Crappy Jobs and A Love Story

Well my usual schedule is Monday through Friday, but this week, one of my coworkers needed Saturday off, so at 4 am, I woke up, cursed a little, and made my way into work. I’m a chemist at a Waste Water Treatment Plant… hence “crappiest job ever”. But make no mistake, I LOVE my job. Its the perfect combination of being inside and outside, I work with a lot of great people, and I can pretty much work some awesome hours (Yesterday I got off at 12!… yes that does mean I was at work at 4 am though). I analyze.. we’ll call them “samples” for nutrient content… which is my passion (hence I wrote an undergraduate thesis on it). I know I’m pretty lucky… a lot of people do not have jobs they like right out of college, but I do. And even though its a Saturday, and I’m not entirely thrilled to be here, I still love what I do.
So in between waiting to do my next task (everything has a time frame and I’ve got about an hour to kill before I can do anything else)… Since yesterday was my intro… here is the story of how Forrest and I met.
Before I started college, I attended a scholarship competition where I met one off my bffls. Once college started we pretty much were inseparable. She had a HORRIBLE freshman roommate, who was asked to kindly leave college halfway through our first semester leaving her with… an awesome single!!! After the first semester was over, it was confirmed that her roommate would not be returned, so she payed the extra money, and kept the room as a single… 2 beds, 2 desks, 2 dressers, 1 person. One day she decided to unloft her bed. We tried… and tried… and tried. I even broke out my handy dandy tool kit and banged on the frame for a bit… it wasn’t budging. A hall full of boys lived above us, so we had the brilliant idea to go ask them for their brute muscle to try and unloft this bed. I ran upstairs, knocked on our buddies door… and this strikingly handsome man, who I had never seen before, opened the door. I’m not sure it was love at first sight, but I’m fairly certain it happened about a second and a half after he opened the door. He very willingly came downstairs to help us fix the bed. When I asked his name, he said “Forrest”… I looked at him and said, “Like Gump?” to which I’m fairly certain I got a death stare and a “Yes… Like Gump”. I instantly logged that name in my memory… to this day, ask him if he remembers my name… the answer is no… although he did remember one particular feature (use your imagination). Over the next six months we got to know each other. I would find ways to have to go upstairs to get the boys to help me with something, just so I could see him. On my birthday, he found me hunted me down to give me a hug. One night I was sitting on a beach and the only person I could think I wanted to talk to was him… strangely, he was sitting on a beach as well, near where I grew up while I was off in N.C. We weren’t the best of friends, but whenever we saw each other we would always smile and talk for a while.
Then “it” happened. The defining moment that officially made us who we are today. His Facebook status said (or something close to it) “See you guys in a year… they’re sending me to Kuwait”. I broke out in tears that I had no idea where they came from. I immediately got in touch with him and told him how much I would really miss him… Then I made a very stupidly smart mistake. I sent him a message that just said “I love you”… Immediately upon sending it my jaw hit the floor… What person would do that! I quickly sent him another message that said “Like a friend, you know?”… it didn’t help my case. He was a little stand-offish for a few days but he started to talk to me again. Every few days turned into everyday… almost all day. Whatever time he could spare we spent talking to each other.
Then “it” really happened. One night we were on the phone and he asked me how I felt about him. I knew that this could be no good and that he was probably going to end what we had slowly started. I gave him a generic answer, something along the lines of, “we’re really good friends, I have some feelings for you”… nothing too revealing. His response was “I think I’m falling in love with you”. Well of course I burst into tears and told him how I really felt. That day we made a commitment to each other. He told me upfront that if we weren’t going to work or if I was going to send him a “Dear John” letter, not to even bother. So we agreed, we were in it for the long haul. No more dating other people, just each other.
We spent a year emailing, sending letters and packages, IMing, and eventually calling. It was a long year. I have a few friends that dealt with me and they mean more to me than they will ever know. They’re support when I couldn’t sleep, or when I knew he was in danger* was what helped get my through those long lonely months. In the first nine months we dated, we saw each other three times. Once in May (so technically before we were dating) and twice in August when he had R and R.
*Yes… Forrest was in danger. He was deployed to a combat zone. He was not in the worst of the worst, but he was definitely not in the best place either. While I’m generally not a negative person, if you want to argue or disagree with the fact that he is a real soldier who was deployed in a dangerous spot, kindly go find another blog and go complain about it to someone who cares. It does not matter if ANY service member is Active Duty, Reserve, or National Guard, they all serve our country and saying that reservists and guardsmen are not real soldiers is a pathetic excuse to justify the fact that some people think they are better than others.
When Forrest finally came home we had a lot of trouble adjusting to each other. We fought… A LOT. We didn’t know how to function with the other one 50 miles away rather than 6000. It took a lot of adjusting. Now we are just the opposite… we don’t know how to function when the other is gone. Our story goes on, and to make it a little shorter… he proposed, we got married! That’s another post for another day!
We are NOT in any way shape or form the perfect couple nor do we have the perfect marriage… but we love our little life and we are slowly figuring out how to make it in this big world.

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