Prior to Tate, I’d had two “serious” relationships. Two relationships that at the time seemed like the be all, end all. I’d never “love” another person kind of relationships. Funny to look back and remember how real that love felt, but how it wasn’t really real. Does that make sense?
So my first boyfriend was Brice (real name). He and I dated my sophomore, junior and senior year of high school. During those years we were inseparable. My senior year, he went away to college. It seemed that my life would end without our constant companionship. He wrote me letters nearly everyday, putting an upside down stamp on every envelope as a way to say “I love you.” Ahh. (Actually I think an upside down stamp means the country is in trouble or something like that. Or I just dreamed that up and have accepted this little bit of info as fact. Either way.)
I went to visit Brice once my senior year and to check out the college. Of course, I had plans to attend the same university where we would could be together all the time and alienate ourselves even more. Whee! While visiting, we got engaged in his room at the fraternity house. Ahh. I was a senior. We got engaged. As in engaged to be married. And I was a senior. You know, in HIGH SCHOOL.
By the end of my senior year, thank God I came to my senses and realized I was sick of this long distance relationship business and having to spend hours yammering about NOTHING on the phone and getting seriously sappy letters every few days. And the thought of getting married for all of time and eternity made me want to hurl. I had beer to drink, boys to kiss, and a LIFE to pursue.
So I broke up with him the day after he took me to my prom. I’m a sweet gal like that.
While on spring break in South Padre Island, TX several years later, I met a boy who lived in Cincinnati, OH. Jerry was his name and we were instantly in love. Ahh. Really it was just lust, spiked with a whole lotta tequila shots over the border in Matamoros and beer bongs on the beach. After spring break ended, we continued our relationship for nine months. My parents thought he was an immature dweeb, my friends wondered what the hell was wrong with me. I wonder now what the hell was wrong with me, too, since he was a dip shit. We traveled back and forth between my hometown and Cincinnati, talked on the phone for hours on end, and I made plans to move there to go to graduate school. I only filled out one application to graduate school in Missouri, but five in the state of Ohio.
A few days after visiting me at Christmas, he broke up with me over the telephone. See? Dip shit. Jesus and Mary were smiling on me, though, and I was luckily accepted to the one Missouri graduate school to which I’d applied. Moving to Ohio to attend grad school, eight hours from home, with no boyfriend would have sucked big hairy donkey balls.
This history with long distance relationships made me leery of Tate. With him living in Knoxville and me living in Missouri, I couldn’t imagine how this would work.