Once upon a time.....
...nah, I'm kidding, I'd never do that to you.
There once was a website called Catch22.com. I was a member and I was on there before I found myspace and before facebook blew up to dominate all social networking sites. I'd view player cards (really, unless you were on the site, it'd be really hard to explain it's concept and since its no longer running it's become an ancient memory) and occasionally write someone who seemed interesting. I was single and living in Atlanta at the time.
During this time, Mac was in Bahrain and also on this site. Some how we started writing each other, but exactly who initiated it will be an unsolved mystery, again, since the site is no longer functioning or searchable. Mac returned to the states just as I was getting ready to head off to basic training. One of the things I had to do, was drive my car from Atlanta to New York to be stored at a family member's while I was gone. During this drive I randomly called Mac and he was kind enough to keep me "company" as I drove. I was using a handsfree handset, so no judgment!
After basic training I was off to Maryland for school. It turned out, Mac was living in Northern Virginia working in Washington, DC which was less than an hour from where I was. SO, even though I was seeing someone....okay ENGAGED, we went on our first date July 3, 2006. At the Pentagon City Mall, before Mac had to be at work. We had Taco Bell for lunch and strolled around talking. The funny thing was, it was never awkward between us. Since we'd spent some time getting to know each other through emails and phone calls, conversation flowed easily. He left shortly after lunch to go to work and I enjoyed the rest of my weekend and talked to him often.
I did end my engagement, but not because of Mac. The man I'd said "yes" to, was not the man who came home from Iraq. It was a long drawn out breakup mostly due to memory loss on his part, from an injury he sustained.
When I was able to, I spent weekends with Mac. We'd go to Denny's with his friends at 2am, watch movies, sleep in late and just generally enjoy spending time together. Everything was so easy with him. Well, everything except when it came to labels. On 3 different occasions I'd asked him if we were an official couple, and on 3 different occasions he told me he's not ready for anything serious. Silly boy....he was already serious about me!
With his "nothing serious" ringing in my ears, I still saw a few other guys. But Mac was always on my mind. He was my comfy sweatpants, but I kept trying to ignore my feelings. One night, after some drinks with my best friend and one very ill-advised phonecall to my best friend in New York, my whole world fell apart and I felt myself shatter. Claire did the best she could to keep me together and took me to Mac's. Mac opened the door, at a very late/early hour depending on who you ask, and immediately reached for me. I pushed him away and continued to fall apart. Eventually, I went into his geek room (where he was), and curled up on the floor just bawling while rocking myself. Mac got down on the floor and held me, ignoring my pleas to not touch me. I don't remember going to bed, but I know the next morning coffee and cigarette in hand, still emotionally raw, I admitted to myself I was in love with Mac.
A few months went by, nothing changed between us, I dated one guy long enough to stop seeing Mac every weekend. But we still talked. We even spent an awkward Thanksgiving at his apartment with Claire her boyfriend, the guy I was seeing, Mac and myself. WOW! We survived and still were on good terms. There's some small details I won't put out here, but I felt I'd lost Mac to someone else.
December came and I went home for the holidays, I had a brand new niece to see! I returned back to the DC area and had a heart-to-heart with the guy I was seeing. Turned out, he was just in it for the "fun of it" and I.....was tired of hearing that. I dropped him off at the airport, he was going home to Cali for the new year, and rushed to Mac's place. He was at work, but I still had a key. I'd made a decision and was going for it.
I made dinner, Mac came home and after he ate I laid it all out. I wanted to be with him, only him. And finally, he said the same thing!! We officially became a couple and I moved in one month later.