For Day One of Wedding Week, I thought I would start at the beginning and share the long twisted tale of how Bub and I met…
Six years ago I was in my early 20s and had recently moved back in with my family. Except this time, my family had moved from Metro Detroit to just outside Ann Arbor. Excited about this new area, I wanted to fully embrace it, hitting up the local pubs, surfing MySpace (I swear it was normal at the time) for local bands, and even reconnecting with an old college friend for some dates.
One night at the pub with 1,000 beer choices, a cute bearded fella on his way to the jukebox caught my eye, so in my typical curious (judgmental bitchy) nature I waited to see what he played. I approved, a crush was born. Now, please believe me when I say I never get crushes… never. So I did nothing. But I was excited, cute boys with beards that like good music, this town was going to be great.
At work I spent most my time planning for the evening and searching for local music groups. My bestest bud Lindsey and I had always been big into the local music scene, so when I came across an Ann Arbor band on MySpace that piqued interest I “friended” them immediately to stay posted on any upcoming shows. They were completely electronic and their only photo was of a creepy mannequin. Perfect. Shortly after the friend request was accepted I received an email back that read “How do you live in South Lyon if there is no Lyon or North Lyon?” Great, a musician and a smart ass. Game on. I immediately replied and Smart Ass Showdown 2005 began. When I updated Lindsey her response was “Don’t fall in love with him.” Ok, maybe I had a thing for musicians… and smart asses. Shut up, who doesn’t.
The next couple of months I felt on top of the world, the weird smart ass battle had turned slightly flirtatious, I had a second random spotting of my crush, and dating OCF (old college friend) was going really well. Not too mention a pretty great job. Although things with OCF were going well, it felt like there was something missing. You know when you date that guy, that sweet, funny guy, the guy you could list a hundred wonderful qualities about, but there’s just not that… as Carrie would say “zsa zsa zsu” factor. This started weighing on me heavily. Do I really need the zsa zsa zsu, does it even exist?
We were on a double date at Bab’s, OCF and I, the bar was supposed to show a viewing of The Big Lebowski but had trouble with the sound. So we were left to conversation. I couldn’t concentrate, my mind was completely consumed with this idea, this feeling, or in my case, lack there of. And then BAM, there it was, the feeling, butterflies in my stomach, immediate rush of blood to the head, almost giddy with excitement. My bearded crush appeared, seated at the table directly across from mine, our chairs facing each other. He kept peering over, looking at me. Shit, maybe I’ve met him before, or maybe he’s not really looking at me, or maybe he’s looking at me because I’m looking at him, or maybe he’s psychic and can read my mind like on that crappy Mel Gibson movie.
Basically I was losing it. I needed Lindsey immediately, but my phone had died, so I grabbed OCF’s phone and ran into the stairwell. I really needed validation for what I was about to do, instead I got confirmation that I was crazy, reminded I was on a date and to do nothing. I even tried to convince her that this was my last chance, because of something about it being the third sighting and three strikes in baseball. Again, I was losing it. I told her I was fine, I wouldn’t do anything and got off the phone. I was lying. She knew I was lying.
[Sidebar: When I am scared to do something or don't want to feel responsible for decisions I make, I base my actions off other actions. Like, if the next song on the radio is by Stevie Wonder, I will skip work and if it's not I will work super hard that day.]
I sat back at the table and waited patiently, and then it happened. My crush walked down the hallway towards the bathroom. I took a deep breath, waited for him to disappear into the bathroom, counted 10 Mississippis, and made my way toward the bathrooms. Here we go! Just as planned he exited the bathroom and our paths began to cross. Ok now SAY SOMETHING NATALIE! I couldn’t get words out, I looked down at the ground completely avoiding any and all eye contact and hauled ass toward the bathroom. But then he said something… I froze. I turned around to see if he was talking to me, given that I had lost my mind, I couldn’t be sure. “I think I know you” he said again. I blurted out “Oh yeah, I think I know you too because I’ve seen you a few times around town maybe and I wasn’t sure if we met before because you look kind of familiar or something” (say that in a crackly voice as fast as you can for the full effect). “No,” he said “I’m Nick, you’re friends with my band, we talk on MySpace.”
Yep, that’s right, Bearded Crush and MySpace Smart Ass were the same person. So I did what any girl in my position would do, I married him.