Monday, July 4, 2011

July 1, 2001

Ten years ago, my cousin Laura was dating Joe's best friend.  Before my senior year of high school, I went to New York for a visit, but missed out on meeting Laura's boyfriend because both he and Joe were out of town for the weekend for some tournament.  Joe had made some joke to Laura about being disappointed he wasn't going to get to meet her cousin.  Laura thought it would be funny if I emailed Joe, having never met him, expressing that I was really disappointed I didn't get to meet him too because Laura had told me all about how desperate he was and it was just so sad that we wouldn't get to hang out.  Laura and I were 17.  This was hilarious to us.  So I sent the email and then went on my merry way back to Texas and did not give it a second thought.

Twenty year old Joe, however, was horrified that some strange girl in Texas thought he was desperate.  He emailed me back to assure me such was not the case, and he didn't know why Laura would say such a thing, etc., etc.  I called Laura, read her the email, and we laughed and laughed.  I sent Joe an email back, reassuring him that it was just a joke.  I had no assumptions about his level of desperation.  He sent me an email back and that's how it started.  We emailed and im'ed for several months.

Next time I headed to New York, my interest was piqued and Laura was all too happy to play matchmaker.  I landed in New York, went to my aunt's house, and Laura suggested immediately taking me to Joe's apartment to meet him.  I was nervous and excited and 17, so patience was not a skill of mine.  I was wearing a blue striped skirt and a white tank top and flip-flops.

Laura drove me over, and we knocked on the door.  The door was open so I saw him walking towards us through the screen door.  I remember our eyes meeting.  He invited us in and we made awkward conversation.  Then Laura said she had to take a shower.  It struck me as odd that Laura was going to take a shower at Joe's apartment.  We had not discussed this.  Then she said she'd be back.  She abruptly left.  Seventeen year olds are so smooth.  Joe and I were unexpectedly and awkwardly alone.  We sat on the couch and watched TV.  More awkward conversation.  Laura did not come back for 4 hours.

We hung out every night of my visit.  Then, I went home and got on with my senior year.  He flew down and took me to my senior formal and then my senior prom.  I got accepted to my first choice of colleges in New York, which I had decided on before I even knew Joe existed.

We've had our growing pains and our break-ups and our break-downs.  But we've always found our way back.  We're completely different people now than we were 10 years ago.  Thank God.

When we were all gussied up Friday night, I texted Laura: "We're headed out to celebrate you leaving me 10 years ago to take a 4 hour shower."

"That doesn't sound like something I would do."

It actually sounds exactly like something she would do.  I'm really glad she did.