I only loved one guy before I met my husband. He was my longest dating relationship prior to meeting Josh. And I’m proud to say the relationship lasted an entire six weeks.
We met one day at Circuit City. I was the CD kiosk girl. If you were looking for a CD or DVD, I could find it for you in about 15 seconds. I was that good. One Saturday I was working, doing my normal, cute-cd girl thing and he walked in. He was tall, probably 175 lbs and… a little nerdy looking, but he still had this cute-boy thing going on. I noticed him because he and his buddy kept lurking around my merchandise. At one point I thought they were going to attempt thievery right before my eyes. They would shift row to row and every now and again look up and smile at me. Eventually the tall one approached, with the shorter one in tow. The tall one made awkward conversation, then asked me to look up a few movies for him. He commented on my speed of lightning title search skills. Then more chit chat. It turns out, he had just moved to the area for college and was interested in what night life Grand Rapids had to offer. He had no idea he just found a social goddess who loved to party.
Being the friendly person I am, I immediately invited him and his buddy to join us at the club that evening. I told him exactly where we would be and around what time to meet us. Looking back, I cringe at my naivety as I am sure Josh and my Dad will too when they see this. But back then, I had little cares, and no reason to believe this tall man would bring me harm.
Closing time came and I rushed to meet up with my best friend. We spent an hour(s) getting ready for our weekly club crawl. As per usual, I wanted to look good to reel the boys in, but this evening I had hopes to reel in a particular boy. Circuit City Boy.
After about an hour at the club, I spot Circuit City Boy. He is with his buddy from earlier in the day and has a few more people in his little gang. By then I’d had more than enough to drink and gave him a huge hug. I was so happy he had actually shown up. As the night went on we danced. When the evening came to an end, we exchanged phone numbers. I was adamant to Circuit City Boy that he needed to call me. Then we parted ways.
Well, he DID call me. And we hung out. And we hung out lots of times. He invited me and my friends to hang out with him and his friends. After about a month, we started dating. I was falling head over heels for Circuit City Boy. He was funny, witty, kind, sweet, a gentleman and so fantastic with all my girlfriends! All the things a young mid-twenties woman would hope for in a man.
During this phase of my life I greatly enjoyed partying and especially drinking alcohol. Alcohol was a staple when our posse gathered together. I often took it overboard and would end up on the bathroom floor sick at least once a week if not more. And Circuit City Boy was there for all of this. He cleaned me up and took care of me. This made me start to fall in love with him.
We neared six weeks of dating… and partying. I couldn’t believe I had been in a relationship for this long. [There is so much back story here about why this was my longest relationship. It will need to be explained another time. I assure you, I was indeed a catch]. 😉
About this time, my conscience started to kick in. I was really falling for this guy, but I knew our relationship could not continue the way it was and actually last. After all, I was a Christian and G-O-D had not shown up once in our little love equation. So I dropped the bomb. I told him I wanted to start going to church together and make God the focus of our relationship. Looking back, I’m sure he thought I was crazy. Until that conversation, I don’t know if my faith had come up once.
He said he would think about it.
It was just days before Spring Break, so we said our goodbyes for the week. He went back to the East Side of the state to visit his friends and family. I stayed in Grand Rapids.
That whole week, things were… quiet. He rarely texted me. Much unlike usual. I think I attempted to get a hold of him a few times and he would call me back when he only had a couple minutes to talk.
Things were different.
Finally, a week later, the eternity of Spring Break was over and it was time to paaaaarrrtay! It was St. Patty’s Day 2004. My girlfriends and I gathered in the bathroom for our usual hour(s) long prep time. Our guy friends waited in the living room, drinking beer and griping about how-long-women-take-to-get-ready-oh-my-gosh.
We showed up at the bar and I saw him. My Circuit City Boy. Except, something was different. He seemed more reserved. Distant. Throughout the night he seemed to avoid me more than be near me. This hurt. So I drank. I drank even more than usual. I didn’t want to remember the night. At one point, I remember introducing Circuit City Boy to a friend of mine… “Supposedly this is my boyfriend”, I slurred. He seemed agitated and walked away. At another point in the evening I tried to talk to him “about us”. He refused. He didn’t want to do it there. In the bar. On St. Patty’s Day. While I was drunk… I didn’t get it. Why wouldn’t he want to work this out right now? Later still, his roommate approached me and told me he saw Circuit City Boy making out with another woman at the front of the bar. I was crushed. I didn’t know if I should believe him, but I did.
The next day came and I waited for him to call. He didn’t. The day after, and no word. I was starting to feel guilty and anxious. What did I do? How did this happen? I screwed up this great thing we had because I had to bring God into the mix.
After a few days, his roommate called me. He basically said, “Plan on him never talking to you again.” I was devastated. I wrote him a long letter apologizing and asking to work it out. No response. It turns out, there were a few things that turned him off. One being my expectation of religion on him, and two, a very much larger issue – he did not like all my partying. He enjoyed having a good time, but was done having a girlfriend he had to pick up off the floor every weekend.
The loss of Circuit City Boy sent me into a tailspin. I died my hair purple [although I guess if you know me, that wasn’t too crazy for me to do]. I started drinking less. I didn’t want to be that girl anymore. I wanted to be sober. Maybe he would come back. He didn’t.
One night we saw each other across the bar. He nodded to me but made no further attempt to connect.
I felt like I had no closure.
I tell this story because each year on St. Patty’s day, he comes to mind. Maybe not so much just him, but that period in my life. When I partied. Got wasted. Spent money I didn’t have. Lived in a way that was me, but was not me at the same time. I used to think of Circuit City Boy on St. Patty’s Day and the sting of no closure would return.
And now, there’s no sting. Today I realized it is St. Patty’s Day, exactly 10 years later from that evening when my first love broke my heart. That Circuit City Boy. I think back to who I was then and who I am now. There are still traces of that girl who enjoys alcohol and loves to dance and to be social, but thankfully I left some of her back there.
At the time I was devastated. I thought I would never find another love. I think many people can relate. But then, a new day comes. And healing takes place. And in my case, I met my Love. A man who fights for me, protects me, pursues me and challenges me to be the best version of me. For this, I’m thankful. I am thankful for Grace and Redemption. And for my Love, Josh.