Today marks 9 years since Craig and I became a couple! That’s almost a third of my life! In honor of our 9 years together, I thought I would take a little walk down memory lane…(actually this post is pretty long!)
9 years ago today we were on spring break during our freshman year of college. That year our spring break was just two weeks before the start of summer break, so neither of us went home. I was house sitting nearby and Craig was flying to Minnesota in two weeks for the summer, so there wasn’t much point in going home. Campus was pretty dead during that week, so we ended up spending most of it together. What’s funny about this is that just two weeks before spring break, Craig and I had “the talk” (a DTR as it was known at our college which stood for “Define the Relationship”). Before I get into that, here’s a brief look back at what happened before that talk….
Craig and I met pretty much right away freshman year. It was the time when everyone was making new friends and getting to know each other. For those of you that know Craig, it will come as no surprise that he was everywhere, meeting everyone, becoming everyone’s new best friend. The first time I met Craig it was at a 70′s party on campus and he was wearing a curly wig. He was telling everyone his name was “Seventies Steve,” so I thought his name really was Steve (come to find out, he was wearing his dad’s old clothes from the 70′s and his dad’s name is Steve!). Anyway, I don’t remember much about him that night other than that he was loud and a bit obnoxious.
The second time I met Craig, he had been repeatedly prank calling my dorm room. He had met my beautiful roommate Jessica and found out where she lived. He was using some online soundboard, so sometimes the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) would call, among others. One day Craig came over to see Jessica (I still didn’t connect that Craig was Seventies Steve), except she wasn’t home, I was. It was a brief encounter, but when he left he said something in one of the prank call voices!
I don’t remember exactly what happened next, but soon we were hanging out ALL THE TIME, along with the rest of our group of friends. Somewhere around the end of September Craig and two other guys asked me and two of my roommates out on a triple date. Let me clarify that this was in no way what I would consider a real date. The only thing date like about this date was that I’m pretty sure the guys paid for it. At this point, I still thought Craig was an interesting character. He was so fun to be around, but I didn’t really take him seriously because he was too much fun!
Craig and I on our “first date.”
By October, something changed. I suddenly found myself with a crush on Craig. It wasn’t serious, and besides hanging out in our big group of friends all the time, Craig didn’t give me any clues that he liked me. I think my crush started one night when a few of us were hanging out in 7 Palms (an area on our campus where there are 7 palm trees). Craig was playing his guitar and one of his guitar strings broke. I wasn’t paying much attention and next thing I knew Craig is “proposing” to me putting a ring he made out of his broken guitar string on my finger (this ring is currently sitting in my jewelry box….awww!).
For Halloween that year my friend Cassie and I decided last second (probably on Halloween afternoon) that we were going to dress up as Craig and our other friend, James…so we broke into their dorm rooms and stole there clothes! Craig was in a band and had a concert that night, so Cassie and I showed up as “Craig and James!” Craig could have been flattered or completely freaked out by my choice of Halloween costume, but I’m pretty confident he was flattered because….
By early November he was the one asking me to our colleges equivalent of a Sadie Hawkin’s dance. He claims that he found out that another girl was going to ask him to go to the dance (I was too shy to ask him, even though he was the only one I wanted to go with) and that he didn’t want to go with her, so he asked me if I would ask him! So I asked him (and let him think that I was doing him a favor! ha!).
We had a great time, but again, we were still just friends. Then Thanksgiving came. Craig and a few of our other friends from out of state were staying on campus for Thanksgiving, and I was driving home to northern California. On the Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving I was on the freeway, just a few miles from campus stuck in LA traffic when I wrecked my car (oops!). So I was stuck on campus for Thanksgiving too. Wednesday afternoon, five of us were hanging out in my dorm room talking about what we should do that night. Craig says, “Let’s go to Vegas!” So the five of us 18 and 19 year olds jump in the car and drive to Vegas!
On the way to Vegas, Craig, Ty (who would one day be our best man), and I were laying in the back seat/trunk of the car (obviously safety was not a big concern to us) playing the “I’ve Never” game where you hold up 10 fingers and each person takes turns saying something they’ve never done and if the other people have done it they have to put a finger down basically admitting to everyone else that they’ve done it. No big deal right?! Well, up until this point, I had no idea what a goody two shoes Craig was! I (quite, shy, good Amy) lost the game and felt like the worst person in the world in comparison to Craig. After learning all these little naughty facts (with no history behind them) about each other, I figured I would never be good enough for Craig.
Smoking cigars in Las Vegas…the only legal (somewhat rebellious) thing we could do!
We left to drive to Vegas around 5pm, got there around 8pm, walked around and left Vegas to drive back to campus around 2am. Everyone was really tired, but Craig volunteered to drive home…so I volunteered to stay awake to make sure he stayed awake. I can’t really remember what we talked about, but I remember how it felt to be driving back with him. Today I know that it was the start of him being my favorite person. We often talk about that, how when there’s somewhere one of us has to be, or something we have to do, how it would be better if we could be doing it together because we’re each other’s favorite person. Craig has without a doubt been my favorite person since November 2002.
This was November. We didn’t become a couple until April. The only reason that I think I had the patience to wait this long for him to get his act together was because he was my favorite and I knew that no one else was going to be better for me. And another reason is because after we got back to campus around 5am, Craig asked me to wake him up so he could come over to my dorm room to watch the Macy’s Day parade with me at 8am! (I know he must have loved me then because he has cared less about this parade since!).
From Thanksgiving to April we were basically best friends. We went on trips to Yosemite, Mexico, Santa Barbara and all over Southern California together (along with our other friends, but the one thing that was always the same — we were together). We climbed mountains, chased away a bear, and road a mechanical bull. It was obvious to everyone else that we were something special, however there was technically nothing going on between us. We never held hands, we never admitted that we liked each other, nothing.
In the beginning of April our school was having another dance, except this time it was a traditional dance where the guy was supposed to ask the girl. One night I was hanging out with Ty (future best man) and he asked me if I was going to the dance. I told him that no one had asked me, so I didn’t think so. Ty told me that every knew that Craig was the only one allowed to ask me. Craig hadn’t asked me! I was angry! I told Ty that I was not going to spend all of my college years being “claimed” by someone who had never even told me he liked me! (Craig hadn’t actually “claimed” me, but our friendship made it appear this way).
This conversation soon got back to Craig. Which is when we had our DTR. We were alone, driving back from somewhere and Craig mentioned that Ty had told him what we talked about. Craig then took the opportunity to inform me that he thought I was special and not just any girl, but that he wasn’t ready for a relationship and he wasn’t sure when he would be. He even said that we probably shouldn’t hang out so much since we weren’t going to be in a relationship. What was so strange about this conversation is that even though he was trying to end something that never started, after we had this talk I felt so much better. It was the first time we were honest with each other about our feelings. It was the first time that we were admitting that there was something there.
Over the next two weeks (while we were supposed to stop hanging out so much), Craig basically became my shadow. We had always hung out a lot, but suddenly it was almost constant–even though he told me that we shouldn’t hang out so much. By spring break, most of our friends were away and we were alone together a lot more. One day my cousin and her family were coming to town and I was going to Disneyland with them. I invited Craig to come thinking he wouldn’t because it was clearly a family thing and we weren’t supposed to be hanging out. But he came and we had an amazing day with them. At one point Craig and I watched my cousin’s two little kids (1 & 3 years old) so she and her husband could go on a ride. One of the kids was asleep in the stroller and the 1 year old was asleep in my arms. Some woman came up to us and told us what a cute family we had. Craig didn’t correct her, and neither did I. We both just smiled.
Late that night when we got back to campus Craig asked me if I wanted to climb up on the roof of a new dorm that was being built on campus. Of course I said yes. We climbed up on the roof and I thought we would just talk about whatever like we always did. Instead, Craig started telling me what a great day he had and how much he liked my family. Then he asked me if I thought it would be dumb to start a relationship two weeks before summer break (he was going to spend the summer in Minnesota and I was going to be in Texas). Knowing that this chance might not come along again soon (or that I might have to wait until September when school stated again), I said no. Then I asked him if he would hug me (he tended to hug everyone but me!). He did and then he surprised me with the most awkward, sweet kiss (I knew that it was his first real kiss from the game we played in the trunk of the car on the way to Vegas)! We have been together everyday since! All 3,287 days!