Three long years ago! Back in April 2010, we decided to "come out" as a couple. I mean, we didn't tell anybody. And we didn't call each other "boyfriend" or "girlfriend". And no Facebook relationship statuses were altered.
But we decided that is was OK to have our picture taken together.
Pete and I met in August of 2008. I was a fresh college grad and Pete was a 25-year-old freshman coming straight out of a grueling 6-year stint in the Navy.
I was going to check out a cheap 3-bedroom apartment in Logan Square, Chicago - where all the cool kids were living. I arrived on time for my appointment with the landlord. He, however, had changed his plans for the afternoon. Thus, I sat on a bench in Palmer Square Park for 2 hours waiting for him, jotting down thoughts for an AmeriCorps application essay (turns out, a Digital Cinema & Black Studies double major was a pretty piss poor degree combination back in 2008! Who knew!?).
It's finally time to see the apartment and I'm greeted by a spazzy middle-aged scientist and a shirtless, pony-tailed fellow in the midst of building a picnic table.
"What have I gotten myself into?" I thought. "Maybe I shoulda stayed close to the Chads & Trixies over by the Lake!"
The spazzy middle-aged scientist shows me the apartment while his messy, young daughter ruthlessly runs around destroying everything in her path.
"Does she come with the place?"
After a treacherous, yet perfectly-timed bus trip back and forth to pick up my check book, I sign the damn rental agreement, which was, no joke, a crumpled up legal document from Wisconsin that came out of the spazzy slumlord's back pocket.
In three weeks, me and my two besties were all moved in. Moving, something I do not miss one bit, is a horrendous processes of schlepping useless shit from one place to another place and then arranging it into useless sections of space. One tends to get sweaty during this process. And when one gets sweaty, one wants to shower...usually.
Thank goodness our new apartment came with a busted shower! Ol' girl, Molly, and I took sponge baths our first night (not together, you perves), but then we were rescued by that shirtless pony-tailed gentleman from the illegal apartment downstairs.
We exchanged a homemade cookie for the key to his apartment. Dude didn't even give us a tour of the place. He just let us go take a shower down there while he went to work.
"Wait, is this a trick? Are there cameras down here?"
Molly and I, for obvious reasons, immediately went downstairs and snooped around. A fairly dingy place, but with some serious charm. The pony-tailed personal trainer had basically built the place himself. He cleaned up the residue and S&M sex toys from the previous tenant and installed some lovely carpet squares. The kitchen housed personal photos from his last 6 years in Hawaii and, whatdoyouknow...a picnic table.
The living room was completely bare, so we decided to peek into the bedroom. Nothing but a hammock. A HAMMOCK! Who is this guy!?
For a whole year, this guy - Pete - and I were cordial but not really at the same place in life, ya know? I got me a swell job at a busy restaurant, like most 2008 grads. Pete was getting his MBA paid for by the Navy.
Fast forward to this moment in September 2009 when I was doing laundry in the basement and he came out to say hi and he didn't have a shirt on and he was being really nice and telling me all the cool things to do on my trip to Boston and holy crap, he's smart, and he lived in the jungle once and can sail and spearfish and build picnic tables and oh dear lord I think I might like this guy!
Thus began my plot to deliberately see Pete on a more regular, but clearly very casual, basis. This contrived plan involved me waiting around in my room at night, listening for the sound of the bells on his bike as he rode down the gangway next to our apartment. When I heard the bells approaching, I would quickly gather the kitchen trash bag and perfectly time my rubbish disposal with his arrival at the back door.
"Oh, hello. Fancy seeing you here."
I attribute my initial attraction to Pete as the reason why it is so easy for me to throw things away these days. The trash went out every night .
So then this one night, he never made it down to the basement. We sat on my back-porch couch, listening to the pouring rain, surrounded by trash, and we talked about life and fell asleep. It was super cuddly and adorable.
I started regularly "hanging out in the basement" in October of 2009. We took our first picture together in April of 2010. We moved into a Winnebago together in December of 2010. We started our hella fabulous California life together in December of 2011.
And we bought a house together in June of 2013 (but more on this one later...).