Bonjour, tout le monde! I apologize for my brief absence! I have made it to Germany and Soldier Boy is back! It still hasn't totally set in that I made it and that I LIVE here now... or that I now have a hand to hold... someone to watch movies with... etc.
It's pretty surreal. Things are a bit crazy as we're both unpacking and settling in, so I just thought I'd share our story for those of you who have just joined : the daily savant : It's ridiculous. Really. I don't even know how my life has managed to fold out the way it has!
Trip moved and went to a different school, so we lost touch until AOL was invented. Even then, we didn't see each other in person, because I wasn't allowed to walk/roller blade/ride my bike to the McDonald's that happened to be just about equidistant from each of our homes. We IMed on AOL and when Facebook came along, we kept in touch that way. After 16 years of never meeting in person, we were both in town at the same time. Luckily for us, my mom works at the school where we met in first grade, so over winter break she helped us break in and we got to reunite in the classroom where we met as 6-year olds. The classroom looked a bit different from our super grown-up heights.
We grabbed dinner and chatted for a few hours and then a couple of months later while Trip was stationed in Texas and I just so happened to be visiting my roommate from Paris in San Antonio, I had the pleasure of convincing him to drive hours and hours on his Birthday to get to me so I could take him out to dinner. It was lovely! If memory serves me correctly, he got a speeding ticket on his way back to base (the first of a series that are supposedly my fault!).
We were both moving around a lot due to work and such (this was after I moved back from Manhattan and was getting ready to start my Master's). We started writing real snail mail letters on a semi-regular basis and when Trip was back home and prepping to be sent to Korea for a year, we went on a ghost tour in Chicago. It was on this fateful night that he mentioned that our 6-year old relationship fizzled much too soon and he slipped in a sly line about "getting another chance." Since I was in a relationship at the time, I just kind of pretended like I didn't hear him say it, but I did and it stuck with me! I literally cried saying goodbye to him in the street outside my house, even though he was only going to be gone for a year and was not going to be doing any kind of active combat.
Trip and I Facebooked and Skyped and snail mailed while he was in Korea and when my relationship ended and I was sad and heartbroken, Trip was always there to chat with me online... 14 hour time difference and everything. When he came home, we realized that even though he was being stationed in Germany for at least a couple of years, we still had a chance. We spent as much time as we possibly could together and did lots of silly things like eat too many cheeseburgers and pick apples and eat fritters with our pinkies out.
Yeah... I was really into Emma Watson and pixie cut my hair. Still not convinced that I could pull it off.
Trip was lovely enough to stay at home until after my Birthday before shipping out to Europe. We celebrated with a 1920s themed ghost tour in Chicago and of course, eating too many cupcakes. Apparently, eating too much is kind of our thing.
Trip flew away to Germany and it was strange having gotten close and then suddenly being cut off, but we continued to stay in regular contact and after a discussion about the movie Pearl Harbor, coincidentally on Pearl Harbor Day, we (or according to Trip, I) decided that even though we were an ocean apart, that we would really make things official. A few weeks later I headed to London with my aunt for New Year's and there Trip was again! Our first kiss was in Trafalgar Square around 2 AM. We spent the rest of our few days wandering around and taking loooooooong walks all over the city until obscene hours of the morning. It was lovely to wander around a quiet city and get to know one another.
A few months later and I hopped on a plane to Germany and we spent a wonderful 12 days touring the country, conquering castles in Luxembourg and being epically fancy in Paris.
... has anyone else noticed that I'm always on the left side of the photo? (except for the first grade class pic and the foot pic at the bottom of this post)...
We had a schedule that allowed us to see one another every 4 months, but then found out that Trip would be deploying and I would be moving to Korea to teach. I flew to Germany for another visit and he came home to surprise me before shipping out, but at the last second, both of our major life changes were canceled. Since I was done with my master's and didn't have to move to Asia for work, we started to kick around the idea of my coming to Germany but THEN Trip got last second notice that he would be deploying after all!
After years of saying that there was no way I'd leave my job and car and all of that and move across the ocean and risk not having a job or any of that, I have finally moved to Germany where I plan to take over the bachelor pad (and fill it with curtains and pillows and candles and cupcakes). I don't have a clue what I'm going to do as far as a career goes (so glad I got that master's degree!) but in the 20+ years we've known one another, we've never been really together for more than a few weeks at a time so this is sure to be quite the adventure.
... hey... you only live once... and this is too much like a fairy tale to let the chance slide by...
(I've been taking photos of our feet like this for at least 2 years now. This is one of my favorites. It was taken outside the Roman baths in Trier, Germany)