Back in November, I signed up for online dating. I wasn’t super excited about the prospect, but figured I’d get at least a few blog posts out of it.
A couple weeks later, I went to my cousin’s place for a pierogi-making party. My cousins and siblings and I make pierogi every year for Christmas Eve. They’re delicious and a vital part of the holiday meal, but they do take a LOT of work. So assembly line parties are held.
My cousin had offered to set me up with a friend a couple times, which I always declined. Set-ups are so awkward. Not only do you have first-date awkwardness, but also the pressure of someone else’s expectations that you should like this person. Not that I doubted my cousin’s taste. He is a pretty terrific person, and I had no doubt that he would set me up with someone who was not a murderer, stalker, or rapist. But still… awkwardness.
So there I was, teaching a few n00bs how to make pierogi, wearing an apron, a pair of old jeans and an aldermanic campaign t-shirt, hair up in a messy bun, and Chuck walked in. My first thought? I really hope he’s one of the single friends. He made an effort to talk to me several times, and I naturally assumed that he felt sorry for me for barely knowing anyone there. Every time he stood next to me, I got butterflies in my stomach. After that party, I told some of my friends that there was this cute, nerdy dude there who seemed to be into me, but I didn’t know for sure.
The next week, my cousin had a fruitcake-making party (my cousin likes cooking with his friends). I went pretty much because I knew Chuck was going to be there. I may have worn cuter clothes this time. He took forever to show up and I was worried he wouldn’t. When he finally did, did I reciprocate his interest? Of course not… because I am totes awkward and also weirdly analytical. I performed a little “experiment” where I’d move around the condo to talk to other people to see if he followed me (in hindsight, not my best decision). Naturally, he thought I wasn’t interested. I am so awkward.
A week or so later, I emailed my cousin and asked if it would be weird if I asked his friend out. I continued to tell myself I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but he was smart and funny and cute and he seemed to like me. Cousin said it wouldn’t be weird. So I sent him a Facebook message (oh social media… giving me multiple ways to be socially awkward). The actual message is just for us, but essentially I invited him out for cheap beer and $5 pizza (hey, I was unemployed at the time). He said yes, but offered to upgrade to someplace a little less dive-y. By the end of the first date, I was done for. We went out again. And again. And some more. I met his family. He met mine. The cat let him pet her. We went on an out-of-state trip to a friend’s wedding.
And on June 2, 2012, while sitting on my couch, just hanging out like we do, he asked me to marry him. And I said yes. And then we cried. And laughed. And talked about our future. And walked to dinner, where I told the waiter. I probably skipped down the sidewalk. We came home and called our families and close friends. And never stopped smiling.
I just showed up to make pierogi. And I met my future husband. I still can’t stop smiling.