Got Married


Ross and I met in 1999 on a blind date type deal. I was only 18 years old and home on break from college. He was a dashing young Marine who loved art. The first time we saw each other, I was dancing around the rim of a fountain (and Ross was probably hoping I'd fall in, 'cause it would have been funny). After seeing a really crummy movie, during which we established our unending love of bad jokes and witty commentary, we ended up at Harbor House.
Ross and I hit it off like crazy that first night, and we were inseparable for the rest of my first spring break home from college. Once I went back to school, we talked on the phone until my cordless phone battery died, and emailed each other constantly. One month after we met, he came to visit me at school, and in the sweetest and most romantic way, told me he loved me - we were both completely surprised by how quickly we fell for each other. Over the summer of that year, we took long walks on the beach and gazed off into the sunset a lot (I know, vomit, right?!), but soon my teenage dream of a summer romance was drawing to a close - Ross was leaving to go to school. In New York!
Not all that surprisingly, rather than break up, we just decided to put Ross in debt by talking on the phone constantly and flying cross country every few months. After a year, though, I talked Ross into coming to California again, because the weather's way better here. By 2002ish (I don't remember exactly - it was a while ago!) we were both living in San Diego. Unfortunately, things unraveled a bit for us then - and devastatingly, we broke up after 4 years together.
This is what sad TV watching looks like, I swear! 
For 6 looooong years, we both mourned the loss of our first love. I stayed home night after night, watching sad movies and doing absolutely nothing fun. Ross did the same thing, just somewhere else.


And then, in 2008, we got back in touch. I was living in Oakland, and he was in San Diego. Ross emailed me, pretty much out of the blue, to congratulate me on Obama's win. After all those years, he still remembered that I'm a crazy liberal hippie type! We met up for drinks in San Diego the day after Christmas, at this dive of a place called the Camel's Breath Inn, and after conversations about what we'd been up to for 6 years (mostly lots of school for both of us) and also lots of lies about panthers (he tried to convince me they could see in the dark, I tried to convince him they could secretly talk), we ended up closing down the bar for the night, after which we both promptly became deathly ill for almost a week.
Fast forward to a year later. We figured since we'd had so much fun the last year, why not make it a Christmas tradition to have drinks the day after. This time was different, though. I had a plan - ever since seeing Ross again, I just knew that I would never be happy if we didn't try again. He kept popping into my thoughts again and again, and no man had ever measured up to him. I looked back on our first years together, and just thought of how young we were - I didn't know how to stick with a relationship then! But now, the older and much smarter me figured, why not? So I got all dressed up for that year's Christmas beer, enlisted the help of my sister Kelle, and set out to rekindle the romance. 
This is the only picture we have of the night we got back together...and you can't even see the top half of Ross's head
A few drinks later, we knew it was probably time to go home, but couldn't seem to leave each other. Ross was remembering how much fun it was to hang out with me and my family, and I was remembering how much I loved talking to him! One night turned into two, turned into three, and then a few nights later, I suggested that he call in sick to work for a spontaneous trip up to Oakland. If you know Ross, you know that there has to be a damn good reason for him to be spontaneous, and apparently this was it! He called in sick to work and even agreed to make a stop at my parents house on the way up north (swearing the whole time that he'd better wear a blindfold and be smoking his last cigarette, because he was sure my father was going to kill him!). Out in the backyard that night, while we were having a glass of wine and I babbled on about how much I love Oakland, he (so not shockingly) made fun of me. I know, crazy, right? I laughed (because I grew up a Schlax/Liggett combo, and if you can't laugh at yourself, you just won't survive!), and then he said "I'm just kidding - you know I love you." Instantly he froze, terrified that he'd said those three words without thinking about it. So while frozen, he thought about it...and then he said it again. 
The next day we drove up to Oakland together, and three months later, he was a Northern California resident!
In my head: Ohmygodohmygodohmygod
And that almost brings us up to now - he tells me he loves me every day, and in May of 2010, he proposed to me in the cutest way that he possibly could have, I think - knowing my dorky heart, he dropped to one knee in front of all my students and friends at the Prom I'd planned for the high school I work at. It was stunning and beautiful and we have professional photos and video even, all because of his sneakiness! Almost immediately after he proposed, one student ran through the whole dance telling everyone I'd just gotten engaged, and within 5 minutes we were both mobbed with giddy well-wishers. Since then we've traveled, moved, gotten married, and had a little goofball with big curly hair, and mostly been so dang happy it's ridiculous. (Yes, I'm totally bragging.)




So that's our grand love story - and it's all Obama's fault, really - if he hadn't won, Ross never would have emailed me again, and we may never have met up the day after Christmas...


Wedding day...probably my favorite of our professional portraits, by an amazing photographer!

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