A lot of my blog readers (hi, Dad!) already know how I met my almost husband: we were in a wedding together. He was a groomsman, I was Maid of Honor, and it was unrequited love at first sight blah blah blah. That’s the short version that I tell people when I’m too lazy to dive into all of the dirty details of what really went down that Spring night in San Antonio, TX back in 2011. Since I have this new blog with readers all over the world and today marks the five year anniversary of the day we met, I want to write the unabridged version of it all. Consider it part of my wedding countdown. Besides, who doesn’t love a good love story? And so it goes…
Spring in San Antonio, TX can guarantee you a couple of things: bad traffic (because of Spurs games) and humidity out the wazoo. On that Wednesday evening, I rushed home from work to fix my frizzy hair and debate whether or not I, being the anti-social butterfly that I still am today, should go downtown with The Bride, Groom, and some local bridesmaids to mingle with some out-of-town groomsmen. They would pick me up (I wouldn’t have to drive in the shit show that can sometimes be Downtown San Antonio) and I did have Thursday and Friday off as to “help out” with last minute wedding things. “Screw it,” I said “I could use a drink anyway”. We went to Rita’s on the River, a total tourist trap, and ordered margaritas while we waited for the 2 Pittsburgh guys to find us. I had met one of the two groomsmen, Dave, a few years back when I was still a high school hood rat, but had only briefly heard of this Joel character when The Bride (my cousin Christina) showed me all of the groomsmen’s Facebook pages.
I saw his butt first. He was wearing khaki pants that were doing him all of the favors. He turned around for introductions and I remember thinking “daaaang, Glasses, you’re cute!” He sat across from me at dinner and ordered a sandwich + fries with a side of ranch dressing and a Gin and Tonic and I thought to myself “could this guy be more white?!” I was convinced that Joel was much more into one of the other girls I was with, but when Dave back handed me a compliment saying “wow, Sarah, you look much better than you used to”, I saw Joel’s eyes look me over as they tried to picture me not being as cute as I was that day with my ruffled satin halter dress and bleached blonde hair.
Not long after dinner, we found ourselves the only people at a trashy downtown SA nightclub. We had the whole place to ourselves, but weren’t nearly tipsy enough to do anything other than make small talk so we ordered drinks. They were blue and delicious, but deadly- AMF was their name. After blowing that hot dog stand, someone decided it was a good idea to go to Coyote Ugly. Ugh. Can you see me rolling my eyes from where you are?! Joel probably still has a picture of me dancing atop the big wooden bar right before I fell off of it. Downtown San Antonio just isn’t that happening on a Wednesday night (at least it wasn’t 5 years ago) so we went back to the gross empty club. A handful of people had actually shown up, and it was here, while dancing on a table to what I’m sure was the most popular Pitbull song of the time, Joel got in between me and my dancing friend and kissed me. Had he known that I had thrown up at Coyote Ugly, I’m sure he would have waited.
The next day, while standing with a hangover in the Party City parking lot, I got the feeling. The feeling some people say they get when they meet “the one”. There was a little voice in the back of my head whispering “Joooooeeeelll” that I just couldn’t ignore. I remember the rest of that weekend so perfectly. I can picture little details of it all better than I can picture what I just ate for dinner 10 minutes ago… Like how I creepily called him my boyfriend when he was out of earshot so a weirdo at the bar would leave me alone, or how I almost gave up on him when he texted me the wrong use of the word “your” but then immediately texted back correcting it to “you’re” and I was like ohhhhh he’s a keeper, or how we keep making eyes at each other during the wedding rehearsal, or when we slow danced to “Use Somebody” by Kings Of Leon, or how we bonded over our mutual love for It’s Always Sunny. I had fallen in love with him so quickly.
On Monday morning, I headed back to work and Joel flew home to Pennsylvania. He leaned in my open car window and said “you should come to Pittsburgh sometime” and I knew I would. I cried the entire way to work where I was sent home because I couldn’t turn off the water works. I had met my soul mate. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, long distance relationships never are, but I was ready to fight for us. A month and a half later, I flew to Pittsburgh for the first time, and the rest is, as they say, history.