I am Not Really Blogging Yet. I’m only writing this post under duress, as I was promised by many, many bloggers that if I wrote a post on how I met Gregg, I would get, in return, stories of how you met YOUR significant other. I expect to be able to read these stories well into my old age and die happy, so you better deliver. I never ask for or need comments, but this is my exception. I am a sucker for love stories and YOU BETTER DELIVER IN THE COMMENTS, OK?
Especially because how I met and started dating Gregg is a tiny bit embarrassing to every single person involved in the story.
*emergency embarrassment alarm set*
OK, I think I’m ready. First, I have to go back two guys before Gregg. I thought I was deeply, madly in love with both of them.
The first one was a guy I worked with. We flirted on and off and even went out a few times, but he did nothing. Once, he hung out in my room and very, very slowly traced all of my fingers with his, and looked at my lips and…nothing. NOTHING. He even did that slow breathing thing that I now know means WANT and nothing.
I found out a week later that was sleeping with one of my other coworkers while going out to see movies with me. He had awful taste in movies, I should point out.
I quickly switched my affections to the most attainable boy I could find. He was smart, and handsome, and half-Asian, and a friend of a friend and totally, completely, unabashedly gay. HE didn’t say he was gay, but he would point out girls’ cellulite and once I watched a movie with him with a threesome in it and all he could comment on were the man’s fine abs.
Yeah. That worked out about as well as the other guy.
It was at this point, when I was twenty years old, that I did a very honorable thing. I said to myself, “Shalini, you are twenty years old, and you are going to get a boyfriend RIGHTNOW.”
And then Gregg walked through the door.
He lived in the apartment next to my friend Neeta’s boyfriend, where there was cable and there were no freshman and I could safely be away from my job. I was a resident advisor, so I lived at my job. I liked to not be there a lot. Also? That other guy who I love/hated was there.
I think I asked Neeta about Gregg, and I said something to the effect, “He’s cute,” and I swear to you she could not have been more horrified. “GREGG? YOU AND…GREGG?” I think most of the apartment people (as opposed to my dorm people) thought of Gregg as the extremely socially awkward but very smart engineer who was also Really Religious and also a bit too tall. I’m not sure. I didn’t ask.
I also didn’t talk to Gregg, and I’m not sure he noticed my presence. This might have been when the movie with the threesome was on and I was trying to woo the very gay man sitting next to me. Events are blurry and there was a lot of cheap vodka involved. Mom, if you’re reading this, stop nine paragraphs up.
I didn’t see Gregg for months after that, and I was almost convinced to go to New Orleans with him and another friend and her boyfriend (without meeting him! because that’s how college works!) but decided against it, as I had an organic chemistry exam. And then Gregg had a party on a Saturday, the day before Easter.
I decided to go, possibly to see Gregg. I’m not telling, because I need SOME secrets. Fine, it was because I thought Gregg was cute and wanted to see him again, even though *cough* I didn’t think he would notice me because at that point in my life, my hair was cut like a boy’s AND I have always sported the very fetching figure of a boy. I’m quite sexy to older gay men with a certain flavor of boy.
And because I was nervous, I started drinking the second I got to the party. Not that it mattered, because Gregg wasn’t there. At his own party. Because…wait for it…he was at church.
HE WAS AT CHURCH.
Let me say that again. Gregg was not at his very own debaucherous Easter celebrating party, which he was throwing because he’d given up alcohol for Lent (he was twenty) and this was his big drink fest to end all drink fests, because he was busy GOING TO CHURCH. On a Saturday night. Yes, Easter Vigil Mass, for you Catholics out there. He didn’t want to have to wake up early, and goodness he couldn’t MISS EASTER. So he was late to his own party, and walked in around midnight, when I was pretty sure I was on top of a human pyramid, totally drunk, and didn’t care that I was only attractive to older gay men.
Are you bored yet? I told you it was a boring story.
I can’t actually remember much of the party, except perhaps that Gregg mentioned that cats were better than dogs and that made we want to slash his throat open, and there might have been a mention that he was a Republican, too. If I wasn’t SO DAMNED ATTRACTED TO HIM, I would have left right then. Oh, also, I was very drunk.
When I left, I leaned over, kissed him square on the mouth, and thanked him for the party and the booze. He does not remember this.
That’s what an awesome kisser I am.
And then, I believe, I was hanging out with Apartment People even more often, seriously crushing on Gregg. He walked me out to my car one evening and gave me an Awkward Hug, and then asked if he could call me some time. I nodded and said sure and proceeded to wait by the phone (no cell phones! ack!) for two days until he called.
And then we went out to dinner and hung out a few times, and he told me he was probably moving to Seattle, and I decided I didn’t like him really that much anyway because WTF SEATTLE ARE YOU KIDDING IT RAINS THERE ALL THE TIME. There was also a little bit more drunken kissing that was very, very good, knee-knockingly good, and I slept in his bed and he very gallantly slept on his crappy sofa when I wanted him to sleep in his bed with me but did you see the part about going to church during your own party? Yeah, wasn’t going to happen. Also, I’m a Total Virgin Girl, so I knew that, but eh. I had Feelings.
There might have also been a friend *cough* Susan *cough* who told me not to date an “enginerd.” (I got her back; she married an enginerd of her very own a few years ago so HA I WAS RIGHT ABOUT THEM BEING CUTE.) I was having doubts, is what I’m saying. Lots of doubts.
So then naturally we emailed back and forth the entire summer and he told me I was very funny (!!!! future blogger lady hard-on!!!) and cute and he would definitely definitely call me when he got back to school.
And school started and he most definitely Did Not Call Me.
Not that I cared, because he was an enginerd and I had other prospects and I was having doubts about him.
So naturally a few weeks later, I went down to the computer lab (no computer!!!!) (life was weird in 1999) and emailed him telling him that I was Totally Embarrassed by the situation, he was obviously Not Interested, and when I hung out with the Apartment People, I hoped it wouldn’t be weird.
And it wasn’t weird. I went back to my big gay crush and we even went to the movies. A mutual friend said to me, “It’s too bad you and Gregg didn’t work out. That would have been so fun, all of us hanging out together as couples.” I shook my head and said, “Not gonna happen,” and pulled my hair back in my awesome scrunchie and sat down to watch a Vin Diesel movie. (I told you life was weird in 1999.)
About a week later, I got a phone call from Gregg asking me to dinner that evening. This is where I tell you I played it cool and said, “No, not interested, sorry LOSER for totally ignoring me,” but instead I said, “Uh, YES.” And he took me to the most horrendous restaurant where we were at least eighty years younger than everyone else and I felt weird and he may have told me that I was weird and had I been to a lot of funerals? Because I was kind of depressing.
So of course I went on another date with him. And another. And another. And then after that, he called me and said, “Uh, I found your email.”
The email I’d sent over a month ago to him, telling him how Totally Embarrassed I was that he didn’t like me. That one. Yeah?
“I…accidentally marked it as read. I didn’t read it.”
This is where I killed him, and he now lies in a very nice cemetary in Urbana, Illinois.
Oh wait, no, we had perhaps the most embarrassing conversation of my life, where I admitted I had been crushing on him, and then that I was crushed, and he apologized profusely and told me that he thought I was SO PRETTY and liked me SO MUCH that I made him too nervous to call. So I kept him.
We were married one year later.
(That’s my friend Susan. Say hi to the Internet, Susan!)
He’s quite pretty, isn’t he?
Gregg is damn lucky he’s so good looking, is what I’m saying.