When I last left off, I had realized that I had a huge crush on Mr. C and it was becoming problematic. I was still in a long-term, long-distance relationship and I had several friends and family members warn me not to date a coworker. The ensuing weeks really mimic Jim and Pam’s relationship in the first few seasons of the TV show The Office.
|Jim and Pam—one of TV’s most adorable couples. (source)|
But without the awesomness of Dwight Schrute. Or Creed. Actually, there is a guy at work who reminds me a little of Creed.Mr. Camel and I spend a lot of time casting our co-workers into different roles from The Office.
We would have so much fun at work, and have such a huge connection, but no contact in our personal lives. I started to organize group events with our younger coworkers just to have an excuse to spend time with Mr. C outside of work.
We would get drinks on Friday nights, hold elaborate board game events, or just hang out watching football. At each event Mr. C and I would end up talking, laughing, and having fun. But I was still in a rocky relationship with someone else. I felt emotionally conflicted, but after much careful soul-searching, I knew what needed to be done. I realized that regardless of whether or not Mr. Camel was interested in me, I needed to end the relationship because I was unhappy. So it ended. I let go and I didn’t look back. I make it sound so simple, but even though I was unhappy, it was hard to end a relationship with someone who had been a part of my life for four years. Regardless, it was absolutely the right thing to do.
Some time passed and I knew that I wanted to casually get to know Mr. C better, but I wanted to take it slow seeing as I had just ended a long-term relationship. Eventually, I started inviting him over to my apartment to watch obscure movies. This was completely platonic, mind you. He would sit on the other side of the room and leave immediately after the movie ended, which seemed to indicate that he wasn’t interested in me. In reality he just didn’t know whether he should make a move or not. At the time I knew he had recently been on a couple of blind dates and I wasn’t sure if he was seeing anyone serious. I started to tell myself not to get my hopes up.
One day I decided to convince Mr. C to go to Rock City with me. For those of you who not familiar with it, Rock Cityis a bizarre tourist attraction on the border of Georgia and Tennessee. It is equal parts “natural wonders” and creepy lawn gnomes under black lights. It’s also a two hour drive from where I live, so it made for an interesting little autumn road trip. To be honest, the trip was really a test. If he agreed to go, I would know for sure that he liked me. If we had fun, I would know that he had serious boyfriend potential.
Photos taken during the Rock City adventure, including the one-handed sheep wrangler. Lots of weird stuff to see at Rock City. I still get nostalgic when Mr. C wears that same shirt that he’s wearing in the photo above. (personal photos)
Luckily, we had a blast at Rock City. It was a gorgeous, sunny fall day. I remember packing a cooler full of snacks and cream sodas. I made a special playlist just for the trip. Mr. C was smiling the entire time, and I had a feeling that things were going to work out after all. The Rock City adventure started a series of pseudo-dates which eventually ended with us kissing in my apartment entryway at 2:00 am. A few months later and we were getting an apartment together, and a year after that he proposed to me. We are both a little older (I’m 29 and he is 35), so I guess after years of relationships and dating, we just knew we were the ones for each other.
|At our students’ high school graduation in May 2011. (personal photo)|
People always ask if our school is okay with us being together and the answer is YES! Our principal, superintendent, and our coworkers know about our relationship. Even our students know. In fact, it’s hard to keep high school students out of your personal business since they always have so many prying questions about your life. When Mr. C and I were just friends our students would always tease us by saying, “We saw you looking at her!” or “We know you like him!” Honestly, it was incredibly embarrassing at the time because I could not speak to any male teacher without my students making some kind of lewd accusation. But it was especially embarrassing with Mr. C because I was trying (and failing) to hide my crush. Maybe our students were on to something that we weren’t willing to admit at the time.
We ran in the “Warrior Dash” race as Team Econ with complementing Supply and Demand t-shirts. Yes, we are econ nerds too! (personal photo)
We both teach seniors, so the students we taught when we first started dating in 2010 have long since graduated. Every now and then we will see one of them at the store and they will say things like, “I heard you finally got engaged. We knew you were going to get married!!” Apparently, right after our engagement, we were quite the gossip on Twitter and Facebook. I’ve always found it endearing that our students take such a big interest in our lives. Now if they could just stop asking if they are invited to the wedding. . .