Okay, so I’ve been sharing with you guys how Darren and I first got together, and I’m hoping to add a relationship category on here where I can talk about big moments in our relationship, but also about all the real life stuff that couples go through, you can read about how we first got together in my post How it All Began, which chronicles our meet cute and our first kiss, and you can also read How to Know When to “Ruin the Friendship”, where I talk about the moment I knew it was time to risk our friendship to pursue a romantic relationship, and today, I’m writing about the moments that I knew Darren was my lobster. From the very beginning Darren did little things that won me over, like letting me paint his nails to help pick out a new polish in Target, or bringing me dessert at work; over the years, a few in particular stand out. If you don’t get this reference, you need to watch Friends! One night, Darren and I were up talking and I looked up at him and told him he was my lobster, he was confused, and told me that didn’t sound like a good thing, since I’m allergic to fish; in reality, it is a reference to Ross and Rachel and the fact that Phoebe thinks that lobsters mate for life, and so do we. So today, I’m sharing with you the moments I knew me and Darren were for life.
- The One Where We Broke Up – Okay, this sounds more dramatic than it is, it’s actually kind of a cute story. Basically, Darren and I had been friends for a long time before we ever went on a first date, then we went on that first date, and about a week later we were dating. The day Darren asked me out we went to the Ulster County Fair, and as soon as we got there Darren told me he wanted to be on the ferris wheel at sunset, I wondered if maybe that would be the moment we talked about officially dating. We spent the day riding rides, eating fair food, and holding hands. At the end of the night, we lined up to get on the ferris wheel, only for them to close it down because it was getting dark, and because a cat had gone underneath the controls. Normally, this would make me have second thoughts, surely a bad omen, but Darren has always challenged what I used to think. Darren was disappointed, and that made me want to cheer him up. We walked through the parking lot on the way back to the car, and I told him that if he did want to ask me out, it didn’t need to be some preplanned moment, as we basically were already dating. Darren shrugged and we went back to his house, where he did ask me out. I was sitting on Darren’s lap when I said, “So, August 3rd, that’ll be the day, yeah?” Darren then told me that we had to break up and try again tomorrow. I was initially confused, until he explained that him and his last girlfriend started dating on the 3rd. I told him that it didn’t matter; he told me that it did, because I was special and he wanted me to have my own day. So, we dated for a day and broke up. I got pulled over on the way home for speeding, pulled out my best fake cry, and truthfully told the police officer that my boyfriend had just broken up with me. Darren asked me out again the next day and we’ve been together ever since.
- The One Where I was Drunk in the Grocery Store – One thing I’m really proud of when it comes to me and Darren is that he is the first guy I’ve ever been with who made me want to break my own rules. For example, I would normally be very nervous to meet someone’s parents for the first time, and would probably wear a nice dress and try to seem very ladylike, but Darren has really made me step outside of my comfort zone. A few days before Darren and I actually started dating we were going out for a friend’s birthday. We went to Shadows with her, her boyfriend, and a few co-workers, and that is pretty much all I remember about dinner. I know I ordered food that I did not eat, and drank so much tequila that I was asked to leave – I know – CRINGE, but I was newly 21, Darren drove me there and was being handsome and responsible, and it was my friend’s birthday, anyway excuses aside, a large bouncer kind of shrugged at Darren and told him he needed to take me home. I remember Darren half carrying me out to the car, and me sitting down and blowing on my face. I was drunk. I told Darren we had to stop at Hannaford because I needed blue gatorade to drink during the night (when you’re 21 and discovering drinking, blue gatorade is a friend). Darren agreed to stop. While Darren was driving us there, I also decided that my dress and shoes were beyond uncomfortable and decided to change into the long t-shirt I had brought to sleep in, keep in mind we weren’t dating yet (I definitely broke one of my rules here – the one where I don’t get undressed in front of guys who aren’t my boyfriend, but again, Darren has always made me more comfortable in my skin). I thought the t-shirt was more than appropriate to run into Hannaford and Darren didn’t want to leave me alone in the car, so again he played along. As soon as we got out of the car, he told me he could see my black underwear right through it, but I was as stubborn as I was half naked in a Hannaford parking lot after midnight at 21, so again he agreed I could go inside. Darren walked behind me the entire time, never getting more than a foot away to make sure no one else saw my underwear. As I’m writing this I actually can’t believe this happened, but he swears it did, and I have one of those really vague memories of it too. But…that’s not even the embarrassing part of what happened that night. Darren loaded me back into the car with my blue gatorade and drove me back to his house to stay the night. He had to carry me up the steps, and when we walked in the living room, there was his Dad, up watching TV. This was like one o’clock in the morning, I did not expect to be meeting any parents, and I was in no shape for the occasion. I said “Oh my god, that’s your Dad” and explained that I was technically Darren’s boss until the next day when I would be transferring stores.
- The One with the Music Festival – One thing I absolutely adore about Darren is his ability to make me step outside of my comfort zone. Darren has always been one for an adventure, whereas I am notoriously a bit of a homebody. From the first month Darren and I got together, he wanted to go into the city, to basketball games, to the Empire State building, and our traveling only grew from there. If you asked me four years ago if I would spontaneously book a flight to Miami and go there, I would have said absolutely not, and that’s something that we did last June. We’ve been on cruises, we’ve taken vacations, and done all sorts of things that I might not have been brave enough to do without him there to hold my hand. One, that stands out in particular is when we went to EDC, a music festival. We stayed overnight near MetLife stadium and had a huge breakfast at a diner near by. We got to the festival and met up with one of Darren’s friends from high school. We walked around and started to go to some of the stages to listen to music. I don’t know if it was the huge breakfast, the nauseating crowd, or the music that was so loud I could feel it in my stomach, but suddenly I was running away from the crowd to throw up. Darren and I had been dating about six months, and I was beyond embarrassed that his friends were there for this moment, but I felt so sick. Darren asked me if I wanted to leave and go back to the hotel, but they don’t allow re-entry into music festivals like this, so I told Darren to give me a few minutes. I had to throw out my sneakers and decided, for his sake, to stick it out, and I’m glad I did; I got to feeling better and by the end of the day his friend gave me what I think was a compliment, which was that he had never seen anyone throw up and continue to spend an entire day dancing! Darren was so nurturing and caring, and made sure that I drank lots of water all day, and it was just one of those moments in our relationship where I was so thankful that he was the one there to hold my hair back.
- The One with the Sunroof – I’ve been going to the gym with Darren once a week since about Christmas time. I like the way exercise makes me feel stronger and like I can conquer just about anything, it is also highly satisfying to see improvement week to week. However; the gym parking lot seems to be my favorite place to cry. Recently, Darren and I were sat talking, and he mentioned an apartment; I got emotional, as right now my parents need my help at home, with my Dad being sick, and told him that I always imagined it would be our first place, and not just his. I was really just upset that my Dad is sick, and not so much about the apartment, and I started really crying and telling Darren that life isn’t fair. Darren told me he loved me and comforted me. Then, he turned on the car, opened the sun roof, and played with the controls on his seat. Darren pushed it all the way forward and all the way up, until his head was sticking out of the sun roof, and he made me laugh uncontrollably; it wasn’t something he would normally do, but he would do anything to make me laugh. Sitting there, I looked at him and couldn’t help but think that to have someone around who can always make you take life a little less seriously is beyond admirable.
- The One with the “Art” Museum – This month, Darren and I took a day trip to Beacon, and I won’t be petty and say what “contemporary art museum” we spent the whole day mocking (IT’S DIA BEACON), but the way Darren made me laugh just reminded me of all the reasons I love him. When we first walked in I noticed a sign that said no purses, no backpacks, no professional photography, but it specified that it was referring to bags over fourteen inches (specific, right?) I ignored the sign, as I had on a tiny “fashion” backpack, not exceeding the size requirement and figured upon admission they would let me know if I needed to put it in my car. We paid for our tickets, entered the museum and passed at least ten employees and no one said a word. We weren’t quite sure what we were looking at most of the time, but were embracing it none the less, when suddenly the backpack police rolled in. A woman tried to quietly get my attention and then told me that I wasn’t allowed to have my bag, I informed her that no one told me that, and suggested it was a little late now that I was inside. She asked me to put it in the car, which I agreed to. Darren and I started walking toward an exit when exactly 32 seconds later another woman said “Do you know you’re not allowed to have backpacks?” I told her that someone had just told me that. “Then why haven’t you taken it off, and why isn’t it in your hand instead.” I informed the woman that we were walking out to the car currently, and continued on our way, but I wanted to scream. Every employee there seemed to be someone who was slowly putting themselves through an art history degree, and was working here part time to afford the apartment they share with eight other people. I was annoyed, mostly because the whole idea is to enjoy and contemplate art, and as no one stopped me until mid-exhibit it ruined the whole experience, but Darren stepped up to the plate. Darren kept saying that this wasn’t art at all, and made me giggle. Signs everywhere said to not touch the art work, and Darren joked that we couldn’t sit in the chairs in one exhibit because it was part of the art. I asked him to touch me, and as he slid his hand on my lower back, I whispered “don’t touch the art.” Darren especially cracked me up when he said he was dying to take the cap off his chapstick and leave it on the floor in a room with one canvas on the wall, as he wondered if he’d see his chapstick cap on Instagram as someone’s favorite piece. Darren always is able to turn a situation around, and make me laugh and forget why I was mad in the first place. He is also always down to leave somewhere for food instead, which is what we ended up doing, and probably why we’ve been together for so long!
I hope you liked reading this one! Keep in mind, a lot of these moments are far from perfect, the moments in our relationship that defined us and made me love Darren, are the moments that challenged what I thought, made me comfortable in my own skin, and the ones that made me realize that as long as you have someone to laugh with, you’re doing something right.