Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Our Love Story: Part One - How We Met

With February containing Valentines' Day, I decided it only appropriate that the theme be love. What better way to start off the month than telling my own love story? So that's what you get...in installments...it's the story of me and Collin. But don't expect your typical love story. We are anything but typical. Our relationship is special. I'm sure everyone says that, but ours has been the result of some odd coincidences, ridiculous timing, and overcoming some serious obstacles. It hasn't been a fluffy, romantic, perfect road, but it's gotten us to where we are...together.

Here's your mushy. Island Park - 2008
How We Met

In the fall of 2006, I was very difficultly dealing with the slow death of my marriage. I felt like I was just paddling to stay above water. I wasn't happy. We had a home, I had a job, we had a comfortable life, but we didn't really have each other. We were friends, but we weren't partners. I had done everything I thought I could do to make it work, but when he couldn't even show enough effort by following through on making us an appointment for marriage counseling, I gave up and filed for divorce.

I was in the midst of waiting for finalization of the paperwork for my divorce, when I realized that the CPR certification for my office was getting ready to expire. In a panic, I called the company who had done our training in the past and requested the instructor we'd had back in 2004. He was unavailable, as were most of the other instructors, but the woman on the other end of the line stated that she had another instructor who might be available to make something work before our deadline. She called me back after speaking with him and we found a day that we could both make happen...thank goodness. I accepted and scheduled the class.

And that's where it all started. And all very oddly. Because I'm usually better prepared. Because most of the instructors were already tied up and I just happened to luck out on making a day work before my expiration. Because the woman on the other line wasn't just the receptionist. She was another woman going through a divorce. A divorce from the instructor she sent to teach my CPR class. Collin.

Yup. Collin was also going through a divorce. In fact, our finalization dates wound up being just weeks apart. And our initial meeting was set up by his ex-wife. How often does that happen?

When the day of the class rolled around, I was prepared to get training over and done so that I could enjoy the rest of my day. I was definitely not excited for it. However, Collin made it fun and we had a great class. Afterwards, I helped him pack up his gear and walk it out to his truck. I thanked him for the class and went back inside.

After Collin left, I sat down in my office feeling anxious and confused. I was full of butterflies. I had found him terribly attractive, but I didn't know if I should do anything about it. My divorce wasn't even final yet. I debated about it for three days before I decided to call him. I had never asked anyone out before. Ever. I was incredibly nervous. And when the tone of his voice dropped from sounding excited to hear from me to confused at my question, that didn't help. It really didn't help when he told me no. Politely, but still no.

He turned me down.

I was disappointed and embarrassed, especially when the phone rang back 20 minutes later. Seeing his number on the caller ID, I didn't even want to answer, but I did. Collin apologized for earlier and told me that he was actually a little shocked at my call. It turns out that he thought I was calling in to order an AED for my office. He was earning commissions off the sales at the time, hence the initial excitement.

What he thought I wanted... (Source)
As for why he turned me down? Apparently he was nervous about dating a client and even more worried about dating someone with the prefix Dr. He thought that maybe I was above his station. Apparently an EMT/firefighter can't date a dentist. I've laughed about that several times since that day.

Well...he got over it fairly quickly and decided that yes, he would like to go out. We set a date for the following Wednesday.

It turns out that he liked me as much as I liked him.

The next day was Halloween. I spent the evening at my parents' house eating chili and helping to pass out candy. Collin called while I was there, but I told him I would have to call him back. A few hours later, on my way home, I gave him a call. That call went all night. We talked for hours, getting to know each other. We talked and laughed and talked some more. My phone nearly died twice. Even better? I went to work the next morning after hanging up the phone only a short while earlier. It was insane. But...that's just how we are. We don't do things normally.

We did end up going on that first real date. I had season hockey tickets with my brother, who was nice enough to bail out of a game so I had a spare ticket. We grabbed some burritos and hit the hockey game together. It was fantastic.

What I actually wanted...
And that's the ridiculous story of how we met...and how I asked him out...and how he said no...but we ended up together anyway.

At my brother's wedding in Snoqualmie...January 2007.


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