someone once asked me to write how darin and i met. now, with a baby coming and all, i feel even more nostalgic and happy with our relationship than ever, so it seems like the perfect time to share our love story.
we are both from placerville and we have known each other since high school. darin was two grades behind me in school and he was a jock, mvp of the basketball team; all the girls liked him. he claims he just stayed home and watched movies all the time and that he was shy and stuff, but i remember him being "popular" and someone i never really thought i'd know. (i was a mormon band geek)
then, the year after we graduated, darin was working at the movie theater and my best friend kim had a crush on him. they started hanging out and went to his homecoming together.
i took this photo of kim and darin, circa fall 1994:
we went over to his house to hang out and watch saturday night live. he and i talked a lot and laughed our asses off and became friends. even though nothing ever really progressed with him and kim, darin and i maintained a friendship and a couple years later i got him a job at the record store where i worked, Nancie's Tapes and CDs. (man those were the good old days! real record stores still existed!)
we had a blast working together and could talk for hours on end. we left each other little notes; he teased me for all the diet coke i drank and made me lists of movies i needed to watch, some of which are still my favorites today like Badlands and Bottle Rocket. recently i asked him how he always knew what movies i would love and die over. he said, obviously because we're soul mates :)
in the summer of 2000 we had both gotten out of long relationships and started hanging out a lot at my little yellow house. we literally stayed up all night talking. we analyzed all the lyrics to our favorite songs, and made connections with our favorite books. he was living with his mom in the house we live in now, working at 4:30 in the morning at starbucks. i was working at the college and he was in classes there too so we saw each other every day. we became best friends.
when i left on my trip and my house burned, he and my friend mary went with my mom to pick through the rubble and try to save what they could. he had sent me the best mixed tape ever (yes i still used a walkman back then) to listen to on my 24th birthday on the bus trip to new york, along with a letter to read. i remember opening it at 4 a.m. at a wendy's parking lot because i just couldn't wait. on the way home when my sister and i were in illinois for thanksgiving, i had a dream about kissing darin. and it was the most comforting, home-like feeling. when i got back we were inseparable, had christmas together with my family and took a road trip to ashland, oregon for new years with a few of the other friends. everyone but us thought we were a couple.
it was late january; we were on a drive one night and he finally told me how he felt. i was quiet; i didn't quite know how to act. what a wimp! i think i just told him i understood and maybe i even confessed that i felt it too, but the truth was i was scared and probably a little stand-offish. it was so obvious this was it. it felt like an enormous wave and i knew it would change everything. it took one more week, and he brought it up again and i was more responsive, but practical... so what should we do? we had plans to move in together to a big house in midtown sac with addie and mandy. would things be weird? nahhh, i said, maybe we should just kiss. and that was that! january 31, 2001. we moved in together a few days later.
the rest is history!
we left on a cross country road trip in spring of 2002. we lived in our van, isis, for three months.
here we are in coeur d'alene, idaho.
and drenched after a louisiana downpour.
and home again in my parents' kitchen, summer 2002:
visiting addie in portland, 2003:
summer 2005 we took another big road trip through all the western states.
here we are in anacortes, washington for the what-the-heck-fest:
and our first visit to taos, new mexico. they were having the annual Fiestas de Taos:
at a friend's wedding, 2006:
and another huge road trip, 2007 we went cross country again for a couple months.
made it up to minneapolis and fell in love with louise erdrich's bookstore, birchbark books. we got to meet her business partner and one of her daughters as they were preparing for a special visit and reading with poet mary oliver.
atlantic coast, north carolina:
and....june 30, 2007....we got married right here in our own backyard encircled by all our friends and family. it was a dream.
we had a lovely little road trip honeymoon down the california and coast and into mexico.
after that he started making films, i went to grad school and got my MA, we had tons more adventures and worked on making a baby. and now we are finally going to have one! when i take the time to piece it all together like this, it feels like we have been so sweetly blessed by some cosmic grace. we belong together and i am full of gratitude to have him as my true love!