We had the weekend to process. I could barely contain my happiness. I skipped through the many chores I helped my parents with as we prepared to host their Horticultural Club the coming week. The lack of electricity due to the derecho did little to dampen my spirits. And yet, how could this be happening?
New to the world of offices, careers, jobs, the possibility of being fired… I totally freaked myself out. I was an intern, but you were an employee. I could get you fired?! Could I be fired too? Could an intern be fired? Oh god, this could end very very badly. Well we aren’t “official” so technically it’s okay. We only went on one date… Okay so may it’s not okay.
My thoughts followed an alternating pattern of freaking out over our jobs to being so incredibly giddy.
The derecho really worked in our favor, and I am a mastermind at concocting plans. Since I hadn’t had electricity since Friday night and no electricity means no water, I asked a friend who also was an intern if I could spend the night at her place and use her shower on Monday night (she also just happened to live in Chestertown – how convenient). She said she could, but she had plans to get dinner with a professor, so I texted you. Of course, you were happy to keep me company for dinner.
I don’t remember how I got clean for work on Monday. I must’ve washed in cold water powered through the pipes by the rusty old generator. I don’t even remember much of what happened Monday. I think I spent most of the day willing the clock to go faster.
We left my Volvo in the parking lot and we drove back to Chestertown in your silver Honda Accord. I wanted to meet your dog, so, like it was no big deal, you took me to your house. To this day, I am shocked that you took my home with you after only one date. I found out later that I was the first girl you brought to your house in something like two years.
You ushered me into your house, warning me about Cali’s enthusiasm. She was an angel and didn’t jump at all – much to your surprise and relief. I guess she liked me.
Ok so you hunt. Gotta process that one.
I had a brief sighting of your brother before you led me down the hall to your room so I could change out of my work clothes.
There was a huge football helmet on your wall and shelves of shotglasses.
Luckily I knew it was a Ravens football helmet. Deerheads and football… and shotglasses. On the surface, you definitely fell into the Eastern Shore stereotype. That was strangely attractive to me, despite the fact that I usually steer away from the stereotypical. I fell in secret love with that part of you. You are so much more than that stereotype, but I, of course, like to give you a hard time about it. You know I love your good ol’ country boy-ness.
As if I wasn’t overwhelmed enough visiting your house, you suggested we walk over to your grandmother’s house with Cali. You took me inside to meet your grandmother. I was terrified. I’m surprised I got words out of my mouth because I was smiling so wide my cheeks hurt (I tend to just smile when I’m nervous). I don’t remember exactly what we talked about because you didn’t linger, but she did tell me I had a porcelain complexion.
We walked to the end of the dock and sat with our toes reaching toward the water. Somehow I ended up in your lap. We chatted, snuck in a kiss or two, watched the dogs frolick, and watched the sun get lower and lower.
Eventually, we reluctantly decided to go get some dinner. We went to Plaza Tapatia, a TexMex chain I’ve only ever seen on the Eastern Shore. It was at that restaurant that we became official. Very romantic I know, but that restaurant with it’s bright colors, dark lighting, and delicious Peach margaritas will always have a special place in my heart.
You drove me to the place I was staying, helped me carry my things up to the apartment, and then you got out of there fast! I think you were afraid of what she would think of you being there with me. I ended up telling her we were dating. She was pretty excited, and didn’t seem that surprised. I guess we weren’t as subtle as we thought. She helped me look through some of the work policy guidelines we had been given at the beginning of the summer. It was decided that the best approach would be to be upfront and honest. I texted you and we agreed to tell our supervisors the next day.
I woke with butterflies in my stomach. Getting breakfast down was not an easy feat. We chatted on the way to work with another intern who we picked up on the way. You texted me; we agreed it was going to be a long morning before our meeting.
Finally it was time. We walked into the little meeting room together. You stood up and paced while I sat looking down. One supervisor called in, the other was present. You finally sat down and started talking. I am eternally grateful for you taking the lead in that awkward conversation. I sat and doodled nervously on my blank sheet of paper.
Turns out we had nothing to worry about! They were totally cool with us dating as long as it didn’t interfere with our professionalism and the project we were working on together. Maintaining that professionalism and not jumping into your arms after they left was probably even harder to do than sitting through the meeting.
I drove home to a very busy house preparing for Horticulture. Somehow I found a moment between frantically taking dishes out of the oven, filling water glasses, and getting dressed to tell my parents what they already suspected, and that you were coming over the next day, July 4th, to meet them…
to be continued.