Today marks six months since Karen and I started dating. Hard to believe that it's only been six months, but also hard to believe it's ALREADY been six months. I still feel like a kid around her at times, and that's one of the greatest feelings I know. Now, I realize that Carrie will point out that monthiversaries are for high-schoolers, and that I'm fifteen at heart. (I will admit to this some of the time, by the way.) But, it seems like a bit of a landmark to have found someone so completely perfect for me, so I am allowed. (Plus, I'm pretty sure she's the only one who really reads this, so it's a fitting place to write to her.)

We formally met at a work party at Panini's, after working in the same building for a year and a half. She listened to my iPod for forty minutes at a table of friends (points). I had never met someone who listened so attentively (or smiled so much when I talked.) I was, and continue to be, floored. So after a day or so, she (cleverly) managed to ask for my IM info, and we started some minimal chatting. She invited me to see a movie, then another, then to Detroit and then we were we. Below is my shorthand handbook to KarenSusanLand.

12/27 Juno

I had a horrible cold, and we sat through a movie with my sniffles and avoided the arm rest. She got a hot dog and a pickle (I should've known then that the pickles were a religion in KarenLand) and I got popcorn that I was too nervous to eat. Went to Champp's afterwards and laughed, listened to music and shared stories for six hours. (Yep, SIX HOURS) Not bad for a first date. I got home all excited and waited for her to pop online. I IM'd her that I thought she was an old soul or a kindred spirit or some such flattery (and she swears she didn't get this IM) and I went to bed all excited and nervous and captain-and-tenilley. Falling hard and fast for the love of my life.

1/2 Great Debaters

Still had the cold, and still avoided the armrest. Pickle, hot dog, popcorn. Champps again, more talking, iPod, chemistry. Being with this girl made time stand still. We were the only people in that restaraunt, or so it felt. Butterflies set up permanent camp in my stomach and all I wanted was to spend more time with her.

1/4 Detroit

Around 12:58:55 on a Friday, she asked if I felt like being spontaneous. She invited me to join her, Jen and Bonnie for a road trip to Detroit to gamble. I had a volunteering commitment the next day, so I asked if we could come home earlyish. Her response was 'you run the show' and I waffled for a few hours... I stopped by her desk, and asked what the options were, she again pointed out (very cutely) that she would make things work if I would come. I still remember the face she made when I said I'd go. E2E. AND, we might even get to drive home alone together. Until now, there had been minimal friendly flirting, but no verbalization whatsoever that we might be interested in more than friendship. But my stomach and my heart knew what was going on. I rushed home, packed my backpack and drove to Jen's house. We drove together to pick Karen up, and when she got in the car, it was all I could do not to jump into the back seat with her. She was so excited and breathy and kidlike that it made me even more excited. The two-hour drive flew, and we sang along to iPods the whole way. (Karen has phenomenal taste in music, btw... Phenomenon do-do da-do-do.) Checked into the hotel, and headed for a casino. That night is a blur now, but I remember a few small details: she wore a vest, I watched her play roulette, we drank until all the bars were closed. We went back to the room where we watched a Pos-T-Vac commercial (trust me, google it) and talked and talked and talked. Time for bed, or so we thought, around 4am... Jen had taken one King bed, and there was one remaining, and a pull-out couch. Karen was adamant that she'd sleep on the couch, but I had other plans. I played it off like it was no big deal, that the couch looked horribly uncomfortable, and the bed was huge. She joined me, and we spent the whole night very consciously respecting the other's space. I couldn't sleep a wink, and neither could she. Nerves and gas are a bad combination. Fast forward a trip to McDonalds, a drive home, and a few hours of sleep. On the way home, Jen had told me that she and Karen were on MySpace, and that I should get an account... I was oblivious, but learned a lot that Saturday. Created a page, and was oh-so-proud to show her. I found her online, and bold as I could be, told her of my sleepless night, and that I couldn't get enough of her. We chatted all night, and again on Sunday, when her MySpace mood changed to Giddy.

1/7 OSU Game

Just about 11:08:38 on Monday, she invited me and some friends to watch the game at her place. I don't think I've ever been that nervous EVER. When I get there, she's equally nervous. Nice touch. We sang karaoke, talked, nibbled and watched the game. Everyone's getting ready to leave, and she gives me an excuse to stay. (Yey!) We said goodbye to the others, closed the door behind them and I spun her around and kissed her the second we were alone.

This is how the best story of all time began.

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