You have two options: run or jump in

Soundtrack: “Crash into me” by Dave Matthews Band

I’m enjoying an absolutely delicious chicken salad while dining with a friend in July 2014. He asks me, “So, when do you think you’ll start dating again?” Now, at the time, I’m still getting back to normal. I’m like “ahh, I don’t know, man. I’m not having a great time with finding someone who doesn’t turn out to be a complete hot mess.” Well…

My father is one of my best friend’s on the entire planet. If I could only begin to tell you how much grief I gave this man during my life. We didn’t see eye to eye 98% of time. But when I was 18 years old, I found out he was not biologically my dad. Apparently, he met my mother while she was pregnant with me and they were friends while in New York. So, he has literally been the only man I knew of as my father. As for sperm donor (as I call him) he took off or some shit, I honestly do not care. When I found out, my dad asked if I had questions or what I was feeling. I clearly remember saying, “Well, damn remember when I was 13 and said I wish you weren’t my dad? Now I just feel bad.” He laughed his ass off. We have been close ever since and it is rare we don’t get along. He didn’t have to take responsibility for me at all, but he did. I was more shocked that both families kept it a secret for so long. I was a bit impressed. LOL

So now you got that back story, I’m talking with my pop one night. He met his wife on match.com 8 years prior. He says “oh, just do it! It be great, meet people, talk.” My POP helped me create my profile and picked my username, “1guykindagurl”, freaking priceless. I figured well hell, if anything, I’ll get a few free meals and conversation. My pop was actually my distress call. For those who don’t know, it is when you go on a date and you have someone call you like 30-45 minutes into it. You can either say, “Oh, okay, I’m out right now, I’ll call you later” or “Omg, what? Is she okay? Okay, okay, I’ll be there soon!”DUDE. DO THIS. DO NOT AND I REPEAT, DO NOT GO ON A DATE WITHOUT A DISTRESS CALL. I ACTUALLY HAD TO USE THIS WHEN A DUDE ENDED UP BEING FROM CREEPVILLE. NO JOKE. Just trust me on this one.

I had grown so much during the entire process of working my crap out, I learned to love who I was and I wasn’t going to change for anyone, ever again. I wasn’t going to put my dreams on hold again. I wasn’t going to apologize for being me. I received an e-mail one week into this adventure. The e-mail was so articulate, it actually referred to things that were in my profile. He actually asked me questions that were relevant. He also spelled words correctly and did not spell with “U, 2, Y, or 2morrow.” By the way, I have to do that on twitter sometimes and it bothers the very depth of my soul. No one is perfect, but for the love of god man, don’t send, “So what r u doin 2morrow?” ::insert cringe face here:: His age: 32. I am 23 at this time. “Oh lord Jesus, but…”

So, not only was there complete sentences, but he was actually interested in my personality rather then sending an e-mail saying, “OMG, you’re hot.” We spoke on the phone one morning after I had worked all night. It ended up being a 3 hour conversation. He was so interesting and we had an intelligent conversation. Later that night, we had a 7 hour phone conversation. Then the next night, then the next night, then the next night. We had discussed everything from religion, to politics, to dumb stuff like “That is not how toilet paper goes on the holder!” We had spent 25 hours just talking on the phone before we decided to meet in person.

He lived 2 1/2 hours from me. Yeah, ridiculous. I’m like “eh, I don’t know about this one, but we’ll see, he’s a cool dude.” He says he messaged me because my username just stood out to him and my profile included, “If you watch Keeping up with the Kardashians or any other reality TV related to said show, do not message me.” Apparently, he thought this was fantastic and he just had to speak to me. I thought about where we should meet. I thought, “We could go to Carowinds. If it ends up not working in person (ya know, chemistry and such), at least I got to go to Carowinds for free. Aren’t I just awful? I know.

He calls me that night after the day had winded down and says, I shit you not, “I thought where we should meet. I know you said you like amusement parks, we should go to Carowinds.” ::insert mouth drop face:: “Okay, I will bring lunch meat and we can eat lunch out of the trunk, it is expensive in the park!” He said, “I actually thought about that and was going to offer to bring lunch…”

The day of truth had arrived. I had been up till 0300 deciding what to wear. I had my aunt on Facetime. Well… remember when I said I was awful? Oh yeah, I’m the worst. I woke up 2 hours late!! He had been calling me and I didn’t show up. I apologized up and down. I showed up at 1100. Not 0900 as planned. I am never late for anything, but the day I had to actually be up to meet what could possibly be one of the best days of my life, I slept through my alarm. GO figure…

I get there! I see a Ford-150 park next to me. I thought “okay, okay stay calm. It will all be okay. Just be chill.” I get out, he gets out. A beast gets out of the damn that truck. I’m talking 6’2, built solid, except for some tummy, but it worked for him. Oh and he’s wearing the same color as me, blue. Which by the way, looked damn good on him. So you know when you sweat, you can get self conscious about it? Well people, this is the south and in South Carolina in July. It is 100 degrees outside. I’m going to sweat. Like I said, big dude. Towers over my 5’7 self and his hands are the size of a grizzly bear. He’s sweating too. We are in line for a coaster when he says, “I’m sorry I’m sweating, I know it’s gross.” I said “Dude, I’m starting to stink. We’ll sweat together.”

I had never experienced the feeling I had with him. He literally kept me interested and had intelligent things to say. He worked, he had a Bachelor’s Degree in Business (he had received a full ride). I was my true self. Completely stripped of all my barriers. I told him things I couldn’t tell my family or close friends. He completely shook my world to its core and frankly, I was terrified. I was taken, but also kept myself grounded. He asked me one week after Carowinds if I’d be his girlfriend. When he  said during one of our long phone conversations, “I usually wait some time before making a commitment. I’ve just had bad relationships and I’m just not wanting to jump into things.” So this dude, is asking me to be his girlfriend, 3 weeks after sending our first e-mail, less then a month from me starting nursing school, he lives 2 1/2 hours away and given my track record with men, should I do this or back away to breathe?

Do I run for the highest hill or just jump into the water with my clothes on and say “Screw it!”

As I sit here, writing this entry, that man is downstairs watching TV in our living room. He asked me to marry him a while back and the date is September 23rd, 2017. He supported me the entire way through nursing school. I drove to see him every or every other weekend. He traveled for work. He sold his home in South Carolina and moved to Charlotte. We bought a home here last year. He switched careers and though we have been through some dark, dark times, things that break up marriages (seriously, I’ve seen it), we are still here, together.

The both of us grew up kinda rough. We never had anything handed to us. We had to work for it and we had both made ourselves promises to never live like that. He knows what hard work is and he gets it. He knows every single thing about me, he knows my past, he’s seen my manic episodes. He has seen every aspect of my life. He has seen me at my worst and he has seen me at my highest high. He never once stopped treating me like a queen. He makes my coffee every day. He doesn’t even drink coffee! He knows what I’m going to do before I do! It freaks me out actually. He knows me better then I know myself.

When we met, I still had pieces to be put back together. He took on all my broken pieces, my dog and he made it his life. He literally just came into my office and asked if I was ready for my protein shake (we are both on diets. I’ve lost 15 lbs and he’s lost 22). We don’t have to be up each other’s behinds 24/7. We have our own identities and our own things we like. I can do my thing and he can do his. Brandon is my lobster.

J.E

jordan and brandon

strauss and luna
Strauss and our newest family member Luna

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