The Truth about Cohabitation

I alluded to sad times last year during this week and I guess I can’t really back away from writing this post now.

You’ve all given me positive feedback about the Boyfriend + Cohabitation posts for the last 20 weeks (TWENTY?) and I’m here to tell the story about our relationship before he moved in with me. A story about when I moved in with him.

Dan and I met in the summer of 2010 through an intramural softball league and didn’t exactly hit it off at first sight. He was the 3rd baseman and I was the first basewoman. Any of you who know a thing about intramural softball would know that the 3rd and 1st positions interact a lot. I say we didn’t hit it off so well because he’d always short hop me (bruises!) or air mail me (white girl can’t jump!) and I just thought he wasn’t good at ball. There wasn’t much there to kick off a conversation!

Our first memorable interaction was after our team had won first place and went out to celebrate afterward with beer and tots. He conveniently pulled up a chair next to me, cracked every joke he could to have me in stitches and even snuck his way into getting my phone number when I was sharing it with some of the ladies on my team.

From that day on, he and I hit it off easier than I’d ever gelled with a guy before. Conversation flowed seamlessly, we’d meet late for dinner and drinks and wind up closing down wherever we went, no matter how late their hours were. 10pm, 1am, on weeknights! We didn’t want to leave one another’s company until we were given the glare and the ‘you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here’ look from the bar/restaurant/pool hall’s staff.

These late nights weren’t exactly easy on me gramma likes her sleep and one day in early 2011 before an evening meet-up I stopped at Target on the way to dinner and bought a new outfit. The outfit wasn’t for the date, it was for work the next morning. I was going to stay the night. I surprised myself with this bold move, mostly because I wasn’t the girl that did that type of thing on the regular, but also because my intent wasn’t a relationship with Dan.

So, Jessi – what exactly were you trying to accomplish by staying the night with a ‘friend’ with no intention to date him?

I still can’t answer that question. There was something about Dan that brought me comfort, confidence, peace of mind and happiness. That one night staying over turned into two nights a week, turned into me bringing over clothes and buying an extra hair dryer. Then two nights a week turned into more – rearranging his closet to fit more of my things, going to ikea together to install a place where I could get ready in the mornings. Four nights a week then morphed into grocery shopping for the two of us, buying furniture together and making decisions about travel together – and yet I still wasn’t his girlfriend. Oh, so that’s where ‘cohabitation’ comes from!

It went so deep as to not having access to my full wardrobe for a year.

Spring of 2011 quickly turned into Summer of 2012, memories, dates, road trips together – and I still wasn’t claiming him as my boyfriend. I still hadn’t told my parents, friends, co-workers or loved ones that I was involved in a relationship, that I hadn’t stepped foot into my own home for months or that I was even dating someone. Someone as special as my Daniel.

If I was Dan I would have quit me a long time before that. I was a jerk.

Late Spring of 2012 Dan’s sister called him and excitedly announced that she was engaged! He was so happy for her and at the same time guilt hit me like a brick wall. Was I leading him on? Was he going to start thinking about marriage soon? Is he my forever or was he just the closest chair?

After a hard weekend conversation with my mom just a few days after she met Dan for the first time at my 24 1/2 birthday dinner, I decided that I had to end whatever it was that I was doing. During my conversation with my mom which she will still never forgive me for I didn’t confess that I’d been living with him for a year. She sensed from meeting him that we were great friends but that if I wasn’t going to date him then I needed to give him space and let him find ‘the one’.

Monday May 21st after work I let myself into his home, rolled up my sleeves and removed every last piece of evidence that I’d ever lived there. Through waterfalls of tears I raced up and down the stairs with handfuls of clothing on hangers, duffel bags full of shoes, grocery bags that carried make-up and craft supplies, the kitchen appliances…everything that I’d brought into his home and that we’d made ours. I was in such a hurry because I didn’t want his roommate to catch me and even worse for him to catch me.

I was on the road within an hour – my little car was bursting at the seams with bags and shoes, ugly cry/sweaty hair, heartbreak to the max.

I hadn’t even given him a hint that I wouldn’t be home that night.

At 6:45 I received a text message from him “What can I make us for dinner?” More tears.

I cried myself to sleep that night, I sobbed to my mom on the phone several times, I cried and cried to Dan when we met the next afternoon for lunch to talk through why I’d left. That I was really just scared, that I wasn’t his one and he wasn’t mine. Sitting there in the restaurant, there was no emotion on his face, no concern for my heartbreak, nothing but an acceptance that what we shared was over and that he wasn’t going to spend another minute chasing after my affection. I thought this was where the secret story of our time together would end.

But it didn’t.

For days and nights, sitting at my desk or over a simple conversation I’d break into tears over what I felt I’d lost. No, what I’d thrown away.

After suggesting dinners, drinks, lunch, walks in the park, everything to see him – I finally dragged him away from a workout and treated him to seeing The Avengers on a weeknight.

The drive to the theater was silent, during the movie I extended my fingers to hold his hand and instead he handed over the package of twizzlers we’d snuck into the theater. We didn’t speak much, and I felt like my window of opportunity was shrinking.

Just one mile before I was to his home and going to have what seemed to be my last face to face conversation with him, I calmly spoke.

Dan, do you trust me?”  (silly question)

“Uhhh…. ” (with that look he gives me)

Well, I’m a little crazy, but what if we start. over?

(blank stare).(frustration). “How?”

Start over! You forget me, I forget you – we forget everything we’ve ever done together and we just start. over. Right now, see –” I pull out my phone. “This is you in my phone. I’ve never deleted a single text message from you. Do you trust me?

“There’s no way to start over, Jessi. There isn’t.”

Dan! Watch me.” Swipes finger across the screen, taps the red bar. “You and everything you’ve ever been is now deleted in my phone. Now you do it too!

An uneasy Dan pulls out his phone and with less drama does the same, and away went all of the messages we’d ever shared.

I dropped him off to his home, looked him deep into his eyes and said, “you know where to find me“.

And he found me…..

Happily and instantly, we started over.

heart JE

Advertisements

Throwback Thursday: May Rain

So I know we were parading and dancing around a few weeks ago from all of the beautiful weather.

Our trip to the coast felt like we were in Mexico, I was shopping and worrying about what to wear professionally that wouldn’t be too hot for summer (buh-bye, tights!) and looking forward to shorts and flip flops out on the patio in the evening relaxing and entertaining around the grill.

Fast forward a few short weeks and instead we’re experiencing some’a this and some more’a this:

Something strange about me that you may have seen on here before is that I love the rain.

The soothing rhythm of the raindrops on rooftops, my opportunity to wear my Hunter Boots, the amazing excuse to drink 2-3 cups of coffee just to warm up. Lovely moments to look forward to.

My only true rain-related rants are that somehow other drivers don’t know how to drive in the rain, my hair doesn’t do well with moisture (both humidity and rain) and that Dan doesn’t seem to love the rain as much as I do… which makes me happy because when it’s raining he won’t spend all day playing golf.

This week it’s also making me happy that it’s raining for reasons I’ll do my best to explain tomorrow. Last year this week in particular was a difficult one for me emotionally, so it makes me happy that Dan and I have been curling up together under blankets, enjoying our evenings together and talking about how happy we are to be together.

Today’s Throwback Thursday is brought to you by a little girl who knew it was fun to romp around in the rain, cuddle up close with a loved one and give her cutest little mischievous glance; no poncho necessary.

heart JE

Beach Getaway

This weekend at the coast was unbelievable.

Not only was there a lot of quality family time, the weather was perfect and we truly felt like we were in Southern California and dare I say it – Mexico!

After a long week of working hard, this image about sums it up:

Getting rays down by the sand, taking naps on the porch, watching puppies run wild and eating tasty foods can make any weekend spectacular – I thankfully got to experience all of these!

Little lady Bella is still getting acclimated to the harsh ocean waves and it was fun to watch her curiosity as Bailey and Dad played in the surf.

She saw how much fun her sister was having out there in the waves so she stood on all fours and we could tell that she was processing what her next move would be.

It wasn’t natural or instinctive, but when she decided she would jump in – she went at it full force!

A day at the coast isn’t the same without puppy camaraderie and expert hole-diggin’!

In no time these two struck water and rested in the shallow pool they had created.

For such a gorgeous weekend we were lucky enough to find empty patches of sand where the puppies could run free.

If only every weekend on the Oregon Coast looked and felt as wonderful as this. Thanks Mom and Dad for letting us enjoy your home!

heart JE

Golden Weekend

I’m so rested from this weekend – come at me, May!

Despite some car troubles for me (Thank you Dan, Dad, Mom, Sisters!) and some additional car troubles for Dan (Thank you, Austin!) we had a pretty nice birthday weekend for Dan.

He had his golf tournament both days so we didn’t hit the town or get wild, but it was everything you’d want a weekend to be.

  • I had some quality alone time with two 10 mile runs (20 total).
  • I enjoyed a massage with miracle worker Maggie
  • We relaxed with some NBA playoffs and enjoyed the beautiful sunlight coming through the windows and illuminating our home.

I even reacquianted with these friendly drinking fountains in the neighborhood: The Benson Bubbler

The biggest part of the weekend that I didn’t like was being unable to drive to get the cake Dan really wanted for his birthday a sheet cake from Costco, so he had no cake at all.

Instead, here are the cakes from his last two birthdays we’ve spent together:

At least I learned!

He had all kinds of birthday love from friends and family on facebook and via phone calls – so overall he considered his special week day a success.

He especially loved the visits and gifts from the two little goldens that have stolen his heart:

heart JE

Throwback Thursday: Golden Birthday

Sunday the 28th is Dan’s 28th Birthday (Golden Birthday!) – please join me in wishing him a wonderful weekend and the best of luck in his golf tournament! He’s taking a half day at work today in order to get another quality 18 holes in and I couldn’t be prouder. I’m looking forward to driving down I-5 to shop at the Woodburn Outlet Mall watch him play and want him to know that I’m his biggest fan!

I thought today would be a fun opportunity to embarrass him share a few photos that his mother in Chicago sent to me this week at my request. I have her full permission to make the birthday boy blush today so I’m going to take this for some good mileage.

Enjoy…!

The great news is that I now have a ton of ammo to use and have some great stories behind some of the photos already planned.

In all fairness, it IS his birthday week so I suppose I’ll have to pick up some Golden BIRTHDAY Oreo’s if I can find them!

heart JE

SE Saturday Nights

I don’t know what it is about Saturday nights but lately it’s been Dan and I’s favorite night to unwind, grab some good walking shoes and hit the neighborhood for an adventure and some drinks.

Something about flowers blooming, people out for a stroll and the crisp night air becoming tolerable have allowed us to step out of our normal routine and into a playful mindset. It also gives us Dan an excuse for reflective swoosh photos.

The trek in mind’s ultimate destination was Saburo’s Sushi House that I’ve shared here once before. The last time we made a visit it was before Dan moved in, so this time wasn’t so much about the tour – it was knowing that we were locals and had every right to sign our names on the list with 30 other hungry hopefuls in front of us. That’s right, there was a literal mob outside of the front door and everyone was there to stay.

Dan and I signed up, shrugged our shoulders and walked off to do what we do best – Sellwood Pub Tour.

We started at Laurelwood Public House around 8:45 and ordered the a Space Stout for him & a Free Range Red for her. We enjoyed sharing the different flavors back and forth and I still can’t call which was my favorite.

Next we went back to check on the list – rookie move. We were still at least 15 people down on the list and noticed that the couple after us was the cut-off point of the list. We were going to be there to shut it down.

So what do you think we did? Went to another bar of course! I love dive bar hopping in Sellwood and tonight didn’t disappoint. The Cosmo Lounge was in full effect with karaoke enthusiasts making their way in and signing up for their debut. Dan and I escaped before karaoke night started, but not before my IPA, his Negro Modelo and our four $1 each Orange Jello shots. Well played, babe!

After us lightweights were feeling happy, we snuck in a few fro-yo samples at Nectar before having perfect timing to be seated at Saburo’s.

This was the longest I’ve ever waited, two hours from sign up to sit down, but the memories, goofiness and amazing eats at the end of the road were beyond worth it. We even had a great time with the strangers who shared our same table that were visiting from Montana and had previously lived in Portland through college. Plenty of laughs, single serving friends, single serving of sushi (because Dan swooped up 75% of the plate while I was chatty!) and a great evening with my love.

I can’t wait to go back again when blogger buddy Marisa is back in PDX. Nothing like a heaping plate of sushi to bring people closer.

heart JE

Week 15: Cohabitation

Disclaimer: I re-read last week’s cohabitation post and I don’t remember writing any of it, but it sounds like Dan and I had a nice week together!

This week was a lot less time together but I feel like a lot more quality time we were able to spend.

A huge highlight for Dan was picking up a new video game, Injustice; Gods Among Us on Monday night for another midnight launch party. The game is a Mortal Kombat inspired fighting game but with comic book superheroes instead. He’s spent a good portion of the week while I’ve either been running or tapping away at the laptop playing his games like a child on spring break.

Huge spoiler alert – he plays as Batman. Shocking, I know.

A huge help for the week was our weekend food prep! After each long night we had quick and easy meals to fix, and actually we still have a lot remaining for the weekend. Dan has been unbelievably resourceful the past few months as he’s found the soup loop <– technical term –> and brings home the cafeteria’s excess soup (for free) when the options are delectable. Last night and the night before were sausage lentil then barley mushroom.

(Free) Soup is the key to my heart.

1. Somewhere over the Ross Island Bridge we saw a double rainbow

2. Minty fresh outfit with grayling jewelry + signature curly hair

3. Salmon burgers (costco) with mozzarella + avocado made by my sweetheart

4. Chocolate dipped strawberries for a work birthday potluck

I’ve been proud of myself for getting 12 miles in on weeknights so far this week – I have warmer temperatures and longer nights to thank – but most importantly the love and support constantly given to me by my wonderful Daniel.

This weekend Dan will be up and away practicing for his big birthday weekend golf tournament. I want him to do well so I’m all for his extra time hitting the links – good luck, babe!

heart JE