How We Met

08 July 2013

(if you're pressed for time you can watch a quick video version of the story right on over HERE.)
 
Remember how there was a little rumble a year or so ago about how moms need to get in photos with their kids? I don't have that problem. At all. I manage just fine in that department. I think the problem is getting photos of the entire family or of me and Simon together. 


Remedied. 

Simon's sister snapped some photos of us last night and it spurred me to click clack this out. I'm sorry. 

The story of how Simace came to be.

Simon and I had met twice before we met met in November of 2007 at a Notre Dame football game in South Bend. Once at my baptism as his parents are my godparents although he was still safely on the other side of the uterus and once when we were both 11 or 12. I stayed at his parents house for the night in Wichita before trotting off with some friends to a camp that Simon's mom had organized. Our moms went to high school together and then all four of our parents went to college together (Rock Chalk) and converted to Catholicism through the same humanities program. I grew up in New Mexico and Simon grew up in Kansas. I feel like I'm typing this as though I'm 97 and reminiscing about the good old days with a far off look in my eye whilst rocking slowly on my porch in my calico dress complete with lace collar and tightly wound bun with a glass of sweating fresh squeezed lemonade in my shaky hand. I'll try to be less ... that.

So .. the year was 2007. Simon was in his first semester of med school at KU after graduating from Notre Dame and spending a year in Puerto Rico volunteering at a shower facility for homeless men ...


... I think he also occasionally went and helped at a local school. Facebook didn't tell me but he is off the clock here, I'm pretty sure.

I had been living in DC after graduating from Franciscan and had gone through a fun little series of nanny - > unpaid Hill intern -> barely paid staff assistant which is where I was sitting when I opened the Facebook message that Simon had sent much earlier that day around 1 in the am. It happened to be my parents wedding anniversary which is really insignificant but still - neat? Our parents had recently seen each other at a college reunion and my dad made an off handed remark asking, "when are we going to get Simon and Grace together?" and Simon's parents had relayed the message to Simon who took that to mean I was single (correct but let's add 'and ready to MiNgLe' there) and so ... Facebook message.

It was a witty message casually asking how I'd been "these last 23 years" and before responding I whipped through all of the photos he was tagged in and decided that he was not a bad looking human. Not a bad looking human at all. And that makes me sound shallow. He was also hilarious. Really hilarious. As the week went on we sent messages back and forth and I was caught off guard by how disappointed I was when I'd check Facebook to no messages. We somehow graduated to email and eventually talked on the phone one night. He was in the middle of studying (sober) and I had just come home from being out and about (not 100% sober) and we talked politics in a mostly friendly but not totally friendly way. He didn't write me off completely although I wouldn't have blamed him if he did as I'm sure I was anything but polite or even a little bit polite.

But ....... but but but but. Always a but. And before you judge me too harshly .. let me type the whole paragraph!! I had been talking on the phone to a Notre Dame law student whom I'd met twice that summer in DC. I was really surprised when he offered to fly me out for a football game in November but I didn't decline. It didn't take long for Simon and I to realize that we were both going to be in South Bend for the same game. What? Aligned stars and all that tap dancing. It was decided that I would stay in the dorm with Simon's sister Mary and it was one of the most fun weekends ever. I was almost too nervous to even look at Simon when we first met up in the library lobby (I'm sure there's a fancier name for that because that campus ... it is fancy) but once we set out on the grass and started chatting in a group setting everything went just swell as hell from there. It was funny finally seeing someone in the flesh after so many emails and a few phone calls over the course of the past two weeks but a good kind of awkward funny. I know you know.

We went out late later that night and I think at one point I forced him to make a tunnel for people to duck under out at a bar and I think he thought I was insane/15 years of age in the maturity department but ... he overlooked my crazy for the time being.


Mary and Grace. Deep into some plastic pitchers of Red Bull + quality vodka ...

Law Student had to be studying a lot and we hung out a fair amount but he ended up telling me as he drove me to the airport on Sunday morning that he wasn't interested. I wasn't surprised because I was surprised he'd started calling me in the first place but still ... it was still a 1 zillion on the awkward meter ...

Law Student: ...... not interested, you're a great girl etc etc etc
Grace: ..... I understand, you're great too.. totally cool.
Law Student:
Grace:
Law Student:
Grace: (silent curse of the worst variety)
Grace: um .. I think maybe I left my cell phone back at the restaurant
Law Student: oh, okay


And then we both suffered through a loooooooooooooooooooong and quiet 7 minute ride back to retrieve the phone and a looooooooooooooooong 7 minute ride back to the port. So ... that was that. And he eventually defriended me on Facebook. Burn? I don't know. No.

Simon wasn't a big texter (he didn't even have a texting plan when we first met -- which quickly changed because I'm a big fat corrupter) so when he texted, "have a safe flight" on Sunday morning after the most fun weekend EVER I read into it WAY too much. I don't even think he knows that - now he shall. Have a safe flight??? Classic boy/girl difference - the girl being ridiculous and the freak out lasted mere hours before we started emailing with a renewed sense of familiarity later that night.

We continued with the emails and the gchats and the phone calls. The phone calls that went on for so many hours night after night that I burned straight through my Razr battery ... toasted it GOOD and I was forced to buy a bigger bulky "junk in my cellular's" trunk battery so that we could keep the flame alive. We talked about everything under the moon and I remember Simon brought up the future one night regarding where he'd practice medicine and said something along the lines of "it will be up to you, too" and my heart skipped 89 beats because ..... what? We were obviously more than friends but were we? Nothing romantic had ever been broached and I was living in DC and he still had a little over 3.5 years of med school left in Kansas so ... what was going to happen? I'll tell you, duh.

So ... we made plans to meet up in Chicago for New Years as he had friends there and my best friend, Jessica lived there and wouldn't it all be too perfect? Of course we were careful to not make any ACTUAL plans on New Year's Eve together because wouldn't that be ridiculous? Two people that talked on the phone for 2-4 hours every single night for 2 months straight ..... never. It was all very middle school and civilized and I miss the hilarity of it all.

We were there on a Sunday so we went to Mass together and right after Mass we were in the back poking around and waiting for Jessica to pick us up he asked if I'd like to go on a date later in the week in DC (he had planned to visit some friends and I didn't complain about that plan one bit). Like a real live official date. I had to act the perfect amount of enthused but poised but wanted to give 99 enthusiastically shouted affirmatives in his direction. I think I landed somewhere in the middle. We went out with Jessica and Reed the couple of nights before NYE and dance dance danced (where Simon told me how much he hated my fingerless gloves - the most practical invention of all time) and took nice photos like dees ...


Get it? Good.

I typed this story once before and Jessica got on me for not including important first kiss deets and about how she pulled Simon and Reed (her now husband, then boyfriend) into the bathroom at Simon's friend's apartment where we met up AFTER midnight on NYE (of course) and told him that I had dated a lot of guys in the past and that he was BY FAR the best one. Thanks Jess!! I don't blame you - I blame the alcohol. Anyway ... before we cabbed it back to Jessica's Simon made the first kiss move in the tiny apartment kitchen and should I make the cliched fireworks joke? No, I won't but it wasn't awful.

And now she's all over me again for not including the part about how we walked two miles in the snow just to see Simon. Well - that is an exaggeration but we did lock ourselves out of her apartment (ahem ... she was the tenant so she locked us out, technically) and Reed had an extra set of keys at work .... a mile or so down the road. But this was December 31st in Chicago and it was snowing very hard and we were wearing very high heels so .... labor of loved it down and back to the apartment to continue getting ready to the tune of Britney Spears. I'm not kidding and Jessica was kind to let me choose the beats.

ANYWAY ... I returned to my post in DC and Simon followed a few days later in a car with some friends. And this is when we went on our first official real live date.

I think that's enough for today. I swear I won't make this a zillion parter. Blogger's honor.

Part II here!!

57 comments:

  1. Finally... Yay! I'd take credit but I know others have requested too so... Partial credit only. Still, yay! Love the beginning!

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  2. Is it embarrassing or weird how long i have been waiting for this story? Probably. But yay!

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  3. finally, the simace story, yaaaaay!!! can't wait for the part dos. is it okay that i'm now a little inspired to go write story of my hubs and i?

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  4. I'm so excited you're writing/sharing this! (And I'm allowing myself to gloss over how creepy my excitement is, since I'm a total stranger and all.) I love the mix of fate + the deliberate choice ("he was not a bad looking human") pushing you together. Yay!

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  5. My hubby and I spent HOURS on the phone when we weren't dating yet/ early months of dating... One really fantastic story I'll have to make him relive on the blog

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  6. What happened at the Notre Dame game besides the awkward 7 and 7 minute rides?? I feel like I'm missing on all those minute details that make a how-we-met so great!

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    1. yikes, I can't win. I always I feel like I type too much! Maybe I'll go back and add more when the kids aren't all clamoring. :)

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    2. You can't type too much of stories like this. ;)

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    3. I agree, the more details the better!!!

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  7. Oh!! I love reading this, thanks for sharing :) Also, just out of curiosity, why is Simon's shirt inside out in the first picture ?

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    1. oh, it was the end of a long call weekend .. in a hurry to get out the door for a walk, I guess? haha.

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  8. He hates fingerless gloves? Mine will be outraged when they find out. Thanks for linking back to my humble abode!

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  9. Love it! Especially all the middle school parts- so funny how little things have huge importance!! In those early dating days. Can't wait for part two!

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  10. That's pretty cool that your parents have known each other so long.

    I'm always a junkie for how we met stories!!

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  11. Yay! I've been waiting to read this since you mentioned it months ago! I love hearing other people's stories of how they met. Especially since I have a cliché high-school-sweetheart how-we-met (that I wouldn't really trade for the world), but it makes for a boring story. I always love hearing that your in-laws are your godparents too! That is pretty special. I don't think it's possible to be too wordy on a how we met or a birth story either. I can't wait to hear the rest!

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  12. Yeah you mentioned nothing of the nortre dame weekend with simon... how despite it not working with law student you were thrilled, bc yoy and simon had a blast together??? annnd you glossed over the weekend in chicago. How you walked in two miles of snow to see him....sort of.

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  13. ahhh i love it. His parents are your godparents? Like whoa. Also, I might steal this idea, I'm always (okay like twice) being asked how drew and i 'hooked up' for lack of better word

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  14. Wow, this gives me hope that maybe...just maybe...that arranged marriage I hope for between one of the sons some good friends of ours' and one of my daughters might happen, LOL

    You are too cute. I love it.

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  15. Oh and I get it...it wasn't arranged, per se....just thinking out loud, you know. LOL

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  16. The turnaround my "Case of the Mondays" experienced this afternoon was dramatic and may be deemed a miracle. A good love/birth/day-in-the-life story often tops my can't-life-without-list. Especially when it comes from one of my favorite Reality InstaBloggingGramming Show Family.

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  17. Can I just say that I feel like I have some kind of claim to fame because I was definitely on campus for home games in November of 2007, and therefore was in the near vicinity when Simace first came into existence??? I may have even been in the lobby of the library at the time, who knows? Sooo...it's making me look at the fall of my junior year with rosier glasses.

    Oh wait...I just realized that I met my husband on the campus of Notre Dame the fall of 07, too...does that make me as cool as Grace??? A blogger can only hope ;-)

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  18. So basically the law student paid for your plane ticket so you could meet Simon?! Poor fellow didn't have a chance!

    I love it!!

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  19. Loving it! Don't leave out a single detail.

    I think my heart skipped two beats just reading about yours skipping 89.

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  20. Really? That's where you cut it off? You're killing me.....!

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  21. Hilarious! It is really weird to think back to the beginnings of a relationship. Reading this takes me back, too. We went up to visit Simon and some others at Notre Dame, (I wish Mary would have been there, but too soon for that) and that campus IS fancy and beautiful. I may know a few guys who stole lunch trays as souvenirs from that trip.

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    1. Ah yes, and it's still proudly displayed in our basement.

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  22. What was the camp? I went to some Regnum Christi camp a couple times that Ann I think arranged..

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  23. Of course, it was not ho-hum, and I love it. By the way ... I was in the lobby of the library that morning! I took my parents and sister there. Crazy town/campus.

    Keep spilling the details! I loved thinking back to when Chris and I were getting to know each other, and I would be so disappointed to not see a new message.

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  24. i love a good 'how we met' story, and i have been WAITING for this one! can't wait to read the next installment. the razor was by far the best phone, mine last forever! oh, and i love that his parents are your godparents! it gives me hope that my best friend (who is married to tim's best friend) can in fact force our future children into an "arranged" marriage ;)

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  25. *sigh* I love a good love story.

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  26. I love "how we met" stories! I also met my husband in the fall of 2007 - must have been a romantic season! Looking forward to part deux.

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  27. Love!
    AND, love the casual off-hand reference how the parents all converted to Catholicism at the same time, while college students. Not to take any thunder from the Simace story, but....how often does this whole set up ever happen?? And, then their kids meet/marry, many years later??!! ONCE ever in a lifetime story!! Great story!!

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  28. Your Simon reminds me of Jim from The Office, which is so far away from a not-bad thing.

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  30. Can I ask a dumb question? Did you never ever ever see your Godparents, or whenever you saw them did they leave little Simon at home? :)

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  31. Awww....so fun to hear the details! I'm jealous because my story would begin "we met at Mardi Gras in Soulard" and it's kind of hard to recover from that best foot. On another note- at Mass this weekend there was a VERY vocal toddlerish person in the back of the church and my first thought wasn't "cryroomcryroomcryroom" but instead "holy cow wouldn't it be crazy if Grace was visiting Olathe this weekend!"

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  32. Hey, long time stalker first time commenter here--I think. But I have to take a moment to be vocally confused about how I lived across the street from Simon (BP) for 2 years at ND and regularly went to Mass in his dorm and yet he doesn't look at all familiar. Something about generic skinny white guys at Notre Dame, I suppose. Ah, well. Go Irish!

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    1. I have always thought Simon looked like a member of the Kennedy clan. Generic skinny white guy he is not.

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    2. ha. thanks Jessica. Agreed and agreed!!

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    3. Well, shoot--I just meant not bearded or dreadlocked or 300 pounds or something. Sorry!

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  33. Yes! These are the kind of details that make one happy. I felt like I was back there with you, trying to 'feel out' this simon character while at the same time trying not to scare him off. He passed all tests with flying colors, of course. Reed and I love Simon. Duh.

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  34. And the crowd loves it! They start chanting, "Link Up! Link Up! Link Up!"

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  35. Yeah, I'm hooked. Good story, need more! The background is great- how funny that your parents were all buddies. My husband went to boarding school with a few kids that were products of that KU program, and we have a bunch a friends whose parents met there. Must have been something pretty great!

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  36. So much of romantic <3 <3 More please!!! And I really truly honestly won't mind if its a million-parter.

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  37. Ahhh, look at his hair busting out of his hat!! I would have married him on his mad hair growth skillz alone.

    KEEP TYPING!!!!

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  38. Ooo fun! I agree with Colleen - keep typing! I'm taking a small claim to fame as I was at all of the football games in November 2007 and that is the same place our little love story begins (sorta) as well - just a year before.

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  39. Oh you know I love a good dating story. This is more than I ever heard from you both so keep it coming!
    P.S. Look how fab your hair is!!
    P.S.S. Blog header is looking fresh. Love.

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  40. Cuuute!

    Also I think the pic of Simon on the mission trip looks like Danny from CaddyShack. I'm sure he will be thrilled haha

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  41. I guess your Godparents/In-laws weren't concerned about your parents' ability to raise you in the faith....We had forced at-least yearly get-togethers with my Godparents and my brothers. In fact, they were 2x a year and our parents turned them into survivor-like competitions/"olympics" including parade of children....

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  42. Wow, I knew Simon's parents had converted in college, but yours too? That's so amazing. And they have done an impressive job of raising their children in the faith. What humanities group were they involved in?

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  43. Hey, my oldest son was ND class of 2006, too! He lived in Carroll Hall. It's a big campus, so they probably didn't know each other--but that is so cool. All our sons (and my husband and pretty much everyone in his family) went to ND.

    Great story so far...and GO IRISH! :)

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  44. Wow, what a story. I would love to hear more about your parents' conversion story. What do all the grandparents think about this whole thing? Have you managed to convert them too, lol.

    Also, were you at St. Michael's in Chicago? That was always a popular Sunday night.

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    1. I don't think the grands were too thrilled at the time :) Not converted yet ...

      I have NO idea ... possibly!!!

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  45. EEEeeek! Our (me and hubby's) time at ND overlaps with Simon - I'm going to be a super stalker and ask you: what dorm he was in?

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