Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Our Story: Part II

Setting the Stage
At the end of my freshman year of college, I was nursing a bit of a wounded heart, missing friends I hadn't left yet, and looking forward to the fall when I could come back to campus. One May afternoon I was looking at my class load for the fall semester and browsing class lists to anticipate with whom I could sit/do projects/go to lunch. As I scanned names of of my future Spanish 201 classmates on the periwinkle Synapse background, my eyes lingered on one: Nate Summers.

Facebook Flirting
On June 14, 2007, my heart skipped a beat when I checked my email and saw this subject line: Nate Summers has written on your wall. What?! He had met one of my golf coaches during his summer internship and thought he'd let me know. Because that's the kind of guy he is, right? He'd tell that to anyone, right? My silly girl heart didn't quite know what to think. I tried making witty banter online without sounding like I was trying.

When his birthday came up five days later, I stared at the screen, typed, deleted, and reconsidered whether I should write anything, then retyped my message half a dozen times. I settled on the perfectly discreet but original phrase: "Happy birthday, Nate. Have a good day." 

Ok, you did it! Can he tell I stalk his page every once in a while? Was I too forward? He wrote back to me! Oh, he wrote back to everyone who told him happy birthday. Why am I thinking like this? Sometimes being a girl is kind of lame...

As the school year started, I had developed a full-blown crush on Nate and anxiously awaited our first interaction on campus. I didn't have to wait long, as I saw him during one of my first golf practices of the year. My hyped-up nerves translated into some epic golf that I still have yet to replicate.

While I was on the driving range, I noticed him walking behind me toward the chipping green. I gripped my new 3-wood with increased determination and cranked the ball. I slyly glanced back to see if Nate had seen my handiwork, and smirked when I saw him staring. That night I signed into Facebook and found the following post on my wall:
I was giddy. And in my giddiness, I once again responded in a way I thought seemed effortlessly cool:
Did you notice the lol and the wink? I told you I was clever! Needless to say, my friends called me out on our flirting. I tried to downplay it and rationalize that he was just a good encourager, but inside I was hoping against hope they were right.

Lost in Translation (aka The First Time We Were Husband & Wife)
While our time on the golf course was limited, I reveled in knowing I would see him every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:50 am. Spanish 201 with Professor Elsa Schmidt proved to be a practice in class unity as we tried to figure out what was going on. Nate sat behind me and one seat to my left, making sneaky, sideways glances relatively easy.

After a few weeks I noticed that he and I were conveniently finishing our daily quizzes at the same time. While he thought he was being smooth, I thought he was being cute and loved the excuse to walk to Chapel together.

Prof. Schmidt assigned a group project that required us to write and act out a script using a certain set of vocabulary. Since Nate and I sat near one another, we ended up in the same group. Our group of five met in the upper room of the library and I nervously tried to anticipate Nate's reaction to my...ahem...assertiveness during group projects. As usual I soon had control of the pencil and wrote out our script, which depicted several travelers checking into a hotel.

After we completed the writing, we went through the character list to pick parts. I hesitated in claiming a spot until the end. So did Nate. With all the cliché of a chick flick, the last two characters to be claimed were the husband and wife.

Foreshadowing is integral to a great story, right?
(We also earned an A for our project. :-)

*          *          *

Happy anniversary, my senior stud! Thanks for being my husband, for real.