After college the majority of my friends left DC for grad school or jobs elsewhere. I stayed to pursue my dream of working in politics. I was lucky enough to have several job offers (my mantra to college students is intern! intern! intern!) and commenced on the challenging hunt for a decent and affordable place to live. I found an affordable room in a 5 person group house on Capitol Hill. It really was great. Sure, the basement flooded and the kitchen was filthy (before I moved in!) and my house mates left something to be desired. But, there was a great patio and a little fireplace in my room. I felt safe, was close to a park and--most importantly--I adored living on Capitol Hill.
I moved in at the end of May. Two house mates decided to move out in January and by then--of course!--I had taken control of several aspects of the house (such as getting bills paid on time to avoid late fees!) so it was natural that I took control of the process of finding two new house mates.
This was before Craigslist (can you imagine? I didn't have a computer or a cell phone either!) and the place to find house mates was the Washington City Paper. If I recall correctly, the ads posted on-line on Wednesday and in print on Saturday. I placed the ad and by Wednesday night had at least 50 messages on my voicemail! Since we had such a great response, I decided that I wouldn't call anyone back who lived out of town (so as to save on the long distance charges!) or anyone who I determined didn't sound polite on the phone! We set a date for an open house and I called people back to invite them to stop by.
For some unknown reason, I broke my no-long-distance rule for one person, a name I had never heard of (other than the Old Testament, of course) who must have sounded polite in his message. I called him in Ohio to tell him about the open house. I left a message with someone. That person relayed the message and the polite-out-of-towner just happened to be in DC that coming weekend looking for an apartment and stopped by our open house.
Of all the dozens of people who trooped through our house that day, faces blurring together, names (something I'm not good at remembering anyway) later unable to be recalled, one of the guys stood out: Abel from Ohio. I was completely captivated by him. Not in a romantic way at all, but in that I thought he would be a blast to hang out with. I wanted to be his friend. I was lobbying hard for him.
But, the only other house mate interested in this process, couldn't remember him! So, we called to see if he could come back over. He was booked except for a few hours that night. I already had plans so very nervously--that other house mate was a total dork and I was certain he'd scare this guy away!--sent my house mate to meet him for a drink at a nearby bar. It worked and the other house mate agreed to give one of the rooms to Abel. (The other went to a girl who took the biggest room, paid the most rent and then essentially moved in with her boyfriend, continuing to pay her share but rarely to be seen again!)
Abel moved in on January 6 (or, 5th as he claims!). It was a Friday night but I stuck around under the pretense of helping him move in. (In reality, I had nothing else to do that night!) The next night we all went out to dinner and to a club. The next day I drove Abel to Target where I very clearly remember him asking me if I had a boyfriend.
Over the next few weeks, I began to look forward to nothing more than coming home to eat dinner with, go out for a drink with, or simply hang out with my new friend. I had never had so much fun in my life, just being with someone else.
Then one day we kissed.
Then one day he cooked me an amazing meal.
Then one day he proposed.
And, today? Today, I still have more fun with him than anyone else.
I'm so glad you answered my ad, Babe. Happy Anniversary!