Saturday, January 24, 2009

Before I knew I liked him...

In most cases, one does not get engaged without having a relationship first. As I write this, David and I have been engaged for 23 days. We’ve been dating for 4 years, 9 months, and c27 days. We’ve known each other for seven months longer than that. How did it all come about?

In September, 2003, I woke up in my little blue room on Feltham Road in Victoria and staggered to my wardrobe. It was time to get ready for Latin 201: Advanced Latin Grammar. Being somewhat organized, and being a fan of the command “know thyself”, I knew that I wanted to (someday!) date an intelligent man with whom I could speak Latin and who, preferably, had long dark hair and liked the Middle Ages. And was Christian. And enjoyed music by groups like Delerium & Mediaeval Baebes. I thought to myself that if there was any chance of me meeting someone like that this year, it would be in either Medieval Studies 301/302 or in Latin. Therefore the plan, at least until I had scoped out available men in the classes, was to doll myself up a bit before hand. Lipstick and brushed hair it was.

I went to Latin, rather nervous. I had trouble enough mastering basic Latin grammar—I did not think advanced Latin grammar and I would get along at all. As I walked to the classroom, I was hoping that some of my friends and acquaintances from the previous year would be in Latin to share the pain and misery. When I got to the door, I noticed a tall man, wearing a bright tropicalesque shirt and sandals, with curly dark hair pulled back in a ponytail. I thought, “cute” and then avoided making eye contact lest my thoughts be too visible. By some stroke of fate we ended up sitting near each other at the table, with only a dark haired pixiesh looking girl between us. And thus began Latin grammar.

My quest to get a Latin grade above 85% that semester sent me to class early in order to review that day’s homework. David, taking the bus in from Langford, also arrived early and also came to class at that time—allegedly to do homework (but apparently just to see me). So, during first semester, we got to know each other over the Latin subjunctive, gerund, supine, and our favorite, passive periphrastic. I did not realize it then, but you know a guy likes you when he makes jokes about the passive periphrastic.

During this time, David was the unfortunate recipient of a violent attack. He quite clearly remembers the day in October where I came to class and happily asked him how his weekend was, not noticing the bruises all over his face. In my defense, I was still avoiding eye contact because I still found him cute. I do remember being quite upset that he had been injured, upset enough that he got mention in my Live Journal entry for that day.

Over the course of the semester I learned some things about David—he really, really liked music. He had a lot of records, mostly of groups I hadn’t heard of. He knew a lot of languages. He worked at a charity thrift store. He was Catholic, but didn’t hang out with my crowd of Catholics (fishy…). He liked to spend his weekends drinking beer with his friends. He had some pretty crazy adventures. In short, he was incredibly different from all the Catholic/Christian guys I knew. He never told me he didn’t have a girlfriend, and I just assumed he did (because look at him!). I noticed that he forgot his homework without fail at least once a week, yet still managed to translate better than almost anyone in the class (no offense).

Exam period came. Because our class was so small, we’d gotten to know each other rather well and I was really looking forward to the exam and the drinks planned for after. Friends!!! (I was rather lonely my first year at UVic but second year was really looking up). I spent the pre-exam time anxiously waiting for Mr Porter (Dr Rowe had us all calling each other by our last names) to show up, and hopefully sit by me, and mostly likely go for drinks after so I could hang out with him. At this point I was just hoping he’d be my friend. I kept waiting. And waiting. And he never came to the exam. And all I could think is that for some reason he’d thrown in the towel and given up on Latin, or school, or who knows what because why else do you miss a final exam? And if you’re quitting, why do you not bother to say goodbye to your friend, who doesn’t even have your email address?

In short, I was sad and a little hurt and full of scathing mockery towards myself for thinking I was even close to being the friend of this really cool guy, who had a life so much more awesome of mine. So, with a sigh, I went home for Christmas to forget I ever had an almost-friend called Porter.
Me, sometime in 2003. Note the angst.


  1. I remember 201! I showed up two weeks late in time for a quiz! :D And I think we did manage those drinks you didn't get with David at least once during that term if not toga'd the next term (with our Toy Boats!!).

  2. Yes, I left out all the wonderfulness of us becoming friends as well. But don't worry--I'm getting to some of it >:)

  3. Yes the suspense is killing - though I guess I know where it ends. Fun!

  4. I remember that time. It's nice to read about it from this perspective - so many things that I was unaware of lol. I do remember you constantly talking about this person named Porter and your antics in Latin class. I loved those stories. Your classes sounded so much more fun than mine (although the homework would have killed me). I can't wait to read more. I hope you included the nunzilla story because I've forgotten in and I could really use the laugh!