Thursday, October 15, 2015

Jason & Brenna - A Love Story {Part I}

Jason and I are celebrating our 7-year wedding anniversary this weekend. I've been wanting to write down our story for a long time and this feels like a good year to finally do it. So, here is the first installment...

It was the end of my senior year of high school and I needed to find a second job for the summer before I moved across the state for college. A friend of mine recommended a local 9-hole golf course, so I applied and got the job along with another good friend of mine. It was sort of the perfect gig - working with friends, flexible hours to make time for my other job, laid-back owners who didn't really care how much pop or cookies I consumed, a TV in the clubhouse, downtime to read in between customers, and a bunch of guys who worked outside, one of whom was suuuuper cute.

I actually remember the first time I saw him. I was at the cash register, probably getting the cart key for an 80-year-old regular, when a guy walked in dressed in dirty blue sweatpants, a Cardinals Baseball t-shirt, and sort of messy blondish hair. He was tan and cute and....didn't say a word to me. I found out his name later by snooping through the time cards and figuring out, by process of elimination, who he was.

All the employees at the golf course had to help at a kids' league every Thursday morning {never mind the fact that most of us knew nothing about golf}. The owner, Bud {his name really sums up who he is}, would pair up the employees and send us out with a group of kids to play. I was usually paired up with my friend, Jessica, and spent the entire time talking about how cute that Jason guy was while she gave me tips on what I should say to him or how I might get him to talk to me. At the end of the day, everyone ended up back in the clubhouse to eat and make sure the kids didn't break anything. One day, Bud paired Jason and I together {I think he prided himself on matchmaking his employees} and I was straight up terrified. Here's what I knew about him: he was a college guy, he played baseball at Saginaw Valley, he was quiet, and I had no idea what to talk to him about. I'm sure most of our conversations were sort of lame. I mostly remember him bickering with a little boy named Peter who teased Jason for being a Yankees fan. I also remember the day I chipped one in from the green {according to one of the kids I "eagled" that hole, and I still have no idea what that means} and Jason said he was very impressed. So, I was clearly catching his attention with my confidence and charm.

We started to sit by each other in the clubhouse after golfing and played cards a few times. He taught me how to play Rummy, which we would come to play a lot over the next decade. After a couple weeks of this, I somehow got up the nerve to ask if he wanted to, "I dunno, go play putt-putt or something, sometime, maybe?" He said something along the lines of, "Yeah," and wrote his number on the Rummy scorecard and I tore off a piece and gave him my number, too.* 

*This is a good time to point out that there remains contention about this part of the story since a certain someone refuses to confess that it was, in fact, the girl who asked the boy out first. My blog, my version, dear.

He called that night {fluttery stomach!} and asked if I wanted to hang out that weekend. We decided to meet up the next night at the tennis court, which was a big nighttime hangout spot when I was in high school since there were lights on as long as you put a quarter in before they went out. I don't remember that much about playing tennis, though Jason maintains that he dominated the court and won me over with his natural athleticism. Come to think of it, he may have referred to himself as Andy Roddick a lot. What I do remember about that first date was sitting by my car {actually, no, it was my mom's car because I had been in a bad accident that Spring on my way to the golf course, so I had no car. Minor detail...not important...but, my blog!} in the parking lot after playing and just talking for a long time. We decided to go out again soon, and so began our little summer fling.

If I could go back and watch some of our first dates play out, I would probably hate how terribly quiet I was. On our second date we went to Outback Steakhouse and I ordered a salad {Seriously? Order a steak, girlfriend!}. And I barely spoke. This is true in both versions of the story - Jason had to carry the conversation that night. And if you know Jason, especially the younger Jason, you'd know that was not his comfort zone. I guess he really liked me though since we continued to go on dates for the rest of the Summer. The first movie we watched together was Tommy Boy and he grabbed my hand for the first time and held it during the rest of the movie. I know, I know - so cliché! Who doesn't think of that movie and have some romantic story to go along with it?

As the summer was coming to an end, I was getting ready to move across the state for my freshman year of college and really didn't know what would happen. I liked him a lot, I knew he liked me, but I was about to start this brand new phase of life and really didn't expect to be starting a relationship at that point. But, alas, the day before I moved away, Jason asked if I wanted to be his girlfriend. I didn't even hesitate before saying yes. And so, mere minutes before I said goodbye and moved 3 hours away from him, before considering what being in a long distance relationship meant or wondering if it was maybe not the greatest idea, Jason and I became an official couple. 

Here's one thing I'll say for dating long distance, especially in a brand new relationship: it forces you to talk A LOT. I didn't have a car and both of us were busy with school, so we were limited to the weekends Jason could come visit me, which didn't happen very often. We wrote emails. We talked over AIM {throwback!}. And we talked on the phone. A lot. His family maintains that this part of our relationship completely boggled their minds. The fact that he could talk on the phone to me for hours had them stumped. Have I mentioned that Jason was very quiet when we met? 

This went on for a couple months - the emailing, calling, talking. I missed him and really wanted to live closer to him. But I also loved college and was making good friends and was excited about this relationship and everything going on in my life. It was all really good. Until Thanksgiving when we broke up...

To be continued....

No comments:

Post a Comment