Anyone who's ever seen my apartment would know that I'm a packrat. I just can't bear to toss something that has a story behind it, that represents a particular moment in my personal history.
There's a green plastic necklace, a cheap clover-shaped trinket emblazoned with "Lucky You 2006" and a beer logo on the back. It hangs on my bathroom doorknob, rattling and knocking every time I open or close the door. Looks like a piece of junk, but I'd hate to forget about the night I got it.
Midway through my second year of teaching: I was settled and much more confident in my classroom. I had recently met a few more people in New York, but still led a fairly lonely life. I'd been single for several years and spent my weekends holed up in my tiny room. So when one of my school friends invited me to a St Patrick's Day happy hour, I easily agreed. There were plenty of cheap green drinks and cute boys. My friend made sure to introduce me to her friend behind the bar, a burly Island guy named, appropriately, Vinnie. He instantly flirted with me, and before I left I gave him my number.
He texted me for the next few days, calling me sweet and cute. I was flattered but it felt a bit weird; I'd talked to him for all of five minutes, that was moving a bit fast. Soon he asked me out for dinner that Friday night. Of course I agreed; who am I to say no to a date?
But the real reason that I said yes was to make that week go faster; a week after that, I knew I was going to be seeing another boy, A., at a group bar outing. After meeting at a teacher-blogger gathering, he and I had been emailing for a couple months. I was ridiculously excited to see him again; I knew there would be sparks.
So in the meantime, I went out with Vinnie. He was a very nice guy, a bit older than me, with a young daughter and a dog. He treated me to a drink and then a fancy dinner at a Union Square restaurant (I believe I had a baked potato; one of my best qualities is that I'm a cheap date). He drove me home, and I was relieved. I felt nothing and he realized it, too. He was nice about it, though, and we didn't speak again.
The next weekend, I saw A. again. We talked and flirted all night, but for some reason (?!), he didn't ask me out. It took him nearly another week, and I almost went out of my mind, waiting anxiously. We finally went out on a real date on Friday, March 31, and it lasted until four in the morning. I knew that it was the beginning of something big, something great.
We've been together for just about two years now, and indeed, lucky, lucky me. I'll hang on to that cheap green necklace for as long as I can.