I was most certainly not looking for a relationship when I met Justin. I had just dropped out of med school and broken up with the guy I had dated for the past two years (we will call him Comic Book Ex, because he did not think having a paying job to cover silly things like rent or groceries was more important than drawing comic books). I was interning at The Office and on the verge of taking a job there. Basically, my whole life had completely changed course over a 5 week period of soul searching / finding myself / whatever you want to call it. Even though today I can safely say that med school was Not For Me and I never should have gone in the first place, back then I was a little worried that some of the decisions I made with respect to med school were due to Comic Book Ex. I was not about to make any other life decisions based on some dude. I just wanted to pay off some bills with my fancy new job, then figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.
Well, you know what they say about making plans.
At the time, Justin was a security guard at The Office. He and I always said hi to each other, but I never really thought about him one way or another until I twisted my ankle and was on crutches. He pulled me aside and said "Hey...I'm not really supposed to do this, but since you are on crutches, I strongly suggest you come downstairs and get coffee at 2:25." Never one to turn down a coffeeportunity, I did as I was told. Seconds later, the fire alarm went off. Justin had just saved me from hobbling down 16 flights of stairs on my crutches.
Since I thought he was a nice guy, we started talking a bit via The Office's internal instant messaging program. I love to talk smack, and we quickly ended up in a situation in which one of us was about to lose at pool and owe the other a drink. First date in a bar, klassy!
We really didn't have one of those long, drawn out, "is he my boyfriend or are we dating or what" things. We were a couple from day one.
Secret (young! OMG!) lovahs:
The reason I say "secret" lovahs is that my father worked at The Office. What, did you really think someone with a medical background (and who had taken 0 business classes in her entire life) can just walk into a business setting and get a job? Whatever, I have since gotten my MBA and I kick ass at my job.
Our first date was September 19, 2006. We realized around Halloween that we would have to meet the parents if we wanted to spend the holidays together. Cue a bunch of family drama that I'm not really going to get into here, because it's all in the past and my parents love Justin now. Let's just say that there were some concerns as to whether or not he was good enough for Daddy's little girl. He is, I swear!
I am pretty sure that this is our first Christmas together. So young! And skinny!
Now, through the magic of the internets, we will skip a year to the following Christmas. We didn't really take a lot of pictures that first year, we were too busy playing video games and eating lots and lots of Barberton chicken.
Remember these dorks?
We were no longer hanging out at Justin's eating chicken. We had moved on to playing lots of poker and drinking lots of beer:
That Valentine's day, Justin surprised me with a kitten, which we named Mohinder (and he has regretted it ever since). We now co-owned a pet, which is pretty much a precursor to marriage. And I say co-owned because, even though we technically lived in separate apartments, we were pretty much co-habitating by that point. [note: I already had Leo, got him in 2001].
Summer of 2008, Justin and I went on the annual family vacation together. My brothers couldn't go, so it was just us and my parents. Awkward! But not as awkward as it could have been. I'd officially say this is the point he was accepted into the fam. The family that tans together, stays together:
I should also mention that Justin would have gotten married within, like, a month of us dating. I was NOT a committer, and had strictly forbidden him from proposing before June of 2008. Here we are at 4th of July, and he still hadn't put a ring on it. I wasn't stressing one way or the other. (Not that I didn't want to marry him, but I was cool with "eventually" or "some day", and was not in any particular rush).
In fall of 2008, it was pretty clear that my days as a single lady were coming to an end. Around the end of September, Justin started
Unbeknownst to me, Justin had brought the ring over to my parents and gotten their blessing, which was a nice touch. They planned a surprise for us, arranging to have champagne sent over to us at our table at Ken Stewart's after he popped the question.
We were engaged October 3, 2008. Little did we know, Miss Adriana would be there to join us a little over a year later!
Right after the official engagement: