My boyfriend Alex and I started dating December 11th, 2009. You could say we are high-school sweethearts. We first began talking in anatomy class our senior year. But I noticed him way before he noticed me, I’m talking years before he noticed me. I remember being in French class in junior-high, turning to a friend to ask her if she knew his name. Of course, I was way too chicken to say anything to him myself. Years went by, we continued through our awkward pre-teen years. High-school rolled around and junior year we were in gym glass together. I remember asking him to be my square-dancing partner - yes, our high school required a square-dancing lesson in gym class. Think of all the first hand real world experience I gained from putzing around like a fool while trying not to let my partner feel how sweaty my palms were. Anyway, we danced together junior year, to this day Alex still does not remember this. Apparently, my pre-teen and teenage self was forgettable. I’m not surprised though, that’s pretty much how I went through school. Literally I’m only 4’ 11” today so image how small I was then, just another little fish in a sea of prepubescent fish.
Senior year presented its ugly head and I was trying more than ever to figure out who I was and what I wanted out of life. But let’s be real - what 17-year-old has their shit together? I sure didn’t. Our anatomy teacher assigned us seats and as luck would have it Alex sat right behind me. I felt this draw to him that I had never felt with anyone before. Looking back, I can pinpoint these times my young self wanted to say something, to reach out, to let him know I existed in the world but was too scared. The universe aligned and not only were we in anatomy class together, but gym again. We had a mutual friend and ended up playing volleyball together in gym class that year. Let me paint you a picture. I’m 4’ 11” fumbling around the gym trying to not fall on my face while I attempt to knock the ball over the net. Alex is in the back row 6 feet tall with these legs that to this day impress me. The day I finally get up the courage to say anything to him the only thing that comes out of my mouth is “You’re so tall!” Come on girl, no shit he’s tall. But alas, there was nothing else my adolescent brain could produce.
Fast forward a few months to October, Halloween is approaching. We chatted about what we were going to be doing for Halloween and debated about our favorite candy. I lightly suggested, more like demanded, he should bring be a Reese’s after going trick-or-treating because Reese’s are my favorite. To my surprise the day after Halloween Alex shows up in anatomy class and opens his hand to me to offer a Reese’s.
See I had never had a boyfriend. Well unless you count a three-day relationship with a fellow seventh grader. Which I don’t. So being presented with this Reese’s was the first interaction I had with a boy making an effort to say, “I heard you, I care what you have to say, and I care about your interests.” His caring nature swept me off my feet. After that I knew I wanted to know more about him. We continued to talk in gym and anatomy. I’m not sure how to the topic came up but we began talking about Rocky Horror Picture Show. If you’ve never been to or heard of Rocky Horror Picture Show do some googling but prepare for a weird wild adventure. I had plans to go to the show in a few days with an uncle. Alex had been many times before - his mom is a fan and had taken him and his sister in the past. All of these little dots were beginning to connect to draw our larger picture. I told him what day I’d be going to the show and he mentioned that him and his sister might attend that show as well. I hoped that I might run into him that evening. I went to the show with my uncle and fortunately, I did “run into” Alex that evening. My awkward conversion skills had finally begun to win him over. He was looking for ME!
Facebook was just starting to become a thing at this time and I remember spending hours scrolling through his page looking at photos of him, his family, his dogs, his life. Thinking I wanted to be in those photos. I wanted to be a part of his life. We would message each other back and forth in the evenings after school. We had been talking for a few months and I decided I wanted things to move along more quickly. During one of our chats I “asked,” more like told him he should take me to Rocky Horror Picture Show. He agreed, we set a date, and we had our first date scheduled. I then had to convince my mom to let me go on my first date, at midnight. Most of the Rocky Horror Picture Shows I’ve been to start at midnight. I’m not sure if that’s common or just the theater near us. My mom agreed and I was thrilled.
I remember our date so vividly. It was a cold day in November. Alex picked me up at 11:00 p.m. It’s interesting I don’t remember getting ready for the date or any other details from the day. However, I do remember stepping out of the front door, walking to his car, opening the door and seeing the warm car lights hit his face in such a perfect way. I can feel the warmth of the heat coming from the vents in the car. I was trying to play so cool but I was freaking out pretty much the whole time. I recall being so scared that my sweat stains were going to show through because I was nervous sweating. Fortunately, it was dark in the theater so no sweat stains were to be seen.
The show was a blast! Alex ran three red lights on the way home, he was nervous too, good thing it was 2:00 a.m. and no one else was on the road. He pulled into the driveway and we both got out of the car. We filled with anxiety. I asked if I could hug him before going in. Let me tell you, it was pretty much the most uncomfortable hug ever. I left thinking “has he ever hugged before.” We joke about this today. His one armed awkward hug. Regardless, I walked into the house, my cheeks red hot, feeling weightlessness. One month and a few more odd dates later Alex asked me to officially be his girlfriend. These last nine years have been fun, difficult, amazing, and more than our 17-year-old selves could have ever imaged.
If you’re interested in more stories from these years of our life let me know in the comments and/or on social. I have lots to share after spending 1/3 of my life with Alex. I’d love to share more with you or answer any questions.