life: super powers not included

Tracey & The Man: The Incredible Story of Happily Ever After

Tracey & The Man

OK, as promised yesterday, the abridged version of how I met The Man. Wei-Wei asked if I had ever told the story. And, in fact I haven’t. But it’s a good story, and since we’re two days from our fourth anniversary, this is a good time to tell it.

I was working at a restaurant, trying to make up all of the money I spent while studying abroad in New Zealand. There was this really cute bartender who never spoke to me and barely gave me the time of day. Of course, I wanted to date him.

So I kept dropping blatantly obvious hints that I was head-over-heels for him. For instance, I would smile at him when I got to work. Sometimes I’d joke around. I’d say flirty things like, “How was your weekend?” Once in a while I’d touch his arm while I snaked around his side to grab a new bottle of ketchup. One time I invited him to hang out with a bunch of us after work. The Man wasn’t super perceptive and claims he had no idea I liked him.

After I graduated from college and when I had two more weeks left in Baltimore before I packed up my life and returned home to Massachusetts, I told him I liked him and, you know, would like to hang out some time. He said he was seeing someone—but I was nice. Nice. The worst word you can possibly call a girl who likes you. Then he blushed and asked, “Is it hot in here, or is it my sunburn?” I walked away.

My friend, and fellow waitress, told The Man he was making the biggest mistake of his life. (He was.)

And then someone had to leave work early, so The Man and I and all of life’s awkwardness had to close the restaurant alone. Naturally, I hid in the kitchen and pretended I was busier than I really was just to avoid extended, horrible humiliation.

That night, I went home and cried because 1. I felt like the biggest loser of all of Maryland and 2. I knew we were meant to be together and 3. he was too stupid to realize it. Like good friends, my roommates assured me we were meant to be together but he need time.

A week later, The Man told me he wanted to date. Inside I smirked and tried not to say, “Told ya so.” Then, a week later, I moved back to Massachusetts.

I spent the next month in Europe with three friends and no cell. I’d shoot The Man a quick e-mail when I found the random Internet café and had time to battle the dial-up. It usually included things like “We’re in Rome and just saw the Colosseum. MOST AWESOME THING EVER!” or “Just got to Prague and walked the city streets. MOST AWESOME CITY EVER!!” Other times, I’d send him post cards or letters with the jumpy handwriting that happens during train travel.

You’d think we would have broken up, what with the month-long European trip, living 500 miles away, and us having dated for only eight days. But instead we did the whole long distance thing, which meant staying up ridiculously late and learning everything there was to know about each other over the phone. Thankfully neither of us had a real job yet.

When I finally got a real job, I moved to Philadelphia, which was still two hours from Baltimore, where The Man had his own real job. But it was practically next door considering I had been living in Massachusetts for four months. It wasn’t until a month before The Man proposed that we lived in the same city.

We decided not to split up after that and have lived in the same place ever since. Oh, and I do remind him every so often that all of his marital bliss can be attributed to my un-Tracey-like guts one July day.

How did you meet your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse?

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17 comments

1 Nicole { 06.22.10 at 7:12 am }

Cute story!! When I was a senior in college, I would come home on the weekends and play sports with friends. Well, one time, my future hubby played with us. While the rest of us were planning on going to see a movie, despite our sweat and grime, this guy said, “Shouldn’t we go home and take showers first?” So I called him a wimp! And I felt so bad after that I asked someone for his email address… just so I could apologize. And — well — we started to email back and forth and the rest is history.

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2 Joanna Sutter (Fitness & Spice) { 06.22.10 at 8:16 am }

Oh how I love, love! What a great story.

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3 keila { 06.22.10 at 8:33 am }

Cute couple and a great story!
I met my hubby because I was BFF with his sister. He’s a couple of years older than me and the sister was always saying things like, “you should totally go out with my brother. wouldn’t that be awesome?” Um, no. At the time he was in college and we were getting ready to graduate high school. I thought he was sucha jerk – and he was. There was no way I was going out with him!
Then – tragedy! My date for the senior prom backed out. Hubby uncharacteristically offered to be my date and the rest, as they say, is history. Very Ross and Rachel, I know.

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4 Laura (B Foxy Fitness) { 06.22.10 at 8:56 am }

Awwwww, I love stories about how couples meet! Isn’t it strange how things sometimes just work out like they are meant to be? I met my boyfriend through mutual friends who wanted us to date (why is it that coupled people always want to hook up their friends?). After my BF and I started dating, we realized that we were from the same hometown, our parents worked for the same large company, we had gone to the same high school (we’re two years apart), and knew some of the same people! Yet, we had NEVER met each other! Serendipity or coincidence? ;)

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5 Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly { 06.22.10 at 10:44 am }

YES! I have been waiting for this post! I love it! What a great story! Keith and I have known each other forever. His family and my family are old life-long friends so since Keith is 11 years older than me he has LITERALLY known me my entire life. There are pictures of him holding me when I was 2 years old and bald! haha! Yeah…he was 13…sounds much creepier at that age than it is now! haha!

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6 Hilary@coffeeismycarrot { 06.22.10 at 11:46 am }

My hubby and I met through his best friend from high scool that was one of my friends in college. We dated 5 years long distance (2.5 1.5 hours apart and 2.5 with me in Texas and him on a carribean island). I agree you learn so much about someone in a long distance relationship and all the long phone conversations. We never lived in the same town until months after we were engaged and about 4 months before the wedding.

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7 Wei-Wei { 06.22.10 at 12:24 pm }

Such a sweet story! I love reading stories like these… the Pioneer Woman’s story made me melt, too. Sadly I have no stories to share about meeting anybody because… I haven’t met anybody. :P But hey, I’m only 15! Maybe I would be able to share my story as it unfolds. ;)

Wei-Wei

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8 Nicole, RD { 06.22.10 at 1:51 pm }

Awwww! Doesn’t long-distance suck!? We did Michigan to Chicago and Michigan to Champaign, IL and Chicago to Italy and Chicago to Los Angeles. I don’t recommend it, but we survived! We met on match.com, oddly enough! :)

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9 kalli@fitandfortysomething { 06.22.10 at 2:13 pm }

oh i love this story! so cute……..bill was at my divorce party and he happened to be the only guy NOT paying any attention to me. of course i never forgot him and finally ran into him years later and the rest is history!

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10 Melissa { 06.22.10 at 2:49 pm }

I love hearing how couples met!! Such a great story and you guys are a super cute couple:)
The hubby and I met at a wedding actually. We dated for 1.5 years long distance while I was in school. Then I made the leap and moved to his city. We were engaged after 3 years of dating and will be married for 2 years at the end of August! I’ll have to do a post like this because they are so fun ! Thank you for sharing

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11 tra { 06.22.10 at 2:53 pm }

THAT WAS THE CUTEST STORY EVER! no significant other..i know, i’m 24 with no boyfriend! =/ gues i’m not meeting the right peeps! hahaha. i’ll just wait til THE ONE finds me! =D

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12 Katie @ peacebeme { 06.22.10 at 4:27 pm }

Love that story. Go you for being so brave to just ask him out!

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13 Sarah { 06.22.10 at 6:27 pm }

Love it! Isn’t it amazing how oblivious men are sometimes? Jim’s and my meeting and initial courtship is too scandalous for comments (we were both single, not that kind of scandalous) but we dated long distance too until 14 days before we got married.

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14 kate { 06.22.10 at 8:01 pm }

Such a cute story! I love reading about other peoples love stories. Do you live in PA now? Thats where I am stationed for the summer!

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Tracey Reply:

I live in Virginia now, right outside DC. I do miss Philly, though!

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15 Diane Fit to the Finish { 06.22.10 at 9:25 pm }

What a beautiful story. It’s funny that it took him so long to see that the greatest gift was right in front of him!

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16 charlotte { 06.22.10 at 10:33 pm }

Awww – I love it! Just goes to show that when it’s meant to be, it works out! I met my dearest in grad school:)

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