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I remember when I first heard of PostSecret– my roommate and stumbled on it after overhearing someone drunkenly referring to it at a party. We spent the next morning, a Sunday, curled up in bed reading that day’s secrets. And then we spent the following Sunday doing the same thing. It became our ritual, to spend hungover Sundays cuddled in bed reading those.
I’ve read them ever since, own the books. I’ve never had the gall to send anything in mostly because I don’t think any of my secrets are extraordinary. The secrets I have all seem to already be on there. It’s impossible to look at the picture of Frank surrounded by plastic containers full of secrets and not think that your secret would be in there.
I also save the secrets that I like the best into a file that plays as the screen saver on my computer. A friend was in my room last week as I was changing for one of our runs and laughed, saying “Are those all yours?”
This video was posted on Valentine’s day and I fell in love with everything about it. And I’m sure you guys are aware of it, my one of my new favorite Bloggers has a great Monday secret lineup. Sundays and Mondays are my new favorite days of the week…
Pittsburgh, Part One
It’s only been two months and I’ve already come to realize the worst part about long-distance relationships: the ride home. I hated this morning, hearing Pittsburgh Boy’s alarm go off and feel his legs untangle from mine. It was only 4:30 in the morning and I pretended to be asleep as he picked his way through the hotel room to the sink. I hate the horrible goodbyes, knowing that you’re dissecting every bit of your schedule to find the next available weekend, the next hotel room. Feeling the stress of looking at jobs around the country and wondering if it’s even going to work anyway, and then spending more time looking at the placements in his area.
The ride out there was intense enough, and I feel like that should be a whole post upon itself. I’d spent all night awake after getting to help on a major operation at work. And then, to made a long, convuluted story short, a huge accident happened in front of my car on the way out and I did CPR on the driver of the one car until the ambulance arrived. By the time I reached Pittsburgh, I was worn and exhausted, stripped to my camisole and skirt and holding my blood-stained blouse. He arrived soon after, and it was such a strong feeling of relief. We drove over to his newly-married friends’ house for an out door dinner (which I should mention was a bit awkward as they’d only gotten ribs, until I told them that my diet is steadily based upon beer anyway). Back at the hotel that evening we could hardly sleep, both of us so giddy to be back together. We curled up in the hot tub, his fingers twisting around mine, and I caught myself thinking that I wished this could be every night instead of once or twice a month.
In the morning, we woke to have a breakfast of ommelettes, toast, and potatoes at his favorite diner, followed by a long walk along the river.
We stopped by an old ice cream shop for root beer floats, and then went to the Pittsburgh History Museum.
For dinner, he took me to this amazing church-turned-brewery. The old altar was converted to display the giant tanks of brewed beer:
We sat outside in the garden, sharing cherry-puree beer and spinach, feta, and gouda dip. His kobe beef salad and my couscous salad were literally works of art. Everything was so mellow, enchanting. Of course this is when I ask if we can go visit College Roomie…
Pittsburgh, Part III
On Sunday morning I woke up and made breakfast for us- scrambled eggs with cheese and cream cheese and pancakes. Everyone else was a bit hung over and moving slowly, but we made plans to head out to Southside for the Spain-Germany Euro cup final. The first bar we went to, we met up with College Roomie’s friend, Megan. Megan and I loved the German crowd- we were packed like sardines against the bar with everyone jumping together. College Roomie, our other friend, and College Roomie’s new roomie headed across the street to another bar while Megan and I got sloshed on German beer and shots with German fans.
Afterwards, College Roomie took me and our friend up for a view of the city from the hills. The sight was gorgeous, perfect. I kind of fell in love with Pittsburgh then. When we got back, I took a long run along the trail next to the canal. It was a bit late, so the sun was setting just as I cross this gorgeous train bridge. I stopped and watched the sun set, then ran into the city and back. It was one of those perfect, sweaty runs. I burst back into College Roomie’s apartment to find that a couple of her friends- including her best friend- had arrived.
After a quick shower and throwing on a dress, I settled in for a night of heavy drinking with the friends. Jesse, the one friend, saw me sipping vodka and orange juice, grabbed the bottle of vodka, and chugged before passing to me- this did not bode well.
Within the hour Jesse and I were making fun of College Roomie’s best friend for not having made a move on me the night before. I don’t even remember exactly what I said, but I knew that it was harsh. He went outside, I think a bit angry. I had to go to the bathroom, but Jesse decided he wanted to use College Roomie’s bathroom. Since College Roomie lives in a boathouse, I decided to run upstairs and use the one in the locker rooms. Run is the operative word- I for some reason thought that running was a great idea. Turning on the lights was also seen as unnecessary, so I was running full speed through the erg room in the dark. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when I ran straight into one of the ergs and broke a few toes (have spent most of this week getting x-rays on my fractured foot and broken toes). When I realized that my leg was bleeding, I screamed.
College Roomie’s best friend must have heard me and came to find me. I was close to tears, telling him how much my leg hurt, and then he was kissing me. It felt…perfect. I completely ignored the fact that my toe was jarred off to the side- I was kissing a gorgeous guy. The guy and I ended up spending all of the night together, down on the docks, by the river under the bridge. I didn’t want to think about the fact that I would be getting on a plane in a few hours.
The thing is, when College Roomie was setting us up she intended on it being purely physical. But it was hugely emotional- we spent most of the night talking about our families, our lives, our friends. It was intense and hard when he had to leave at 5 am.
I got on the plane that morning expecting to never hear from him again, but it’s been exactly the opposite. He called me that very evening and we talked for hours. “You know,” he told me, “my friends are confused as to why I’m calling my one-night-stand. But I don’t want us to be a one-night-stand.”
We talked every day this past week, texted all during the day. On the fourth of July, he called and asked me to meet him halfway the next evening, insisting that he wanted to take me on a real date. I drove the two hours to meet him halfway, crawled into bed at the hotel room he’d reserved. When he arrived a half hour later, it was like we’d been dating for months. He crawled into bed beside me, let me watch the Phillies game, and whispered in my ear the entire time. We had an amazing date out, holding hands throughout dinner and rushing back to the hotel room.
I know I’ve been all anti-dating, but this completely blindsided me. The guy is exactly everything I want- intelligent, sweet, caring, athletic. He’s a rowing coach too, so he knows how important that side of my life is to me. He also has a solid career in a similar field as mine, so we’re both interested in what the other is doing. I found myself doing things that I never usually like doing- cuddling, holding hands, letting him pay. But I loved every moment of it with him.
He’s flying in next weekend for a race and to see me, so we’ll have to see where this goes. I’m too nervous about getting my hopes up and jinxing it. Long distance relationships make me nervous, and after PK I’m fairly nervous about guys in general. I guess I’m also held back by the fact that we kind of did things backwards, not getting to know each other until afterwards.
Pittsburgh, Part I
I left work early on Friday to get to Pittsburgh nice and early- College Roomie had made plans for us (her, Jason, her roomie and me) to go to a concert in the park on Friday night. My plane would get in with perfect timing to get there as it started. When I got to the airport, I tried to convince the booking attendent to switch me onto an earlier flight- that was a no go.
Everything was fine until the rain started. The other passengers and I waited, tense, watching it pound against the airplanes on the tarmac. We sat with bated breath until finally the red light flashed beside our flight number- delayed. And then we watched as they delayed our flight a second, third, and fourth time. No way I would get there before the concert, and I’d have to fend for myself for dinner. I approached the booking attendant’s stand again, and, eyeing the pizza-ice cream- fried fast food, questioned if they had anywhere that served lactose-free, gluten-free, vegetarian food. She eyed me for about five seconds before I rescinded my question and asked a new one: where was the bar?
I clicked my heels down to the bar, only to find that it was packed. Everyone’s flights were getting delayed, and I was lucky to find myself a place near the bar. I smiled at the two girls next to me, both blondes my age. I don’t remember how we came to the decision, but the three of us grabbed a table towards the back with three large pints of beer. The introduced themselves, we talked about jobs and families, boyfriends and “fun buddies”, as the one girl put it. They were amazing, and it was nice to find out that one, Megan, was on my flight.
We finished a few pints and then got another in a to-go cup to sip while waiting back in line. Standing in four inch heels in this new fangled airport line? It sucked. The blonde got onto the plane before me but saved me a seat. I slid in next to her, and another older woman slid in next to me. Megan and I finished our drinks and were both in a happy state, flirting with the flight attendant and convincing him to give us more drinks for free. So it’s safe to say that by the time I was waiting outside for College Roomie to pick me up, I was sloshed.
“She’s in rare form,” College Roomie said as she introduced me to her roommate. I was- somehow I had also convinced the flight attendant to bring me tens of bags of peanuts, and I had opened each one. I’m going to be terribly afraid on the day that College Roomie decides to clean out the backseat of her car, only to find a stash of loose peanuts.
“I can’t wait for you to meet my best friend J,” she said. I was only listening half-heartedly at this point. She’d been trying to convince me that this guy was perfect for me, going so far as to send me pictures of him. I had to admit that he was adorable, but I just wasn’t in that state. She kept at it though- told me I’d meet him the next day at the barbeque she was throwing. When College Roomie and I climbed into bed together, she insisted again. “Just meet him, you’ll see.” I nodded obediently, mostly because the whiskey sours had made me sleepy. We crashed, whispering back and forth to each other just like we’d done back in college.