When Jon and I headed back to school after Christmas break, we weren't sure if we'd see each other again until well into the summer. Things didn't turn out that badly, and I was quite thankful because only a few days after saying goodbye, I soon realized how much I would be missing this boy!
We talked much more often than we had the previous year. Which made things that much more difficult. Our friendship continued to grow, but so did the number of differences between us. I soon learned that being in a relationship was just as much hard work as fun, and maybe more. But the worst part was that we still weren't in an "official" relationship. This was by mutual choice at this point, since we both had some things we wanted to work on as individuals first and also because our future was so uncertain, a theme which has carried out well into our marriage.
After spending over 6 weeks apart, Jon decided a Valentines trip to Pennsylvania was in order. He rented a car, drove home and thoroughly surprised his parents with his arrival. I came home for the weekend as well and we planned out our first "date." This was also my first real Valentine's Day with boy. And that particular boy did not disappoint. The day started with the Fed Ex man delivering a dozen roses. We then spent a day skiing/snowboarding at Big Boulder and got back with just enough time to change and head out for dinner at a local hibachi grill. I was excited, it was my first time at such a restaurant and I was just as properly impressed with the flames, volcanoes and food throwing as any other newbie.
But the most interesting part of our evening was our fellow company. I thought it was quite ironic that on my very first Valentine's date of all time ... I ended up sharing a table with a church group of about 13 older singles. I gotta say, it kinda sucked the romance right out of my own evening. But we did find their conversation slightly entertaining. And the particularly chatty single sitting next to me made sure to share one of the special lollipops she had brought along to pass out to the rest of the group. By the end of the evening we were practially one of them!
We didn't hang around any later than we needed to since we were both exhausted from a day full of skiing and chatting with single strangers. We crawled back into Jon's rented SUV and drove back to his house to watch a movie. Jon commented on the way, "I feel so old, like we're going home to relieve the babysitter." And now, 7 years later, I can verify that I think he had it right!
So it was back to school, back to papers, back to work, and for me, back to babysitting this lovely little brat that continued to hit me, spit on me and lock herself in her room. But alas, that is another story. We both got busy with life and too busy to keep up with each other, and the lack of communication was beginning to take its toll. So I was excited to hear that Jon was headed to DC for a school trip and would be stopping by to visit me on his way back. Of course, I got horribly sick a few days before he arrived.
I was coughing, gagging, snotting and not sleeping. I skipped class and spent two days in bed willing myself to be completely normal by the time Jon arrived. It didn't work. I did manage to put on some decent clothes before rushing out to meet him, but as to the rest of my appearance I cannot say. What I do know, is that by the time he left the next day I was feeling much, much better. Something about spending the day with a handsome man who bought me flowers must have helped, as well as the medicine he insisted on picking up and all the meal he took me out for. It was nice to be babied.
But soon is was back to the grind, back to work and papers and babysitting brats. Back to wondering when Jon was going to call, or if I should call him. Back to arguing and worrying and simply wishing we weren't so far apart. It was a stressful semeser, and more than anything I just wanted to see him again.
March 13, 2004
Whenever I think about Jon, I feel all quiet and comfortable. I've never felt so stable as I do when I'm with him.
Jon was hoping to get sent to Baltimore for his summer training and I was planning to stay at college and keep on in my job in the admissions office. I was more than eager for the semester to end and some more time to spend with a very special guy. But first there was dress shopping and final preparations for a big event that spring ... because Jon had asked me to be his date at the Coast Guard Academy's Ring Dance.