But anyway, on almost everybody's questions there seems to be one for "how did you meet your SO?"
And I haven't really put that story on one livejournal post, mostly because it's all on livejournal, I started livejournal in 2002 and met my husband in 2005. The rise of our relationship is all on here, right after the rise (and fall) of a few others. But my friends list now is quite different than it was 10 years ago, and I can't just send people back to read those entries because it gets more spread out and complicated in real time. And it's not that wholesome a story, it wasn't love at first sight, once we were together I wasn't instantly 100% sure he was the one. It was during a pretty crazy time of my life... well, let me just start in...
Short version: I like to say we met on a road trip to a hacker conference.
Longer version: I was 25 years old and had just ended an 18 month relationship with someone who was darn close to being The One, but we were missing something. We were compatible but not passionate. Cool with each other, but not in love. I wondered if there was supposed to be something more. So I broke it off and pledged to be single for a year. I was volunteering a LOT on a gay rights campaign, working a ton, starting grad school, liked being busy, and really liked being single.
That spring Kansas passed a stupid anti-gay marriage amendment, ending our gay rights campaign for the year. the airplane I was working on had its first flight, ending my mandatory overtime. I was taking no grad school classes because it was summer. I wanted to relax and party. So I started going out to more bars, and dance clubs with friends, and joining random other little social groups. One of those groups was a linux meetup. meetup.com had really taken off that year, and it was good for established organizations, especially the linux user groups (LUGs) in town.
I'd only been to a few linux meetups when a guy said he was planning a roadtrip to the defcon hacker conference in vegas, and wanted to know if I knew anyone who'd like to come along because there was a spot in a car, and filling spots meant more people to split gas with. I didn't know him that well and wouldn't know anyone else on the trip, but wanted an adventure. I'd be riding through the desert in a car full of strangers but figured it was a pretty complicated scheme if they were setting it all up to serial kill me, if a guy wanted to abduct women a LUG wouldn't be a likely go-to. I wouldn't be the only woman on the trip, everyone had an established career in the computing industry that made their trip sound very reasonable, I was in.
We met up for dinner at river city brewery down town. Turns out it was two cars and even split between men and women and oh guess what, everyone else was coupled up. Eight people, three couples, one single girl (me) and one single guy (awkward)... that was marc. My first memory of him was that we were waiting for everybody to get to the restaurant and then decide to order, we were being all casual and polite and not eating without making sure eeeeeverybody was ready. when the waitress came to just refill drinks and see how things were going, marc didn't ask anybody, just told her what he wanted for dinner. I was inspired. And hungry. And did the same thing. I too wanted to care less about being polite and social norms, and just effing eat.
My other first memory of Marc is the next day we grabbed breakfast before we hit the road, and he was wearing this blue shirt that said "TECHNOSEXUAL" so I started telling him all about my gay rights campaign so he'd know that I helped his people out... then the other girl in the car told me aside that he wasn't gay. oops.
We'd be in the back seat of a rav 4 for 22 hours with our couple friends holding hands in the front seat. We'd just met the day before so we were trying to sleep and be comfortable in the car without crossing that invisible line down the middle. Marc had made all these CDs of trance and break beats mixes and I'd never listened much to electronic music, but it was blaring the whole trip, I'd wake up at 4am and we were flying down the interstate with this very dissociative music, I felt like I'd left the dimension I was used to.
Then we got to vegas and I rocked defcon very independently, going to seminars while everyone else in the hotel was passed out from partying, and I tried to party a bit too but couldn't quite hang with everyone since I spent the daytime awake. When we did go out dancing marc and I were both pretty determined not to couple up and even out this cutesy group because that'd be lame.
On the way back we dropped Marc off in Flagstaff to visit his family and that was that. He'd be going back to Atlanta where he lived.
The other girl in the car had mentioned that she was looking for a roommate, she had a house. I was sick of my apartment and had been looking for a roommate but it hadn't worked out, so I figured it was a sign, I'd have my own room and bathroom there and it was cheaper than my apartment. A couple months later I was in the process of moving when Marc showed back up on his way through Atlanta. He'd gone to high school in Newton with my roommate's boyfriend (guy from my LUG) and they were close friends. I showed up at the house and he handed me headphones plugged into a laptop with some Ciara remix, it was party music and awesome, I flashbacked to our trip and was in a great mood. we all decided to go find a club, the four of us. I danced with other guys there but realized marc was a great dancer, we had a lot of fun, one thing lead to another, story not so wholesome here, move on.
I was still relishing my singleness and was determined to not have a boyfriend but marc and I were weirdly obsessed with each other. He was fun, and different. I'd dated all these white guy engineers who made me feel like the future would be out in suburbia with the dog and the 2.5 kids and no life. When I wanted to join random groups, they'd groan and wonder how I'd fit them into my busy schedule, between distracted interests. Marc just wanted to go right along with whatever was in anybody's head.
When he left and went back to Atlanta things were bad, I really missed him. My LUG friend suggested another road trip, he'd visited marc in atlanta a few times and said it was amazing. So we blew off some commitments and went for a weekend. Marc's friends there said Marc had been a mess, only talked about me. It was a great weekend and when I left to head back home to Wichita I was depressed and really torn. I didn't want to do the long distance relationship thing, long distance relationships are bullshit. Okay for college students spending a summer apart but not for adults. He was talking about scheduling another trip when I emailed him to explain that I thought we should have more of a plan, or stop this, it was too hard.
He emailed back to say he was about to buy a ticket, but felt confused, and I'd raised some good points. I tried to call him, text him, but then he didn't respond at all. I figured I'd put the nail in the coffin. I felt awful about it. I did the logical thing, I knew that... but I didn't feel any better. I went home to my roommate and friends and cried about it and had a terrible night.
Then the next morning he showed up at our door in wichita with a carload of junk. he'd decided to move back for me! which was crazy because he loved atlanta, grew up near here but had always wanted to be GONE, but it felt like the right thing to do. and then we were together!
It got serious fast. At one point I told him that I'd had bad relationships, bad breakups, a guy could be totally normal and then go apeshit crazy and talk all kinds of shit on me just because I'd made the apparently unfair decision to not be with him. Marc said he'd had the same thing happen with women. So we promised each other that our breakup could come at any time, and we each acknowledged the other person's God given right to call it off. It was all set up, we would be totally logical about it, we would have the best breakup ever.
never got to test it though.
I don't remember how long we'd been together, not long, when I mentioned that I could see us as a family someday, just both of us. he stared back at me teary eyed and I don't remember what he said, but that week he started emailing me pictures of engagement rings, and we started talking a lot about getting married. We went engagement ring shopping but it felt wrong. I'm against diamonds, weirded out by the fact that women wear engagement rings but men don't, so we skipped that part and marc used the money he'd saved up to just buy wedding bands for us. and then later, speakers... we joked about our "engagement subwoofer" but that's kinda what it was. I was in grad school, we told my parents in the spring of 2007 that we wanted to get married and might as well do it before school started back up in August. We wanted to have a big wedding party, but didn't really see the need to spend a ton of time planning it, neither of us liked planning weddings and wasn't this just a party like anything else? Our wedding date was picked based on when the church and a reception hall was available... August 4, 2007.
What kind of couple are we? Happy, almost eight years later. Stupid and silly. Still obsessed with each other, especially with the pursuit of time together alone now that we've made two little girls. The babies are wonderful and have the best of us. But in the center there's still us, just Marc and me. Everything else is planets in orbit.
We judge the crap out of other people's relationships, always talking about what's good and bad for a couple. We're good at talking stuff out. When we got married, after barely knowing each other two years, I was worried in my head that it'd all been too fast. I was open to any ideas or advice on how to make it work and beat the odds, we still see so many friends get divorced all the time. I once asked marc if he was afraid of that... what do we have that'll mean we can stay together, when nobody else does? it's so random. what would we do if it was starting to go bad? he said, we'll head butt each other like rams. and whoever passes out last has to save the marriage.
but that's the future... this was just supposed to be about how we met.
sort of indirectly through meetup, you could say? mutual friends? defcon?
there's a short story, and there's the more to it story, either way. I like them both.