Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Decade Together

Aaron and I reached a decade today. Yep this dynamic, quirky and mostly harmonious couple has been together for ten years. I still can't believe it. It really doesn't feel like it's been anywhere near that long. As a matter of fact...

Story time*
It feels like it was just yesterday that I was watching my bank account dwindling rapidly after graduation and feeling the urgent need to find a job to hold me over till my real job turned up. It was early June and I went around to all the restaurants on City Island (Bronx) to see if anyone was still hiring poor college students for the summer. Fortunately, the restaurant I worked at during the previous summer had all the girls they needed and the good people at The Seashore hired me.

On my first day, I met a very nice, tall and lanky young man named Andrew. My immediate thought was, "cute. I wonder what he's like when he wakes up." He was so damn mellow that I thought he was just tired as all hell. During the training we passed by a few snapshots on a wall of the wait staff. One of them was of him and this young man who reminded me of a character right out of an anime. Both of them had a cigarette hanging off their lips, cup of coffee in one hand and flipping off the camera with the other. His exact words were, "yeah, this is me and this is my sidekick... I mean partner in crime, Aaron. He's off today, but you'll probably meet him tomorrow." The following day I went in for my second day of training during the dinner shift. I followed a guy named Jamie. He introduced me to the people working that night. When we got to the back room where everyone was preparing, Jamie introduced me to Aaron. Before he got to his name, I said, "Oh yeah, I know you. You're Aaron, right? You're Andrew's sidekick." Jamie just about fell over laughing. Aaron looked shocked and stuttered out, "What the fuck?... Fucking asshole!" and stormed off.

I avoided him for the rest of the night. I couldn't believe I goofed like that. I really didn't mean to say, "sidekick," I really meant to say, "partner in crime" but the damage was done and now this guy thought I as a tool. Andrew came in an laughed about it. But still, I avoided him. Slowly, over the next few shifts, we became better acquainted and eventually it got to the point where others in the restaurant began taking bets on who I'd end up with. I had no intention on ending up with anyone at all. At the start of the summer I had suffered one of the most ego-crushing breakups ever. The guy I had been seeing during my last semester in college told me he wanted to break up because he wanted to try his luck with someone else. A guy! Adding insult to injury, it was the guy I was chasing at the end of the fall semester, the guy he was supposed to fix me up with! Yeah, SO swore men off for a while. I was hell-bent on not even allowing myself to develop a crush. I even went around telling people I was seeing someone, just in case.

So over the next few days we got to hang out at work a lot. They would both have me laughing my butt off during work. Andrew was the first to get my number but I think it was because he wanted to have something to hold over Aaron. after the first day I realized that Andrew, nice as he was, was WAAAAAY the hell too mellow for me. I liked the edgier, quirkier and faster, Aaron; Even though I was so denying it because this was, after all, the summer of ME. Myself, and I. But I digress. One night I got an invite to hang out at this little hole in the wall called Fella's. It's the kind of bar where only locals hang out in and after they go home, the waiters from the whole strip flock to. We hung out and I finally admitted to myself that perhaps I fancied the strange, animated guy. ESPECIALLY since earlier that night he quoted a truly obscure movie that elevated him in my eyes. "I'm a Derek and Derek's don't run." I congratulate you if you know it, you rock! For those who don't know it, don't feel bad. It's a line from Peter Jackson's first film, "Bad Taste." At the time, only true B-Horror movie fans even knew who the hell Peter Jackson was and among those, only a small number of them knew THAT movie. Terrible as this flick is, it's one of my favorite movies ever.

So yes... the following night Aaron was working in the section next to mine and I found myself asking him to hang out after work. He hadn't planned on it, but I really wanted him to come out so I kept asking him. I tried to fool myself into thinking this was only because I thought he was a cool guy and not because I fancied him. Certainly not, we couldn't have that. He eventually agreed. Because we opened, we were let go earlier than the rest of our coworkers. While we waited, we chatted happily till this girl in a tube top and boobs that tested that material came by and challenged him to a round on the video golf game they had at the opposite side of the bar. To my complete surprise, I got pissed! And the longer the game lasted, the harder I began to squeeze the beer bottle in my hand. When he came back I pulled myself together and shook off the irrational anger. There's no way he could be interested in the walking STD incubator. So we resumed our chat and as we talked away, I couldn't help but let my eyes wander to the top of his open work shirt. Until then, I had never wanted to see a guy shirtless, but something made me want to reach across the small table and rip the damn thing open.

I changed the topic. Comedy, yes, comedy, that was a safe topic. I remarked on his knowledge of the funny horror movie he quoted. He said that he was equally shocked that I knew it and said his friend introduced him to Peter Jackson, some other stuff I didn't catch because of his damn shirt, and British comedy. HELLO! "NO WAY?! I love British Comedy!" He asked me my favorites. I rattled off some stuff and ventured into the lesser known titles in the States, to test him out. He knew most of them. I told him that I have been watching Brit comedy since I was little and was the reason I could do several Brit accents pretty well. He challenged me to prove it so I did. At this point I hadn't noticed it but we had been inching closer and closer to each other over the table. Half way through my example of a more posh accent, he stopped me and said, "I'm going to have to kiss you if you don't stop that." Good lord! That's when I noticed the dwindling space. I still don't know where I got the figurative balls from but I suppose it was meant to be. I kept up the accent and said, "Oh, really? Well sir, what if I were to kiss you instead?" He said, "bullshit. You wouldn't dare." I responded with, "Oh really? Wouldn't I?" and a kiss. Just a lingering peck. "I wouldn't dare?" Neither of us moved. Then he said I wouldn't dare do it again. I said, "now you're just being cheeky" and kissed him again. This time a bit more seriously. Nothing gross, but I ended it with a nibble on his bottom lip.

By this time I was screaming at myself in my head wondering what the hell I was doing. I excused myself and pretty much bolted to the bathroom. But rather than chastise myself, I let out a muted scream along with a happy dance followed by a fit of, “ohmyGodohmyGodohmyGodohmyGodohmyGodohmyGod.” That’s when tube top girl walked out of a bathroom stall and looked at me like I had three heads. I smiled and splashed water on my face. After gathering myself, I walked back and over to the tiny two-seater booth table. He asked me if I wanted to get out of there and go somewhere quieter, perhaps get a cup of coffee. And off we went to the Pelham Bay Diner.

What I hadn’t noticed was that during our chat and subsequent kisses that the rest of our coworkers had filed in and were seated at the booth directly behind me. No one noticed what happened. And when I was dancing like a goober in the bathroom, Aaron switched seats to talk to his buddy Andrew. Aaron told him I kissed him. After the, “really?!” high five and, “nice!” Aaron said, “yeah, but I really think she likes you.” Andrew replied with, “She kissed you? But you think she likes me? …You’re and asshole.” And that was that.

The running joke, to this day, is that after all this time; I’m really using Aaron to get to Andrew.

The following morning we went on our first date to the Met. About a week and several of dates later, on June 28th we became an official couple.


Cathy said...

what a great story! A was a goober for thinking you were liking Andrew more :)

Happy Anniversary- holy crap a decade already!

Dizzy Vizzy said...

Aww!! I never knew your back story!!!

BeeOhVee said...

Teehee. By the way, that material is so open for use when you see Aaron next. He's a very smart guy, just every now and then he has moments of spectacular idiocy. He's never going to live that one down.

Hit 40 said...

Howard, the career dishwasher, fixed my husband and I up. We both worked at the same restaurant too.

BeeOhVee said...

:) Sweet! I've never known anyone else who met their spouse working at a restaurant.