Okay, as promised, The Story of Me and Mike or what I like to call, "Fate, Standards, and What a Little Alcohol Will Do Ya (A Modern Day Love Story)".
Before I met Mike, I was living in the city of Newton with 3 "quirky" roommates (and by "quirky" I mean "insane-ish". I mean, one guy thought he was "The Rock". And at 5'4" and a comb forward? Well, you can figure that one out on your own). After a year and a half there, I was planning to make my escape closer into the city, specifically hoping South Boston (I'd only lasted that long in Newton because the rent was only $375(!), had off-street parking and non-quarter eating washer & dryer). South Boston was my target because I had known a few people that lived there, had liked the scene (well, at least based on my pub crawl findings) and it was near the water. One day after work, I decided to check out South Boston's L Street Running Club, a group that ran together everyday (freaks). This was back in the day when I did silly things like "run" and "workout" and "wear a size 4" on a regular basis. Anyways, I'd also brought along another friend, Ellie; she'd also lived in Southie and liked to run. During one of the runs, we met this girl Chris, another local our age. She was the only person from the running club who gave us the time of day (or maybe it was the fact that we showed up late by, like, 3 SECONDS! and the club just TOOK. OFF. on us. Dayum, they fast. And punctual.). Chris was so friendly and cracked up during the entire run. At the end of the run, we all had exchanged numbers and planned on meeting up in the future.
One night we had arranged to hang out at the infamous Beer Garden in Southie. What I didn't know was that Chris had also invited one of her best friends along, Mike. It had been Chris' intention to set up Mike& Ellie. As I was driving in, the 3 of them already had had a few beers by the time I'd showed up. I think Mike's reaction to the idea of a Ellie/Mike love connection was "hells no" and "bitch, crazy?" (this is my story, and this is what I say he said).
And then.... I walked in.
(for this sequence, cue the sexy muzak to be not-so-subtly played in the background as Mike's now tunnel vision hones in on a back-lit me sauntering my way over to their table in my sexiest 2" cork flip flops (in slow-mo, naturally) as I shake my medium length, expertly highlighted hair back & forth.)
[did you miss the part where this is my story??]
So, nothing really eventful though. Well, except other than the fact that Chris can tell Mike is TOTALLY SMITTEN WITH ME. Of course, she is the only one. Me? Not so much. But I think he's cool though. During the various conversations that evening, Chris asked/announced, "Hey, Jen - aren't you looking to move to South Boston?" (ahyup) "And Mike, aren't you and Tim looking for a new roommate?" (uh-huh)
Let's just fast forward to the interview to meet Mike (again) and Tim.
And I KILL. KILL! I think it's definitely locked up. And I am psyched.
I'm gonna live in South.eeee!
And then they offered it to the other guy they interviewed. Apparently, they called me while I was away in Arizona and Mexico for a long weekend and when I didn't call back the minute they called me (Mean Face!), they panicked for fearing I wasn't gonna call back in time and rang up Bachelor #2. When I got back, I called them and was bummed to learn they'd given away my "LOCKED UP" spot. But as luck (Fate?) would have it, he turned out to be a real weirdo, bailed on them, and I got my spot back.
And all was well. Really.
No dwarf "The Rock"s.
No ass commute with Massachusetts's most heinous, living, breathing, nightmare of a rotary.
And people I actually dug hanging out with.
However, there was still the small matter of Mike "liking me-liking me".
After about a month of living together, a whole bunch of Southie Suspects met out at the Beer Garden. There was about a crew of 10 of us knocking back the Coronas like tomorrow was a rumah. It was a great summer night. I was clicking with the Southie Contingency. But like all good things,.... bars close and kick the drunk people out. We were no exception.
Tim had headed back with Meg to Meg's place, so it was just Mike and I walking back to the apartment. I am sure we were both babbling idiots. At least me anyway. We continued said "conversation" of God knows what hanging out in his room. (NOTHING HAPPENED HERE. JUST WAIT A SEC. GOD.) When I realized that I was falling asleep on his bed around three in the morning - the beer coma hammering that second to last nail (I must have run out of Red Sox talk) I mumbled something insightful like, "yeah, I'm falling asleep. I'm gonna go to my room now."
But you know, even in a sleepy, Corona-induced fog, I thought it strange that he was walking me to my room. A room whose door formed a right angle with his. Not exactly a hike. "Why is he walking me to my room? I'm pretty sure there aren't any muggers hiding in the hallway." And he just kinda stood there and all I could think was, "well, ...okay then." However, instead of allowing for the Awkward Silence, I continued to talk. But at 3 a.m. and with 6 Corona peed out of me by that point, I couldn't think of one damn good thing to say. Because....
IT'S THREE IN THE MORNING, PEOPLE. THERE IS NOTHING GOOD LEFT TO TALK ABOUT AT THREE IN THE MORNING.
But like I said, I would not allow for the Awkward. So I scanned the room to find something conversational and the first thing that I caught was ...my busted dresser complete with its bottom drawer face leaning on the floor. Knowing of Mike Mr. Fix-It abilities (He "went voc" in high school), I forlornly looked at it and said to him, "yeaaaah, there's the wounded solider." (shut up. this isn't even the bad part.) This helped killed the Awkward Silence for about a minute as he inspected the drawer and said that he could indeed fix it (told ya). But then this subject dried up ("it's broken", "I can fix it", "cool, thank you") Awkward Silence reappeared and I once again found myself in a position to survey my room for another topic. Something topical. To speak of. Using words. Any words.
Prior to this night, I had mentioned to him this flannel sheet set I had. The design was polar bears doing various wintry things like skiing, snowboarding, making snow angels, etc. I thought they were kinda funny. But this was July and I was still using them on my pillow. So when I did Survey #2, I saw it and walked over to my bed and picked it up and said one of the lamest things one could ever say:
"Yeah, so here's that pillowcase I was talking about."
At this point, I was practically presenting it to him like he was Lord of the Linen Closet or something.... "Your pillow, Sire."
[so here's that pillowcase I was talking about." can y'all hear the sound of my banging my head on my computer as I chant, "Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice."? yeah, I thought as much.]
I'm "guessing" after that gem he could tell the night had Jumped the Shark conversationally and as if Kevorkian to my Obvious Brain Dead Patient, he finally decided to take over.
But he did so in a really weird way.
In a very serious tone, asked, "Can I ask you a question?"
All I could think was, "Aw, shit. He must've drawn the short straw to talk to me about something. That's why he's acting weird. The guys hate me. Great, but what have I done? I thought things were cool. Is it that I keep my box of tampons under the sink?? The thought of "Ladies Problems" bothers them? Or is it the curtains?? It's the curtains. Yeah, that was being pushy. Or is it that I have too many products in the shower?? Is that it? For the Love of God, What, WHAAAT??"
As I waited, I sat there on the edge of on the edge my bed, and nervously braced myself for apparently my very couched smackdown.
"Have you ever kissed a roommate before?"
Okay, at this point in my life, I don't think my eyes had ever been that wide. Obtuse much, Jen?
Huh. I guess he didn't have an issue with the tampons or the curtains.
(oh, and no, I hadn't)
And the rest, as they say, is romance history. We're engaged now.
In hindsight, it appears that when I signed the lease to be his roommate, I guess I didn't read the "Until Death Do You Both Part" clause.