I'll start off this post by saying that there's going to be no information whatsoever about Amelie in this post. I will do a 2nd post after this one, and post pertinent information in that.
Still there? Ok, here is the story of Shelley and Jason.
Yesterday was not our 10 year anniversary, that will be on June 26th, 2014. We still have a little bit until that fortuitous date. Yesterday was the 10 year anniversary of our blind date.
I'm going to state upfront that this entire post is MY recollection of what happened on that date. This is NOT Shelley's recollection, therefore I'm right, and she's wrong, and she's the one who misspoke, and I'm not the one who misheard, and therefore I am right. Got it there, Knittergirl? History is written by the winners, and I guess by having a blog with MILLIONS of readers, I'm the winner. (did I overstate that a bit? Never.)
So I went to Michigan State University, and I knew this girl named Sarah. (1993/1994-ish). We went to a few concerts together, and then fell out of touch for one reason or another. Fast forward 7 years.
I bump into Sarah in Ann Arbor, and she's married, and I've just gotten divorced. Sarah's husband doesn't particularly like watching 'chick flicks' and he sends her out to see them with me. We do so every once in a while, and we go out and have a drink and talk afterwards. We talk alot, as we're both massively extroverted. We talk about relationships, positive ones we can look up to, and all other sorts of stuff. She's good peeps.
Over the next 2 years, Sarah and I exchange many emails, and watch some movies, and she is the person I explain all my TERRIBLE mistakes I make getting back into the dating pool. There's still one person who I treated so bad that she'd rather I never talk to her again. I still feel really bad about that, but how do you change the past? You don't. You just make sure you don't do the same thing again.
So in the late summer/fall of 2002, Sarah tells me that this woman just started working at her agency, and that she's absolutely perfect for me. BUT..... she's not going to introduce me to her because I "need to get my shit together". (Pardon the language, but I felt it appropriate) She was totally right. I did. But she did promise to set us up once she was sure that I was ready.
In January of 2003, Sarah passed my email address along to this winsome lass named Shelley. As a bit of background, when she did this, I was at the busiest point of my entire life. I was working for WNEM in Saginaw full time (usually 45-60 hrs a week) and taking classes to be a teacher (18 credits at EMU, and another 6 at Mott Community College). Yeah, do that math.
Shelley and I started emailing back and forth, and after a few weeks of getting to know you emails, settled on February 1st as a blind date. I asked her to meet me at the Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant....because it was a total test. I admit it now, and it was a jerky thing to do, but I figured if she couldn't handle trying Ethiopian food with me, she wasn't going to be my kinda girl anyway.
She did meet me (roughly 4p), loved the food, and enjoyed the framed picture I brought for her of a sunset off Mission Point north of Traverse City. We talked for nearly 4 hours. We were at a table just to the left of the door when you walk in. It's a great place to sit. :)
After we got done talking there, I asked her a very specific question, and one in which I was paying very close attention to her answer. I asked her if she wanted to go grab a drink somewhere to keep talking. She said she'd love to. I said, "Do you prefer beer or wine?" She said "I prefer beer." I had worked out that I needed two places ready to go, within walking distance. We were going to go to Palio on Main St. for wine, or the Arbor Brewing Company for beer. I was ready for both.
So she said beer, so we head to Arbor Brewing Company, a block away. She acts really strange the entire time we're there, a total change from how she was acting when we were at Blue Nile. I'm totally confused. We talk about beer choices, and she is really hesitant to drink anything that's really beer-y. I am confused! SHE SAID BEER! We order beers, I'm trying to roll with it. She drinks maybe half, and then we leave.
I ask her if she wants some coffee and dessert. She loves the idea, and there's this little Eastern European place called Amadeus that's right next to Arbor Brewing. We go in there, it's a great time, and we close the place talking. Its' probably near midnight at this point, and most things are closing, and I totally want to stay away from the alcohol thing again, so we start walking.
So we walk, and talk, and walk and talk, and somewhere after 2am, maybe as late as 3am, we say goodbye.
I send Sarah an email, and tell her that I'll marry Shelley if I don't f**k it up. The date was that good. Sarah responds that of course it was, and that of course I will, and she knew that all along, and that's why she didn't let me talk to her until I was ready.
We got engaged 7 months later, and then married 8 months after that.
So last night was the anniversary of that first blind date. I could include a LOT more details, like how I blurted out at the Blue Nile that I both had a really large tattoo (totally not large for 2013's standards, but large for 2003's) on my back, and that I was divorced, and that if either of those were dealbreakers I'd understand.
I could talk about how fast I talked, and how she said I was a totally anxious whirlwind that first night. Or how I got cold at the end of the night and grabbed my fleece out of my car, which I had promised Sarah would NOT make an appearance on this date. I love this fleece, and I still have it. But it is horrendous, and needs to be immortalized in pictures, yet I have none that I know about. I'll do so for a future post.
What I'm really trying to say here is that I did not have my shit together, as Ms. Sarah said....but Shelley saw something worth......refining, and decided to dig a little deeper. She's been refining and digging for 10 years now.
To quote a note that Shelley wrote to me, and is now laminated and on my classroom wall,
"There is no one else that I'd rather fight this fight with, or for."
I'd say ditto, but then I'd be making a bad reference to Ghost, and I never did much like Patrick Swayze movies.
So I'll totally agree with her, and say that there's no one that I could think could handle a diagnosis and treatment for Medulloblastoma better than she. If I can just keep her together as she keeps everyone else together, then I've done my job, and a damned good job it was to do.
Another post later if the stars align!