I've decided to do this.
To tell our tale.
It is not the most romantic tale. It will not make your heart flutter and want to cry sappy tears of joy over our love story.
But it's ours and it's special to us.
I'm going to tell most of it. Some parts may be glazed over a bit, because life isn't always exciting and wonderful. I'm pretty sure you'll get my drift.
I joined the military in 2001.
Oofta...look at that hair! And those glasses! Rawr...who could resist? My Dad is looking at me as if he's scared to take me in public. I couldn't blame him.
Made it through Basic training (barely) and shuffled through technical school with a passing grade and two random "boyfriends". They both left school before I did and headed off into the world, never knowing if we would ever see each other again, so really whats the point?
Up to this point, I never really had a boyfriend. Not a long term one. By long term, I mean more than 4-6 weeks. In high school, I wasn't the most popular girl, I wasn't the most outspoken or the best looking. I just got through it. I remember having tons of crushes but I was too chicken to do much about it. I'm pretty sure I would have stalked them like crazy if we had Facebook back then, but the best I could do was stalk them in the hallways and stare at them in classrooms.
Gee...it's a shock that I never dated.
Well, that and the fact that I looked like this:
This was the day after Prom. Go me...my parents had the beat the boys off with a stick.
I'm amazed we didn't have to pay my date to take me to Prom.
After technical school, I received my orders for Edwards Air Force Base in California. I was so excited! I had so many dreams of what California was going to look like. Beaches, palm trees, the warm sun and lots and lots of ocean views.
When I got there, instead of the postcard beauty I had pictured, all that surrounded the base was hundreds of Joshua Trees, a dry lake bed and lots and lots of dry, crusty tumbleweeds. I had landed right in the middle of the Mojave desert with a sun that licked your skin dry with it's hot, flaming tongue.
I had barely arrived and I was ready to head out.
It was November of 2001. I had just turned 21 in October. I didn't get out often but did meet a few new people, because we're in a dorm room that's in the middle of nowhere. What else are you going to do besides hang out together? I didn't have a TV, so I went to the day room a lot to watch whatever happened to be on with whatever random strangers happened to be in there at that moment.
One night, I went to the day room to watch TV. I had brought a book with me as a backup in case someone was watching something crappy on TV. I'm kind of a nerd like that. I bring a book everywhere.
What I didn't know, was there was a party going on. A big, dorm party and I just walked into the middle of it as the new girl that didn't know anyone.
Being social is not my idea of a great time. I have a little social anxiety and was so nervous around that many people that I did not know. But there was alcohol involved and that helps me open up. I usually don't talk unless someone talks to me. I sit there, back against the wall, hoping that someone approaches me and worrying that if/once they do, what I will say.
And that's when I met him.
He approached me and introduced himself. Then Jalon talked to me about the dunes, his jeep and his home and was one of the most friendly people I had met so far. I also realized this was the guy that people had warned me about. Yes, I did get warned about a few guys, mostly for "playing" girls. He was in that bunch. But he was so nice and attractive that I threw all caution out the window. Jalon seemed to know I was shy and took it upon himself to make me feel welcome and comfortable. I fell for him quickly. I decided to make him mine. I was going to put him in my pocket and make him my boyfriend.
Handsome, isn't he? That smile....*sigh*
Except he was taken. By the nicest girl I had ever met. In fact, I wanted to be her friend so much that I decided to avoid all conversations with this boy.
I didn't want to make enemies my first month being there. I really just wanted to have some friends. So when she approached me about talking to Jay, I backed off immediately. In fact, I backed off so much that when he came to talk to me, I smacked him. Or slapped him. In the face. Not hard, more playful like...but, he wasn't thrilled with me. I was mortified. Still am to this day. (I'm sorry honey!)
From that point on, I made more friends and became friends with Jalon, but that was all we were for a few months. He had split with the nicest girl I had met and she started seeing someone new. I had been dating someone else, but it was a waste of time and ended quickly.
All I could do was watch him and want to be around him. He had (still has) this energy that makes people surround him and just want to be part of his world. Months would go by until I would finally get my chance. Months of staring at him, hanging out with him, wishing he would wake up one day, look at me and realize we were supposed to be together.
An opportunity arose. A friend and I had planned a camping trip. We wanted to go in the desert to camp, but were unsure where to go and how to go about doing this. Who do we ask? Jalon, of course. The man that camped in the desert lots of time, just for fun. He even had tents! We asked him if he wanted to get a group together to go camping for a weekend. He said yes and plans were underway. Tons of friends were joining us in this camping trip and for once I wasn't nervous about being around this many people.
I was too busy plotting.
Plotting on how to turn Jalon-Friend into Jalon-Boyfriend.
I worked so many different scenarios in my mind...and I didn't even need to.
It went better than I planned. Maybe it was because I was the only girl there that first night...but he kissed me. It was after he fed me a line that was complete and utter bologna and I ate it up like it was candy wrapped in gold.
"I just want to have someone to wake up to in the morning". Yeah...right.
It may have been the few too many drinks I had that night, but that one line, bought me. Forever.
Apparently, I don't require a lot. Just mix in a few cheesy lines, some alcohol, a squeeze of lime and *poof*, I'm yours. No shaking required.
That weekend....was the best weekend ever. The weekend was full of bonfires, friends, alcohol induced hilarity and I think a port-o-potty that went up in flames...don't ask.
After this weekend, we were officially dating. Jay worked the night shift then, so we didn't spend a ton of time together, but every weekend, we spent those together.
That's it! There's more...lots more. I'll give you more later. I will make a part 2 if anyone is actually interested in reading it. It was a blast to write it down. It's funny to remember it all...seems like it was so long ago.
Oh wait...10 years is a long time. Crap. I'm getting old.