Ladies and gentlemen, get ready.
Everyone’s got a coming out story, no?
Well, at least anyone who’s come out has one. This is the start of my saga.
(Listen, if you haven’t watched The L Word, you’re a sinner. Accept it. This was my favorite coming out story, probably because it’s the closest one to mine. Well, hers and Tina’s. But I hate Tina so I won’t relate myself to her. Sorry. She has a weird mouth and bad hair. And also sucks.)
I figured hey, why not share mine? Maybe it’ll give someone else the confidence to do the same. Lord knows it’s the hardest thing in the world to do. That and removing pet hair from things. (amiright or what?)
Denver – one year ago.
So. Here I am. Engaged to a man but pretty unhappy. I can’t put my finger on it; I just know that something’s not right and my heart’s not where it should be for an engaged woman. I’m about to start this new job, though, and it sounds pretty amazing. Working with kids and doing social justice and volunteer work. Badass for sure.
We walk into the office that’s adorned with a cute sign welcoming us and boom. There she is. Exhibit A. Hands down probably the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. And it’s really nothing spectacular (sorry baby) – a woman wearing a plaid button-down over a t-shirt and jeans. Curly hair. Some form of average shoes. But there’s something about her and I cannot. stop. staring. (Side note: have you ever experienced this? Until this moment, I hadn’t. You’ll know you’re in love the instant it happens, whether you’re able to admit it at that time or not. If you’re like me, you’ll be like “oh, hmph. That’s a weird feeling.”)
We walk out of the office as a group that day and my dear friend Willow Smith leans over to me and whispers, “Is everyone in that office gay?” (Important: he doesn’t mean this in a mean way whatsoever. Can’t stress that enough.) I laugh it off but am secretly hoping so in my head. I’m not sure why, but I want this girl to be gay for sure.
We get our answer the next week at a youth conference, where Exhibit A and Willow Smith are having a conversation and Exhibit A casually mentions her “ex-girlfriend.” He immediately comes up and tells me and I’m like “Yes! I knew it,” which is a totally odd reaction for a straight girl to have.
About a month later, things are going far south for the fiance and I. Every time we talk on the phone, I have nothing to say. Every time we Skype, it’s like we’re dying for someone to come into the room so there’s a new subject to talk about…with another human in hopes that they add life to the conversation.
Easter rolls around and instead of going back to Wisconsin to spend time with him, I go with Willow Smith to his home in SoCal. Because honestly, who wouldn’t choose getting a sick tan with your best friend with all the free hard liquor you want? (Answer: someone happily in love.) We have a great time until Easter day, when my fiance incessantly calls me until I want to scream. I finally answer, and he asks me “A, do you even want to be with me?” and before I can stop myself, I burst out with a “no” so deep that I physically remember trying to suck it back in like the air would create a time machine straw. But the words wouldn’t go back in. After crying, hanging up, talking to my mom, talking to his mom, talking to my best friend, waking Willow up from his exquisite day-drunk mid-afternoon nap and talking to him…I come to realize this is the best decision for me. Without a doubt. It’s terrible, really. I was with him for six years. For those of you who can’t compute, that’s a quarter of my life spent with one person. And I wasn’t happy at the end. And the moment I snapped, I knew I couldn’t go back.
All I knew was the following:
- From that moment on, I wouldn’t settle. Ever.
- Life’s too short to be anything but happy. Ever.
- Chemistry plays a key role in relationships. Always.
- Friends can get you through anything. Always.
I spend the rest of my two months trying to hang out with Exhibit A as much as possible. All I knew was that being around her made me forget I was sad because she was always so set on having a good time. I spend nearly every weekend with her and her crew (see this post for an example of one of those weekends) and was slightly devastated when I learned that I’d be spending two months in Arkansas, because it’s far from Denver.
(Okay. I’m trying to hurry this story along, I swear. I know you angels have shit to do. I just deleted a ton. We’ll see how this goes from here.)
Fast forward to August. I’m moving to Denver with Roomie and we get here only to find our place is gutted and we have nowhere to live for a week. Who do we call? Exhibit A, of course. She has also just moved into her place and invites us to stay as long as we need to. I willingly take this invite. Three days in, we go on an “accidental date” which was just a perfect date that wasn’t a date. Dinner, drinks, and the most beautiful person I’ve ever laid eyes on…and I’m totally freaking out.
Saturday comes along and we’ve been in Denver for a week. I am absolutely smitten with Exhibit A and get so excited when she shows up with a bottle of wine and at 12:08 pm decides it’s time to crack it open. A large group of us deem it “Wine Saturday” and go on with our day, getting absolutely obliterated. Like, freshman in college obliterated. At like 1 pm. Let’s move on to about 10 pm. I am just crushing so hard on this girl, and I’m not even trying to hide it. I tell the room that I want to go out dancing, and I’m mostly met with “no way”s and a series of groans, except from her. She says she’ll take me out to Charlie’s and we can learn to two-step. At this moment, I’ll go to a slaughterhouse if it means I get to go with her.
The night gets a bit hazy here because honestly, I had enough booze to get an army drunk. Plus, I was so lovestruck. I don’t care how stupid that sounds, it’s true. We danced until bar close and I draped my arms around her and could not have been happier. As we left, I got my liquid courage in check and grabbed her hand, and home we walked. She then told me she thought I should just stay at her place, because I lived “really far away.” Six blocks, by the by. We got up to her house and by this time I was thinking to myself…
Hey, idiot. Kiss her. Stop being so drunk and do it.
Her neighbors were outside and were making small talk and she joined in. I took her keys, opened the door, and pulled her inside. I slammed the door behind her, steadied myself, and kissed her. She looked at me and asked if I was sure, and my Lindsay Lohan/Cady Heron response? “Shut up.”
Now, before this story gets really romantic (and by that, I mean vulgar) let me stop your brains. I then ran to the bathroom and threw up from a mixture of too much to drink and extreme fear. She put me to bed and that was that.
The next morning, she walked me back to my place where I came close to death about twice that day. I was super sick from the drinking the day/night before. She came back around two and laid down next to me, rubbing my back and kissing my forehead. It was hands down the cutest thing ever, but I reminded myself she was probably just being nice, like any friend would. She left in the early afternoon.
Two days passed before I would respond to her texts of “We should talk about this…” and finally I told her I thought I left my earrings at her place. I was lying; they were in my purse the whole time. All I knew was that I had to see her and I needed to gauge how she felt about me. I went for a long run beforehand to clear my head and went to her place. She was sitting inside with the door open, playing guitar and looking insanely cute in sweatpants and a t-shirt (so weird, the things I remember.) We went to talk on her futon (the time sucker, I swear minutes move faster when you sit on it!) and I truly don’t remember what was said, only that an hour had passed before I made the sober decision to kiss her again. This time it was better. Way better.
…you’re all going to have to hold off for the “coming out” part of this story until later. It’s worth a blog entry for itself. Love to you all. Hope this explains a few things 🙂