anyone who has been here longer than five minutes knows that I love my husband more than I could ever say here or in real life. he is the most incredible person I have ever met. he is loving and generous and sweet and kind and handsome and funny and smart. he is an amazing artist and musician and has a beautiful singing voice. he is honest and honorable and decent and good. he loves my children and my family and his family and our friends and our dog and most of all, me. I know without a doubt that he would do anything I asked him to do. everyone who has met him loves him, he's just that kind of person.
we met at my sister's 21st birthday party in 2001. she was dating his nephew at the time. I was still married but my then-husband was not at the party. we had been on the verge of divorce for years and years. I tried to avoid spending time with him whenever possible...but enough about that. Brian and I were actually sitting next to each other the whole night but didn't really talk that much. I noticed that he smiled a lot that night and that he bought her a great book about poetry. giving a girl a nice gift always makes a good first impression!
we didn't see each other again until July 2002, at a party for his nephew, who was just back from basic training. my sister and Brian's sister threw a big party to welcome our new soldier home and both of our families were there. I spent most of the party inside, watching the sports channel in the air conditioning (fuck being outside in Ohio in July) and Brian hung out in there for a while with me and my brother-in-law. we talked more than we had the first time but it was just small talk, nothing really important.
the "kids" were having another party after the cookout, where much drinking was planned. being a person who enjoys much drinking, I was invited. since almost everyone else there was in their late teens-early twenties, I asked Brian to go too so I wouldn't have to be the only old person there. being the good guy he is, he agreed to go and agreed to drive me there and back home so I didn't have to drive. I'm pretty sure he was planning to go before I asked him but he didn't really let on.
the older crowd started thinning out and the youngsters were slowly making their way to their cars, heading to the stores to buy the alcohol for the next party. I asked Brian when he was planning to leave and he said, "whenever you're ready." you have to love a man with a flexible schedule. and, dear god, was he cute! I had a huge crush on him already.
my sister and her friends left at the same time we left, they had to make a beer run and were supposed to meet us at their house right afterwards. we stopped for a 12-pack and then drove over to the new party. when we got there, his other nephew and a few of their friends were outside, my sister and the rest of the party hadn't gotten there yet. we parked the car out front and just stayed where we were, listening to music and talking and laughing. I may have opened up one of the beers, I can't remember. I do remember having a few at his sister's house so I was in a great mood by then. the windows were down, the moon was out, it was a beautiful night.
he was so nice and so funny. he mentioned that he was planning to move to Florida in a couple of weeks with a friend of his and that he hadn't really told his family about it. I told him that I hated Florida, I had a bad experience there when Stephen was about three months old. he teased me for forgetting to take my seatbelt off ten minutes after he had parked and turned off the car. I laughed the whole time we were together. he said that we were acting like drunk detectives on a stakeout, which cracked me up. I was having a great time, just sitting in that car laughing.
finally everyone else showed up and we carried our beers down to the basement. it was such a nice night out so we all went into the backyard and sat in the grass drinking our beers, etc. some of my sister's friends from college were in town for the party so I actually knew a lot of people there. but for the most part, I stayed close to Brian. I had never met anyone like him, we hit if off instantly. it was completely innocent and harmless. we just enjoyed being together. it never occurred to me that maybe he liked me too.
it was probably close to 2am when things started to wind down (read as: my sister was getting bitchy and annoying) so I asked Brian how long he wanted to say and he said, "we can leave whenever you're ready." so off we went. he drove me home, we said goodnight and he waited at the curb while I went inside. except that I was locked out. and I had given my keys and my purse to my then-husband before he went home. the kids were all gone and I didn't have my cell phone and he didn't hear the doorbell or my knocking.
I went back out to the car and told Brian that I would be okay because I could just climb in through the dining room window. obviously I was drunk, because I made him drive off before I got inside. the kids had climbed in that window many times so I knew it could be done. one problem...that window was higher than I had realized and I didn't have anyone to boost me in! it took me about five minutes to get up there and work my way into the house, giggling the whole time. first an inept detective, then an inept burglar. it was a great night. and he was a complete gentleman.
I bumped into him a couple of weeks later at the grocery store. he laughed when I told him how much trouble I had getting into the house and felt bad for letting me talk him into leaving before I got in. we talked about him moving to Florida for a few minutes and then said goodbye. I thought about him for days after that, and remembered how much fun I had that night. it takes a lot for me to be completely comfortable around a person but with Brian, it was so easy.
my sister and his nephew went back to college, found out that they had each cheated on each other over the summer and broke up within their first two weeks back. it was quite ugly, they were both so awful and bitter and vicious and malicious. she left school immediately and moved into my basement with the intention of missing the rest of that quarter and going back after things had settled down. she never went back.
at the time, I was completely miserable in my marriage and hated spending time at home when my then-husband was there. since he was home on Fridays and Saturdays, my sister and I started going out to the local bars on those nights. she was suddenly single and over 21, I was just happy to be away from my nightmare at home.
the problem with two girls going to bars in our town (and possibly every town) is that guys will not leave you alone. and while my sister seemed to enjoy all the attention, I did not. guys in bars are lame, and creepy and don't always understand or care when you tell them to go away.
we started bringing our own boy with us, to keep the other boys away. sometimes it was our brother, sometimes it was just a guy friend. one night we decided it should be Brian. my sister would always say that we should call him to hang out with us but we never did until that night. she would always talk about how much I would like him and how we had the same sense of humor and how much fun he was to hang out with. of course by the time we called him, he had already gone out for the night. apparently we weren't the only girls looking for him that night but he was out of town somewhere. we left a message for him and then forced our brother to go to the bar with us that night.
he called my sister later in the week and told her where he would be the next weekend if we wanted to hang out. we tracked him down at the Eagles in town and after having a couple of $1.50 drinks (hell yeah!) we dragged him to our bar so we could dance. it's a good thing we did because the ladies he was sitting with were trying to pick him up! they were old and weird though so it was for his own good.
we had so much fun that night! talking and laughing and dancing and drinking. he was the perfect boy. a friend of my sister's showed up, an old friend who she hadn't seen in a while. they were busy catching up so Brian and I were kind of on our own. I didn't mind though and neither did he. we were completely at ease in each other's company.
I never considered myself much of a flirt, even though all my sisters told me I was a big one. but apparently I was flirting with Brian quite a bit that night, according to him. at first we were sitting across the table from each other, then I moved over to his side so we could hear each other over the music. a little while later, I innocently (I swear!) gave him my cell phone number. at some point, he put his arm around my shoulder. and after half an hour or so, asked me if it was okay for it to be there. how cute is that?
at the end of the night, he offered to drive us home. I think my car was still at the Eagles, which meant we would've had to walk back to get it and then drive home. we took him up on his offer. as we were all walking slowly to his car, he put his arm around me and kept pulling me close to him.
my sister's friend was with us and two weird/funny guys were there too, trying to get the girls to go home with them. the six of us were just standing in the parking lot, talking and laughing. Brian didn't let go of me then, even in front of my sister! she didn't seem to mind and I think she was pretending not to notice. eventually we got into the car. I sat in the passenger seat, she was in the back and he drove us home. when we got to my house, he drove past it a little bit and parked in front of my neighbor's house. I thought he just forgot which house was mine.
my sister said bye and thanks and ran inside to use the bathroom. I turned to him to say goodnight and he kissed me. a small, sweet, tender kiss on the lips. all thoughts of getting out of the car left my mind. I just sat there and looked into his eyes and we both smiled. it took a second or two for reality to return. I said goodnight and went inside.