About a week ago, I started typing up T’s and my story. When I got to three pages in Word and hadn’t even made it to our first date, I realized that it might end up being a little long for a single entry. What can I say? I like writing about us!
So, here we go!
Walk With Me: Our Story, Part I
The year I turned 29 was a good year. I had quit smoking and had taken up running. I felt great and I looked pretty good, too, if I do say so myself.
Soon after my birthday, I turned to my friend K and said, “I’m going to kiss a lot of boys this year.”
She looked at me in surprise. This was understandable, as I was considered the prude of our bunch. My worst enemy couldn’t call me promiscuous.
“Oh, I don’t want to sleep with them,” I told her. “I just want to kiss them. I want to have some fun.”
To this point in my life, an almost debilitating shyness had prevented me from doing much dating…or much of anything, actually. But through running, my confidence blossomed.
So, I started dating. I dated Chris. I dated Jason. I dated Brett. I dated Dan. Some of these guys were nice. Some weren’t. Most wanted more than I was willing to give.
The dating pool stagnated. I became discouraged, then downright disgusted. Eventually I gave up altogether. I would rather be alone forever, I decided, than dip into those algae-infested waters again. I’d had my fun, but I was done.
Meanwhile, I’d turned 30 and the leaves started to turn on another fall. K and her husband Joe talked about climbing Mount Washington before the hiking season ended. One day Joe, a member of the army National Guard, mentioned that his platoon leader lived close by and also liked to hike. I did an internal eye roll.
“Is he good-looking? K asked.
“I don’t know,” Joe said.
“Oh come on. Don’t give me that,” she told her husband. “I know if a girl is attractive or not. You must know.”
“I don’t know,” Joe said again. “He’s kind of goofy-looking, I guess, like me.”
“Do you have a picture?” K asked excitedly. “You need to bring us a picture first. Then we’ll decide if he can come.”
I laughed again, but Joe agreed that he’d try to get a picture next drill weekend.
This is what he came home with (minus the other guys cropped out).
“How old is he?” I gasped, looking at the face he pointed out to me. “Eighteen?”
“No, he’s my age, I think,” Joe said. Joe is a few years older than me.
“No. There’s no way. He looks twelve. Are you sure?”
Joe told me he was.
Whatever, I thought. He might come with us, but it didn’t matter to me one way or the other. The face in the picture wasn’t my type and I wasn’t looking anyway. I just wanted to climb Mount Washington.