How I met my girlfriend~
Anna and I officially got together on 28 Feb, which was almost a month ago. (Still reeling from shock, truthfully. She’s great and I love her. <3)
But, as everyone knows, when you start officially dating someone, there’s always a prequel. Why then? What events had previously transpired so that, on this third rock from the sun, you two happened to meet, fall for each other, and all that jazz?
Well, I’ll try to do that story justice.
I first saw my girlfriend in Jan 2014, as a sophomore, because we were both competing in a quiz bowl tournament between universities in our conference.
I was an alternate- someone who would come in if the captain (a broad 6′3 portly dude with wide-spread beady brown eyes and a small nose, giving him a frog-like appearance) deemed that I’d be of use in the match, since the questions were all subjects and fair game. I was more of a mathematics person, truthfully; but I knew enough about most subjects to squeak by.
So we face Anna’s team for a match- and we’re getting kicked around like a soda can. Her expertise is history, political science, and religion, the same as my captain, and she was quicker with the buzzer than he was, and had managed to put up around 50 points for herself, not counting bonuses.
I suppose my captain thought that I might as well get some buzzer time, since I had not been in a match yet, and switched me in.
The person I switched with was actually seated across from my girlfriend, and I took her seat. I couldn’t help but smile stupidly when I looked at her, and I felt my brain pause for a moment while I stared across the space between the tables and at Anna. I at first answered three questions about the early women’s rights movement, which my captain didn’t know squat about, huffing indignantly at each question, and then I just got lost in looking at her.
If I had to describe that feeling, that feeling I had while I was looking at her for the first time like that, it was a mixture of awe, nerves, and an absolute sense of ease. I was looking at all of her features- her gray-blue eyes, her rounded nose and jaw, her darker-red lips; as if I was going to draw her, sort of frozen in that state. The match kept going, the words that came out of people’s mouths almost sounded muffled to me while I kept looking at her.
The match ended, breaking me out of the stupor. We managed to mitigate some of the earlier ass-kicking, but not by much- and her team beat us.
Afterwards, I tried to talk to her, while both of our teams were there, but they were incoherent tangential thoughts, pieces of different questions mashed together, and she was shyly looking downward the whole time, a slight smile on her face. That was 2014- and this would play in my head a few times, but I wouldn’t understand why until later.
2015 brought the quiz bowl back- and my team was practicing all year. I had managed to dislike my captain even more than I did last year- his attention-seeking tendencies from before had become even worse, replaced now with a sense of cockiness that I found distasteful and arrogant. The other girl on the team, a 5′3 self-important blonde, who was merely driftwood last year, also managed to develop an ego of her own.
The rematch between Anna’s and my team was right before the lunch block. My captain was turning into the shade of beets as she kept beating him to the questions he knew the answers to, putting up a 90-30 lead at the half. I was switched in to trade places with the same girl I was traded with last year.
Déjà vu hit me at this point, because I couldn’t stifle the same smile I gave her and then I spotted the same smile she gave back to me. I was less distracted than last year, and managed to get a toss-up question, which she grinned at me and gave me a thumbs up for, and that made me feel like I was on cloud nine- all the while, looking at her like a unicorn for managing to beat my captain at his own game.
Other subjects were starting to be covered, and my team eked out a win. It was before lunch, and we all were giving handshakes at the end, when I saw a tattoo on her arm and asked her about it. This had then caused the two of us to be walking side by side to the mess hall, where lunch was being served.
As silly as it may sound, one of the things that made me happy immediately is that she managed to pronounce my very strongly Gaelic last name correctly on the first try. I almost corrected her out of habit of getting it botched so many times, to which I swiftly apologized for.
She sat next to me at lunch with my team, to my right. I kept my knee on hers, it bouncing with nerves, and we’re sitting across from my captain, who had decided to share his unsavory opinions over lunch, as one does with mixed company. :|
What had made this even worse is that my captain is part of the group which is the almost-antithesis of what Anna believes in, and he had decided that it would be excellent to talk shit about Episcopalians with an acolyte sitting across the table- about the Presiding Bishop, no less.
She handled herself well, letting him spew his opinions, before reminding him with a level tone of voice, “The ACNA is not recognized as a province in the Anglican Communion.”
He had continued to act the damn fool, talking to everyone else at the table except for us, it seemed; when he started talking to one of the guys across from him, moving his hands like he was rolling dice or grabbing a squishy pencil holder while he talked.
“You must get a lot of practice with that motion,” I commented icily, still offended that he had the nerve to be so rude to Anna.
Everyone, even him, burst out into hard laughter, warranting a few high fives and a subject change, which was all I really wanted. We go outside, and Anna was right next to me, and gave me a few compliments. I was trying to tell her the same- that I thought she was pretty too, that she was really nice, but I felt my own stupid tongue get in my way.
It was almost time for the next block, and Anna and I sat inside, where we were both looking at each other. She had told me more about herself, and about the things that happened in her past, and it had made me really sad. I barely knew her at the time, but I already knew she was a good person. She had this gentle, reassuring vibe and it really hurt to know that she had been through as much shit as she had been through, and a part of me couldn’t bear to not tell her that someone cared about her. And so I told her that I’d be there for her.
I wanted to hug her, or something, but I didn’t want to be a creep. So she thanked me for saying that, and went to her match, and I turned around and went to mine. We met up as our teams were leaving, where she gave me her number and her full name so I could find her on Facebook.
From Facebook, we had talked for a solid two weeks about everything about each other, and I could tell I was free-falling for her. I could remember literally everything she told me; and to an almost scary level of detail. I had to admit to myself that I was truly in love when I could remember her eye color, down to how the color behaved in light and how there was no darker ring around her iris, but a swatch of a gray denim blue two weeks after we last saw each other.
28 Feb is our official relationship start because it was the day when I came out to my dad, after talking with my mom a week and a half earlier. I was terrified of his response- he’s a 6′3, 300 lbs former Green Beret and more conservative than the Amish. But he told me that he wanted me to be happy, and I told Anna as soon as we had the discussion, and we announced being together as soon as I told her.
I felt like sharing this for a few reasons; one, because I think it’s adorable and I get the feels typing it now. Two, because writing helps me organize thoughts and this has been an amazing ride. And, thirdly, Anna and I both have variants of autism- she has Kanner’s, and I have Asperger’s. I felt like this would perhaps help other people see that those of us on the spectrum may not exhibit emotions the same way, but we’re plenty capable of feeling them- which I felt was appropriate since April is right around the corner.
Love you, Anna. Here’s to almost a month, and many more. <3