My mom and I have very similar reality TV love, but she also likes a few sitcom shows as well. For the last 6 months she's watched these shows while I've played on my phone on the couch (recently, that meant playing Candy Crush. omgcrushallthecandies) So, without watching these shows, I've sort of listened to them enough to gain interest. And I'd even occasionally glance up at the screen. And then I'd laugh at a non-forced joke once in a while. Hey, some of these shows aren't so bad after all!
While I can't really tell you the difference between How I Met Your Mother or The Big Bang Theory or any character names, I'm sort of liking them and now I feel like I've been missing out. And it wasn't until the season finale of HIMYM did I realize what the show's whole premise was. I LIKE it. I LIKE things that work in reverse like that! (For example, my favorite music video ever) I sort of want to watch the other seasons now!
So anyways, all that to say that the story of how I met John (or, How I Met Your Father if I'm telling the story to Charley) isn't really known by many in detail. Because, it is quite possibly the most embarrassing night of my life. And I reserve the right to leave out details if they don't make it off the cutting room floor. Episodes are only 30 minutes, people.
I tend to befriend younger people. Maybe I'm a few years immature for my age, but it always seems like my best friends are younger than me. So when I turned 21, I was single and ready to try out the bar scene. Only problem was that very few of my regular friends at the time were also 21. So, I ended up sorta kinda befriending the sister of my boss. She was only two years older than me, and she went out to bars. Those were the only two questions on my friendship application at the time and she passed. Bonus: I actually liked her!
So new friend brought a few more of her friends and we went to a country bar called Coyote Joe's because the people were a-plenty and the drinks were cheap. They were fun and all, but I wasn't looking for friends. I was looking for love. I had been single for a little over a year at that point, and I was just ready to meet someone new. So while my bosses' sister and her friends talked among themselves I rudely tuned them out and my eyes wandered around the bar. And then! I saw him.
Not exactly who I wanted to see. He saw me too and he walked towards me. We hadn't seen each other or talked in at least 6 months. And even then we had just seen each other in passing. What on Earth does he want to say?
He walks up and after some brief chit chat, wants me to come back to the table he's at to meet his new girlfriend. Seriously dude? But, I apparently am too nice and followed him back to his table. Met the new girl (I wasn't impressed) and then due to lack of available seating went and sat on one of his male friend's laps. I knew my ex-boyfriend, and I knew the reason he wanted to introduce me to his new girlfriend was to rub it in my face that he was un-single first out of the two of us. And to get him back I started flirting with his friend. Clearly, this was very immature on both of our parts, and awkward for the rest of the friends at the table. I can't imagine what new girlfriend thought.
Apparently, ex-boyfriend's plans didn't go as he wanted so he not-so-kindly asked me to now leave.
So I left. I was instructed by my sort-of friends to check-in with them periodically since I was off by myself in a huge bar, so I went to find them and let them know I was okay. I then headed to the bar to get another drink. Boy, did I need a drink.
I scooch my way up to the bar through the crowds of people. I end up next to a guy I recognized from high school. In high school, he and I didn't really know each other. I knew who he was, and he knew who I was and that was the extent of that. I start talking to him because A) I recognized him and B) alcohol has removed any sort of filter or shy-ness. He helps alcohol in it's efforts and buys me another drink. A shot of Goldschläger. Ick. But that was what I asked for. My stomach churns now just thinking about it.
In high school he looked quite different than he did on this particular night. At the end of high school, he and all of his friends had buzz cuts and now he had hair. After talking to him about 5 minutes about what we had been doing since high school and maybe even reminiscing about high school (which had only ended 3 years before mind you) I make a really dumb proclamation.
Apparently the hair difference had just now sunk in and I no longer believed this guy to be the guy I went to high school with. PREPOSTEROUS! I asked him to provide me with identification, which he then provided.
Oh, yeah, okay it is you. Carry on.
We chat some more, and then it's been quite some time and I really should check back in with my friends. We should hang out again sometime, I suggest! He agrees, and we try to figure out how to contact each other once we are no longer in each other's company.
"Do you have a cell phone? I'll call you so you'll have my number!"
"No, just a work cell phone. It's dead and doesn't have voicemail."
"I'll write my number down for you! Only, I don't have pen or paper."
He grabs a napkin.
"Let me try and borrow a pen from the bartender."
If you've ever been at an extremely crowded bar, you know how long it can take for the bartender to get to you to take your drink order. We didn't even have a drink order, just a pen order. So we would have likely been continually passed over. After waiting a few minutes with no success, we give up on him and came up with another plan.
"Do you have a home phone?"
"Yes! No one is there since we're all here, but there is an answering machine!"
"Okay! I'll call it right now and leave you a message with my number!"
::you see Charley, back then everyone didn't own personal cell phones and there were these machines hooked to home phones on which you left messages. And we walked to school 12 miles, barefoot, uphill both ways.::
So I called and left my number on his answering machine, hoping him and his buddies (which I knew from high school also) wouldn't get home and listen to it and either a) erase it in their drunkeness, or b) make fun of my message. I hate phones, leaving messages, calling, etc.
In the meantime, I went back to sit with my friends in the bar and stayed with them the rest of the night. There was another run-in with my ex-boyfriend later that evening, and since I had drank even more since the first run-in, it didn't end well. I'm going to leave it at that.
But it did end my night. After the incident, it was clear I'd had too much and friends were ready to go too, so we left. I had planned to go back to hang out with high school guy, but high school guy shouldn't have bought me that shot because it was one drink too many.
Friends (who obviously were way more responsible than I was this night) drove me back to their home. I spent so much time with the toilet that night that I thought my cell phone should also spend some time in the toilet. I was keeping it in my hand in case high school guy called and then it went for a swim.
The next morning (oh! my head!) my phone worked again (maybe we did the rice trick? I don't remember.) and I had a voice mail. High school guy left a message saying he was home safely and wondered why I never came back to chat. Oh if he only knew.
I call him back and we make plans to hang out again the next weekend. Him and his friends (again, all people I knew from high school) were going uptown to a bar and I should meet them out.
Next weekend comes and I get ready to go out. On the way I pass my best friend's house and she is having a small gathering that evening with our group of friends. I stop by on the way out to chat, and momentarily consider cancelling altogether in lieu of hanging with my regular crowd. Hanging out with the regulars sounds much more fun than forcing myself to walk into a crowded bar and find a guy and his friends that I haven't really seen (except briefly the prior weekend) in years. I hate walking in somewhere and looking for people through a crowd. I just know they are looking right at me and pointing and laughing at my oblivion.
But, I force myself to go. And I get there, and find John and his friends pretty easily. We have a great time and head home for the night. We make plans to see each other again the next weekend. Which then turns into the next weekend, until finally we start sneaking weekday visits in there too. Before I know it, he's coming up to the toy store where I work and sitting with me all evening on weekday nights. And then I'm going and spending most nights at his apartment. And hanging just a shirt or two in his closet. Then overhearing comments from his roommates about me ALWAYS being there.
But ya know what roommates? It happens. Love happens fast and in country bars where your ex-boyfriend is being a creep and you are too drunk to remember the entirety of the night and your phone winds up in a toilet.
|That's my bare midriff! It's the same pale color as my shirt and if you squint just right I look topless! What a horrible color for you, Lacey of 2003!|
And that, my dear sweet Charley, is How I Met Your Father. Sweet dreams, little one. Definitely an appropriate bedtime story, no?