I always imagined that the first guy to become my boyfriend would come out of some spectacular, unexpected event. I accidentally knock over a stranger's hot coffee with my purse, and it spills all over his lap, but then I meet him a month later at a random party, and we just happen to remember each other for some reason and then just completely hit it off. Or I'm getting out of work to see that it's pouring outside, but I don't have an umbrella and am completely underdressed for the rain, so I'm walking home drenched and shivering cold when the kindest stranger offers to share his umbrella and gives me his jacket and walks me home and then asks for my number.
It stings when I have to tell people that David and I met at a club. I guess it's because I realize that our relationship didn't stem from dramatic origins of the romantic comedy flair as I had always wanted.
But it's so hard to explain how serendipitous that meeting really was. I was truly so close to not going that night and never meeting the best thing that's ever happened to me in my life.
I was drinking by myself at home, pregaming because I couldn't imagine going to Circle sober, and after my fourth half shot within the minute, I looked at my reflection through the living room window, and my vision started to blur from the tears conjured by this image of me, how sad I looked in my plain, black, not-dressy-enough-for-clubbing dress, drinking all alone in this huge apartment. I felt like I was looking into the future, how I would be 30 and still all alone in a huge apartment drinking by myself because all of my friends are snuggled up with their significant others at home and I still didn't know how to go out and meet someone without the help of the Fairy God-liquor.
I was supposed to meet Soomi and Teresa at 11 so that we wouldn't have to pay cover, but it was half past midnight, and they had already gone inside a while ago. I had every reason not to go anymore, and I was starting to accept this bleak impending future reflected in the crystal ball of my windowpane. But out of nowhere, a flash of optimism struck through me. I had to stop using laziness as an excuse not to do anything or else nothing in my life would change. While I had accepted eternal singledom as my destiny, I didn't want it. I didn't think I deserved it. If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting. That phrase I had precariously scribbled on a yellow sticky note pinned to the bulletin board in front of my desk suddenly loomed in my mind, reminding me that if I wanted change, I had to change. I wasn't expecting to meet someone that night; I just felt like I had to start saying yes to more things because I never knew what could happen. I took one last shot, headed out the door, and hailed down a taxi with resolve.
I bitterly released the $20 cover from my grasp as I entered the club, swimming through the throng, trying to find two Koreans in a Korean haystack. The fact that I spotted Soomi and Teresa immediately should have been a heads-up of my fortuity of the night. We bopped our heads to the depressingly mediocre beats, trying to convince ourselves we were having fun because this was Circle.
As we moved from section to section looking for a good spot to dance, I naturally scoped the crowd. It was your typical sea of Korean guys, all with the same too cool, too disinterested looks. At one point, I did notice one guy who I genuinely thought was cute, and for a moment, it seemed like he was looking our way, checking us out. At first, I had a tiny bit of hope that maybe he was looking at me, but I erased this delusion immediately because it's so easy to trick yourself into thinking that everyone is looking at you when you want them to. So I did what I usually did, pretended that I hadn't seen him and moved my girls to dance in a different section to see if he'd follow.
Of course he didn't because who the hell did I think I was, this hot girl that all da boiz wanted? I lost him in the crowd anyway when I moved, so whatever. There were a lot more hotter girls in the club anyway. I completely forgot about him and just enjoyed my time with Soomi and Teresa because I really always had fun with them.
We danced with a few guys until we got tired of them, and then Teresa decided we should move elsewhere. I kind of lost them as I tried to follow them through the crowd, so I just kept pushing myself through, determined to meet up with them again, but suddenly, I was standing right in front of the cute guy. We locked eyes, and at that moment, everyone else in the room dissolved into thin air. I always thought the cliche was hilarious, but it was then that I really understood that it was possible to feel like you were the only two people in the room.
He said, with a smile. To me. I smiled and said hi back. And then in a millisecond, we started dancing together so naturally. And then continued to do so for the rest of the night. And not even gross ass-grinding, but slow dancing. I've never slow danced with a guy in my life because I always felt that it was awkward, weird, and unnatural, but here in this moment that felt like just ours, I rested my head on his shoulder and he just held me as we swayed, incongruous to and unaffected by our gyrating surroundings. It strangely felt right, the two of us.
I eventually started getting tired and accepted that this moment had to end some time. Ready to never see him again, I told him I was tired and was going to go. But as I had secretly hoped, he asked if we could hang out sometime, and for the first time, I gave a guy in a club my number.
I left the blissful trance, and life was back to normal again. I sat with Soomi at a table, waiting for Teresa, as we rested our feet sore from dancing all night. After a few minutes, I felt a tap on my shoulder, and it was the cute guy again. He passed me a glass of water and disappeared back into the crowd. I was so taken aback because it was such a thoughtful and considerate gesture, nothing I'd expect from a guy in a club. Even though I had given him my number, in the back of my head, I still thought he was probably just as sleazy as the other guys I'd met in clubs before.
He asked me out that night over text. The next day, I agonized over whether or not I should go. Last night was good. Last night was great. I didn't want to destroy that. I don't know how to be on a date. I'm not normal. He seemed too nice. I'm totally not his type. There's no way he would like someone as loud and crazy as I am.
But my loudness and craziness ended up being two of the things he likes about me. These past two and a half months have been so great that I've started thinking of my life in terms of "before meeting David" and "after meeting David," even though it's the importance of meeting David that I find so hard to convey to others.
I guess how we met shouldn't matter that much because I've met a guy who calls me in the middle of the day just to hear my voice,
who cooks for me,
who takes care of me when I'm PMSing,
who just wants to hold me whenever I'm feeling down,
who holds me tight at night when we sleep,
who rubs my back without complaint,
who makes sure I floss every night,
who puts up with all of my whining,
who calls me every night before he goes to bed to tell me good night,
who tells me how beautiful I am every day,
who knows me better than I know myself.
I've met a guy who loves me.
About a month into our relationship, David says that he has something embarrassing to tell me. He had sought me out at the club that night, but when our eyes first met, for some reason it seemed like time had stood still, and at that moment, he felt like we were the only two people there.
Maybe this is my own romantic comedy after all.