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Throughout history stories of romantic meetings are chronicled and passed down through the ages.

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So... How Did You Meet Anyway?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hey Bike Guy!

It was May 2008 and I had just finished my first year in the classroom when I got it into my head to go on a bike trip. A long bike trip, from NYC to Chicago. So I trained and set off in August, really without too much of a plan. I had planned out where I wanted to end up each day, but had made no arrangements for actually staying anywhere. The first two nights of shady motel and illegal camping were adventurous, but not restful, so I decided to couchsurf, which I had done before both as guest and host. The third night of the trip, I found myself in Binghamton, NY, staying with a funny, strange guy about my age.

So he says he'll meet me at his house at such and such time and I'm there waiting for him. He shows up about an hour late with three people other people in the car: a cute girl in the front seat and two other guys in the back. It's the girl who sees me, leans out the window and yells, "Hey bike guy!" Right away I notice that she is really pretty, but a pretty girl in a car with three guys probably equals boyfriend, so I say nothing. Introductions, but pretty girl leaves with the two guys who aren't my host. It turns out my host and another guy are her cousins; the other is into guys. About two hours and six beers later, I'm at the house playing chess when she comes back. We chat, but still out of the loop and not wanting to embarrass myself by asking, I decide to play cool. She says she's moving to NYC in the fall and could we meet up sometime. I say of course, hoping for it but expecting nothing.

Late October, I've finished the bike trip and am back in the classroom when I receive and exchange a few emails with my pretty girl, which ends with her asking if I have interest in attending a party at her brother's house. Which I of course do. I show up ambiguously single and a few beers up, but the party is ending, so I hang out for thirty minutes and go home. She told me later that my intentions were "obvious" and that she had originally invited me just to be "friendly." A few more non-dates and I'm now explicitly single, which is great because after my "obvious" night, there is definitely a look in her eye that I hadn't seen before.

One Thursday night in late November, we were out for a drink in Manhattan and afterward I told her I would walk her to her train. We're a block away waiting at the corner when I catch the look again. I pause, and decide to lean in. She kisses me back and everything is standing-ovation-fireworks for about ten seconds, before a bunch of drunk college kids start taunting us; hooting and clapping, yelling, "FIRST BASE! FIRST BASE!" at us from a few steps away. This, of course, made us both laugh enough to stop the kiss, but after a brief exchange, they leave and we get take two.

Since the day of our first proper post-kiss date, we have spent way more days apart than together. I asked her to move abroad when I did. She had commitments to work and another degree so we've grown closer despite an ocean and six time zones. I've carefully wracked memory, datebook and email, and figured out when it will be when we'll have spent more days together. Roughly, we'll be a proper couple just before Valentine's Day 2011.