Four Years A Bride: How I Met Alex

I’ve been trying to find a way to write this post for quite some time.  I feel that it’s a sweet story, with tons and tons of hilarity.  But also some moments of WTFness and I feel I’m finally ready to share.

I should start at the beginning.  Back in 2010, I dropped out of college at UAF for a variety of reasons.  I wasn’t mature enough to take college seriously, I didn’t want to move back to Minnesota, I had convinced myself that I was happy working at a deli for barely above minimum wage, and I was having more fun doing underage drinking and staying out until four in the morning than actually studying.  Also, I was an English Literature major, and English Lit majors never find jobs.  It’s just a fact of life.

Why yes, I can analyze Shakespeare... I just can't do actual work

Why yes, I can analyze Shakespeare… I just can’t do actual work

So I cut my losses after two years of school and dropped out.  I started renting an apartment from an army guy and a girl who lived in my dorm freshman year.  I lived there for five months before moving into a house with three women as old as my mother, while working full time at the deli.  I eventually got a job at Eielson Air Force Base as a cook at the bowling center.

So from 7 in the morning until three in the afternoon, I worked in a deli.  Then from 4 until 10 I worked as a short order cook in a bowling alley.  I would work for weeks at a time without a day off, and overall I was just exhausted.  But I wanted to prove I could survive on my own.

About a month after working at the bowling alley, I had gotten an account on Plenty Of Fish, a dating website that I do not recommend to anyone.  It was awful.  But right before one of my best friends got married, I got an email on my Plenty of Fish Account.

The picture was of a man who had coke bottle thick glasses, a goofy smile, and a shaved head.  His email was novel length (in his defense, my profile was also novel length), but it had weird comments in it, such as, “Is it too soon to say I love you?  We should get together sometime soon.  Where do you work?  I’ll stop in and try out your cooking.”

This person hadn’t even met me before, and it all just came off as so damn creepy.  I explicitly said “Only Midwesterners or Alaskans should contact me, I’ve never much cared for east coasters or southerners, and west coasters don’t really have the work ethic I care for.”

I know that sounds biased, but I’m a hard worker (at least I like to think I am) and whenever I’ve worked with Californians, it seems that they have no sense of urgency, which drives me batty.

This person informed me that he was raised on both coasts.  Born in Connecticut, from age 6 until after high school he lived in California, but spent a good deal of time in Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York and North Carolina.  He also had family from Missouri.

To say the least, he was very detailed in his information.  And it just went on and on.

So I did what any sane person would do: I told him to leave me the hell alone.

He emailed me back within ten minutes, asking me why I thought he was being a creeper.  I told him that I had no interest in dating military men.  Also that his picture was creepy and I didn’t much care for the pedo-stache.  He changed his profile picture immediately, asking if I liked him without the mustache.

He looked far less creepy, but he still wasn’t really my type  All I could think was how rude every east coaster had been that I’ve met.  And I was afraid that if I said the wrong thing to him, he’d flip out.

I told him he looked less creepy, and he should back the eff off.

Far less creepy without the stache

Far less creepy without the stache

He emailed me one more time, asking me to just let him take me on one date so he could prove himself.  I told him no.  So he said he’d leave me alone.

Since I’m really, really weird, I had to show everyone this horribly creepy email that he sent.  I was at my friend J’s house, her daughter was doing homework and we were having a glass of wine in her living room.  When it came to dating, I liked to talk to her.  She was 14 years my senior and was that in-between of the wisdom I needed, but the modernity I needed to seek advice.  She wasn’t old fashioned and she knew what she was talking about.

When she read the email, she gave me a dark look.

“He doesn’t sound creepy, Leah, he sounds lonely,” she mused.

I shook my head.  “Really?  I thought he sounded horribly creepy.”

She pointed at some of the sentences in the email.  “No, see?  I bet you he just got stationed here and he’s fresh out of basic training.  He probably hasn’t had a real friend since before basic.  If he is new here, you should give him the benefit of the doubt and go out with him once.  For all you know, he could be prince charming.”

I thought about this, and since I was fairly tipsy, I emailed him, with J looking over my shoulder.

My friend said I should give you the benefit of the doubt.  When were you stationed here and when did you first join the military?

He responded fairly quickly.

I joined eight months ago and I got stationed here about two months ago.  I still haven’t met anyone really and I really didn’t want to come to Alaska.  Why do you ask?

Shit, J was right.  I felt horrible for treating him so poorly.

I’ll make you a deal, if you can guess where I work on base, I’ll let you take me out to dinner.  I’ll give you a hint, I work where they make the best food on base.

He waited a day to respond, to which he asked if I worked at the Enlisted Club.  I was deeply offended, the Enlisted Club was awful at that base.

Hell no, I work at the bowling alley.

I’m stupid, if you can’t tell.

The day after I sent that message, I got to work a few minutes early and I saw a guy at a table checking out his phone.  I didn’t think anything of it so I went into the back office to clock in.  When I came out, the guy I saw sitting was at the front counter, and the top of my head only barely reached his shoulder.  He had a shaved head, coke bottle thick glasses, and his name tape matched his screen name on Plenty of Fish.

Fuck.

He was first to speak.  “I know you!”

I stopped dead in my tracks.  I was greasy from working my morning job, I hadn’t changed into my evening job uniform yet, it was -20 outside so my cheeks were really red from the cold, and my facial expression was deadpan.

“I don’t know you,” I retorted, casually walking towards the snackbar.  Since his legs are ridiculously fucking long, he caught up to me with no effort at all.

“Well I know you, your furniture looks great from the yard.”

Totally legit

Totally legit

I stopped to look at him.  “What?” Is this fucker stalking me?

He realized his mistake.  “Oh no, it’s a quote from a movie.  Come to my dorm and I’ll show you.”

WTF

WTF

As you can see, he isn’t the smoothest chap.

“How about no?”

“Hey, you said if I figured out where you work, you’d let me take you out on a date.”

“But I told you, so it doesn’t count.”

“It totally counts.  How about your next day off?  My treat.”

Since I was broke, I figured why not.  And I figured that if I went on one date with him, he’d leave me alone.  Besides, he was pretty cute in that nerdy type of way, and his voice was so high pitched that he seemed harmless.  So I agreed…

Don’t worry, there’s more story to come.  How did you meet your significant other?  What kind of creepers have you met?  Let me know in the comments!

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The truth reigns supreme!

These are the trues and lies revealed from this blog post.  I suggest reading that so you’re not totally and completely confused.

So, which one was not true?

1.   When I was Ten years old, I puked on a real piece of the Titanic.

TRUE!

There was a titanic exhibit at the St Paul museum (at least I think it was there) and my dad knew the guy who was in charge of it and got us all tickets to go.  Since I was obsessed with the movie Titanic and had a bunch of different books about it, he decided it would be fun for us to go.

Of course, he picked the one time a year that I had the flu.  I told him that morning I probably shouldn’t go because my stomach was hurting.  He said walking would help it.  We get to the exhibit, and while I was having a blast, my stomach just hurt more and more.  And I told him I thought I was going to throw up.  Like a true parent, he ignored me.

When we got to see the real piece of the Titanic, they had to keep it in sea water so the rust wouldn’t get so bad that it would fall apart.  The second the smell of salt water came to my nose, the first time I had ever smelled salt water, I felt myself begin to salivate very heavily.  I tugged on my dad’s sleeve, who was explaining something to my brother, and I said “Dad, I’m going to puke.”  He shrugged me off and told me to tell him what exciting news I had later.

Three… Two… One… I threw up.  All over the floor.  And some got onto the real piece of the Titanic.  My father, who is the king of subtlety, yells at me, “WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME YOU WERE GOING TO PUKE?!”

And thus began the tale of how my father said that I got sea sick without ever having gone to an ocean.

2. I once met Willie Nelson at a charity concert and didn’t know it was him until a month later.

TRUE!

When I was either 13 or 14, I was in Sioux Falls for a mission trip with my church.  We were at the children’s hospital and they told us a very special guest was there to sing for the families, and we went.  And it was none other than Willie Nelson.  He looked familiar, he sounded familiar.  And even his name was nagging me.

A month after the fact, I heard one of the songs he sang at the children’s hospital on the radio to which I exclaimed, “Who is this guy?  I saw him live when I was in Sioux Falls.”

To which my father slammed the breaks (gravel back road in Minnesota, nobody was around to worry about slamming on breaks) and he yells “YOU MET WILLIE NELSON AND DIDN’T KNOW WHO IT WAS?!”

Apparently.

3.  When I was really mad at one of my old bosses, I purposely screwed up the inventory so my manager was required to take a two day class on how to properly do inventory.  She wasn’t allowed to turn me in because I wasn’t supposed to be doing it in the first place.

TRUE!

Let me defend myself, I was 19 years old and I was very spiteful.  This was a deli clerk job at Safeway, I had recently dropped out of college because my boss at Safeway told me that “35 hours a week is part time, and I was able to work full time and take 18 credits, so you can do the same.”

And I have a mild learning disability so no, I can’t do that.  She would also set me up for failure all the time.  One time, she bought me starbucks then turned me in to the manager for having a beverage in the deli.  Then she would lie to me, telling me that customers didn’t like me because I was heavy.  One time, she even bought me weight loss pills and encouraged me to take them so that customers and coworkers would like me more.  And she once tried to write me up for not wearing make up.  And I don’t wear make up because I’m highly allergic to most of it.  The stuff I’m not allergic to costs an arm and a leg to wear, so I wear make up only a few select times of the year.

She decided that I needed to start doing the inventory.  Safeway states that only a manager or assistant manager can do inventory, but since I’m a smart cookie, she decided to have me start doing it.  I didn’t mind, it looked great on a resume, but I got a second job at the local Air Force Base, so I was working two full time jobs and my availability changed.  So this particular Sunday, when I had come in at 4 AM, and closed at my other job at midnight the night before, she approached me and told me that I had to quit because I wasn’t dependable after getting that job.

I smiled and said that was fine and she stormed off, not expecting that reaction.  I wasn’t going to quit, she couldn’t even write me up for anything, but I decided to exact a little revenge.

So after I had counted all of the inventory, which was around 20 sheets of counting, I left one page in the printer.  You have to have all of it in order to properly file the inventory.  Safeway policy states that if the inventory is done incorrectly, you get a write up as well as a two day class on how to properly do inventory.  Since she had been making my life a living hell for several months, I figured I’d give it right back to her.

She had to take the class and got her ass chewed by several higher ups.  And she couldn’t turn me in because I technically wasn’t allowed to do inventory.  When she tried, they said, “Why would you have a deli clerk do inventory?  That’s against store policy!” and she was in even more trouble for letting the big stupid girl do inventory.

A month later, when I gave my coworker a ride home, she said “I can’t believe she yelled at you for that.”

I responded, “I know, right?  She was yelling at me as if I didn’t know.”

4.  I lost my first kiss when I was nearly 19 years old,

True!

I had only been on one date when I lived in Minnesota, and he was really, really awkward.  I shall put that on here someday.  Anyway, my best friend during my first year in Alaska was a guy who was from a rural village and was more awkward than me, and I had a huge crush on him.  After hanging out with him in his dorm, I confessed I had never been kissed so he kissed me.  And then later told me that we were just friends and we couldn’t do that anymore and he cared about me too much to risk losing me as a friend.  Which sucked at the time, because I was in love with him.

Worked out for the best though.  He’s in jail now for vehicular theft.  Because he was trying to impress a hot girl.

5.  I moved to Alaska when I was 18 and my mom told me I should go

False!

My mother fought me every step of the way for moving to Alaska.  She was convinced I was going to be eaten by a polar bear.  I have no common sense, I’m awkward, I’m very trusting, and I make stupid decisions all the time.  Nothing has changed either.

So when I told her I was going to Alaska, she fought me every step of the way.  Then took me to Alaska to look at the college to discourage me from moving to Alaska.  We even went in the dead of winter so I could see how horrible it was.

I loved it.

And I moved there.  And she told me I’d be back within six months because there was no way I could cut it.

Five years later I left Alaska against my will to move to Louisiana.  Alex told me if I got offered a job there making over 100k a year, he would move back to Alaska with me.  So when he’s out of the military, I might do that.  Because I love Alaska.  Everything about it.

6.  I’m related to my husband in at least two different ways

I know, gross, but true.

In my defense though, it’s very distant and we didn’t know until a few months after we were married.  I was talking to his grandma and I found out that her cousin married my Grandpa’s cousin.  And we have a couple common ancestors (notably from the Mayflower).  But most of my ancestors are from Germany and Norway and my family (except my Grandpa’s family) has been here only three generations.  Which works out.  Kind of.

So, any weird facts that you guys have to tell?  Do anything incredibly stupid that you look back at now and go UGH!?  I want to know!

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