Sunday, February 28, 2010

Swine

I just got back from an amazing weekend in Boston.  There was no big party, no event, no concert or big game.  It was just a weekend with my two besties.  We went out to eat, sat on the couch and talked, went out to eat, walked around Boston, went out to eat and just hung out for 3 hours, talking.  It was amazing.  I miss my girls so much.

One of the things that came up was a story from some time ago.  I thought I'd entertain you in case you decide to check back on Monday morning and need some cheering up.

This happened about 3 years ago.  Jon and I were engaged and still working at the same company.  It was unheard of for us to work together since by now everyone knew we were 'together' together. However, this time they were short on staffing, so I was sent out with Jon to a school near Boston to collect some data.

We went to Tufts, the veterinarian school, to collect data for a consulting job we had.  Jon and I stayed there for 2 days, walking around every building, counting things like fire extinguishers and inventorying rooms.  We were sometimes escorted by a manager to allow us access to some of the locked facilities.  By the second day Jon and I were more than half-way through and the gentleman came to meet us after lunch to drive us to a second location.  We reviewed the map and I exclaimed that we were due to visit buildings Swine I and Swine II.  I was so excited!  I asked Jon and the manager if they thought that we would see real swine.  This was possibly the most amazing day of my life!  I had never seen a large quantity of swine before.  I couldn't believe I'd get to come near them.  Jon and the manager exchanged puzzled looks, but I payed them no attention.  I was going to see swine!  Real-life swine!  In large quantities!  We proceeded to the next location.

When we arrived at Swine I the manager handed us booties to put on over our shoes.  I was so confused - why did we need booties?  We put on the plastic booties over our shoes and followed the manager into the building.  The smell was devastating.  My eyes teared involuntarily, my nose was running, and I could barely breath.  I looked at Jon with inquiry.  Why did it stink so bad?  We started taking counts and descriptions of the rooms that were full of pigs.  There were so many pigs.  And they were so smelly!  They were everywhere!  We even walked into a room where the pigs were bred and little piglets were nesting under heat lamps.  I had to go outside just to take a breath of fresh air.

We finally finished our inventory and stepped outside.  Jon looked at me and I couldn't contain my disappointment.  "That was horrible," I told him, "but where are the swine?"  Jon looked at me and then smiled, "Kat, what do you think swine are?"  I didn't understand his question.  What exactly did he mean by that?  Didn't everyone know that swine was the plural word for swan?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Let's get to know each other. We'll start with me.

I found this on the internet - you know, the place where everyone knows everything?  Anyways, I really need a good long break to compile my thoughts and figure out where I was going with this whole Jon thing (don't worry, I know we end up married...I have the marriage certificate and a handsome fella to prove it), so I decided that it's time we get to know each other better.  So here are 10 questions someone posted that I thought were pretty awesome.

1.) If you could give the world one piece of advice, what would it be?
Eat cake! I'm just kidding...and stalling.  Seriously though. Take risks.  Without risks there are fewer rewards.  There are also fewer mistakes, but how else would you learn?  I'm not always good at actually following this advice myself, but I try my best.

2.) If you could have a room full of any one thing, what would it be?

Cake?  Ah...that again.  I REALLY like food...and I'm a little hungry right now.  Which would explain the cake comments.  Stalling again...wow these are really hard.  Perhaps I will learn and actually read the questions before deciding to post them.  Puppies.  Yes.  I love puppies.  Of course, Jon would never let this happen because then we would end up keeping every last one of them, but these are hypothetical so I get to have my way.  (PS- I asked Jon this question and he said "you".  He's also been really attentive and caring today.  I'm starting to think he did something really wrong and I will find out what it is soon enough.  In the meantime, I'm taking full advantage of being spoiled.  PPS- he denies having done anything wrong.  Now I'm confused).

3.) What do you value most in other people?

Trust.  I want to trust you.  And not just the I-don't-want-you-to-cheat-on-me kind of trust that people often think about.  I want to trust that you'll be there when you say you will, I want to trust that you'll do the things you say you will, I want to trust that you're going to do something right and not half-ass, I want to trust that you will back me up in most situations, and so on.  I really want to trust you.  Fully and not worry.  Is that too much to ask for?



4.) If you could only see black and white except for one color, what color would you choose to see?
Red.  No, wait, blue.  No, green, like the trees and leafs.  No, wait, purple.  Pink!  I love pink.  Or maybe yellow like the sun.  Oh and I really like teal.  And Marroon.  And believe it or not, I think brown is a very pretty color.  What was the question again?  Ah yes...I think the answer is that I can't decide.  But definitely pink.  Or blue.  Or purple.

5.) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Me?  But I'm perfect! ha...oh boy.  This is a can of worms.  And we're about to open it.  I think I would want to be able to forgive and forget more easily.  Especially myself.  When I make a mistake, I tend to remember it forever and feel guilty about it for years.  I don't ever bring it up to anyone, but I remember.  Like the time when I was 5 and I drew with markers on the brand new wallpaper my parents finished putting up that day.  I'm sorry mom and dad.  Or my poor Jasmine.  That's a story for another time.  I miss you Jas.  A lot.  And I'm sorry I didn't pay attention to you when you were hyper and instead just let you run around the yard.  I wish I didn't do that.  These things stay with me forever. 

6.) If you could choose one of your personality traits to pass on to your children, what would it be?

My drive.  If nothing more, I am very driven.  When I know what I want, I go for it.  And I push until I get it.  I don't always get it, but I always give it my all. 

7.) What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?

WOW these are really hard.  Parachuting?  Bungee jumping?  I can't think of something serious.  I guess I'm a risk taker. 

8.) Would you rather teach a young child to read or have to learn again for yourself?

Teach.  I'm a pretty good teacher.  I could use a little patience, but I'm learning that right now.

9.) What is the best advice you've ever given and received?

Be patient.  Oh boy.  Maybe this is that one thing I should change about myself.  But what fun would that be?

10.) How would you like to die?

 Getting right to it, are we?  Instantly.  Painlessly.  Being shot in the head sounds about right.

If you're out there, reading this - I'd love to know your answers.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Meet the pups - Travis

Travis was our "first born". We bought him on a semi-whim one Sunday morning the first summer Jon and I lived together.  Travis is a full size Yorkshire Terrier that was supposed to gow to be about 8 pounds and ended up being 18 (he's not fat either!).

 

He was a ridiculously cute puppy and we couldn't get enough of him.

But our little "teddy bear" was turning out to be a cute little nightmare.
 
Sure he looked cuddly and cute and it's hard to see past that snuggle-bunny, but he was trouble.  At first, we didn't notice.  He would steal a sock here and there, but nothing bad had happened.  Jon and I puppy-proofed the apartment as if we brought home a crawling toddler, but he still managed to get into trouble.  Between his sensitive stomach, which meant cleaning up the kitchen floor/bedroom rugs/hallway rugs of poop (there was so much poop! how could such a little critter have so much poop!), and his need to constantly chew things, which meant Jon and I had to give up our deposit when we moved because he ate (chewed up and swallowed) 20% of our wall-to-wall carpet, he was a bundle of cute hell. On top of it all, Travis was smart.  

One night I was trying to fall asleep when I heard something scratching on the floor where Travis was sleeping.  I looked over and saw that he was digging in the rug by the bed.  I very firmly (I watched and read a lot about dog training) told him "no" and laid back down.  A couple of minutes later I heard the scratching again.  I turned on the lights and looked over at Travis, but he was just laying there, sleeping.  I thought I must have heard something outside, so I laid back down.  Minutes later, the scratching started up again.  I looked over, but Travis appeared to be sleeping.  I was so confused.  So this time when I laid back down, I kept an eye out on the mirror that reflected the bed and therefore Travis.  I pretended to be asleep and waited.  Sure enough, minutes later, Travis starts digging again.  I popped my head up and he laid down quickly, closing his eyes.  My 5 months old puppy was trying to trick me!




Then we ran into some real trouble.  We decided to neuter Travis at 6 months.  This was a very important decision that would promote good health for the puppy since we did not intend to breed or show him.  When I went in for a consult, the vet told me that Travis might also become more calm, less mischievous, and should stop his newly developed want to hump almost everything that wasn't nailed down.  

 

So Travis went under the knife.  When everything was over and Trav fully recovered, we were happy to notice that Travis was completely himself.  He was just as happy-go-lucky as he was before the surgery.  Oh and he was still just as mischievous and humped everything in sight.   The humping itself wouldn't be so bad, really, if it wasn't for what happened after.  Once Travis attempted to mate with his object of choice (teddy bear, bathroom towel, a rug, a pillow) and found out that he was unsuccessful, he would tear it into pieces.  Over the past 5 or so years, Jon and I have thrown out countless number of rugs, pillows, towels, dog beds, throws, sheets, blankets, and the list goes on.  

Aside from the terrible consequences, the act itself was rather funny.  Travis would walk up to something, for example his favorite subject - Pooh Bear (a stuffed teddy bear the same size as Travis), and give it "the eye."  He would parade past the bear, turning back once or twice and giving it "the eye."  Then he would begin to circle.  The circling would continue until Travis saw a sign from the stuffed bear that it was "go" time.  He would begin to slowly close in on his circles and and climb on top of the bear.  Then he would do the deed.  At this point, Jon's favorite activity was to get right into Travis' face and scare him off.  Now that I think about it, this might have something to do with Travis being so frustrated.  Poor Travis - maybe tonight I will let him sleep with some extra blankets.  Not the good ones, of course.

Part 9 - the promise ring

It happened at 3 months.  Yes, you read that correctly. 3 months.  What you are about to read is actually pretty indicative of our engagement, so store it away in your memory for a later time.

Everything was going great.  Jon and I made a better couple than was imaginable.  We spent our days pretending that we were friends and roommates in the office and then we spent the evenings together, cuddled up on the couch with a good movie.  We loved nothing more than being with one another.  Between work, home, and going out, we were spending almost every minute of every day together.  You can see how this sped things up in our relationship a bit.  We said "I love you" almost a month into the relationship (if not sooner - it's hard to remember now, it all happened so fast).

At this point of my career I was also traveling a lot.  The trips were usually a plane trip away, and I often returned home in the middle of the night.

One of these trips was to Chicago on our 3 months anniversary.  I was due home around midnight and Jon promised to wait up for me.  When I got home, the lights were out and the candles lit.  I walked in excited and approached my bedroom.  He had laid out a gift for me on the bed and when I saw it, I almost bolted for the door.  It was a ring box.

My heart sped up and my thoughts were all over the place.  I started counting the months we'd been together in case I was missing a good 10 of them or something.  I must have looked like I was having a panic attack because Jon immediately put his hands up in protest.

"It's not what you think!"

Ok, now I was a little confused.  He laughed and told me to just open it.

Inside was the most beautiful ring I've seen with a small little square diamond in the middle.  I couldn't decide what I thought about this; I mean, he did say it's not what I think but at the same time I was holding a small, but nevertheless, diamond ring.  I stared at him, trying hard not to look like I had no idea what he was trying to do to me.

Jon explained that it was a promise ring because he knew that our relationship was more than just a passing moment in our lives.  He and I both knew it was too soon to get engaged (we were 22 and had been together for 3 months!) but he wanted to show me that he thought this was the real thing.  This was his way of taking the relationship to the next level without any rush decisions on marriage.  I understood.  And for the first time in my life, I agreed.  I knew this guy was "it".  But, like Jon, I agreed that it was too soon.  I happily accepted and put on my new promise ring.

This was a very big deal for me.  I was, prior to Jon, a huge commitment phobe (self-diagnosed).  I mentioned before that my relationships never lasted more than a year.  It was like a sub-concious game - I would get the guy to commit and then I would start thinking of reasons that I should get out of the relationship.  As soon as I knew that he was into me, I would lose interest.  One time a guy told me that it would be cool if we moved in together the following semester.  He was one roommate short in his house and we would have separate bedrooms so it wasn't that big of a deal.  I laughed it off and pretended that I would consider it, but ended up having nightmares for 2 weeks.  Thankfully, he ended up finding different living arrangements and I didn't have to find a way out of the commitment by chewing my arm off or something drastic, but you get the point.  Jon's promise ring should have made me panic and break out in sweat.  But it didn't.  Hey, we were already living together - how bad could it be?  There were no major steps taken here - it was just a way to commit to one another beyond the teenage boyfriend/girlfriend status. 

Come to think of it, it was a rather smart decision on his part - taking things one very small step at a time.  I was like a doe, easily scared off with any quick movement.  Sure, I talked the talk, but I would never walk the walk.  I would spend hours discussing the future, kids, a house; but it was MY future, MY kids, and MY house.  By the time Jon and I decided to become exclusive, we were already living together and spending all of our time together, so it wasn't a leap.  And when we decided to move in to the one-bedroom apartment, we were already using one of the bedrooms as a closet rather than a bedroom.  And when he gave me a promise ring; it wasn't an engagement ring - so it was no big deal.  So with these small steps and no-big-deal promise rings, we were another step closer to our "forever".

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Part 8 - keeping the secret

Ends up Jon and I made the perfect couple.  There was no need to "discover" what ticked us off, there was no weirdness that comes with a new relationship.  But there were still the butterflies of first kisses, the long good-nights in the hallway, the sleepless nights.
 
For anyone that's thinking about dating your roommate - it's not for everyone.  Especially if you don't get along.  We were best friends, trying to get to know each other again in a completely different way.

And then there was the thing with work.  We didn't want to tell anyone, but decided that we couldn't keep our closest friends out of the loop.  We spent so much time with them, there was no way that we could hide it.  So we told Nate and Laura.  Nate was spending just as much time at our apartment with us and we didn't want to pretend anymore.  Laura and I spent a lot of time together scrapbooking and there was no way I would uphold a fake conversation.  So they were the only ones that knew. 

We took a good amount of trouble from others at work.  They liked to tease us, but majority of them didn't honestly believe that anything was going on between us.  Some of the newer guys and gals that were hired would ask the others if we were dating and people joked, but no one could really say for sure.

We didn't mind the teasing really - we were teased for it before we were dating, so it wasn't unusual.  And we didn't exactly make it easy when we went away on vacations together or spent weekends in our hometowns.
 

  

 Things got even harder to keep things under wraps when we made the decision to move from our 2 bedroom apartment to a smaller one bedroom.  It was a tough decision and neither one of us wanted to leave our gorgeous apartment in East Haven, but they raised the rent and we wanted to be closer to work.

We searched online and through ads and finally found a small in-law apartment in Guilford.  The owners were amazing - Jon and I fell in like with them instantly.  Jim and Sandi, both writers, were thinking about renting out their in-law apartment for the first time.  We met and proved to be a perfect match.  For months to come Jim and Sandi continued to play a large part in our lives - but that's for another time.  Oh, and the apartment was ok too.  So we moved.

 
That's Dave's truck filled with our stuff. Remember Buddy Dave? PS- do you love the lamp?
This was a big step for us.  We talked and talked and talked about moving to a 1 bedroom apartment.  I know that for most people it's a big decision to move in together, but Jon and I were already living together.  But living together in a 2-bedroom apartment was safe.  We each had a bedroom to escape to when things weren't going right.  Even when things were going great, it was the safety of knowing that we each had our own space that kept us going.  And moving to a 1-bedroom apartment was scary.  But Jon and I, well, we were brave!  We looked in the face of the scary 1-bedroom apartment and we said, you got nothing on us!  So here we were.

Scary one bedroom.  Intimidating, isn't it?
This was the beginning of something more.  The challenge.  The test.  We had taken our casual relationship to the next level.  




My treadmill is trying to kill me

I'm taking a quick break from "The King and me" posts to tell you about a very serious problem that is happening at my house.

This is my treadmill:
 

We met in 2008 and almost instantly fell in love.  Jon bought it for me for my birthday the summer of 2008 and our love began to grow.

(Yes, my dog is on the treadmill with me. and yes, I am wearing flip-flops.  We just set it up and I was excited, don't judge me.)
We were best friends that became long-term lovers.  Isn't that the story of my life?  Our relationship was blossoming in front of everyone's eyes.  I spent time walking on it while Jon sat on the couch in front of me and cheered me on.
 

It was there when I started running again.  It was there when the dogs were restless and we were too lazy busy to walk them.  And then a couple of months later, we hit a pretty big low.  I stopped running (or even walking), the dogs were older and didn't have as much energy.  So my dear treadmill became a very expensive clothes hanger. 

This, I believe was the turning point.  I could see that my treadmill was NOT happy with me.  I could see the resentment growing.  I tried to talk to it, but it would have nothing to do with me.  The honeymoon was over and we both knew it.

Almost a year went by and we barely noticed each other.  I would walk by and glance in her direction once in a while, but got nothing in return.  Then, just like that, we were back on track.  I decided to start running again and she would be my companion.  I dusted off my iPod and unfolded the treadmill and got on.  Except the iPod control (a really cool feature of the treadmill) wasn't working 100%.  And the user settings wouldn't work.  I called the warranty and hung up after being on hold for 2.5 hours.  Who needs to know the calories they burned?  And I had the TV anyways.  So I turned on the treadmill and started running.

By the summer things really heated up between us.  I got the iPod Nike+ (I'll have to post about this another time because it is THAT awesome).  I was a running machine!  And I thought my treadmill enjoyed the new passion.  But that was not true - there was friction between us and I didn't know it.

I started to notice that something wasn't right a few months back.  I was running on the treadmill and touched the iPod connector and it shocked me!  This was no tiny little shock.  This was painful.  I jumped off the treadmill and stared in disbelief.  This must be some sort of a freak accident.

The next day I touched the iPod connector and got a little shock.  This wasn't right.  I taped the connector so it wouldn't accidentally shock me again.  A few weeks later I was still getting shocked, this time from the treadmill itself.  I figured the iPod connector must be touching the machine, so I found some electrical tape and taped it up.  The shocks continued.  It reached an all-time high (or low, depending on how you look at it) a couple weeks ago when I was running on it again.  I had been avoiding touching the treadmill at all costs because I do not enjoy being shocked while running.  Call me crazy, but it's not my thing.  Jon came down to check on laundry and I grabbed the metal handle of the treadmill.  It gave out a spark, a huge shock, and started making noises.  I jumped off and stared at my treadmill.  It began to re-calibrate and go up-and-down.  I unplugged it and waited.  After sufficient time to calm myself down and convince myself that it was not, indeed, possessed and could not be inhabited by a spirit, I plugged it back in.  It re-calibrated and looked normal again.  I shrugged and jumped back on.

I already sense some skeptics out there thinking that I might have it on carpet or something. But no - the treadmill is safely set on tile.  The connector is safely taped up with electrical tape. 

I haven't stopped running, but I am more cautious now.  I touch the treadmill at least once every 2-3 minutes and receive small shocks, which I prefer to the big shocks if I don't touch it for a while.  I figure, every relationship needs work and includes some pain.  It's what I get for neglecting her for almost a year.

Has anyone ever had this happen to them?  What do you do?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Part 7- How we got together

Kerry was my best friend since pretty much the day I moved to Massachusetts.  We used to sleep over each others houses almost every day.  When I went to college, Kerry would spend weekends at my school and I would visit her at hers.  When I moved out with Jon, Kerry spent almost every weekend with us.  All 3 of us got along great.

Anyways, Kerry invited the two of us to come out with her for New Years and since Jon and I didn't have any other plans, we agreed.  We drove to my side of Massachusetts and got ready for a fun night out.

 
We spent the whole night partying and ended up at a club for the midnight show.  I'm not sure if it was the events leading up to that night or the alcohol, but I couldn't convince myself that this relationship wasn't worth it.  Yes, it was risky.  Yes, we could potentially ruin a perfect friendship.  Yes, we could end up in an awkward break up while still under a lease.  Yes, we would end up being discovered at work and criticized or made fun of.  Yes, there were many reasons not to do it.  But there was one that told me that it was all worth it - I couldn't stop thinking about him. 


So that New Year's eve was it - we decided to make it official.



We went back to my parents' house and danced the night away.


 

In the morning we polished out a few more details - like the fact that we should probably keep the relationship quiet at work.  We were attracted to one another and things were going great, but we both knew that relationships don't always last and we wouldn't want to make things awkward at work.  And with that, we started dating.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Part 6- How we got together

And so we crossed the line.  In fact, we crossed many lines.  We were best friends, roommates and co-workers.  How did we not consider this when we were slowly falling in love with one another?

But we all know that love is blind, and not in the I'll-just-close-my-eyes-while-I-kiss-him kind.  Love is blind in that it sees nothing around but love.  And so we were slowly seeing nothing around us but love.

We were cautious at first, setting up rules and boundaries.  We were never to spend the night in each others bedrooms, regardless of how convenient that might be.  We were not going to be girlfriend-boyfriend because this was not going to get serious.  We were not going to ruin our friendship just because we were lustful toward one another.  We were going to take it easy and let ourselves stumble around a bit, but nothing would come of this and so we were to have no hope.

We tried so hard to keep things simple.  And then we went our own ways for Christmas vacation.


Who were we kidding?  We had been apart for just 1 day when I texted him.  I had been staring at this note for hours, deciding what to do.  But really, who were we kidding?  I was walking through the busy stores with my mom, looking for last minute gifts, when I pulled out his note from my pocket for the last time and decided to text him.  We were casual and funny.  Things were light.  But we continued to text throughout the day.  And the next day.  And the day after that.  And he ended up calling me on Christmas.  And he invited me to his house a couple of days after Christmas.  I freaked out.  I hesitated.  But I had nothing to do so I said "yes" as long as Travis could come with me.  And of course, he said "yes".

I met Jon's family many times.  I met them briefly at Graduation because they knew we were moving in together after school.  I met them at our apartment when they came by to see our place.  I met them on the holidays that he was too lazy to drive to MA for.  So I wasn't worried about meeting his family.  I was worried about meeting his family as a potential "mate".  I was sure that he said something to his family since he invited me to stay overnight after Christmas.  And what would they think?  Would they think we crossed the line?  Would they think we were being foolish?  Or would they see the romance in the situation?  Would they see the blush when I looked at him and he looked back?  Would they notice how carefully we suddenly moved around one another?


But they barely skipped a beat.  Jon's mom welcomes me with open arms, holding me just a second too long, letting me know that she was happy with our decision (I may have imagined this part).  His sister said "hey" like we had been friends for a lifetime.  His younger brother continued playing on the computer in the living room like we were too good of friends to bother and say hello to (I may be misinterpreting a bit here).  I instantly felt at ease and welcomed.

Jon and I went out with his friends and sister (his younger brother wasn't old enough to go to bars).  Penny, Jon's sister, and I giggled and chatted like we were old friends.  Jon's friends and I got along easy.

And then the awkward crept in.  Because when things are going well, you know that something awkward or unthinkable is waiting just around the corner.   Jon's fling (I didn't know it was her at the time), was at the bar.  She and her friends chose this place to hang out because, I'm guessing, she thought she could run into Jon.  Her friend approached Jon and took him aside for a conversation.  Penny and I laughed it off and continued to play pool.  After we left, Jon didn't seem to worry much and so I let things go.  It was months later that I found out that she was upset.  His fling did not consider Jon a fling.  She considered what they had more than he understood.  He told her he wasn't ready for a relationship and she took it as a challenge.  What girl doesn't love a challenge?

In any case, we went back to the King household and decided to call it a night.  Jon and I retreated to the basement to exchange gifts.  I was prepared.  I spent the past week printing and putting together pictures into a frame.  I thought it was thoughtful.  It showed I cared.  It showed that I knew that we were more than friends but didn't cross the line to say that we were much more.  It was the perfect gift.  Jon loved it.  I was sure he understood that it meant that I appreciated him, but I didn't want things to move too quickly.  I was sure he knew that our "complication" was just something we both had to get over and move on from one day without endangering our friendship.

And then he gave me this.
 
It's a diamond necklace.  That he spent hours picking out.  That he asked his sister to help him with.  I was sure he just didn't get it.
I sat there silently, willing tears not to come.  I was succeeding, although I didn't know how much longer I could pull it off.  I could see the expression in his face changing from a smile to an inquisition.  I tried to think about what my face must look like.  A ghost?  Was I horrified that he gave me a diamond necklace when we weren't anything serious?  Was I terrified of taking our relationship to something serious?  Did I want this to be more serious?  I felt my heart speed up.  I saw his inquisition change to a horrified look.  I had to find my voice.  I had to find something to say. 

"I love it".  But he could see right through it.  I saw his expression change to sadness.  How could he be sad?  How could I make him sad?  He just gave me the most romantic, gorgeous gift I've received and I was making him feel sad?  What was wrong with me?  What did I expect?

I knew what I expected.  I expected nothing.  Or a box of chocolates.  I expected a movie.  I expected something thoughtless, like I've received for years prior to this Christmas.  I didn't expect this.

I did my best to show him that I loved it and quickly put the necklace away.  I felt the eyes on me, waiting for me to ask him to put it on but I wasn't ready for that.

The rest of the weekend went by and we decided to go back to my house to go out with my friends for New Years.  My friend Kerry was invited to an awesome party and she didn't mind if we tagged along.  And so we decided to go.

I spent the whole day and night thinking about what this necklace meant.  What Jon meant to me.  What this relationship, or whatever it was, mean to me.  Where things were going.  And why I was thinking about all this when I was supposed to be single.  The timing was wrong.  Our situation was less than desirable.  And yet, I couldn't dare walk away.  I couldn't help but feel in my heart that this is meant to be something more.  Somehow, when I stopped thinking, I felt that we were a good match.

Part 5- How we got together

"Hooking up" among roommates is basically is a big 'no-no'.  It spells danger.  It spells disaster.  It's one of those things that you learn from an early age not to do.  It's *pooping* where you eat.  Plain and simple: you don't do it.

So guess what just happened between Jon and I?  We kissed.  It's not exactly "hooking up" but it was way further than "just friends", although not yet in the danger zone.

I spent hours going over it in my head.  Jon was not my type.  I liked the guys that I had to "fix".  No matter how much I tried, I always attracted, and was attracted to, the "bad boy".  If he was depressed, I was his happy pill.  If he was too busy, I was the drug that took his mind off things.  If he was wild, I settled him down.  If he was a genius, I provided him the fun.  If he was unattainable, I got him.  Basically, I loved a challenge.  And I'm not saying Jon wasn't a challenge, but he wasn't my usual challenge.  There was nothing wrong with him.  He was happy, on his own, paying his own bills, dating when appropriate, clean, smart, independent guy.  And yet here I was, having feelings for him.  But we were both in a very sensitive situation and that in itself must have been challenge enough to get my attention.  And yet this was the first time I didn't just jump into things without thinking - a new challenge for me.


  

Ah...the wonderful challenge of a new relationship.  Be fair - who doesn't love a bit of a challenge.  The way your palms sweat when you see him first thing in the morning.  The way you suddenly second guess the way you talk to him when everything has always been so casual.  The way you over-analyze his every sentence and every move.  I mean, when he said "Good morning", did he mean that it was good because he just saw you or because he had nothing else to say?   And then there was the flirting.  Jon and I had always flirted in our own friendly "I-flirt-because-I'll-never-actually-get-with-you" kind of way.   But now we were really flirting.  I batted my eye lashes the best way I could, he spent an extra 5 minutes in the bathroom fixing his hair (Jon, if you're reading this - don't think I didn't notice).  We laughed a little louder and longer than usual at the horrible jokes the other made; we "accidentally" bumped into each other in the hallway; we found reasons to spend an extra minute or two in the morning dilly-dallying so we could drive to work together.  But neither one of us made a move because we both knew that we were walking on thin ice.

Until one Friday night.




 We were hanging out in our apartment, watching TV when it finally happened.  Jon was watching something irrelevant while I was playing Snood.   If you have never played Snood, I suggest you wipe that name from your memory and walk away from the computer.  If you have played Snood before, put the mouse down and take a slow step away from the PC; just remember, there is more to life than Snood; you might think that you're playing just one game, but the next thing you know it's 4am and you haven't slept, ate, or taken your eyes off the computer for hours.  Is that the life you want?  On second thought, maybe I'll go play some Snood now and finish this later...just one game...maybe two...or just an hour...or just this weekend.

[25 days later]

I won at Snood lite but I refuse to buy the full version.  I mean, who would pay for that?  Now where was I.

So we were sitting on our respective couches (Jon and I each sat on a different couch because by this point our tension was so high, we couldn't be within 10 feet of each other), when it happened.  I was playing that evil game while he was watching TV.  Except he wasn't watching TV, he was fidgeting.  I was playing the game that steals your life without really paying full attention (again, with Snood, this is almost impossible).  Instead I kept sneaking a peak at Jon, my roommate, my best friend.  And he was sneaking peaks at me, his fragile just-got-out-of-a-big-relationship-but-I-just-kissed-her colleague (are you understanding the ridiculous number of rules we're about to break and lines that we're about to cross?).  And then I gave up looking at him.  I'd had enough of this tension; and besides, I was on level 8.

"F*ck it"

That was it.  He just looked and me and said "F*ck it".  I was too scared to look away from my computer.  The over-analyzing part of me was going into over drive.  What did he mean by that?  As in he doesn't want to deal with the tension any more either or that all our boundaries couldn't hold us apart?  Or maybe he was just talking to the TV?  What was he watching?  I couldn't dare myself to look up, so I continued to play Snood.  But he dropped the remote and was coming toward me. Oh My God.  He wasn't talking to the TV.  He wasn't sick of the boundaries.  He was crossing every line drawn in the sand.  I stared at my PC.  I was loosing track of what I was doing and where I was.  I held my breath as I stared at my game, pretending that I didn't hear him and that even if I did, I could care less about what he said or was doing.  Inside, I was having a full blow panic attack.

He took my computer and pushed it aside, looked me dead in the eye and kissed me.  It was one of those slow kisses, just lips and our slow breathing.  In my case, there was no breathing by this point.  I was just staring, silent, breath-less.  His lips touched mine in the most gentle manner as if he knew that I watched way too many romantic comedies.  I had no choice but to close my eyes.  He continued to kiss me, slowly changing his slow kiss to a romantic, yet gentle kiss.  And then more passionate.  I couldn't remember who I was, but I was kissing this boy, so who cared?  

Our first kiss in front of BAR was amazing.  It was passionate and lustful.  This was different.  This was more peaceful.  It was as if we both gave up on the fight we were fighting against ignoring one another because we thought it was too risky to cross the roommate line.  This kiss felt like we had finally come home.  Together.  

The was the first night of our "forever", although we didn't know it just yet.

Part 4- How we got together

I'm going to go off on a little tangent here.  There was just so much going on with Jon and I that led to the feelings we had for one another.

We weren't just roommates; we were best friends.  What started off as an awkward friendship forced by co-habitation turned into the most honest and open friendship.

It all started off when we decided to find a mall in CT.  Both of us were from MA and neither one was very familiar with the area.  It was a random Tuesday night and we were bored beyond our wits.  We weren't used to having nothing to do and no one to go out with.  Going to a school with thirty thousand people will do that to ya.  So we decided to google a mall and got in our car armed with nothing but our notes from mapquest (this was before GPS was so popular and we didn't have a printer).  We braved the scary streets of New Haven to find some entertainment.  What we found out is that New Haven is one big street - Orange street.  No matter where we drove, we always ended up on Orange street.  We turned left, right, and went ahead for miles only to turn again and realize we were back on Orange street.  But that was the beauty of our growing friendship - we really couldn't care less.  We had been driving around for an hour (New Haven was only 10 minutes away from our apartment), talking and laughing the entire time.  We pulled over and asked drunk people for directions (it was Tuesday at 7pm) and turned around at least 5 different times.  We ended up finding a plaza with Bed, Bath, & Beyond and spent an hour running around the store playing with all the stuff.  We weren't interested in any particular purchases - we were just bored and wanted to entertain ourselves.

That was us.  We could spend hours lost or doing nothing at all, but still entertain each other.

After that night, we felt like we could tell each other anything.  We talked about everything from boyfriends and girlfriends to our biggest fears or significant goals.  We could spend hours just lounging on a couch and watching the Simpsons without any exchange or we could go out to a quiet lounge and hold up a conversation without any awkward silence.

In addition to our wonderful two-some, there was Nate.  Nate was our best friend.  We were the "trio".



Nate also worked with us and lived in New Haven.  We spent almost every weekend together (when I wasn't in MA visiting Gianni).  We checked out every bar and found the spots we liked best; we went out to restaurants and watched baseball games together.

Nate had a girlfriend then that lived hours away so he couldn't see her very often.  The three of us, all distracted with our separate love lives, made the perfect "trio".  We weren't bothered by the fact that some of us had girl parts while others had boy parts.  We just hung out, went out, and explored our way through this new state.


The nights when the bars seemed too far away and no one else wanted to go out, the three of us would play quarters in our apartment until we all fell asleep.  Our 2 bedroom apartment almost always slept 3.  Jon and I were both used to having company around and Nate was grateful to hang out instead of going back to his one-room apartment.

So when Jon and I finally kissed outside of BAR that night and realized that things between us were changing, we weren't just endangering our amazing friendship, we were endangering our "trio".

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Scrapbook memories - the wedding

 
This is our wedding day.  My dad gave me away.  Jon said I do about 5 minutes too early - I guess he was eager to marry me!
Another wedding page - this is our limo and my favorite prop - the flowers! Don't they look amazing?

This is another one of my favorite wedding props - the wedding cake!  Can you tell what my favorite color is?

Ah, the kisses!

 
The dancing...how cute does he look dancing with his mom?

And of course - something blue. 


PS - Want your own home-made customized pages? Check out www.madeofmemories.com

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Work days

Jon and I work together and our work has an internal Instant Messaging program to encourage interactions among offices.  Here is a conversation with my husband:

Jonathan: i want to go back to bed now
Catherine: me tooo
Jonathan: that would be sooooo nice
Catherine: yes in fact
never working again and living a life of blissfulness would be nice
Jonathan: yes that too 
Catherine: with maids to clean our house, nanny to tend to our children and cooks to make food anytime. now go get rich quickly so we don't have to get a divorce so i can have the life i want 
Jonathan: haha
‎‎
working on it

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Part 3- How we got together

The summer of our first year at Sightlines was all about the big changes in our lives.  We were living on our own, working real jobs, and making big decisions, like getting a puppy.  In the meantime, our separate lives were coming closer and closer together.  Jon's fling was starting to die down and my relationship was starting to feel like it was reaching its 1 year mark.

And then there was Travis.  You see, my little puppy Travis was my baby.  He was everything I always wanted.  Don't worry - I knew he was just a dog.  But he was my dog...my companion...my playmate while I lived in this apartment and started my very adult new life.  And Gianni, my boyfriend, didn't care too much for Travis.  Don't get me wrong, he thought Trav was cute - who doesn't?  But he wasn't a fan of this living, breathing, pooping thing getting in the way of his life.  Travis had to be walked, fed, played with.  Gianni just wasn't into all that.  He was busy...he was stressed out with graduation (he was a year younger than me)...and he wasn't interested in a puppy.  So Travis and I did our best to keep it together while the guy in my life wasn't interested in having him around.

Cue Jon.  That Fall was when I started to have feelings for Jon without ever knowing they were there.  I would come home to our apartment after a weekend away with Gianni and let Travis run over to Jon.  They would play together, wrestle, and just lay around together.  I watched Jon laugh as Travis tried to bite his toes, run around while Travis chased him, and roll around when Travis finally caught him.  I watched this guy in my life act like a father to a "child" that wasn't even his.  And all I could think about is that this guy would make an amazing father and a husband some day.  While Gianni wasn't interested.


So that was Travis' big role in Jon's and my life.   He was the reason I first looked at Jon as a guy that could be part of my life.  He was the man that could someday father my children.  I was 22, so children were not exactly something that I wanted at that moment, but having children was a HUGE part of my future.  It was what I saw when I saw myself a few years ahead.  And Gianni...well he wasn't interested.


By the time Fall rolled around, Gianni and I spent most of our time fighting.  We were always on each others case about everything.  I knew that our 1 year anniversary was approaching and I was getting scared.  I rarely ever dated a guy for more than a year.  So by Thanksgiving, we were pretty much over.  Meanwhile, Jon was still kind of seeing his high school sweetheart who returned from her semester abroad.  They were also rocky since neither knew how to start back up where they ended when so much has happened in between.  And as for Jon and I, well, we were best friends.  We spent all of our time together.  We worked together, we went out together, we stayed home together.  We rolled around with the dog, we went out for hikes, we went to the movies, we drove to MA to hang out with friends.  We were inseparable.

So I broke it off with Gianni.  And Jon wasn't all that interested in his fling or his high school sweetheart.  And then our good friends Dave and Janelle came to visit.

At this point, they were just Jon's good friends.  Jon's buddy Dave and Jon were born in the same hospital just 2 days apart.  And Jon dated Janelle when they were kids (you know, my-mom-will-drop-me-off-at-the-movies-if-your-mom-will-drive-you-there-and-then-we'll-sit-in-silence-and-later-tell-everyone-we-had-the-best-date kind of dating).  Anyways, Jon and J didn't last too long and Dave and J started dating.  And kept dating.  In fact, today Dave and J are engaged to be married. 

So Dave and Janelle came to visit us in CT.  We all went out to the bars with our friends and spent hours chatting and dancing and generally being wild.

I should mention that some time back, after I watched Jon spend hours playing with Travis and washing our dishes and talking to me about our work days, I had a dream.  I had a dream that I was kissing Jon.  I was kissing Jon and then I was spending all my time with Jon.  I was spending all my time with Jon and then we were together forever.  Jon.  My roommate Jon.  And that kiss...well it stuck in my memory forever...days and weeks after I woke up from my dream.

So here we were, partying with our friends, when Jon and I decide to step outside and get some fresh air.  We were sitting outside, in the chilly night air, laughing and talking about our friends and the great time we were having when the conversation came to a halt.  And then I told him.  I told him about the dream.  I told him I had a dream about him and that we were together and we were kissing.  And I was curious.  Well, he was curious too.  And so we kissed our first kiss.  Outside of BAR in New Haven.  We sat there, outside, kissing like fools.

It all started out innocent.  I gave him a quick kiss on the cheek.  And he gave me a quick kiss on the lips.  We both looked away.  Then we looked at each other and locked in the most passionate kiss of our lives.  It must have been great because all the diners in the bar started applauding and whistling at us.  We stopped kissing, blushed (that might have just been me) and went back inside to join our friends.

The next few days were cruel.  All I did was think of him and our kiss.  We pretended to make small talk and act like roommates.  But the truth was that I was already falling in love with him.  I got a small break because I went to another state on business while Jon stayed back in our apartment with our dog.   We chatted online briefly to check in with each other.  You know, "how's the puppy?", "how's the trip?", "are you spending all your time thinking about me like I am spending all my time thinking about you?".  That last one may not have come up.  But we did spend some time talking about the fact that we were roommates and that our little night of passion was careless and could potentially ruin our friendship.

So we were in a pickle.

Part 2- How we got together

Our roommate relationship started off...well...awkward. We led different lives and had different interests, but we were both ready to start our lives fresh. We were now college graduates and we were "mature". We wanted to make a difference in the world and we honestly thought we could - but doesn't every college grad?

Of course, we started our new careers with a bang - and by that I mean we had a party with all the new peeps that we were starting our careers with. That's just my style you see - when in doubt, have a party and get everyone together and get to know each other. I'm a UMASS grad after all. On a tangent - UMASS might not have been the best college in general (although their School of Management, the one I went to, is definitely amazing!), it is not just some party school. Those parties and dorms teach you something important - how to be social. They teach you how to bring people together, how to combine different cultures, interests, backgrounds and stand together. Well, at least that's how I view it. But back to our first year together - I called the manager at Sightlines and asked for the phone numbers of the "class" that we were starting out with and he didn't mind. Then Jon and I called every one of them and invited them over to hang out and meet each other before our first day at work. Most of them (all but 1) agreed and they showed up the next evening.

Needless to say, we all partied, chatted and got to know each other. Granted there was some alcohol involved, we all felt pretty easy and comfortable with one another by the end of the night. It was amazing. I gazed across the room at my new roommate and thought that this whole thing might just work out pretty darn well.

The next few months went by pretty quickly. We went to work and sat through vigorous training; came home and went to our separate bedrooms to pass out from exhaustion; Jon went out with the co-workers or went home to see his friends and family while I drove back to UMASS to see my bf at the time, Gianni. We were still living pretty separate lives, although we occasionally got together on the couch and chatted about them while watching the Simpsons.

Then in July I finally made a huge decision, one that would change my life forever. I decided to get a puppy. Jon, our co-worker Nate, and I went out and partied all night on Saturday and by the time we got back to our apartment and were hanging out before passing out, I asked Jon if he'd mind if we got a puppy the next morning and he said 'ok'. So there it was. I wanted a puppy my entire life. I've wanted a puppy since I was old enough to know what a puppy was. In college I got a puppy the summer before my senior year - but I had to give her up because I was still living in the dorms and being an RA and they look down on that. In any case - I've ALWAYS wanted a puppy. So although it might seem that this was a slightly in-the-moment decision - it was something that had been brewing for a while.

So Sunday morning we all woke up and went out to our favorite diner in East Haven, CT. I should mention that this diner was absolutely horrible. The food was terrible, the waitresses were hung over, the coffee was always cold. But it was pretty much the only place we knew around here since we all just moved to CT for our new job. In any case, here we were, sitting around, drinking our cold, gross coffee and I announced once again that today would be the day that I would go and get a puppy. Just like that. I looked at Jon, who shrugged and said that it sounded like a good plan for a Sunday.

After breakfast, Jon and I went online and searched the yellow pages for a pet store that was open and found one in Orange, CT. We were so excited. Well, I was so excited; Jon shrugged and said that it looked like we were getting a puppy after all. Of course, I called my boyfriend Gianni and made sure that he would lie and tell everyone that he got this puppy for my birthday but that he would not have to do ANYTHING to take care of this puppy that I've always wanted. He didn't seem to care. So Sunday was the day we got our puppy.

Jon and I got to the store in Orange and looked at all the puppies. There were a few choices, but I saw this little Yorkshire terrier right away. And then I saw the price tag. BOY was this little cute puppy expensive....something about purebreds. So we looked at all the other puppies and played with all the little puppies. I was even pretty close to taking this tiny, very white Maltese home when she pooped all over herself and suddenly her very snow-white fur turned brown. That is what I call a turn-off. We looked at all the big dogs, but our apartments had rules against big dogs, so we were back to the Yorkie. He just sat in his crate, looking all cute, like he just knew that he was the best choice and wasn't at all worried about the competition.

Jon was the first to pick Travis up. The puppy just looked up at him, licked his face and laid down on his shoulder with a big sigh. I grabbed him from Jon right away and snuggled and kissed him. If this was going to be my puppy, he had to be MY puppy. I looked through my wallet, located my credit card and handed it over to the carrier. Broke or not, I just had to have this puppy. I was already in love with him and I barely knew why.

On the drive home we contemplated his name while he sat in my lap in the passenger seat. Colin? Travis? Snickers? Travis? Puppy? Calib? Travis? The name Travis just kept popping up and I couldn't keep it away. So we thought and we contemplated and we decided that Travis was a good name after all. So we pulled over to the gas station, let Travis pee in the small patch of green, and drove back to our apartment with our new puppy.

Now a lot of your might question why this small, insignificant puppy would be such a big part of my story. But the truth is that he is. And I guess you'll just to wait to find out why.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Part 1- how we met


Jon and I met in college. We were both business majors at the University of MA, Amherst and in about 4 of the same classes. I'd love to say that I saw the room light up when he walked in and I knew we were meant to be together, but that would be a lie. I didn't notice him at all for the year or two that we were in the same classes. He says he noticed me, but I guess we'll never know if that's true - he loves to flatter me. I was a very driven and aggressive student, while Jon was reserved and shy. 


We finally met when one of our instructors paired us up for an internship at a non-profit organization as part of an extra credit project.
We were introduced, made plans to show up at our new job later that week, and went our separate ways. The next year went by no different than the others – Jon and I got together to work on the internship when we needed to, we sometimes talked about other classes, we IMed each other ever so often to ask about a new project or to grab each other’s notes for class. But we lived separate lives – he with his friends from a few towns over, me with my friends and drama from UMASS. We were polite but indifferent toward one another. Again, Jon always tells me that he thought I was cute, but a bit scary – but he flatters me.
Our paths started to cross more and more as we ran into each other in the interview waiting room in the middle of our senior year. It ends up that we were both going for the same job for a small start-up company in CT. This was his first and only interview; it was my one of many. We ran into each other again in CT when we both showed up for a second interview for the same company – I asked him if he was stalking me. After the second interview, we checked in with each other a bit more to see if the other heard from Sightlines, the small start-up we both interviewed for. When I finally got the phone call with an offer, Jon was the first person I called. It ends up we both had offers and we both accepted.
At the end of that year we were both looking for a place to live in CT, but neither one of us could afford to live alone so we decided to live together. And by “decided”, I mean that I spent about an hour bugging Jon with reasons for living together until I wore him down and he said “yes”. And that’s when our two very different paths became one.
I think it’s important that I mention that Jon and I were living very different lives back then. I spent 3.5 of my 4 years in college living on campus, being an RA, participating in almost every club, and working as a Security Supervisor for the UMASS Student Security. Most of my friends also lived on campus and we spent our nights going from dorm to dorm or from one Amherst bar to another. We were rowdy and dramatic. In the middle of my senior year I finally moved off campus with my 2 guy friends and a girl roommate that we never saw. We did almost everything together, had the same classes, dated within our “group”. I had a “serious” boyfriend almost the entire time in college…but rarely the same one. There was Aaron Freshman year, Matt Sophomore to Junior year, and finally Gianni Senior year. By the time I graduated from college and moved in with Jon, I was “head over heels in love” with Gianni and thought that was it.
I always thought that was it. A bit dramatic, but I’m a passionate being – what can I say. Every relationship was dramatic and forever. And they never lasted more than a year.
Jon’s life couldn’t be more different. He was dating his high school sweetheart until his senior year when they decided to take a break while she went away someplace for a semester abroad. Aside from the obligatory 2 years on campus, Jon lived off campus about 30 minutes away in his home town of Northampton, MA. He spent almost all of his time hanging out with his buddies from home. When he and his ex broke up, he stayed single. He saw another girl but it was never serious. By the time we moved in together, he was getting back in touch with the ex and they were considering working things out.
So in June of 2001 we finally moved in to our 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment in East Haven, CT. That’s when our two very separate and different lives began to intertwine. 

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