So last week was “Matt Week.” Kind of like “Shark Week” but not as creepy. It wasn’t an intentional dedicated week, but with a dissertation defense and a birthday, it couldn’t be anything else but “Matt Week.” Matt Week brought many of you out asking, “How did you and Matt meet?” Lindsay was actually the first reader to ask about Matt and I’s meet story, and I told her eons ago I’d post about it. Eons later…here is the story of us, at least according to me…
In the spring of 2006, I interviewed for a Ph.D program in Texas.
Matt was a year ahead of me and already in the program.
I came to interview; he sat on the student panel who interviewed
He was loud, confident, and laughed a lot.
I noticed, but barely, because I was so anxious about the interview.
In one question, the panel asked, “What makes you weird?”
(Umm, how the hell are you supposed to answer that?!)
I tried to think of something weird, something that wouldn’t make it sound like I tried to find something-weird-but-secretly-normal.
I said I did Jazzercise.
Matt and everyone on the panel laughed.
I laughed, but fakely. Damn. Had my “weird” been too weird?
That following Monday, I got a phone call from a professor.
I got into the program.
I guess my weird was ok.
Matt apparently thought I was attractive/hot/cute (or some other guy form of the word.)
He and his best friend Miguel referred to me as “the Jazzercise girl” for the rest of the summer.
When I got to the program in the fall, I (aka Jazzercise girl) had a boyfriend.
Matt was sad. Matt attempted some flirting.
I wasn’t impressed.
I thought he was loud, obnoxious and kind of cocky.
He thought I was stuck up, bitchy, and vanilla.
Those are common misconceptions of both of us.
Matt is confident (and yes, pretty loud) so it can be seen as cocky.
I am shy as hell in new situations; it comes off as snotty and stuck up.
But over two semesters of graduate statistics, we found two mutual friends…Clare and Miguel.
Me and Clare were besties. Matt and Miguel were besties.
Matt, Miguel, Clare, and me.
The four us began spending more time together, but always as the four of us (or just the besties together.)
No variation of Matt and I together without the others; we weren’t that comfortable with each other.
One night, the four of us were supposed to meet for dinner and drinks.
Clare texted, she had yoga and couldn’t make it. Dang.
Miguel texted, he got caught up in something. He couldn’t make it.
Without the four of us, Matt and I would be clueless and awkward.
We’d have nothing to say to each other.
We each furiously texted half of our phonebooks to try to find someone else to join us.
Someone else to water down his cockiness.
Someone else to water down my snottiness.
No one could come. Not one single soul.
It was too late to cancel without looking like losers.
We’d have to go.
Just the two of us.
We sat out on the patio at a baja taco bar.
The aluminum chairs squeaked as we sat down.
Oh God. This is going to be awkward.
And it was.
For about ten minutes.
Then, with no one there to rescue us, no one there to cover, we had to be our real selves.
Our real, non-cocky, non-bitchy selves.
Two hours later, we went our separate ways.
I can’t lie and say “there were sparks…we knew right away.”
But we both left feeling…different.
Different about each other, different about ourselves maybe, but mostly, different about the way we saw one another.
Not crazy and conceited, but funny and soft,
Not snotty and vanilla, but hesitant and thoughtful.
Weeks went by.
We continued to hang out the four of us, but our real selves were much more visible.
Then one night out, things were different.
I have no idea what was different, why it was different, or why we didn’t question it more.
But things were different. Really different.
There was an undeniable spark between us.
We could both feel it; everyone could see it.
It was weird.
But we went with it.
A few weeks later, it was just us.
Me and Matt.
It was weird and really out of character.
I look back now and think, was it really that way?
Yep. It was. (I sometimes re-read the emails to smile and make sure.)
It was weird alright.
But it was awesome.
I flew to Arizona to meet his family.
I loved them, and they liked (or pretended) to like me.
A few months after the spark, we sat in the customs office so Matt could apply for a passport to spend Christmas with my family.
(My fam was living in London at the time.)
Now I look back and think, good Lord, that was so fast, what if we’d broken up?
That thought didn’t enter my mind then.
And I’m glad it didn’t.
Matt came for Christmas, something I’d never let anyone else share with my family before.
We talked about marriage early on, but both agreed a full year of dating was necessary.
So we dated a year.
He took me ring shopping and then surprised me when I least expected it.
It was perfect.
And better than I’d ever imagined as a child.
We continued to grow together, facing challenges.
Ups and downs.
A year later, June 26, 2009, we got married.
It was the best day of my life.
And a fabulous page in the story of us.
We are so blessed to have one another.
Life is hard, people are not perfect.
Relationships take work.
But there is no one I’d rather have by my side through the ups and the downs,
And the pages of life
* So there you have it… the story of us. I hope this wasn’t too personal or too much. I sat down to write and this is what came out.