This is long overdue, and it's going to have to happen in parts, I believe if I want to tell the whole story. The problem is the whole story is... long and kind of ugly. But perhaps it will be cathartic.
Casablanca is on TV tonight, which makes it a perfect time to start telling the story of how Ranger Man and I met.
The story of how we met is straightforward, uncomplicated and easy to tell. The story of how we got together- well, that's different. Here's the first installment.
Short version- I was working at the local climbing gym, and he was climbing as part of his training for ranger school. (I used to call him a 'baby ranger' before he went to ranger school. This never actually was endearing to him, although I thought it was a perfect description. How else do you describe someone who works with the regiment, but hasn't gone through ranger school yet?). There's knitting involved too- I had just re-taught myself how to knit, and my work project was trying to come up with the perfect design for a knitted chalk bag. But that's only sort of related.
When we met, I was engaged. Not very happily engaged, but wearing a ring nonetheless. My ex's name was Mike (that's a common-enough name, I'm not making up a code name for him), and he had just ETS'd a few months previously (gotten out of the Army). He had been regular Army ('big Army,' in Ranger talk), and had separated (gotten out the Army) immediately following a year long deployment- and stop-loss. To leave out the painful details- while Mike wasn't physically abusive, he wasn't the greatest guy to be with. Eventually, I broke up with him, but was still living with him (awkward much?!). I was going to move back in with my parents, in the town I grew up in, 2 hours away from where we were living (and were Ranger Man was), and he was moving to New York to go to school.
At this point, I was NOT trying to get in a relationship. Ranger Man was trying to get me to go out with him- but the last thing I wanted was a new boyfriend, and I wanted even less to go out with another Army guy who was just going to be gone all the time.
But... I was living with a guy that I didn't even want to talk to any more, so I agreed to go out to dinner with Ranger Man one night. It was the night before he was going to Germany on leave, and one week before I was moving (therefore: I was going to be gone when he got back). Probably the best part of the whole night was getting dressed and doing my hair/makeup while Mike was right there... that might make me a terrible person. We had dinner, and Ranger Man dropped me back at my apartment. I honestly (and I don't think he knows this) didn't think of this as a 'date.' I just had to get out of that apartment, and here was this guy who wouldn't leave me alone at work, and I had a good enough time talking with him.
We said goodbye, he left for Germany, and I continued packing and moving my stuff back in with my parents. This was not the high point of my life. Actually, it was probably one of the lows. Webster and I were no longer on our own, we were moving back in with my parents (Webster's Grandparents), unemployed and very defeated. ugh.
Stay tuned for the rest of the saga. Trust me, it is a saga. Tomorrow though, there might be a saga break for some knitting.