And he kinda sorta was. But like I said, he's such an awkward person. He always says the wrong things at the wrong times. He always does the wrong things at the wrong times. He loves laughing when someone is crying and making jokes when someone is angry. While this will sometimes drive me absolutely bat shit crazy, it also makes me love him that much more. He always has me laughing and I never quite know what I'm going to get.
So, back to the story...
After we made up at the bar that night we started texting again. It was Christmas time so we talked a lot about what we were getting our families and what kinds of things we did over the holidays. I learned a lot about what a great Uncle he was and how much he loved his nieces and nephews. This was something that greatly attracted me to him because I play a big part in my nieces and nephews lives too. It was such a beautiful common ground to have.
Shawn and Bethany were still trying to help us facilitate the beginnings of this budding relationship, so a couple of weeks after we started talking we met them for dinner. A double date so to speak. Bradley and I hadn't hung out one on one yet, though we had talked a great deal. We spent the evening chatting together like couples who had been together for years. I remember even letting him hold my hand under the table. It all just felt so right.
As we were leaving, he walked me to my car, and I had a feeling he was going to try to kiss me. While I'm not exactly a prude, I certainly didn't want to give away all the goodies to someone I wasn't in a committed relationship with. So we stood outside my car and talked for a minute. It was made all the more awkward by Shawn and Bethany who were sitting in their car in the parking lot watching us. As we were saying goodbye he leaned in and gave me a quick kiss on the lips, and then he walked to his car and gave Shawn the thumbs-up. I guess maybe he felt like he was making some ground after two weeks of waiting.
|Our first picture together|
I guess technically, this would sort of be considered our first date. And true to Bradley/Kayla fashion, it was unorthodox and awkward. As we were shopping, I got my first taste of how indecisive he is. He will pick up ten things and put them all back as he goes along through the store. When he finally settled on the things he needed, we headed to the food court to grab some pizza. I don't remember why exactly it happened like this, but I ended up buying our food. So on our "first date" I got to follow him around as he picked stuff up and put it back, and then I bought lunch. Go figure.
On Christmas night I met a couple of my friend's at a bar that was open and we hung out and had a few drinks. There was this guy there who I went to school with that I hadn't seen in a long time. He was fairly intoxicated and all over me in a really disgusting way. I was texting Bradley to please come down there and save me from him because he wasn't taking the hint.
When he finally showed up, I ran over to him and gave him a kiss and hug to try and show this guy that I was with someone. I'm literally begging Bradley to do something to help me out. What does he do instead? He stands there with his friend and laughs at my unfortunate situation. Evidently, this was more amusing to him than it was to me. Finally, the guy's friends called him a cab and got him out of there. But when I looked around for Bradley, he was nowhere to be found.
I was asking all of my friends, "Did you see where he went? Is he in the bathroom?" No one had a clue. 10 minutes went by. 15. 20. Finally a get a text a half an hour later from him that says "Sorry, I got sick and had to leave. I will call you tomorrow." I'm thinking to myself, what in the hell is wrong with this kid? Is this a bullshit lie so that he could dip out and not hang out with me?
Turns out, ole boy had a few too many drinks on an empty stomach, threw up in a garbage can in the middle of the bar while some poor lady was watching, and then immediately left because he was embarrassed and sick. I really couldn't make this story up people.
Strangely enough, this was sort of cute to me. In retrospect, knowing him like I do now, it was probably really hard for him to see this other guy all over me. And because he wasn't my "boyfriend" at the time, he probably didn't feel like he should step on my toes if another guy was hitting on me. So I think he drank a lot to take his mind off of it, had more than he should have in a short amount of time, and paid the price. What a sweetheart he is for liking me that much, right?
That's the story I tell myself anyway :)
We planned our first "official" date to be for New Year's Eve. He had it all planned out for us and he was taking me to a surprise restaurant. I went out and bought this super cute little black dress for the occasion. Being a former fatty, I'd never owned a LBD before, because I never could have pulled it off. But I was banging in this thing. I felt like a million bucks, and I couldn't wait to show it off to him.
So he picks me up on NYE at 8 and we head off to this top secret location that I am not privy to at the moment. I can tell by the way we're getting on the interstate and the direction we're going that we were heading to a nearby city that has a lot of food places to chose from, unlike our hometown. When we finally get there, we end up driving around the city for like 15 minutes. We keep passing all of these restaurants and I'm thinking, what exactly are we doing here? By this time he's really quiet and acting a little nervous. Finally he says, "Uhh, so I guess I don't exactly know how to get there. I was going to surprise you and take you to the Olive Garden, and I thought I knew where it was, but I was wrong."
I am shaking my head and laughing as I write that. Who does that? Who takes someone out on a "surprise" date and doesn't think far enough ahead to get directions?!
Bradley does, folks. I just sat there and laughed and laughed at him and we both just cracked up at the situation. I am so grateful for that moment because it could not have made our first "official" date any better. I love love love telling people that story.
Of course naturally after dinner we met up with all of our friends at the bar to wait for midnight. I was feeling frisky so I let him be my New Year's kiss. Turns out, it was the best one I'd ever gotten.
|Our first NYE and first "official" date|
We went home that night and talked on the phone together for 6 hours. I couldn't tell you what we talked about or why we stayed up until 7 in the morning, but we were crazy and falling in love so I guess that's a good enough excuse. I was convinced by this time that he was the one for me.
Four days after NYE, he finally asked me to officially be his girlfriend. I was so over the moon about this, and I was glad to really call him mine. It took us a month to get to that point, and there were a lot of rough patches along the way, but it was all worth it when he requested to be in a relationship with me on Facebook.
Here we are almost two years later. We got engaged (which is another funny story for another day), bought and remodeled a house together (which I would need a week and copious amounts of alcohol to relive for all of you) and now we're beginning to plan our wedding together. Everything is exactly how it was meant to be, and I am so very grateful for this love story of ours.
It hasn't been an easy couple of years for us. Bradley had a seizure behind the wheel early last year, and another right in front of me a few weeks after that. We have both struggled with our weight and feelings of depression over how we got to be so big. He's held me while I sobbed like a child over my Father, and he's put up with my neurotic OCD tendencies and my condescension.
But we are here, and we are a team. I couldn't ask for a better partner who always makes sure I have fresh flowers in the house, and who gets me sweet Hallmark cards just because. He tells me I'm beautiful when I'm down on myself about my weight, and he goes and gets me a soda when I'm on the brink of crazy town after work. He will even lay in bed at night and sing me love songs which still makes me blush. He is perfect to me, and he has the sweetest face I've ever seen.
So while Bradley was sort of a screw up in the beginning, he has definitely redeemed himself 100% since then. I'm so glad I could see through all of that to who he was at his core, which is an incredibly loving, hard-working, laid back guy who would do almost anything I asked him to.
Our story definitely is not typical, and parts of it would have made anyone else leave before it even began. But I knew when I first looked at him that he was going to be the one for me. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be able to say that this great big idiot is all mine for the rest of my life :)
|Who knew a year to the day after our first official date that we would be engaged and crazy about each other?!|