The Wedding Questionnaire: Part 1

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I'm still on the road (a much better day today, I should add), but I decided that rather than doing another boring ass update about the roadtrip, I'd start ushering in wedding-mania (2 weeks from today!) with a cool thing The Fiance and I had to do for the Rabbi. He sent us a set of 8 questions to answer alone and then to share with each other and it ended up being a lot more fun and insightful than I ever thought it would. I won't put all of them down in one entry because, well, my answers take up 9 double spaced pages (his is um, 4?), but I can start with the first 3 or so. The Fiance is much funnier than I probably give him credit for, but you'll soon see how it's sometimes difficult (er, impossible) to get him to answer any question, no matter how simple.

So, here goes...

Question 1: Tell me when and how the two of you met? Did you begin as friends or did a romance spark right away? What drew you to each other?

(My response)
I met TF in late June, 2005. I had just come back from studying abroad and had gotten a summer job at a camp in Los Angeles. The first night we met was the first night of staff training. It was a Friday night and what I remember most is that he was wearing a bright green Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle t-shirt. I know that I commented to him about it because I used to love one of the TMNT movies, but otherwise, that first night was fairly unremarkable.

The second day of staff training was when we really met each other. In the middle of a brutal game of capture the flag (which my team won), a rather large guy foot-tackled me and tore several things in my ankle. TF, as it turns out, was not a counselor at the camp, he was the EMT. So he took care of me physically and then sat with me for about 2 hours while we waited for my sister to come and pick me up. We talked about everything under the sun and found that we had a mutual love of television and video games (a fact that my mother is incredibly proud of, I’m sure). The conversation came incredibly easily and I felt as though I’d known him forever. I remember telling my roommate about him that night and she was amazed that I knew so much about him so soon.

After talking with him that night I learned he was going to be living about 10 minutes from me and we decided to carpool to and from work. Within about 2 weeks of that night and the beginning of the carpooling, we went on our first date, a movie…Shrek 2. We went on several other dates and within a month we had that discussion outlining our relationship. Our formal anniversary is July 9th, but we had been seeing each other for several weeks before. We didn’t have a typical friendship to relationship stage, but he quickly became my boyfriend and as importantly, my best friend.

As for what drew me to TF, I would say, without a doubt, his sense of humor and bubbly personality. TF sings all the time, he tells terribly corny jokes and when he thinks something is funny, his laughter is so loud you can’t help but laugh with him. He is also incredibly intelligent and loving. He made me feel more like me than I had felt in years and I have never felt so at home with another person as I did with him, from the very start.

(His response)
I met Katie in June of 2004. She had just been hired to work as a counselor at a day camp in Los Angeles that I had worked at for the last four summers. Prior to this summer, I had worked as a counselor for 5 and six year olds, but this summer was my first summer as the onsite EMT (or camp nurse, if you will). One of the camp rituals is that on the second evening of training all the counselors play a large game of capture the flag, to kind of capture the spirit of childhood. It was during this game of capture the flag that one hard-headed, ummm, determined and strong willed, lady decided that she could stop a lumbering 250 lb charging man through her sheer ability to stay absolutely still. Needless to say, she was wrong (one and only time of course).

Anyway, inertia dictated that lumbering man would not be able to gracefully sidestep her, and the result was him accidently stepping on her foot when he bowled her over, tearing three ligaments in her ankle. So the counselors stop and call for Nurse TF. I came over, took a look at her, and helped her off the field. I proceeded to talk to her for about the next 2-3 hours while the rest of training continued around us. It was immensely enjoyable. We talked about what we wanted to do with our lives, how we wanted to impact both those close to us and the community in general, our takes on drinking, dating, and who knows what else (she might, ask her. I’m the one who has memory issues.) Eventually, her sister came and picked her up. More precisely, she came to give her her automatic car to drive home so her sister (Claire) could drive Katie’s stickshift home. Apparently Katie actually drove to the ER, though made no mention of wanting to go there while we talked. The next morning I called my boss to ask for Katie’s number so I could call to make sure she was alright. By the first day of camp my boss already touted that I was madly in love with her and by the end of the first month was asking if I thought I would marry her, cuz she did.

Anyway, one thing our talking revealed was that we were living close to each other that summer, so we started to carpool. It was very friendly. I do have to explain that up to this point Katie had not dated too much and was somewhat, ummmm, awkward around me. We finally decided to hang out together outside of work and saw Shrek 2 together. Gotta love someone who loves animated movies as much as me (ok, not as much, but a good amount). She was so easy to talk to and be around, and we shared very similar outlooks on life that I soon myself getting really into her. We went out a couple of more times, and since I wasn’t getting any signals from her, flat out asked her one day if she was at all interested in me. “I wouldn’t keep going to the movies with you if I wasn’t.” And that was it.

(I know, I'm such a crazy romantic)

Question 2: At what point did your relationship begin to take on a deeper quality, a point at which you felt that you had become a couple? Did it happen gradually or was there some moment or event that made you feel somewhat bonded?

(My response)
TF will be the first to tell you that I was hesitant to begin the relationship. I had not had the best track record with previous ones and I was afraid of this one not working out. I definitely made it difficult to get to that deep level of relationship, but he persevered.

I would say the point at which our relationship took on a deeper quality to me was fairly early in our relationship, we went for a walk and talked for a few hours on a bench under some trees at my college. We discussed our lives, our goals, our values, our past, our ideal futures, just literally everything we hadn’t talked about the first night we met. I expressed to him my concerns about the future and about our future and he took me and my concerns seriously. I felt like at that point that I knew I could trust him. And it seemed like from that point on, I couldn’t imagine a future without him in it.

(His response)
I think I addressed this already. I asked if she liked me, she said yes. I should have passed her a note instead. But that was really only a minor step in our relationship. If I had to guess, I would guess that she’d say she fell in love with me while I sang a Billy Joel song in the car and she thought it so romantic she melted right then, but I don’t know when it happened. I could tell you when it didn’t happen. How about when we were driving in the car (a lot of the beginning of our relationship was spent in the car) and U2 came on the radio. Being one of my favorite bands, I commented that I love U2. Katie, not hearing me correctly and thinking I was professing my love to her after 2 or so weeks of dating, proceeded to give a rather longwinded 10 minute exasperation of how she believes people say that way to easily in relationships and use that word to freely and that she could not believe that I would say that to her after only 2 weeks. She really flipped out, and upon my explanation of my loving U2 comment, was consequently mortified.

It also prompted the subsequent rule that she would have to be the first person to say I love you, since I certainly wasn’t going to venture down that path, accidently or otherwise. Which I guess would lead me to the natural conclusion that the night where after much squirming and trying to get out of being the first person to say I love you, she finally gave in and told me that she loved me. That would certainly be a major stepping stone in the relationship. But by and large I would say it was a gradual process. We dated for a year, then did long distance for a year while I was in Houston (relocated from New Orleans) and she was in Bakersfield, then got a cat together, and now are marrying each other. It was a very fluid, easy path we took together. At least for me.

Question 3: In what ways do you compliment each other, that is, bring things to your partner that fills him/her out as a person? What does he/she bring to you?

(My response)
I am very much a care-taker. Nothing in the world makes me happier than when everyone around me is fed, happy, etc., so in a way, I think I bring that to TF’s life. I cook, I clean (not as much or as often as I should) and I try to take care of him. TF’s life is so hectic with school that I like to think that I make it run a little more smoothly. He may not agree with that all the time, but I make a good effort anyways.

I am also a planner. Deep down he is too, but something I do is force him to enumerate his plans so that we get things done (which is also because I’m incredibly indecisive, so in that way, he definitely compliments me). He always has good intentions and good ideas, I think that I help him get them finished and maybe help him sort the important from unimportant stresses.

On the other hand, I am rather, um, high-strung. TF is one of the few people who can get me to relax, to see logic (even if not on the first try) and who can help ground me back in reality. When I get stressed out, he helps me see some perspective and he is really good about knowing when I just need him to be quiet and let me rant.

TF also is spectacularly organized. One might even say compulsively. He has helped me get myself better organized and that has definitely been a good thing. I don’t know if I’ll ever be as organized as he is, but I find that I’m losing things a lot less often and that everything seems to have a place now.

(His response)
Complement each other. Hmmm. I’d say our two favorite date activities are bowling and miniature golf. She invariably beats me at miniature golf, and I always win in bowling. As long as we alternate, we strike a good balance, and I complete her? But on a serious note, I would say Katie often gets bogged down in the details of things. She breaks things down into their most minute parts, and focuses in. I, however, am a big picture kinda guy, and like to believe that I help her to take a step back and look at things more for what they are, and less for certain aspects of the whole. Similarly, she is able to get me to buckle down and actually get to work on little things. I think I also lend an open ear. I also do the vacuuming, usually, which she hates to do. Other compliments: “You look nice today,” “hey baby, come here often,” and “you are the most beautiful person I’ve ever known because I love you with all my heart and soul.” She brings me an unending source of encouragement, compliments, and a general sense that somebody loves me for who I am and that she is proud of me.


Flea said...

Hey baby come here often is not a compliment, Mr. Fiance.

I love, love, love his answers. You have hit a home run with this man. Won the prize. Grabbed the brass ring.

My husband and I met at a summer camp where I was a counselor! No, he wasn't a camper. He was just hanging out because he'd heard that the female counselors were really hot. Then he wound up with me.

Moondance said...

Hey, I was a camp nurse/EMT, too. Can TF and I have a secret handshake?