The Story of You and Me

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When Moose and I saw He’s Just Not That Into You a couple months ago, she turned to me and said, “You’re the exception. What you guys have been through, doesn’t usually work out for the rest of us.”

(For those of you who didn’t see the movie, in a nutshell (from Film.com): Those stories you hear where the guy ignored the girl for a month but then they wound up getting married? That’s the exception, not the rule. The rule is that the guy who doesn’t return your calls and breaks dates ISN’T the man of your dreams. The rule is that the guy who’s been living with you for seven years but won’t marry you ISN’T going to marry you. Accept those truths and move on.)

The more I broke down Scott’s and my relationship, the more I realized Moose had a valid point. In New York Mag fashion:

~Scott and I met in Europe four years ago, while both studying abroad on a post-grad program. Minus 3 for circumstantial fate being against us. It was never meant to work out from the start. Haha, fate, TAKE THAT!

~I had my best friend Megan in tow; we vowed to (Mom, don’t read this) make out with a different guy from a different country every week. Minus 2 for juvenile immaturity.

~Scott and I had already signed on to live together when we moved from Holland to Denmark—platonically. Two days after making that commitment, we drunkenly kissed for the first time at the European Parliament. Minus 5 for violating that golden rule “don’t shit where you eat.”

~We were studying abroad for Chrissakes; a) that stuff never works out,  and b) neither of us wanted anything more than a fling. Plus 4 for low expectations.

~We both kinda had other people waiting back home, if you get my gist. Minus 17 just because.

~Nevertheless, being a girl, I wanted something concrete. I tried and tried to be his girlfriend (a title he finally bestowed upon me a good year-and-a-half after it all first started); he tried and tried to push me away. Minus 4 for him being a typical boy.

~At the end of our year in Europe, we had no plans to stay together. I assumed I would never see him again. And I didn’t…for seven long months upon returning. Minus 6 for him being willing to let me go like that.

~But after I moved back to New York, and he to San Francisco, we started talking—first, over e-mail a couple times a week, then more gradually on the phone, until we were texting all day every day. He then invited me to his cousin’s wedding in Hawaii as his date. Plus 6 for having balls (to cancel out him letting me go in the first place).

~When we finally did see each other again, we decided to go against the grain and date long distance—3,054 miles long distance to be exact. Minus 27 because, let’s be honest, long distance never works out. Plus 17 for the effort.

~But we lasted, duh, and saw each other every five or six weeks, thanks to red eyes and a bit of flexibility in my schedule (though I was working an office job at the time). Plus 8 for dedication.

~On one visit to see me, over a particularly romantic dinner at Union Square Cafe, Scott asked me to move out to California. Finally. I told him I would, but that he had to wait 10 months. Plus 10 for sticking my ground.

~I did move out on the exact date I first said I would, and right in with him. We had lived together before, sure, but this was totally different: new city where I didn’t know anyone, new circumstances, new Cat. Minus 1 because again, never going to work.

~Did I mention the whole part on the complete clashes in lifestyles? Him coming from a very liberal, non-religious family; me from a hardcore, Southern Baptist Republican set in the heart of the Bible Belt? Yeah, those kind of stifling differences rarely make for a lasting relationship. Minus 8.

~But it did work—obviously—making all my careful calculations above moot. Plus a bazillion and 71.

Moose was right; I am the exception. And a damn lucky one at that.

*****

We had never once talked about getting married, not one. Single. Time. Well, to be perfectly honest, I tried, broaching the subject over sea urchin gonads on date night last month. When talking about our future, I found the perfect hole to slip in the eternal question: “So, um…well…I just think eventually we’re going to have to discuss where we see this relationship heading. What say you?”

Crickets. *chirp chirp*

And then from him, an “I really hate how fancy restaurants always serve raw sugar with your coffee. It never melts properly.”

Awesome. I finally get the nerve to bring up The Topic—without ever mentioning the words “marriage” or “wedding” directly—and I get a slap in the face. For the rest of the night, I was too embarrassed to even look at him. I might have even cried a little bit.

Fast forward one month and some days. On our way back toward San Francisco after leaving the hot springs, Scott wanted to pull over and take a dip in a river. I was less enthused. The 90-degree heat bearing down on me rendered no motivation to do anything, except maybe take a cat nap. I was snippy. Every time Scott would pull over and deem a spot not good enough, I’d snap, “Jesus Christ, Scott, a river’s a river.”

We finally found the spot he’d been looking for in Auburn, about an hour west of Truckee. It was a deep quarry that we had to hike into to reach the river, and I don’t kid when I say the water—which was melted snow runoff from the nearby mountains in Tahoe—stopped our hearts every time we took a plunge.

On the hike back up, I was up ahead, as I’m impatient and Scott has a gimp knee.

“Hey, come here for a second,” he called. He was standing behind a big rock that blocked him from the other river goers on the other side of the quarry.

“You are not going to make out with me right here,” I huffed. “You know how I feel about PDA!”

“Kristin, just come,” he demanded. He never demands.

So I did. And, well, you can fill in the blanks on what happened next.

*****

Scott said he had intended to propose over my birthday, when I initially foiled his attempt. Then when that didn’t pan out, he was going to try for the Cook Islands; however, last minute he was unable to go due to budgetary constraints. In March and April, I had another dozen friends or so get engaged, and he didn’t want to steal their thunder or deprive me of my time in the spotlight. Then I had to go and get drunk and bring up the topic for the first time in the course of our relationship, and it totally threw him off. He didn’t want to give anything away, and he didn’t. Rather, I was thinking we might just go on through life as domestic partners. Which would have been fine, I suppose, but this is much better.

“Finally,” he said, “I figured there was no perfect time, so I needed to just do it.” (After a few Tecates, that is.)

I disagree. His timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

*****

**For all who asked to see the ring, there it is. It’s my grandmother’s; she left it for me when she died last year. I might reset it, I might not. One of the big diamonds is mine, the other will go to Kari. It’s in my mother’s possession in Tennessee at the moment, so I’ll finally get to put it on my finger when I see her next month. Scott did, however, present me with his own grandmother’s antique, engraved ring from World War II, so now I’ll have a piece of each of our legacies with me. How cool is that?

COMMENTS
  • May 27, 2009

    Oh, yay. I LOVE when people have meaningful, unique, antique rings. You are one very lucky girl!!

  • May 27, 2009
    ali

    seriously SOOOOO happy for you right now.
    (and SO obviously expecting an invitation. haha)

  • May 27, 2009

    Hahaha! I might have to join you over on the “exception to the rule” side too — Sean and I NEVER should have worked out, what with all the distance and the terrible odds, and yet we did. So excited for you and can’t wait to hear about all the plans — let’s get together and compare wedding binders! (Did you hear me just ROLL MY EYES?) (I don’t really have a wedding binder.)

  • May 27, 2009

    Congrats Kristin!!! I wanted to call you to say this in person, but I can’t find your # anywhere. Boohoo! Anyway, I’m REALLY happy for the both of you. Can’t wait to see where you choose to honeymoon. Let me know if you need help planning. Te mando muchos besitos con todo mi corazon. 😉

  • May 27, 2009
    Mary

    That’s an awesome story! And beautiful ring! Congrats!!!

  • May 27, 2009

    that is a FANTASTIC story. i am so happy for you!!

  • May 27, 2009
    Marian

    How lovely! Best wishes!

  • May 27, 2009
    Valerie

    What a great story! And I think you deserved more than 8 points for dedication 😉 I can only hope that I’ll be as lucky as you someday.

  • May 27, 2009

    So will this be a good ol’ Tennessee wedding? I doubt such travelers as you two will get married in our home state. 🙂

    My husband and I ended up getting married in a beautiful backyard of a minister in Gatlinburg, which was absolutely perfect for us. No fuss, little money (we had just bought a house), or time. I don’t regret it one bit. Now I want a renewal of vows ceremony in Disney World! It will take awhile to save up for that one since it STARTS at $10k.

    Congrats again!

  • May 27, 2009
    Julia

    Finally! Yeesh, I’ve been waiting for this post since you last posted! A hearty congrats!

  • May 27, 2009

    You have to love a good romance with gonads in it. I am so genuinely happy for you and I love the rings. So much cooler than something with no story.

  • May 27, 2009

    Beyond cool! Congrats! So? When’s the big day? 🙂 Ok, one step at a time, I know…

  • May 27, 2009

    I love that you will have a piece of each grandmother, how awesome! Congrats!

  • May 27, 2009

    YEA!!! How fantastic! I can totally feel you when you said you went home from that dinner and cried . . . it is completely hysterical in retrospect but SERIOUSLY, SVV!!!! Love the antique rings (mine are antiques as well, although not from family.) And there is NOTHING WRONG WITH HAVING A WEDDING BINDER. 😉

  • May 27, 2009

    Congratulations Kristin- I’m so happy for you guys! For the longest time that topic of conversation seemed like a bad idea to bring up in my relationship too. But I hope you have as much fun planning your wedding as I’m having (sorry, no wedding binder!). So…. destination wedding? 🙂

  • May 27, 2009
    Liz

    This is possibly the best story ever. So happy for you!

  • May 27, 2009

    Congrats!!! I’m so excited for both of you! But seriously…I’m sitting in my office with tears in my eyes. I love engagement/relationship stories especially ones that defy the odds. Your relationship should be a movie!

  • May 27, 2009

    YAY!! Love the homage to NY Mag’s Gossip Girl review. :o)

  • May 27, 2009

    You and Scott have such a great story.

    I love exceptions to the rule(s). Chris and I met ONLINE for crying out loud, after I left a comment on his site in 2004, and then we emailed and talked on the phone for years! before meeting in person and falling in love, all while he lived in AL and I lived in Washington State, of course. There were so many times I thought we weren’t going to make it, until we just, well, did.

    So over the moon psyched for you, babe.

  • May 27, 2009

    Congratulations!!! My husband and I should have never worked out either…met on a cruise ship (I was a passenger and he was a crew member), and he’s from the Philippines! We’ve been married for almost 4 years now and he still does not live here (due to some immigration issues)! Somehow we’ve been able to make it work.

    Anyway, congrats again to the both of you! Best Wishes 🙂

  • May 27, 2009

    what exciting news! congratulations! i loved your points system. the hubs and i faced quite a few obstacles in our 6 year relationship before we tied the knot. and as our one year anniversary approaches in two weeks, i can honestly say it was the best decision 🙂 so happy for you both…

  • May 27, 2009

    Great story! And I love antique rings–I have my great-grandmother’s. Best of luck to you!

  • May 27, 2009

    Congrats! Savor every moment of your engagement and the planning of your wedding!

  • May 27, 2009
    k

    What I took out of He’s Not That Into You is that if I guy likes you, he’ll go out of his way to make it known (and make it work), so regardless of how unlikely a happy ending to you little love story was, it worked because he liked you enough (and it was meant to be)!

    Can I ask a question though – to me it is a little hard to comprehend how you can go from not talking about marriage at all to now being engaged? I am assuming you did talk about kids and finances and religion and what you wanted in the future and all that stuff that is crucial to making a marriage work – but the actual marriage part never came up? How did each of you know that the other one actually wanted to get married someday?

    This stems from #1 dating someone (actually 2 people) that didn’t think they ever wanted to get married and me being completely surprised by that #2 my friend’s boyfriend buying a ring for a former girlfriend only to have her break up with him before he could proposed (don’t you wait to buy a ring until you know that she is going to say yes?) and #3 having a friend in a similar situation as you, that I didn’t completely understand but she couldn’t explain how it all worked to me. Having the sense that you and SVV have a good and strong relationship, I figure you can do a much better job of explaining to me 🙂

    (sorry for the book-like comment)

  • May 27, 2009

    So freaking happy for you! And uh, I know a wedding photographer. Who travels. LOL!

    Can’t wait to see you next month! xoxoxo

  • May 27, 2009

    Couldn’t be happier for you guys. Love that ring and I’m sure Scott’s grandma’s is beautiful as well. Congrats!

  • May 27, 2009

    Yay! And I love the part about having a piece of both family’s history!

  • May 27, 2009
    Marisol

    Yay! I’m so happy for you!
    And plus a gazillion points for antiques with more value than any amount of money could bestow upon them!

  • May 27, 2009

    What a sweet story of the two of you. New to your blog but glad I found my way here!!

  • May 27, 2009

    That is just the sweetest story. I love how it was a such a surprise. Isn’t just like a guy not to mention anything and then BAM! just propose like that. Only you had the good sense to say yes. I love it.

  • May 27, 2009

    Kristin, that’s an amazing story. Good things do come to those who wait, and wait, and wait. If you two have made it this long together through some thick waters, you’ll do fine because you both know what you’re getting into. Congrats. Love the diamonds. How sweet he is!

  • May 27, 2009

    Perfect story for the two of you (or what I have read of the two of you) 🙂

  • May 27, 2009

    Awesome story! Seeing what you guys made it through makes me more confident that my boyfriend and I can do it – we’re almost certainly going to be long distance again, which we have been in the past. Nice to see that perseverance can work!

  • May 27, 2009

    *Tear* Gotta love fate! Congratulations!

  • May 27, 2009
    Amy

    Thanks for sharing! It’s refreshing when stories aren’t simply “we fell in love, and then it was perfect.” You must have been so surprised!

    My mom bought me the He’s Just Not That Into You book when it first came out. Chris was being a silly boy, and acting nonchalant and not calling me back, and my mom must have thought I was too good for him. I remember throwing the book at the wall after I read a few chapters. He and I shouldn’t have worked out, especially given what that book says (I didn’t see the film), but we did. Here’s to boys finally growing up!

  • May 27, 2009

    I’m a new follower and absolutely *loved* hearing the story of you two! Congrats on the engagement…what a great story you have 🙂 And how special to have a bit of both families as you start your own.

  • May 27, 2009
    Corey

    Congratulations! What a wonderful story. You will make a beautiful bride.

  • May 27, 2009

    FOUR YEARS? And never a word? You have some restraint.

  • May 27, 2009

    i love this! I hear more stories about scenarios where the proposal comes after a guy is trying to get the woman to pay attention and she is all annoyed because he’s acting weird or put her in a situation she didn’t really dig. I love how this went though, for you! Congrats!

  • May 27, 2009

    Aww, that’s an awesome story! Congrats & best wishes to you both!
    And I love love love your rings!
    I definitely understand the difficulties of long-distance relationships – I met my boyfriend back home in Canada when he did an exchange there, and we dated 2 months before he came back to Australia. Did 7 months of long-distance before I moved here 🙂 It’s hard as hell, but it does work sometimes! 🙂

  • May 27, 2009
    Sarah

    =D

    This was a great story. I love it!

  • May 27, 2009

    Yay!! Go SVV!!

  • May 27, 2009

    Some story that, with the kind of ending I like. 🙂

  • May 27, 2009

    Wow, it was really neat to read the details of your relationship like that. The timeline I mean.

    And, um, CONGRATULATIONS!!

  • May 27, 2009
    kat

    oh sigh. i am in like tears over here. i love it. sigh. yay! congrats!

  • May 28, 2009
    Estrella

    Congratulations!!!

  • May 28, 2009

    Wow, Beautiful ring! And it’s so nice you will have a part of both sides of your families history when you start your married life together.
    I am totally with you on the never mentioning marriage issue as well, my boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years, live together and bought our 1st apartment last year, but we haven’t brought the subject up at all, and I’m totally hoping for a surprise proposal one of these days.
    Congrats again!

  • May 28, 2009
    Joan van Velsor

    Addendum from the sidelines (Scott’s mom speaking here)….Scott’s dad and I met Kristin when we visited Scott in Denmark. It wasn’t clear what their relationship was, but it was clear to us that they were very simpatico. Plus we just loved Kristin! Beautiful, smart, ambitious, sweet, fun to be with. What more could we ask? So, we have been hoping all these long years that something would work out. As they moved in together and we saw more of Kristin and more of Kristin and Scott together, the more certain we were that this. was. THE. one. I told Scott a long time ago that I had a family ring for him whenever he found the right girl and the right time. A few months ago he told me he was going to need that ring, and we were thrilled. It has been a HUGE challenge to keep my mouth shut, but finally I can tell everyone, WE HAVE A FABULOUS NEW DAUGHTER COMING INTO THE FAMILY!!!! And we already love our new extended hardcore, Southern Baptist Republican family from the heart of the Bible Belt – Yay Jeannie, Cari and Kelly and especially Micayla!
    Love you a bunch
    your “other mother”
    Joan

  • May 28, 2009
    Amy

    Is there ever really a perfect moment for such a big event? My guess is no. But I can say every bride I’ve ever known has said her proposal was perfect. Congrats to you and SVV and the improbabilities of love!

  • May 28, 2009

    I’m just so, so happy for both of you. I love hearing the craziness “behind the scenes” after the actual engagement too – you know, all the stress and planning that was going on without us knowing. It’s just such a momentous occasion and I’m positive the two of you are going to be so happy together. Congratulations!

  • May 28, 2009

    Oh my god! I had a valid point. I must savor this moment.

    (Savors.)

    OK, now I’m going back to read the rest of the post.

  • May 28, 2009

    “Fill in the blanks” – heh. (Sorry.)

    Well done, Scott! Congratulations to both of you! LET THE SPREADSHEET MAKING BEGIN. (Of course, this is Kristin. She already has 16 spreadsheets started.) (I’m sure they’re color-coded.)

  • May 28, 2009

    I LOVE your point calculations… so funny. 🙂 Some things are just meant to be, no matter how many odds are stacked against you. Here’s to being the exception to the rule! You are one lucky lady. 🙂

  • May 28, 2009

    Great post! My engagement ring is from the family too – except I got engaged in September & need to get it properly resized still…in the mean time I’ve fashioned my own re-sizer made out of dental floss looped around the bottom a few times…b/c it’s a family heirloom & my mom watches too many random news stories, she thinks that some jewelers will swap out the original diamond (not a totally unfounded worry, one local jeweler here that I’m familiar w/ got in trouble for that last year!)…

    I loved the comment from Scott’s mom! It’s so clear that his family is as crazy about you as he is! Congratulations!

  • May 28, 2009
    Rhi

    Love, love, love this. And, I love family rings. When my grandmother’s estate finally settles, I hope to have her gorgeous ring.

  • May 28, 2009

    This is all so sweet. And I sort of love Scott’s mom.

  • May 28, 2009

    congratulations!!!

  • May 28, 2009

    I just read your new mother in-law’s comment and oh my gosh my heart is so warm. I am so happy for you guys. Cocktails soon?

  • May 28, 2009

    I held my breath throughout this entire post.

    It feels good to breathe again.

    SO happy for you guys.

  • May 29, 2009

    I loved this! I am so happy for you guys.

  • May 29, 2009

    OMG loved every word of this post.

  • May 29, 2009

    What a great love story!! It won’t be worth it if it doesn’t have any obstacles.. Congratulation again!! And what a gorgeous ring!

  • May 29, 2009

    What a fantastic story! I’m so happy for you two! When it is meant to be, it is meant to be! This was such a great post!

  • May 30, 2009

    Congratulations! Great story, beautiful ring – perfect! And how awesomeit is that Scott’s mom is reading this post and leaving a comment!!(#48)

  • June 1, 2009

    Wow! Congratulations to the great news and the gorgeous ring!!! (Not like you’re going to notice my comment after the other 64…)
    I am really happy for you!!!

  • June 1, 2009

    Congratulations!!!!! I think it couldn’t have worked out better from reading your story!

  • June 1, 2009

    wow! i go on holiday and you get hitched!! congrats! we’ll celebrate when i get to san fran

  • June 2, 2009

    I love it! It’s all so romantic and, dare I say, meant to be? 🙂

  • June 3, 2009

    This is ridiculously long overdue and I AM SO SO SO HAPPY FOR YOU. I love this story, you’ll be a beautiful bride. cheers!!

  • June 5, 2009
    Kristin

    Congratulations! When’s the big day? Sorry I am just now commenting. I’ve been so behind on reading blogs since my work has blocked them all (sniff, sniff). How sweet that he wanted to find the perfect spot to propose! I wish you both a life full of many blessings!

  • June 7, 2009
    Kate

    oh, it’s gorgeous… and what a beautiful story 🙂

  • June 8, 2009

    omg, this is so precious. however, i think my post on “he’s just not that into you,” are better, but i’m an idiot.

  • July 7, 2009

    Amazing story.

  • July 16, 2009
    Jen

    I’m late to this, but CONGRATULATIONS! I’m so happy for you! Of course I don’t know you in “real life” at all, but you seem like the nicest couple so I’m just so excited for you both!

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