Saturday, November 17, 2012

chapter eight: a special year

Chapter One: koser avenue
Chapter Two:  the end and the beginning
Chapter Three: the gift of phyllis
Chapter Four:  adding some steil
Chapter Five: closing the chapter of mike
Chapter Six:  high school
Chapter Seven: college and a special

Melissa and I led me over to a table occupied by Scott and his friend Brad Y, who were also having a beer in the middle of the Wednesday afternoon.  (I miss Wednesday afternoon beers with Melissa).   I don't remember what we talked about that afternoon, but I do remember that before we knew it two hours had passed and I had to leave to go to class.  We all walked out together, and Scott asked for my number.

And that was that.

Since that day in April 2006, my heart has belonged to Scott.

I can't say "the rest is history" because it's our story, and in the interest of honesty and archiving, that wasn't all there was to it.  There were breakups and makeups and fights and screams and hangups and "I hate yous" and "I love yous".  Drama and romance and love the way that can only be done when you're twenty two.

(And 23, 24, 25...)

Scott and I were unofficially "seeing each other" for only three weeks.  On May 11th, he sent peach roses to my sorority with a note that said "Kate will you date me?"  I remember being in the red Honda driving home from work at the Helpdesk and getting a call from him asking if I'd been home yet.  I said no, that I was still in the car, and he said to call him once I was home.  Of course I saw the flowers and note and called him, and then we were "boyfriend and girlfriend".

The next day I moved back home for the summer between my junior and senior year of college, and throughout the summer we saw each other once or twice a week.  On Wednesdays I had a summer class and work at the Helpdesk, and would come to his fraternity after work to watch Rescue Me.  I would smile stupidly the whole way home to Cedar Rapids, giggling because he was just so cute.  And all mine.

He was cute, and hilarious and laid back and just chill and everything I wasn't.  Everything I'm not.

My senior year of college was everything I could have ever hoped for.  And even more than that.  I lived with four of my best girlfriends on the second floor of some awesome blue apartments.  We called it "the beach house" because the complex was practically built on stilts, with the parking structure below.  I had my own bedroom and bathroom, and a space to call my own.  It looked out across the boulevard of Iowa Avenue, and was just a few blocks from campus.  It was a half block away from our sorority house - close enough to be involved, far enough away to do our own thing.  I had a job that I genuinely liked, close girlfriends all around, and a boyfriend that I was wild about.  Making matters better, one of my best friends (who was also a sorority sister and roommate) was dating one of Scott's best friends (who was also his fraternity brother and roommate) , so we had double dates almost constantly.  Even better, our friends all got along, and we had one big family of friends for the first time in my life.  Everyone was best friends with everyone and there were hilarious stories of random couplings, and dates, and run-ins and everything you'd expect from fifteen 22 year olds.  You know how sometimes you look back and think "I had no idea how good I had it?"  This isn't one of those times.  I knew as I was living it that it would be among the best times in my life.

During late fall of my senior year, my parents and I had a heart to heart.  If you're not going to do law school like you'd planned, they said, you need to figure out what you are going to do.  I didn't know what to do.  So my mom suggested I email her brother, my uncle Dan, who was business savvy and worked with a lot of twentysomethings.

The advice he gave to the directionless me, was to jump in to something and see if I like it.  (He had a lot of good and interesting advice, but that part really stuck with me). He said he'd jumped in to advertising 25 years before, and that he was still there.  Not knowing what else to do, I decided I'd like to try that, too.  He set me up with 15+ Informational Interviews, and I made the rounds to some of his industry contacts over two days in January.

On Saturday May 12, 2007, I graduated college.  I wore black strappy heels and my cap and gown and went to lunch with my parents afterwards.  The next day, I drove to Chicago wearing a sleeveless green tank top.  I drove the black Honda with the windows down and Ari Hest on the radio.

On Monday, May 14th I had an interview.  Two days later I was offered the job, and two weeks later, June 3, 2007, I moved to Illinois, and in with my aunt, uncle and cousin.

The next day - June 4, 2007, my new Chicago life began.

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