I'm not entirely sure what exactly transpired between that first week of March and May 15th. Suffice it to say, it was a lot.
My roommate can attest that I went from making the statement that "I could never date Graham Crozier" to knowing quite literally that he was the one I was going to marry. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
When I told him that evening after he professed his feelings for me that "we could hang out more," I can honestly say I had no plans of taking the initiative and actually making that happen. Truly, those words were my cop out, my way to let Graham down easy. I was terrible at saying no, particularly when I knew someone's feelings were at stake. This is a fact we know quite well by now.
I liked Graham. He was becoming my dear friend and I was drawn to the spontaneous way with which he approached life. He had an uncanny ability to drop anything and everything at a moment's notice. As a person who was scheduled to the "Nth" degree, I was envious of this flexibility that seemed inconceivable to me. But his easygoing nature came with a few drawbacks. He would fail to remember commitments, lose track of time and show up late to meet me or occasionally not show up at all (ok, that was just one very unforgettable instance). I struggled with taking these actions personally and these behaviors left me skeptical as to whether a relationship between us could function well logistically speaking. We appeared to be nearly exact opposites in most categories.
But man was the guy ever creative!!! His musical serenades in the stairwells and at open mic nights were something to pay money for. He was thoughtful and romantic and, where other guys would shy away out of fear of being ridiculed, Graham would take it to the next level and do something unimaginably sweet for a girl. He asked deep questions and truly cared about your answers. And he was a doer. Where, left to my own devices, I was likely to waste away the rest of my breathing days holed up studying in my room, he got me out and doing crazy things. Graham lived outside the box and jumped at things this rule follower would never even consider. And gosh dang it! His ability to not care what other people thought of him was attractive to me. He drew me out of my shell and made me feel valued. And maybe most obviously was the fact that he was a pursuer. Hard core. And what girl doesn't like to be fought for in the way that Graham fought for me? Sigh.
Graham’s soul-baring conversation in front of Ashton Hall happened to fall just before National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Our college made this week a big focal point, putting together numerous events with the goal of promoting healthy body image and combating eating disorders amongst. One such event that week was the showing of a film that highlighted the subtle yet impactful toll the media has on our body image, perpetually sending us the message that we should somehow look different than we do. As a nutrition student, this week was an important one for me, one I was heavily involved and interested in and I attended every event that my schedule would allow.
On the day of the film, I ran into Graham. He asked me what I was doing that night and I told him about the movie event. He feigned interest and so I invited him to join me. Little did he know he would be one of two men in the sea of women in attendance. But seeing he was outnumbered 150:1 didn’t phase him, at least outwardly. He stayed at my side and took his seat next to me. Where some guys would run in the opposite direction, Graham sticks to his guns and walks in as if he belongs there. This is something I've always admired about him.
The lights dimmed and the MC took to the stage. As much as he was getting used to being overwhelmed by women as a male nursing student, I’m sure Graham still breathed a sigh of relief to no longer be sticking out like a sore thumb under the cover of darkness. The MC introduced the agenda for the evening and then told the crowd that she had a special little surprise to kick off the program. We were told to reach under our seats; one lucky attendee would find a gift taped to the bottom of their chair. Graham and I swatted the air beneath us blindly, feeling around for any signs of the prize. I came up empty handed as the lights flashed back on. I looked over at Graham whose face had taken on a bright shade of red. He appeared sheepish; of course he'd sat in that one “lucky” chair. Leave it to Graham. Stuff like this always happens to him.
It was obvious that he wanted to disappear but the MC would have none of it. She refused to proceed with the next item on the agenda until the winner made themselves known. Graham raised up the envelope awkwardly and everyone turned. If he didn't stand out enough already, now all the hundreds of women were looking at him! Needless to say, the night was memorable.
As embarrassing as the evening had been for him, his prize was well worth it. The envelope contained a stack of 10 coupons, each good for a free beverage of choice at Cafe Ladro, a Seattle area coffee chain. Unbeknownst to me, I would soon be the benefactor of his winnings. Thanks to those ten pieces of paper, our next FIVE dates together were financed. And it was thanks to those coffee-sipping conversations that my feelings toward Graham began to transition from “friend” to “more than a friend.”
* * * * * * * * * * *
On another note, I've been surprised and downright flattered to learn that y'all are getting such a kick out of Graham and my crazy love story. I so appreciate your sweet comments and those of you who have let me know that you are reading. I figured now would be a good time to set up a feature to make it easier for you to know when I've posted new content.
Drumroll please.....(this is BIG NEWS because technology is not my spiritual gift)....
I'm happy to share that as of today, you can officially subscribe to my blog! If you have been enjoying my posts, I would LOVE it if you would hop back over to the main page by clicking here and enter your email address in the "Subscribe to my posts" box in the far right column. Then I can send links directly to your inbox when new content has been published! (If you are using your mobile device, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "View web version" first to find the subscribe box). Thank y'all so much for reading! You're the best.