I recently shared how we met and I promised I would share our engagement story and wedding story but before we get there, I think we should run through our dating life. As many of you know, a lot of times the most exciting, uncertain, passionate part of a relationship is dating. This is the 50 Shades of Grey part of the blog so I will channel my inner E.L. James and give you all the details.
If you read the “The other half” post you know that Jess was the instigator of our introduction and her boldness continued throughout our brand new relationship. I will never forget when she dropped me off one time and told me, “you better f’ing call me!” I was still very much wrapped up in my own life of bars, football, and hanging with the boys. I had no idea what was in front of me or how lucky I was that she put up with my tom fooleries. What made Jess special to me is that she could hang with the boys. She was always ready to deal with bad jokes, lots of booze, and even more sports on TV. The boys continuously tested her and she didn’t even flinch. She was one of those girls that could hang with the guys, wore ironic t-shirts, and put her hair in a pony tail all the while looking the perfect mixture of beautiful and cute. I think there is a country music song about this type of girl and there definitely is a movie.
We immediately hit it off and our dating life was fun. It was mainly wrapped around fun outings, lots of dinners out, bbqs, weekend trips, and all the fun typical new dating life adventures.
When I first met Jessica, her mom was in remission. Sherry was diagnosed with breast cancer before we met. Jess was still in college and she invited me to one of her art shows. Jessica’s emphasis was metal smithing. At the first art show that I attended, the piece she was showing was a bra with a silicon breast and a silver nipple. She was wearing a white men’s tank top undershirt (PC name), jeans, and chuck taylors when I showed up to her show. I know right, the girl from the country music song.
“Can you believe they told my mom she couldn’t have a nipple. Well… I made her one!” Thats what she told me when describing her piece. We dated for roughly 6 years before we got engaged. I know what your thinking, wow you guys moved fast. It wasn’t perfect but our dating had more ups than downs and a little bit of the on again off again that happens when you are young and figuring each other out.
At one point, Jess moved back to northern California to be with her mom when the cancer returned. This was a difficult time for a 24 year old girl who had to put her life on pause while she spent the last days with her mom. Bouncing from couch to couch for three months was not easy but it’s part of her make up, bold and strong. It speaks to her strength. And when she gave me the call, I immediately flew up. She picked me up at the airport and she melted in my arms. She had been so strong for so long, and the emotions welled up and poured out. I gave her a glass jar of sand from Coronado beach. That was where Jess, Sherry, and I had spent a great weekend together and where we would spread some ashes so Sherry would always have that happiness in her life.
When Jess moved back to San Diego, we ended up moving in together. Living together was easy. We became great roommates and the dating ended and we just became us. We lived together in a converted basement in North Park and then moved to a duplex in South Park. (No, Kenny was not our neighbor). This is where we lived when the great black out of 2011 happened September 8th, 2011. It was a crazy day and full of anticipation. As all the neighbors gathered around and had an impromptu block party, there was more on my mind than when the lights were going to come back on. I was anxiously rotating a ring in my pocket, wondering how I was going to pull of my proposal.