My Story of How We Met
I don’t know if I convey how much I talk about you. It’s actually probably embarrassing, but I don’t care and I’m crazy about you. Perhaps partly out of obligation, people then ask how long we’ve been dating and how we met. I usually give them the 1 line answer, that you’re the only date I’ve gone on from OKC and that we met on New Year’s Day, leaving the math of how long that is as an exercise to the reader, because I don’t count the days anymore and I can’t do arithmetic anymore either.
To friends actually interested in the story of how we met, I tell the 5 minute version. But the story really starts with how I broke up with my ex-boyfriend after a lifetime during which I lived in 3 cities and my parents got sick and we conceived startups and flew a dozen times a year to see each other. Asking myself if I was going to spend the rest of my lives with him, the answer was that I didn’t know, and you know that I can get impatient with that answer. When something’s as important to my happiness as my mate, and I’m confused and discontent about it, I start to agitate, to reconfigure and see if I like the shakeup better. Because I’m an optimist. Even if life oscillates to something worse, I’m confident I’ll figure out the right thing, so why settle for something that I don’t like? (Maybe this is what Trump supporters are thinking.)
I actually wasn’t optimistic I’d date again. I’m busy and picky. I figured I’d give it a solid try for 3 months before returning to my fortress of solitude, writing and learning martial arts while building a great company and kicking all kinds of ass. To my surprise, some of the dates I went on were promising. The guys were technical founders, romantic, cute- people I’d be friends with and who knew my founder friends. I had my criteria, qualified my leads, and was good at only having good dates. (Plus whenever a date got boring, I’d do something about it. That’s another story.)
Anyway, that’s why when you messaged me I wasn’t thinking anything was going to happen. We chatted for a few days and you kept pushing to meet. I told you I didn’t have expectations for our meeting except it would probably be fun because I’m fun, and learning was the only thing I try to do.
I said, “I feel guilty you’re coming all this way to meet for just 30 minutes.”
You said, “It’ll take at least an hour.”
“That’s a long time. Won’t you know within 30 minutes whether you like me?” Looking back, maybe this was another moment when you humored me because you knew it didn’t matter.
Our first date lasted like 18 hours. During which I kept noticing with escalating astonishment that I still wanted to spend time with you. Normally after max 1 hour I get impatient to be alone. But I didn’t want to leave you. I remember thinking with wonderment, “This is irresponsible. I have lots of work to do, I have not prepared anything for this party in 2 hours, and now I’m inviting him to my house to meet my friends, when I don’t even know him.”
I kept expecting that after a little more time I’d want you to leave so I could do my stretches and check Facebook and go through my tasks. But talking about people we loved (we had no friends in common, but now we do), our goals, our life changes, I had more questions, I loved your monologues, the intensity of your emotions, seeing the world through your quick look (I remember your smile when we first said hello), and the harder the memory the harder you’d crack up. The usually increasingly mounting urgency to check email actually receded the longer I was with you- each moment I felt that knowing you grew more and more important than the other stuff.
I thought, “Am I going boy crazy? Am I losing my grip on my missions and now on the path to floozy-ness?” This is a harrowing question for me because much of the good in my life has originated from eschewing the weakness of the flesh, from trading short term pain for long term greed, from self denial to devote more of my self to my work, from suppressing animal tendencies so that I could have a more godly impact… Yet I remain a beast in the end, dust to dust, and that tension bites into me when I consider my death.
But each time I spiraled into this line of questioning, you asked how I was doing, you said everything was perfect even though I could see your back was hurting you, you wanted to know I was OK. And I knew you wouldn’t take me from what mattered to me. You were so genuinely passionate about ideas and people, and you were already watching out for me. I trusted you- that’s the first of my criteria I was sure we met, remember? You thought it’d be the sex criteria but it was trust.
Much changed those days when we met. You asked if I ever imagined I’d be spending all my time with you in your apartment. I had no expectations, but maybe it was clear to you and a mystery to me. Meeting each other in the midst of a big transition period was an antonymic cleaving of lives, cleaving from old worlds, cleaving of new worlds. I still feel everything changing all the time, like we’re still meeting. I still feel the wonderment I first felt on our first date, amazed that I still want to spend this much time with you without checking my email.
This is still the short version of how we met! You might’ve noticed I didn’t even mention how I didn’t think you were “very good looking.” This still isn’t the whole story. Meeting you was such a big deal- it might be impossible to tell the whole story! I don’t know it all yet. Aren’t we both still just getting started with every single thing? Like you said Zuck said, “We’re only 1% done.”