I figured since it was Valentines Day I’d tell you a funny story, the best funny story I know, about how I met Mr. Jared. Then, if he’s willing, he can tell you the story too. Because there are two sides to everything.
Andrea: Jared and I both used to live in Residence here in our fine city – a huge forbidding building of 13 floors and a million 18 year old vomiting and peeing into dryers. It was sort of like a brick Armageddon that leaked McDonald’s bags and always smelled of bacon. I had just returned to Canada the year previous and had started working at the residence in my second year as a Resident Assistant. (See: Glorified hall monitor and certified hair holder backer, condom dispenser and all round disapproving face.) I had also recently had my heart broken about twelve times in a row and was seriously considering becoming a nun. And I’m not even Catholic.
One day, I opened my Facebook to find a message from a boy named Jared. This message said nothing but “I don’t know you, but I’d like to” and was completed by a picture of J standing, a bit Napoleon like, on a mountain somewhere with his leg up on a log and a big cheesy smile. I’d like to say I was immediately enamoured and responded back with “Move in with me and lets promise never to eat bacon together” but instead I think I closed it and forgot. Well almost.
I asked my pal S. (who happened to be the Resident Assistant on Jared’s floor, by shear coincidence) who this guy was. To which she replied (and I’ve always said that I owe my entire relationship to S) “Yeah, he’s a really sweet really funny guy!” – then proceeded to show me pictures of him in a “toga” (a huge blue towel) at their “potluck” (where he brought a saucepan of “juice” (orange concentrate with not enough water). And I proceeded to Facebook him back.
I’d like to say that that is when our fulfilling and zombie loving relationship began. But it wasn’t. Because I invited Jared over for tea and a chat. And we drank tea. And I chatted…non-stop. And Jared stared at me from across the table with eyes as big as dinner plates, downed about 8 cups of tea, never peed, and ran away. I think I may have told him my life story – twice, and I think he said “Grhhhmmph” . I closed the door behind him, sang a line of “Another one bites the dust”, and told myself I would never do THAT again.
I sent him a Facebook message with that general sentiment.. We don’t have anything in common (I talk.. you don’t) you’re a great guy (I had my heart broken and don’t have the emotional capital to invest in somebody who for all I know has a comical speech impediment) but I’m so busy (trying to find somebody to glue my heart back together and help me write my essays) and I hope that I see you around! (You won’t make me feel awkward because you won’t say anything!).To which he responded by showing up at my door with a six pack of beer and 7 burned cd’s entitled “Andrea’s Introduction to Drumming” with little musical instruments drawn all over them. And proceeded to sit down, drink almost all six beers, and say maybe five sentences to me. At least he’s persistent.
This went on for a few…months. Now, I’m not the kinda girl who gives it up on the first date (I’ll tell you all about my two foot scar but probably won’t let you see my feet for the first year) but I’m fond of the 3rd date kiss..ok.. hug… alright, can we hold hands? No. I remember one particular instant: We were walking somewhere for a late coffee, and were standing under a lamp post, I looked up, snow was falling lightly around us and I thought “Yes! Yes! This is it! He’s going to kiss me!” to which he laughed nervously and did a little jig, pushing me into oncoming traffic.
I really was torn. Here’s a beautiful man who uses the word “pocketbook” instead of wallet, drinks tea and listens to jazz, is the best beer pong player in the word, a certified member of the century club and has a preternatural ability to identify the most obscure pieces of art – and he won’t kiss me. So what do I do? Invite the two other men interested in me out to a bar with Jared and all my friends for a “lets see if it’s in him” fest. I’m a bad person.
We went to this shitty little blues bar that is one of my favorite places in the world (cheap beer+bikers+students+the best music+sticky floors). I figure, he’s a musician and he likes beer. If he likes me, in the face of two other alpha males, he’s got to show it now, or forever hold his peace, because he wouldn’t be holding me. So I danced. And drank. And laughed. And had a blast. And Jared sat. And drank. And laughed. And didn’t even talk to me. So I talked. And laughed. And drank some more. And hit the dance floor with some gentleman.
And then they started playing James Brown’s “I feel good”.
I remember, in a haze, looking up across the bar at Jared. And staring into the eyes of the most nervous, stressed and determined man I have ever seen in my life. I watched him raise a full glass of beer, tip his head back, and pour it down his throat, after which he stood up, pushed his way onto the dance floor, and started dancing. The worst, most insane, “I’m your grandpa, I’m 90, the last dance I did was the jive and by god I’m going to do something like that now if only I could get my hip to work, my shoes to stop slipping and I’m now going to imitate Mick Jagger” dance I’ve ever seen. And he danced with all of his heart, in public, with me, whooping and laughing and touching me.
Two days later we shared our first kiss, and except in the sanctity of our living room, I have never seen him dance again.
And that was two years ago this month.
Jared: Ok so it’s my turn to tell the story now. I happen to remember it a little bit differently… More glamorous sounding perhaps. The residence didn’t seem so evil to me. It was my first year in college and I was following my dream of drumming. I had just moved to a new city and the only people I knew were either music students or people in residence. I had seen Andrea around a few times and always thought she was cute but I never really had a chance to chat with her. I became friends with my RA (“S” as previously mentioned in the last version) -at the same time I learned of a little website called Facebook. In my defense, I was creeping just like everyone else in the world did at that point (and still does for that matter) when i came across Andrea’s page. (Before she assumed an alias and made it impossible to find her if you didn’t speak Andreanese). I figure- here’s my chance to maybe at least get a first date. Ok, one date. So Imessaged her saying exactly what I felt. “I don’t know you, but I’d like to.”
I got some messages from her, and we messaged back and forth for a while. I was always excited to return home and check if I had any new messages from her. Eventually I went up to her room a few floors up and had some tea. I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t talk unless he needs to, and is completely comfortable with silence. And fine, I’m also kinda shy. So I go hang out with her and drink some of the best raspberry tea I have ever or will ever have and enjoy myself. Andrea on the other hand is slightly nervous and visibly antsy, and she’s the kind of person who fills in all the silence with chatting. So most of the time is spent with her telling me her life story and me entranced with all the things she has experienced (which is more than anyone I have ever met). So I’m awaiting our next exciting encounter and she invites me out!
We end up getting picked up in this horrible car with a couple of guys, one of which is clearly in love with her but also very flamboyant and head to some night club. I’m not a night club guy (ironic seeing as I play in one almost every week..) but I keep my mouth shut because I’m just happy to be on a date (ok, what I thought of as one even if some other people were with us..who thought they were on a date) but with my good luck that dance club was full and we couldn’t get in! So back in the “car” we went, in search of another club. That’s when Andrea pitched a dirty blues club to go to which thrilled me, they often have live music and always have good times. So we pull up and all the guys hang out at a table with beer while Andrea dances on the dance floor with some other ladies.
Then the band plays James Brown’s “I feel good”.
To which I respond by walking away from them, and go dance with her (which I often do, and always will regardless of what she thinks). I remember it being perfect because we shared the same terrible dace skills but were both clearly having a great time.
We were then instantly inseparable and have been since. Together we have completed more life goals in two years than we could have done by ourselves in a lifetime. We make each other laugh countless times in a day and will never run out of romance.
Thats how I remember it.
ps. It was a Caribbean themed potluck and i made a pot of orange Tang.. which to this day i think is perfectly suited.