Through volleyball, I met a friend and we started hanging out. We hung out, ventured into the dating arena with little success, pulled back to friendship and hanging out. During this time I had met some of his friends. One of his friends stuck out to me as a really nice guy. We had met a few times. Each time, even the smallest of conversations was held with interest and intensity that told me he was listening and actively participating in the conversation. It was refreshing and endearing. We crossed paths only a handful of times and often without rhyme, reason or planning.
However the catalyst to many of our meetings was summer and volleyball, and that was quickly coming to an end. The last volleyball game of the season I was wondering if I would be seeing this character around after that. The only thing we had in common was one mutual friend and I just felt compelled to keep a connection. Even the tiniest of strings between us. If nothing else, he seemed to be a kind soul. He radiated this happy and content aura that spoke to me. Not totally confident, but not shy. We went almost the entire night without making any kind of plans about future connections. He watched me play my last game, I watched him watch.
At the end of the night the three of us shared a pitcher. It was a slightly awkward and juvenile feeling. Not sure of anyone’s feelings or intentions, but being a participant in it nonetheless. I had thrown out an invitation to my work Brewer game that coming Friday to the friend’s friend. After hearing him say he had never been to a Brewer Game, I decided he must go. I wasn’t entirely convinced he was telling the truth. What Wisconsinite living within a couple miles from Miller Park has never been there. He who adores the Miller High Life. Finally, he bravely suggests we hang out sometime. I smile and reply that would be pretty cool. He tells me that he doesn’t have my number. (smooth, right) I tell him he better ask for it then.
Still unsure of any direction, path, friendship, anything that might come of that conversation I leave. Let’s be real, how many times have you given out or received a number from someone that you might hang out with sometime and two years later come across, “white t-shirt guy from that bar” in your phone and struggle to remember any significance and find yourself at a loss. Maybe you haven’t… but I have. I have really good intentions sometimes, then I sober up.
The next day I get a shy little message from Jason, letting me know, “It’s Jason”. The conversation got better after that, trust me.
That Thursday he met me out after a Kickball tournament and we played some mean games of shuffleboard. Not knowing exactly where he lived, I didn’t have a true appreciation for the fact that he drove about 40 minutes fairly late in the evening to play some shuffleboard with me. *Literal shuffleboard, no funky bed shuffleboard happened. It was the first time we tried out the whole flirting thing. Standing closer than normal personal space bubbles would allow. A little hand holding. Butterflies. Cool, cool stuff.
The next day was Friday and the Brewer Game and I think that’s when the first real sparks happened. We found ourselves hanging out, laughing, joking, carrying on conversations and truly enjoying ourselves. Jason looks at me during the game and says (whispers), “You have beautiful eyes”. I look at him and say, “What?” He looks totally interested in a bird in the sky (there is no bird) and says, “What?”. (smooth) We spend the evening together and end it with nothing but hope and baseball on the brain. The bus ride home we held hands.
The following morning I take him downtown Madison to enjoy the farmer’s market. We walk around with a few hundred other people. I introduce him to Stella’s Hot & Spicy Cheesy Bread. We sit on the square, soak in the scenes, people and each other. We realize, hey… this might just be something special. We are sitting practically on top of each other. We are just so enjoying each other’s company. Jason leaves to go spend time with his son. I go home and doodle and giggle and twirl in my living room.
That brewer game was 5 months and 22 days ago. Some days it seems like yesterday, some days it seems like a couple years ago. Either way, I am starting to have a hard time imagining what it would be like to not have this wonderful guy in my life. Someone that listens to me, laughs with me, enjoys the small things with me, makes me brownies, gets me flowers, makes me feel pretty, and truly is taking this journey with me seriously. We work together and move forward. We are building this relationship together. It is so fun, and so real, and sometimes so scary. It’s pretty much right up there with one of the coolest things I’ve done in my life. Creating a life, a real life with someone, their son, their husky and their fish.
I like where this is going. I like where it’s been. I like us. I love him.