Our Story – “Getting to know all about you.”

Posted: May 12, 2008 in Calvin, Drama, Journal, Memory Lane, Warm Fuzzy

** Updated to add, see Editorial Note. **

When Calvin and I met, it wasn’t love at first site. He was married, I was married, and neither of us was looking for a complete upheaval in our lives. I wouldn’t have had much interaction with him at all if it weren’t for the fact that my boss needed some grunt work done. At the time Calvin and I met, he was working for AcronymCo as a building controls specialist, and I was working for a general contractor as a purchasing assistant. This general contractor was running the construction site for a new office building on AcronymCo’s campus. During the start-up and turn-over process of the project, a person was needed to monitor building alarms in the mechanical support building (MSB) as everything came on-line.

My boss – a cigar puffing chauvinistic good-ol-boy from Rhode Island – sent me out to the MSB to sit in its tiny little office and call back any alarms over the walkie-talkies to Those That Cared. So I made my way across the site in my little steel-toed boots and pig tails and hard hat, and must have looked like a sixteen-year-old playing dress-up when I walked into that office (close enough… I was twenty). Calvin and one of his colleagues were sitting at the workstations. Calvin gave me that grin of his when I walked in – that one that lets you know that he notices you as an attractive female and he’s going to have a seriously good time flirting with you. Every single one of my female friends knows which grin I’m talking about. Heh.

The other man stood up to give me his chair, and then left the office with a half-serious warning LOOK at Calvin that I saw but didn’t understand. At the time. However, it didn’t take long at all for Calvin’s inherent personality to come to the fore. I had brought some bills and busy work with me to do while I was “stuck” in the MSB, but I’d forgotten my calculator. So I asked Calvin if he had one I could borrow. He took one out of a drawer, punched a few keys, and slid it over to me. I glanced down, laughed, and rolled my eyes when I saw on the display that he had typed in “69-69-69”.

Thus, people, our future relationship was born. Auspicious, no? I must say I was a complete novice at flirting, and being flirted with. But I certainly thought this guy was funny.

Calvin is a great conversationalist. He knows a lot about a myriad of topics and has mad story telling skills (unless you make him sit on his hands – he even gestures when he’s on the PHONE and the person on the other end CAN’T SEE HIM… that still cracks me up). He is well informed, and has a great sense of humor. He just loves to talk to people, and make them laugh. He likes to know everything about everybody. He likes to learn. He also likes to express his opinion about everything and anything under the sun. He’s NOT the most politically correct person I’ve ever met (if you’ve met him, BOY do you know that to be an understatement!), but his wicked sense of humor and way of expressing himself is something I really get.

It wasn’t something I could have even explained to myself at the time, sitting there talking to this guy in the MSB, but if a naive twenty-year-old and worldly-wise thirty-year-old could have shared the same brain, we absolutely were. And still do.

Inevitably, over the few weeks that I was assigned to the MSB, Calvin and I became very close friends. The time we spent working together meant that we had hours alone to just talk, monitor alarms and futz with the workstations, and talk some more. He told me his life story, and I told him mine. Seriously, LIFE STORIES, from “in the beginning, God had the good sense to create me,” onward. We discovered we could talk to each other about anything, which was a luxury neither of us had with our significant others. I don’t think either of us realized the great need we both had to just be able to talk, and express ourselves without censorship or risk of reprisal.

Of course, during our hours upon hours of conversation, the issues and problems in each other’s lives became apparent. I told Calvin what was going on with me and my husband at the time (I think you’re all clear on that story now, yes?). I listened as Calvin described a relationship with his wife that sounded more like they were brother and sister, than husband and wife. They fought ALL THE TIME. About everything. Big things, little things, stupid things, serious things. As he described it, the brief harmonies between them were just lulls in the never ending round of conflict they shared.

The majority of Calvin’s (very complicated, very dramatic) relationship with his ex is his story to tell. But the long and short of it is they met when they were very, very young. He was fifteen and she was thirteen when they began their relationship. As is the usual way of teenagers, things were far from perfect from the get-go. He cheated, she cheated, they broke up, they got back together, and they broke up again. She discovered she was pregnant at seventeen. Things were bad between them for a few months, and then Calvin applied himself with renewed dedication to their relationship. Michael was born. Three months later, she started a prolonged affair with Calvin’s best friend. It was particularly devastating for Calvin to discover this, since things were feeling so “right” to him at the time. Things were rocky for a while, but they managed to reconcile again. A little over a year after Michael was born, Calvin and his wife were married. Marie was born several years after that. Amidst it all there was more fighting and more drama, interspersed with occasional moments of peace.

Basically, Calvin likes to describe it as: “We were a We before either of us were a Me.” Their relationship began when neither of them was established as individuals, yet. So their childish bickering and fighting and punishing one another and getting back at one another never evolved into anything more mature, more stable. They grew up together, but in the process grew into people that neither one of them, well… liked, really. They were married and they had children together, but behind the mature All American Family facade was the same immature relationship in which they had been stuck in their teenage years.

Anyway. Did I mention the flirting? Oh GOOD HEAVENS, the flirting. EVERYTHING was an innuendo that sent his eyebrows a-wagging at me, and sent me off into fits of giggles. Calvin’s colleague would occasionally come into the office to do some task or another, listen for a few minutes, look askance at us and glare his “Behave Yourself” glare at Calvin, and depart again. Calvin would ramp his flirting up another few notches while he was there, just to make him glare harder and make me giggle more.

The more we talked, the more we discovered we had in common. The way we thought, the beliefs we held, our similar reactions and opinions. It was completely surreal and exhilarating at the same time; it had been so long since either of us felt as understood as we did in each other’s presence.

I was terribly sorry to see my time spent in the MSB at a close. The building controls were finally stable, my desk back in the construction trailer was piling up with contracts and amendments, and it was time for me to get back to it. Calvin and I knew we would continue to hang out on occasion, and see each other at lunch and on breaks. But it had been really, really fun to work with him. I’d looked forward to going to work each day for those few weeks in a way that I never had before. And it turned out, he felt the same.

So. Friday of the last week. Five o’clock. I stood up to leave, and he stood up to open the door for me. We stood across from one another at the door, mere inches apart… and an impulse popped into my head that I acted upon without thinking. An impulse that never occurred to me before, with anyone else. An impulse that was so completely OPPOSITE of my normal behavior that I didn’t want to look at it too closely at all. I just… acted on it.

I stepped forward, closed the distance between us, and kissed him.

To be continued…

  1. Taoist Biker says:

    Damn cliffhanger endings.

    I completely understand that “We before either of us was a Me.” In my case, I think that was true until I was at least 30.

  2. cariskicker says:

    Wow. What a little hussy! 🙂

    This is starting off to be such a cute story! 🙂 Can’t wait for the next ‘chapter’….

  3. Amanda says:

    AHHHHHHHHH! I can’t handle the suspense!

  4. Laura says:

    TB – Heh. I aim to please. And I think that’s the case for a lot of relationships that start when both are young. Sometimes we grow together, sometimes we grow apart.

    Cariskicker – I KNOW! I was, wasn’t I?

    Amanda – But you KNOW how it ENDS! You guys are so funny.

  5. Calvin says:

    After reading this entry it somehow makes it seem like watching your favorite movie in fast-forward. (TOOoo many details to cover here.) While I think we both knew right from the start that we liked each other neither one of us knew what the result could be when “Doors are left open” in relationships. We were lucky! P.S. The timeline is a bit off – it was not that fast. I’m a PIG but not that bad.

  6. Laura says:

    Calvin – I wrote an Editorial Note which I hope fixes things a bit. ~mwah~

  7. Heather says:

    Calvin – It’s okay, with this type of icky mushy romantic type movies, I fast forward through these parts to get to the good stuff anyway. Heehee 😉

  8. […] Uhhh, yeah. That one’s complicated. […]

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