How We Met
The night was winding to a sudden close when my roommate John and I decided to break from the group of guys we were with at a popular late night bar on Philadelphia Street in Indiana, PA. I was in my final semester at IUP. John and I were fresh off our second deployment to Iraq and making the most out of a weekend night in a college town.
We figured we could squeeze in a quick IPA and a game of pool at our favorite dive bar, the Brown Hotel, but were promptly met with a locked door. I still don't know why I did—and I never have before or since—but I decided to pound on the door. Shockingly, we were able to sweet talk our way in for a quick night cap.
John headed to the restroom and I noticed a group of girls from Punxsutawney—friends of friends who we occasionally hung around. One of them, the one I probably knew the very least, offered a "Hey Travis." It was Amanda. I knew of her through friends of friends of friends. We probably never said more than half a sentence to one another previously.
John and I never made it to the pool table. Before I knew it, we were piled into the back of a car with the girls headed to one of their apartments. (Amanda went to Penn State and was only in town visiting friends.)
Back at their apartment, we had a few more night caps. Suddenly it was just John, Amanda and me hanging out in the living room. Recognizing we were hanging out in what was obviously Amanda's bedroom for the night (the couch), we decided we should say our goodbyes. All things considered, it felt like a great night and I was pretty ecstatic to have hung out with a girl I had only ever known of from afar.
Though I had never used it, I had Amanda's number in my phone. On the walk home, I decided to text her something along the lines of "Sorry for tying-up your bed." (Admittedly, not my best material.) As we walked into our apartment my phone buzzed with a reply from Amanda. I boastfully announced to the group of drunken, late night pizza-eating losers the windfall of good news I was still processing. I sprayed myself with a healthy dose of Curve and raced out the door, literally running back to the apartment I had just left.
The rest is pretty much history. Seven years later and all I can think about is how damn happy I am some poor sap bouncer decided to let two drunken asses into the Brown after last call. That, and why the hell do I still own a bottle of Curve?
I drove to Indiana University of Pennsylvania for something different—a change of pace from the usual weekend in State College. I sat at the bar with a group of friends from high school and my bottle(s) of Yeungling. Enter Travis.
He strutted through the doors like he owned the place (actually, kind of like he just broke into the place). I thought to myself, that fella looks like he's really good at billiards. I only knew of Travis through friends of friends, but he was handsome and my Yeungling(s) made me wave.
Before I knew it, the bar was closing and we ended up at my friend’s apartment. The group eventually dwindled to Travis, his friend John and me. And, then, the group eventually dwindled to me. I was ecstatic when my phone buzzed and it was Travis—so ecstatic I didn’t question how the hell he had my number.
Travis came back to my friend’s apartment and we watched Keanu Reeves try and keep a bus over 50mph. (Don’t worry, guys. There was no baby. It was full of cans.)
The next day, I called my friends. I told them I met the Curve-wearing man of my dreams.
Five months later, we moved to Chicago. I got to know the real Travis very quickly in our 500 square foot studio. He’s clean and I’m messy. He’s quiet and I demand attention. He’s deliberate and I’m impulsive. He’s very responsible with money and I’m….not.
Even with our differences, we got along splendidly (except when I whooped him on the pool table). Our personalities meshed. We thoroughly enjoyed hanging out together. We had the same sense of humor. We had the same beliefs. We wanted the same things out of life. We both considered the other a best friend.
After six and half years, Travis asked me to be his wife. It was a Wednesday. We drank Guinness at a favorite dive before dinner. I talked and talked while he listened and listened. On our way to the restaurant, Travis pulled me aside to make sure no one was looking and got down on one knee. I said yes. I actually screamed a bunch of obscenities first. And then I said yes. And then I told the first stranger to walk by what just happened.