Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nerds In Love

Sorry no proposal story yet. I'm waiting on the pictures. In the meantime, here is the story of how we met, and how we started dating. I knew Dan for 2 years before we had our first date, so it's a long love story. Here we go...

July 2008-- I have just moved to Houston, fresh out of college, for the job. I am trying a long distance relationship with my college boyfriend, who is still in school. A coworker drags me out for a night on the town. At a bar, we meet up with some other NASA folks. Dan is one of them, out celebrating a friend's birthday. Funny thing, I don't remember him. He doesn't remember meeting me either. Early in our relationship I told him a story about that night, and we both realized the other was there. No it's not because I was drunk, and I remember several other details from the night, but he wasn't one of them. Luckily the universe would give me a chance to correct that oversight.
Halloween at NASA in 2008 in Apollo mission control. Can you spot me?
August 2008-- The same coworker (his name is Naveen, it'll be easier to call him that later) who dragged me out last time begs me to join him at a party. Being new in town, I have no excuse. Being a lame grandma in a 21 year old's body, I wish I did. While I am sitting awkwardly (my usual behavior in a room of people I don't know) a social-butterfly-type guy comes over to chat with me.  He tells me about his co-ed softball team, and I give him my number in case he needs another girl. Soon I officially join the team. I meet Dan again there, only we think its the first time. I remember thinking that he is the only decently cute guy on the team. I mentally lament the slim prospects for my dating life, and how I hardly ever meet eligible bachelors.
Softball team- Is that a rocket on your shirt or are you just happy to see me?
We spend the next couple years playing side by side in the outfield. I tell jokes as we play and he laughs, even though they are mostly bad jokes.My college boyfriend becomes my ex in December 2009. As previously stated, I don't think I know any eligible bachelors so I do some internet dating in those first few single months. It's exhausting and I'm not finding what I'm looking for, so I have all but given up by April 2010, when softball picks back up for the spring season. I see Dan for the first time since becoming single. The first thing that I notice is that he has the most amazing hair. He's let it grow out since I've seen him last, and it has these perfect curls. I reach out over the dugout fence to touch his hair when he walks up and he stands on tiptoes to make it easier for me to reach. I love running my fingers through that hair. I decide, then and there, that I will date him.
One of our first dates- Drive In Movie
Weeks go by, and I find ways to show up where he will be. Softball games, happy hours, movie nights. He makes no moves, although I feel like I am throwing myself at him. Finally one night I get a bit too tipsy on margaritas at happy hour and he takes me to his house to sober up. Still he makes no moves. He drives me back to my car later that night. I figure he's probably not interested, so I go for it. As I get out of the car, I turn and say "I've been thinking... we should date." He stammers something about going out of town, so I get in my car and close the door. That was close enough to rejection for me, I thought. But the following week, when we're both back in town (I had gone to my sister's college graduation and he had gone to his cousin's wedding), he IMs me and we set up a date. A week later we meet for drinks at midnight, when I get off my evening console shift. It is pouring rain and quite past his bedtime, but he shows up anyways.
The next night we have our first official date. Before this date, I met up with some coworkers, including Naveen. When I tell them about this date, Naveen remembers Dan from that night at the bar and says "You're going to marry him." I protest, after all we've only been on one date. I meet up with Dan for the lamest house party ever- the host had his whole family there and it was much more tame than the bash we were expecting. After such a letdown, he thinks I'll probably never date him again. I think I might fall in love with him. He surprises me by kissing me in the driveway when we leave the party. I think those must be the fireworks all the movies talk about. We go out to a bar after the party. We hold hands under the table the whole time. That was May 14, 2010.
Emily's wedding in January
Sometimes I think about all the dominoes that fell into place to get us together. The party I didn't want to go to. The softball team I never would have joined. The timing of getting dumped, and of giving up on J-Date, of seeing him again. It starts even earlier really, two kids from thousands of miles apart. Our paths didn't cross in college, where many people find "the one," and they wouldn't have crossed at all if we both weren't giant nerds who wanted to be astronauts. As if every wrong turn and every right one, led me to Dan. The man I'm going to marry. See?
Me and my fiancé! I will not get tired of saying that!
I know I'm teasing you by not telling the proposal story, but I am still waiting for pictures so you'll have to hold on a little longer. But, as a bonus, there are a couple elements of this story that will come up again in the proposal story. So now you're prepared...

Photo credits: 1. Paul Reichert and 4. Blue Jade Studio


  1. How lovely. We are so happy Dan met you. Mama P

  2. Wishing you two a lifetime of happiness! Uncle Cliff

  3. I am very happy for you both Aunt Isabelle

  4. this is so so cute. i love this story - congratulations, you two are absolutely adorable!

  5. Hooray for being giant nerds, and yes, a great story! Timing is so important, as you've illustrated!

  6. Belatedly - sorry the photos took so long to get to you... :P