I used to rush through the story of how we met. The truth was, for all my feminism and feelings about the fairy tale romance, I wished we’d met cute – or at least cuter. At least in a nice way. At least kind of classy. I’d listen to friends’ adorable and appropriate “how we met” tales: “High school biology class.” Sweet. “My friends introduced me, and I couldn’t stop looking at her.” Swoon. “We talked online, then went to the same book signing by accident, but left together.” Adorable.
When the question was turned around I blew through it, glossing over details and changing the topic before anyone could ask for specifics. I wanted a celluloid-perfect story. Something that made people say “Awww!”.
So how did we meet?
I met my boyfriend at a party when I was 20. It was an anniversary party for a local comic book shop (NERD ALERT). We talked for approximately 10 minutes. I may have been tipsy. I thought he was really cute, but was more focused on free beer and awkwardly chatting up Chris Ware. Also, I had a boyfriend. I think he had a girlfriend. I was into him, but if I’m being honest I remember more about my red H&M dress. Seriously, it looked amazing. I still look for it on eBay. Sorry, getting off track.
Years passed. We dated other people. Sometimes we’d run into each other at events – we had mutual friends and liked some of the same things (you don’t think people meet at Chicago Comics 15th Anniversary Jam by chance, do you?). Every time I saw him, I felt a spark, a little flare of something that wouldn’t quit. He’s nice and cute and draws really well, I thought. But I had a boyfriend, or he had a girlfriend. Oh well.
Fast-forward to my 24th birthday. My recent mostly-ex wasn’t at the bar where I had my birthday, but someone else was. He wasn’t invited – he was just hanging out with a friend. How serendipitous – meet cute, right? Wait for it. “I always liked him,” I whispered to my friend between glances across the dark room, “What do you think?” Ever the instigator, she told me I should go for it. I went for it, and then we lived happily ever after.
Not really. We Netflix and chilled for three months, then broke up on New Year’s Eve. Adorable.