Dating Other People (How We Met, Part 2)
Yesterday, I shared the first part of the story of how Scott and I met. Today, I’m sharing a second part of the story. (Yes, that means there’s a third part. I’m on a roll!)
Letters. On Paper. Mailed with Stamps!
A few casual dates, one formal one (Scott asked me to the Junior-Senior Banquet—a banquet and NOT a dance because we were a decent Baptist college, you see), and several weeks later, Scott graduated from college and moved to New York City. Since I had two years left of school and Scott had been burned by long-distance relationships before, we agreed that we were NOT together. We agreed that we would date other people, and we promised to write (even though I was skeptical – I’d heard that from other guys and the letters never came).
But Scott actually wrote me real letters on paper, with pens, mailed with stamps, all summer and into my junior year of college. I kept writing even though I didn’t think I’d see him again, partly because I wasn’t ready to give up hope and partly because it was so much fun. He made me laugh like no one else.
One day, he wrote to say that a guy from his company was coming on a recruiting trip to campus. He’d told the guy to look for me, and suggested to me that maybe I could snag an internship there for the next summer.
New York City? On my own? Get to spend a summer with Scott? That would be awesome. Aaaaand my parents would never go for that.
I went to the recruiting fair anyway – to get interview experience, I told myself. I found that recruiter and was stunned when he said, “Hi Joy! I’ve been told I should hire you. Let’s do an interview right now.” The job sounded great, the location was to die for, and of course, Scott was there. When I left that afternoon, I knew I had to try to make it happen.
When my parents didn’t shoot down the idea, I set to work making plans to spend the summer in NYC.
About a week before I was scheduled to start, I found an apartment to sublet, right across from Macy’s in Manhattan. My friends knew about Scott and began referring to my summer job as “your [insert mocking sarcasm and finger-quotes here] ‘internship.’ ”
I hoped Scott and I would go out. I hoped we’d date all summer, and I really hoped it wouldn’t be a massive disaster. Him being a “Scott” and all. I guessed that working 2nd shift together in a fast-paced high-pressure environment would tell me whether our relationship had any future. But I wasn’t assuming anything. We both knew we’d been dating other people and were being very careful not to expect anything.
The first weekend I was there, Scott offered to show me the city, a purely platonic sight-seeing tour. That morning, as we stood a proper 3-4 feet apart, waiting for the train to the Lincoln Center, a roving sketch artist walked up to us. He started drawing with a green Crayola marker on a huge pad of paper. Before we knew it, he’d drawn our profiles back to back and an enormous heart around the both of us. In scribbled script, he wrote “Love Forever” and then haggled with Scott to get $20 for it.
And prophetic. By the end of that day, he’d put his arm around me, I’d held his hand, and I may have kissed him. We’d been friends for so long that when we had the chance to spend time together and discovered mutual attraction, it was as easy as breathing to segue into a romantic relationship.