Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Yes, We Have No Lupron Today

The phone rang at 8:37. Nurse from Dr. BusyBusyBusy's office. Partner quickly handed the phone off to me.

"I'm so sorry," she said, "I thought you got the message."

"I did get the message that something had changed, but I'm not sure what. Are we supposed to come in for our Lupron today or not?"

"No," and suddenly the green and yellow morning turned red. No. No. "No," she continued, "I left a message with one of your moms telling her your Lupron shot was cancelled, and she said she'd call you in South Carolina. If I had known she wasn't going to call you, I'd have called myself."

I bit down on my tongue hard. It was hard for me to not instantly assign blame. But since my mom was with us in South Carolina, I was pretty sure she was innocent. (And to be fair, just so you know, there were two house/cat sitters here it could have been, so even thought my mother in free and clear in this particular case, it's still grey.)

My friend Lynne called soon after I hung up with the clinic. I told her the story. She was fuming, but not at the failed message giver: "It's easy to be made at Partner's mother, but what your clinic did was wrong. And perhaps even illegal." She was ready to call the clinic herself and give them a piece of her mind. I love having friends like this. I especially love Lynne. She's a mama lion, just like me!

But the thing is, I was already mad at the clinic for rescheduling our cycle on the day we were supposed to start. Don't get me wrong, I think our RE should get a vacation too, just like the rest of us. Me own pop is a doc, so I know physicians are human with real needs to get away from it all like the rest of us. But my dad schedules his vacations with considerable advance. And our calendar was already in place, and then the doctor decided to go on vacation. And we weren't the only ones screwed: apparently about 20 other couples are up the creek too.

It's too hard for me to be mad at the clinic for relying on "one of our mothers" to pass the message along too. Instead, I'm mad at not getting the definitive message. And I'm mad at Partner for not picking up the phone to find out who the culprit was. As far as I know, she'll never confront anyone about it. It feels like a big deal to me, and as best as I can tell, she isn't miffed in the slightest.

We had to go get my bcps and our new Very Important Calendar. At the office, I gave Dr. BBB a hard time. He said to me, "Well, you know, I haven't had a vacation all summer because my wife is pregnant, and it's hard to schedule when she's pregnant."

"I wouldn't know about that," I said to him.

When he left the room, Partner chastised me for being too hard on him. But the thing is, I think I was easy on him really. I didn't tell him in great detail about crying this morning, and how I felt he was not being responsible and how as if this wasn't enough of a rollercoaster, he had to pull this too. I did not tell him any of this at all. And when he reappeared, after Partner admonished me, I cracked a few jokes and let him off the hook he never seemed to be quite on. The big one who got away.

So now we have Lupron on the 21st of September instead. And procedure week is probably the week of October 17th, which means, that there is some likelihood that we will implant either the day before my birthday or actually on it.

And I am taking that as the first concrete sign of the silver lining.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Warning: I'm Back in Town

And so are nearly 24,000 undergraduates at the University of Michigan. When I left town, Ann Arbor was populated by some inteprid co-eds who stayed the summer, graduate students, and townies (more or less), and now we're full up again. Driving across town takes longer. Dodging bodies on Huron and State make the day more challenging. That was one annoying thing about my return to Michigan, but hey, it's where we live... Just par for the course. I can handle a few little undergraduate bodies... Easy as pie!

The next annoying thing was that my radiator appears to be leaking. I found this out on my way to the first closing of the day at one title company. I was late anyway when the little "radiator" light went on. I pulled over to see the tell-tale signs of neon green leaking, slowly, thank God, from underneath the radiator. My engine heat was fine. The "half-full" part of me would be pleased I found this out before any damage was done, or before I resumed my Detroit-commute. But the half-full part of me died today. It's gone. Fucking Pollyanna.

I ate tuna salad from the coffee shop beneath our office that made me sick.

Then I went to pick up "the drugs" from the pharmacy. I dropped off the prescriptions before we left for vacation in order to be sure they would all be present and accounted for upon our return. Our Lupron shots, which I thought had to be scheduled for Day 18, were instead scheduled for day 17, one day after our return. (The reason for the change? The nurse was blocked out on the schedule for Day 18 and couldn't remember why. Suddenly the Very Important Calendar could change! Who knew?? Not me!)

I won't keep you on tenterhooks here: the drugs were in. But I need six estrogen patches and they would only give me two since that's all my insurance would pay for. ("I don't give a damn what they'll pay for-- give me six! I want six!" I may have stamped my pouty little Birkenstock clad foot. FYI: this does not work on pharmacists or their assistants.)

Then I looked in the bags. I was sure I was told that the Lupron needed to be in the fridge. It wasn't. There it was, all room temperature: perfect some really wonderful cheeses, but maybe not so good for the fertility meds? I started sweating, demanded to see the pharmacist. He said he'd order more and keep it in the fridge, but since it wasn't delivered cold and probably wasn't stored cold, he thought this would be a futile activity. Could I have been wrong about this? The Gonal-F, however, was brought out of the cold and placed into our hands. I started my melt-down here. ("Because you know, if it's not right, it's like our whole cycle down the drain and we've been, like, waiting awhile for this, you know?" I said to the man in the white coat. I don't know why I was transformed into a valley girl while talking to him. He just looked at me and said, "I can't even pretend to understand here." YES SIR! YOU CAN PRETEND! But you just won't play!! Give me my fucking needles and get me out of here.)

(We have one brimming bag o' needles and syringes. )


Anyway, after Partner dropped me off at home (remember my car had putzed out on me earlier), I hightailed it to the computer and googled "Lupron storage temperature" and was reassured by several websites it didn't need to be cold. I'm still worried about this, but I am trying to be calm. "Like water" Partner tells me, "You need to be like water and flow around the obstacles. " Fucking water. She should choose a metaphor that makes sense to me, say like, be akin to Canadian Club as it flows across the ice as you pour your Manhattan. I might be able to accomplish that. Instead when she says "like water" all I can see in my head is Jim Cantore being pelted with stinging rain and the storm surge knocking out one hundred year old trees. I can be like that water. It's not exactly soothing.

[Sipping manhattan now. Ah...like Canadian Club...]

Okay, so Monday after being at the beach all week is feeling particularly crappy today, and then I listen to the messages:

"Hi Katie and Partner... It's Nurse from Dr. BusyBusyBusy's office... Um, I think you are still on vacation today; it's Thursday the 25th. A couple of things, um, well one thing has changed in the schedule for the procedure... Nothing drastic so don't panic! Dr BusyBusyBusy is going on vacation so we need to change your calendar. If you give me a call back, or I'll try your cell phone, but call back as soon as possible, we'll get that worked out."

Don't panic my eye. Hasn't everything I've read thus far tell me that scheduling things is of the utmost importance during this time? Has not the doctor's office staff and doctor himself told us the same thing? When I merely suggested that I might want to be away for a weekend before the procedure, did I not get the look of death that implied if I wasn't serious about committing I should just leave? Did I not?

And then Partner called and said she felt I really needed to think about how to calm down about this whole process, either by having massages (yes, please!) or breathing exercises (I'll take the massages) or something. She feels it's unhealthy for me. (Why yes, I would agree.) And it's going to be unhealthy for the pregnancy. And the baby or babies. So I needed to work it out. All fine and dandy for her to say-- I'm the one reading the books and getting information for us! Of course I am high-strung about all of this: I know too fucking much!! (As kvetchy as this sounds, Partner is right about me and this actually was a high point of the day since I now believe I am going to get weekly massages from a professional.)

[Okay-- and I know I've been surly or emotional lately, but some really really wonderful things have been happening too, and I promise to post something more upbeat soon. Meanwhile I'm left wondering if we get bloodwork and injections with the nasty Lupron tomorrow not. I fear that I may be entering the dysfunctional phase in my relationship with the RE's office. I hate not knowing what the freaking hell is going on! And in some ways I can't believe I am gunning so hard for a drug that I am pretty sure is going to make me feel like shit. Totally totally counter-intuitive, if you ask me.]

I'm Back in Town, alright, but no one said I was happy about it.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Longest Road...

... is the one from Michigan to Charleston SC with your parents' neurotic, but very lovable and cute, dog.

See you when we return from our beach respite!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


First Lupron shot: 31 August

Good news: With our new prescription rider, the drugs are covered.

Bad news: The RE's office seems to have a hard time remembering who is the "donor" and who is the gestational carrier. That's slightly scary to us both.

Possible "procedure" week: 3 October

It's an understatement to say I might be excited.

Absolutely No Concentration

So, when Dr. BusyBusyBusy gave us the BCP to synchronize our cycles, the nurse said, "Call me when you start pill-pack two, and you'll get your schedule then."

We started pill pack two on Sunday. I called Nurse on Monday. She wasn't in until Tuesday.

Today, I missed her fucking call.

I just got the voice mail and I am totally shaking. I can't concentrate. I need to figure out how much money we owe to the crazy lumber company and I can barely hold a pen, little less work with QuickBooks and a spreadsheet.

I want her to call me back RIGHT NOW.

I wonder if this emotion sounds familiar to anyone else?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Festival: Small Recap

The first thing I want to say is that it feels damn good to be home again with a flush toilet. This might be the best thing about Festival: appreciating in new ways your own abode.

That's right: We've just returned from Michigan Womyn's Music Festival-- the 30th year it has been held. This year we didn't see any AFA women infiltrating telling us we were all going to hell, the way we did in 2001. And there were no planes flying overhead that announced "God Loves Gay People Repent Now" like there were in 2003. There was lot more noise about trans inclusion, and it is a subject I am not going to address here. (FYI, for those of you who don't know about "festival" it's a week in the Michigan woods where thousands of women from around the world, mostly lesbians, celebrate being women. Essentially. There are numerous concerts, workshops, etc. It's only open to women, and the internal controversy comes with the policy, only women-born-women. Or in festival speak: womyn. And many people object to this policy. Which I am trying hard to not comment on.)

Here's the thing about festival though: I am not much a separatist. Okay, not at all. I like the men in my life a lot and since I was a young child one of my favorite mottos has been "Variety is the spice of life." But there is something spectacular about this week in the woods.

I had a serious cry at the concert on Saturday. Now, it's true, by this point in the evening, Partner and I had consumed two bottles of red wine, and that could have something to do with the whole thing, but it was moving all the same.

The organizer of Festival came out and talked to us. She started organizing MWMF when she was NINETEEN. I mean, holy shit, right? NINETEEN?! And what she said was that she feels the need for Festival more acutely now than she did thirty years ago. I was like, "Sing that again, sister!" And then I had my festival moment.

Every time we're at festival, I have one moment where I look around and think, "Oh my GOD, this crowd is totally made up of women. Everything here was done by women." And there are really women from around the world. One women there was from Iran. French women, Japanese, Brits, Aussies. There were German women who sang drinking songs in the chow line. Literally women from around the world come to festival every year. They use their frequent flier miles, save money, cash in vacation time and camp out for a week in the woods together. It's empowering, no matter what your politics are, I think that one week or long weekend in the woods with thousands of other women is good for the soul.

And then, of course, there's the little fact that of the nearly 7,000 women at festival this year, probably 6,676 of those women were lesbians. I sat in the middle of this huge field and looked around. Women were dancing together, interlacing their hands together, holding each other, clearly in love and not hiding it. And suddenly I thought, "There are people out there who hate us merely because we love other women. "

I mean, c'mon, it makes no sense: There are people in the world who hate us because we love. Who hate because of love.

And just as suddenly, all the women at the festival were beautiful to me and I wanted to gather them all up and hug them all. I wanted to yell out that I loved them all. But I didn't do that, instead I had a big cry, and Partner held me, and the music continued, and shooting stars sped over our heads.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Empty Shoes

Last week I was driving home along one of the country roads I can take into the office. It's a beautiful road, now complete with high edges of corn right up to the gravel. At one point there's a little one lane bridge and several horses that gather around galvanized tubs of water. The sun in the evening intensifies along this stretch and life feels really full and complete with all the love I need. More often than not lately I have been listening to the iPod or music, but last week I was feeling a bit disconnected from the world and put on the news. And the sun got more intense. And the world got hotter.

This is what I want you to think about right now: your little brother. (Or your son. Maybe your nephew. ) Can you see him when he was eighteen or twenty? I can see both of my brothers. One emailed me today to talk about beekeeping. The other is full of nerves about taking his MCAT. They're young and beautiful. My beekeeping brother gets so nervous sometimes I can see his hands shake, and it breaks my heart when I see that. I hate that he gets so worked up about things. He is a walking box of trivia, and he knows the most obscure facts. Even though sometimes he acts hard, he's really a huge softie who loves when his dog sits on a raft in the pool. He rescues delicate looking bugs by bringing them into the Florida room and putting them into the fern. He checks on them to make sure they are doing okay.

My other brother wakes up early every morning to ride his bike down trails, working up a sweat before he sits down in front of textbooks and problems. He graduated with a dual degree months ago. He pushes himself really hard, and is one of the most fair people I know. We talk a lot about politics, and sometimes we disagree, but he listens intently to me. And sometimes he even changes his mind. And occasionally he even changes my mind. We both cried together after the London bombings since he lived there too, worked for an MP, and attended the LSE. I gave him a book that detailed cheap London eats, and it was his Bible while living there. He went to a Persian restaurant with some regularity and would talk to men who sat next him in the hot restaurant, sharing his bottle of wine.

I'm older than both of them, by seven and ten years. I can remember how my youngest brother called me "mom" for awhile in his life. Sometimes he slips and still does the same. When my other brother was about three, he decided he didn't want to eat anything else other than Cheerios, and after a few weeks of this, my parents put their respective feet down about that: If he didn't eat what was on the table, nothing then. At night, after he was put to bed, I would sneak him up bowls of cereal, and tell him stories as we both ate milky bowls of Cheerios under the covers.

One of my brothers was a tow-head when he was kid. One of my brothers chased sparrows at the swim club all summer long hoping to catch one. When I would babysit them at night, both of them liked for me to sing songs to them as they drifted away in their bunk beds. Their most requested tune, "Tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free...."

I can see the freckles that both of them had/have on their noses. They look like my freckles. I remember that one brother liked to lie in the grass in the backyard and have me try to count the freckles on his cheeks and nose.

Can you see your brother? Son? Nephew? What color is his hair? How does he laugh when you tell a stupid joke? How does he laugh when you say something really funny? Do you remember seeing him cry ever? Think about the times you watched the stars with this boy. Think about how he looked at his high school graduation; was it full of promise and youth, his young man's hair curling out from underneath the mortarboard?

Last week, my brothers came to me on that country road as I drove along listening to families in Ohio talk about their boys.

I thought about my brother and his shaking hands when he gets nervous.

I thought about my other brother, sweating in the morning riding down shady bike paths.

I pulled over into the edges of a cornfield and cried to think about the deep hole that losing either of them would create. I thought about the empty shoes I had seen the week before that and how the site of all those shoes and names nearly brought me to my knees.

And there's nothing anyone could do to convince that losing either of my brothers was worth it.

And when you think of your boy, what could convince you it was worth it to not hear his voice on the phone at night? His hand close into yours? His "I love you" on your birthday?

Really. What?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

How We Met: The Conclusion

Okay, so at this point in the story I have returned from the UK, and have set out on yet another adventure: The Pelee Island Rugby 7s tournament. As noted in the previous installment, I knew Cute-Concert-Girl would be at this event since she was involved in planning certain aspects of the tourney. However, in the mean time a team-mate alerted me that she had heard Cute Concert Girl might like a certain red-headed player from a rival team, the team that Cute Concert Girl ostensibly supported. (Uhg-lesbian drama!) This certain red-headed player came to play with our team the night Cute Concert Girl showed up at the rugby pitch. So perhaps there was no Kismet involved at all-- she was just chasing someone else and I was chasing her. After hearing this news, I was determined to play it cool the weekend of the tournament. (You should have read enough by now to know that was a fairly unlikely prospect, not to mention the fact the entire tournament was being held at a winery for God's sake.)

As we were setting up the tent, Cute Concert Girl started across the pitch toward us. Now, pretty much the whole team knew I had a giant crush on her, so as soon as she headed in our direction, everyone alerted me in none too subtle ways. Whatever. I was putting the tent up, and anyway, that red-headed chick was with her too. I tried to act cool. Reserved. And it went like that more or less until mid-afternoon on Saturday when I followed her into the winery under the pretense of needing to pee. We talked for the first real time since I returned from the UK, but I noticed her making some eye contact with someone behind me. I turned to see what was going on. It was probably that red-headed chick. But instead of seeing my arch-nemesis, I saw Cute Concert Girl's sister giving her two thumbs up. Was that about me? I blushed. Cute Concert Girl blushed. We returned, all awkward like, to the tournament.

The day wore on, the teams ate and drank, and she didn't come to talk to me again. (Although now we have a photograph of me that she took that afternoon, unbeknownst to me.) I should tell you, I was pretty drunk that night. At one point I gave my credit card away to a friend and told her to "just get drinks." I woke up the next day and called out to the tents pitched around us, "Does anyone have my credit card?" (Yes. And only two rounds were bought with it.) I do remember dancing with Cute Concert Girl. And then I remember she was suddenly gone. I went outside, it was raining, and she was leaving with the red-headed chick. They got in a car. I stood in the pouring rain and felt one of those drunken bawls coming on. Luckily my crazy friend, Aussie, rescued me by lying down in a puddle in the middle of the road. Jesus. What a night. (I couldn't figure out how to get my flip-flops off at the end of the night. I was pretty far gone.) And I decided that things with this girl were just over.

The next day, we talked more, but I was feeling pretty glum about her. She told me she took red-headed girl home because she was so drunk. Other people verified this story. (And I know it's the truth, especially after red-headed girl joined our team. There was never anything there at all. That's what I got for paying attention to Lesbian Drama.) She did come with a group of us when we went to the beach, but still... I wasn't particularly encouraged. But then again there was that thumbs up incident...

Some of my friends on the team told me they talked to her about me and she seemed interested. This was rather horrifying to me since it sounded like middle school, but okay, we were all pretty drunk. So once the hangover wore off and we were back in the United States, I started emailing her again. I didn't ever hear much back from her. I kept this up for three or four weeks. And then finally I decided I was giving up. For real. This whole chasing a girl thing was wreaking havoc on my self esteem. I didn't want to chase any more. I wanted to be chased. DONE. Through. Finito.

Then, literally, the day after I decided this I got an email that started, "What's up Katie from Detroit?" and then proceeded to explain that I could ignore the email if I wanted since it had been like "two years" since she answered any of my emails and then went on and on about being really busy and that her slow email responses were all about her and not me, and then, bang, she wrote: "So enough guilt driven groveling (-: How about hanging out tomorrow? or Thursday if that's better for you."

FUCK! Fuuuucccckk! Now I know what all these emails from her say since I have saved EVERY SINGLE ONE of them. But not my responses.

I do know what happened-- We couldn't get it together, but my rugby team was playing her rugby team that weekend, and later that evening there was going to be an infamous "Ladies at Katie's" party. At the party after the rugby game, I encouraged her to come to my house. We traded shoes. She was sitting the arm of a couch and tucked her toes under my thigh. I left with her shoes on and hoped she'd show up at my house.

She did.

And in the middle of my living room, the rest of the people disappeared while I danced with her slowly even though the music didn't follow suit. My brother, who was there, looked at one of the guys who was there and said, "I guess my sister is a lesbian, eh?" (Great coming out story there.) I took her upstairs to my room, and we kissed for the first time there. She stayed with me overnight.

Early in the morning she left with her Ann Arbor contingent. I told her to call me later. And she did. The same day. And I asked her to come back to my house and told her I'd make her dinner. I made steamed artichokes with citrus mayonnaise, tangerine tuna, coconut rice, mango salsa... She stayed over again. She likes to say I wooed her with my cooking. I'm not ashamed to admit she might be right.

We went to a concert later that week and I stayed at her house. The next morning I cancelled my classes. She called into work. We ate plums in bed. We only got up in the evening to meet two of her grad school friends for sushi. I stayed over again.

And there began our courtship. It was the most beautiful autumn of my life. We went camping in the woods in late fall. She took me to Chicago for my birthday, as a surprise! I broke my knee and essentially ended my rugby playing days, and she took care of me. We had our first Christmas, we went to Hawai'i (it was a Christmas present from her to me!), and we realized we loved each other very much, and eventually, I moved in with her, and then four years later, almost to the date of our first date, I married her.

And just one more thing: I love this woman in a way I didn't understand until it happened.

I couldn't be more lucky. I think the story proves it.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

How We Met, Part II

Okay, I posted this in my comments, but I just want to reiterate I am not making one bloody word of this story up. I use LL as my voucher since she was there. Occasionally Ms. Magnetic checks in here too, and she could verify this story also. I agree; it's pretty fantastic and makes you think that there was something larger working to bring us together.

So, to pick up the tale: At Ms. Magnetic's urging, I rang up the Cute Concert Girl, who did not pick up her phone, much to my pleasure. I can remember how my heart was racing and I was praying for voicemail so I could avoid a conversation right away. After all, what was I going to say? "Hey! You're adorable! I'd like to kiss your sweet moon face all the time!" I just didn't see how it was going to work, even though our conversation at the bar was fantastic: we both talked about wanting kids, being in graduate school, writing dissertations, etc. It was obvious after talking with her she wasn't just another purdy face, but still...

Now, as I have tried to emphasize, rugby can be, if you let it, one giant social activity, and the big weekend deal coming up was the annual Pig Roast, aka Drunken Festival with Pool and Hot Tub. And of course, roasted animals. It was a whole club event-- men, women, old boys, families, friends, supporters, etc. Since we have a large contingent of Aussies, Kiwis, Paddies, and Brits on the team, we roasted not only a big pig, but also a lamb. And since I had access to a big truck (see previous installment of story), I volunteered to go downtown to Eastern Market and pick up the grub. (This is a blog installment of its own really, but suffice it to say, it was pretty freaking gross and thank God, Ms. Magnetic was with me, but every time we turned a corner, we'd hear dead animal carcasses sliding around the truck bed. I still eat meat, but I try to not remember this trip.) As Ms. Magnetic and I were driving the food to the Pig Roast location, my phone rang and it was her: Cute Concert Girl.

What a conversation. I asked her what she was doing for the weekend, and she said she was going to Pelee Island and then to her cousin's birthday party. "Too bad," I replied, "Because it would be great if you could come to the Pig Roast. I've got the pig and a lamb in my car right now!" As an omnivore who really appreciates meat-eating, this sounded like a line designed to woo a potential lover. And perhaps if she was like the men I had been dating, it would have worked. Unfortunately, it didn't.

"I'm a vegetarian," she said. "That doesn't really make the event that appealing."

So, shit. My first post-bar conversation with Cute Concert Girl did not go that well. By the end of our strained phone talk, I thought she sounded bored and totally disgusted by my meat-eating ways. She said she'd call me or I could call her after the weekend. To tell you the truth, I didn't expect much.

But again, I was pleasantly surprised by this woman. I got an email. I sent one back. I got another and so on. Cute, flirty emails. This was getting fun. And later that week she gave me a call in my office whereupon I took the bull by the horns and asked her out. The only night we could both do happened to be the night before I left for a two and half week holiday to the UK, and I had rugby practice that night too. How dedicated I was in those days! Now I'd just skip practice and gussy up at home, but instead I went to practice, hightailed it to a friend's house downtown Detroit, got myself prettied up there, and walked over to a now closed restaurant to meet the girl. I was scared shitless.

Not unsurprisingly, this was the best first date ever. We were talking so much that the waiter brought us an appetizer we didn't order because he thought we must have been getting hungry. (He was gay too-- very sympathetic and perfect for the first date.) We ate well, drank nice wine, and when we left, I tried to kiss her. She rebuffed me. Gently, but still. No fucking kiss. This was a bit of an anomaly to me since my first dates tended to move very fast in the past. (This is not a great reflection on me, I know, but it's the truth and since I am telling you the whole story, you might as well know it all!)

This was awful. I called Ms. Magnetic and whined to her. I called other friends. I was really sad about the end of the date because I thought the whole thing went so well. I was upset about my UK trip because I wanted to see Cute Concert Girl again and again. I think I might have even cried while waiting in the airport. (Who cries before going on a great holiday to the UK?)

When I got the UK, I told my friend all about my date. She humored me and we stopped off in pubs with Internet access and I sent Cute Concert Girl at least three emails from abroad. In the last one, I finally asked her out again. And guess what? I never got one freaking response. Not one! Perhaps I was showing my eagerness to clearly? I should have played it cool? Detached? Oh, no. Not me.

I knew that right when we got home, there was a big rugby tournament scheduled at Pelee Island. The tourney was to take place at winery, and we were all going to camp at the pitch, mere steps away from the vino. And I knew that Cute Concert Girl was actively involved with planning at this tournament and she'd be there. I'd keep my hair on, I thought, and see what would conspire, but so far, I wasn't feeling that positive about the whole thing. I mean, a rebuffed kiss and no replies to my emails sent from abroad? It's the type of thing I'd be excited about and calling all my friends saying, "She emailed me from England! She emailed me from England!" And then writing back an enthusiastic response right away. Instead, I got total and complete silence, and it sucked.

Now, again, I need to stop since some friends are coming over tonight for tacos and I still haven't been to the store and we're even out of VODKA, so pressing things are beckoning. I do appreciate your patience with this story, but since you know how it ends, you shouldn't be fretting too much.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

How We Met, Part I

This Sunday Partner and I will celebrate our first year since the ceremony. Oh, why not just say it: Married one year. Sure, it's illegal, but married is what we are. In honor of that fact I thought I'd tell the story of how we met and started dating.

Five years ago I was a swinging single—and to tell the truth, I was having fun. Just one year previous I had started the Detroit women’s rugby team and the group of women playing together was fantastic. Like the vast majority of rugby teams, we knew how to party. I regret nothing about this time in my life—even some of the people I dated or didn’t date as the case may be. To say I wasn’t necessarily looking for a “mate” would be true enough. I probably thought I was at the time, but realistically, looking back, I know I wasn’t.

Besides hanging out at bars and on rugby pitches, we sometimes decided to do something different, and thus a group of us from the rugby team ended up at an Indigo Girls concert. Nothing attracts lesbians like the rugby or the Indigo Girls. While at this concert, a friend and I were checking out the ladies, commenting on which ones we thought were cute when I spotted a really pretty blonde at the bottom of the hill. Her green eyes were snapping and she seemed to do nothing else other than smile and laugh. Do you know some people who exude positive energy? Even from afar you can feel it? Well, imagine it if you don’t know anyone like this and you’d have this woman. She was wearing cargo shorts, a bright orange ribbed tee-shirt, and over that a blue Hawaiian shirt. I remarked to all around us that THAT GIRL was the cutest. “Joie de vivre” was how I explained it.

Oh well—concert over. I never met that cute concert girl, but didn’t really dwell on it. She was good-looking and had a good presence, but seriously, how many times do you see someone like that? Do you continue to think about the person when you’ve never met him or her? No. You don’t. You usually just get back to your real life. Which is what I did.

One month later we had a night game scheduled with the Windsor women’s team. I borrowed my dad’s truck so I could pick up the post pads and I was barreling across the fields of the Detroit Light Guard Armory in the F150 when I saw her: the cute concert girl, sitting under a tree next to the rugby pitch! Holy shit! What was she doing there? Turns out she had some friends playing in the match and she came to be a cheerleader. I got the skinny on who she was from my friend Lori, who told me this girl had just gotten out of a long-term relationship and was apparently not interested in a relationship. That was just peachy for me. I wasn’t really sure I wanted to be in a ltr with a woman. Ha.

Later at the biker bar we frequented, on the infamous E!ght M!ile complete with bullet holes in the doorway, my team-mates encouraged me to talk to her. It wasn’t exactly a secret I thought this chick was hottie. In an odd fit of shyness, I refused. After a few pitchers of beer, the bathroom beckoned and as I was peeing in one of the two stalls, I heard the door open. Two women entered. Woman one was in the process of relating how I thought woman two was really cute and wanted to meet her. It was at this point the slow horrible realization crept upon me that this was the cute concert girl with one of my team-mates. Now remember there are two stalls, and woman one entered the only free stall, which left cute concert girl waiting in line.

Oh, what to do, what to do? I could hover in the stall and wait for her to leave, hoping to God she didn’t see me leave the bathroom right after she did or I could flush and come out, head held high. After all, woman one wasn’t lying: I did think she was a cutie. So, I took the later option, and guess what? We stared talking and we talked for the rest of the night until her friend got really drunk and started crying about missing her girlfriend who was away for the summer in Israel and this cute-concert girl thought she should take her home. She was wearing this little lightweight navy blue vest I had, and she handed it back to me. She left the bar. I sat down with my friends again who immediately asked me if I had gotten her phone number. No. I didn’t. “GO get IT before she leaves!” they advised, so I went outside where cute-concert girl was just getting in her car. “Um, do you think I could get your phone number,” I mumbled, “maybe we could go out sometime?” She smiled at me. “I put it in your jacket pocket,” she laughed as she started up her engine.

When I went back into the bar, I was elated. This was great. She left me her phone number! I emptied out my pockets, but there was nothing other than the dollars I had left to see me through the end of my beer night. I went from total elation to total depression in moments. I mean, why would this girl lie to me? If she didn’t want me to call her, she could say it rather than lead me on, eh? I drank the night away and left the bar with only one dollar.

The next morning my friend, Ms. Magnetic, rang me up to find out how it went with the cute-concert girl. As I was relating the whole long story, I took that last dollar out of my vest and was smoothing it out, moaning the phone-number incident. I turned the dollar bill over and BY GOD THERE WAS THE PHONE NUMBER!!

Recognize please the significance of this: I could have spent that dollar! It was the only one left at the end of the night! She didn’t lie to me! I could call her at that very moment. Which is what I did at the urging of Ms. Magnetic. And now you’ll just have to wait for part two to find out what happened next. I need to go home now and have a drink. It’s that time of day.