Eight years ago today, I had recently moved into my own apartment, after living with roommates in Boulder for the previous two years. I was living in a little basement studio on the hill, which was two blocks from the family for whom I had nannied since I moved to Boulder, and had just started grad school in education at CU. I was twenty-five, and was beginning what my former roommates and I affectionately called "senior year in life:" our fourth year after college, where we were still going out late and lingering over long brunches the following mornings; loading all of our belongings into cars in various states of disrepair to go camping, skiing, whatever sounded fun that weekend.
That Labor Day weekend, I was house sitting for the family I had nannied for, and I was starting to adjust to the lifestyle change that grad school brought. Instead of daily happy hour, I sat by the pool with a cup of iced coffee and read educational theory. While I adored the kids who had become somewhat mine over the past two years, I was excited to be in school in a cohort of people my age, many of whom didn't know anyone in Boulder aside from our small group. Sunday, September 3rd was a good friend's birthday, and after a day of reading and writing, I walked downtown to meet a group of girlfriends for dinner and drinks.
It was a gorgeous, late summer evening: cool enough for jeans, but warm enough for flip flops. After cocktails, sushi, and more cocktails, we strolled east on Pearl Street and ended up at Mountain Sun-- one of our favorite spots for burgers and beers, but not someplace we ever went late at night (side note: typing "not someplace we ever went late at night" makes me laugh now, since there is only one place I ever want to be after about 9pm: my bed. Difference between a young 25 and a pregnant 33). There was live music, there were pitchers of beer, and we were happy.
At some point during the evening, I noticed this guy standing a few feet away. We were watching the band, and he had on a blue shirt. I noticed his eyes, and we smiled at each other. He made his way over to me. "What beers are good here?" he asked. In my Boulder-centric mindset, I was shocked he had never been there before, and immediately rattled off several of my favorite beers, most likely with each beer's pros and cons. He bought us pints of Colorado Kind, and we started talking.
I really like this guy
, I remember thinking at one point.We talked about skiing (before I found out that he had been a competitive freestyle skier, I described my new affection for mogul skiing... and then felt my face redden as I pictured my version of moguls compared to his), about travel, about places we'd like to visit. We talked and talked, and suddenly, the bar was closing. "I'll drive you home," he told me.
We hopped into his pick up truck and drove up the hill. Stalling for time, I asked him if he wanted to see Jon-Benet Ramsey's house, which was a block from mine. We drove by it before arriving at the house where I was housesitting. I had given him my number at the bar, and he had called my cell, which I assumed was still on silent mode from dinner out. Before saying goodbye, we made tentative plans to get together the next week-- he was a student, too, and we said we would meet for lunch. He left, and I looked at my phone: no missed calls. With a sinking feeling, I realized he must have entered my number incorrectly at the noisy bar. I was disappointed-- I hadn't dated much in Boulder, but the little dating I had done was unsatisfying at best; the guy I had gone out with before Scott broke up with me because he didn't like it when, after a long night of babysitting, I finished my dinner at midnight. In retrospect, that guy was worth every moment; I've gotten a lot of mileage out of those stories. At the time, though, meeting Scott in a bar and then realizing we had no way to get in touch with each other felt like an ironic blow.
Staying true to my senior year in life mode, I called in my best college girlfriends for advice. We internet stalked him, which was a little more challenging in 2006 than it would be in 2014. One friend and I had a habit of reading Craigslist Missed Connections, and she was absolutely giddy with the knowledge that I had my own, real-life missed connection on my hands. Guessing his age, I posted with the subject line, "Scott-25" (and a couple of weeks later, had the foresight to save the posting):
I'm not sure if you check this, but I figured I'd post just in case... I realized that my number must be entered incorrectly into your phone-- when you called mine, nothing registered; must not be the right number. I'd love to get together, but don't have any way to get in touch with you... so if you see this, email back and we can exchange numbers.
And then I waited. Meanwhile, Scott was on a search of his own. He didn't know my last name, and searching for "Meg" in the CU directory didn't help, so he wrote a note for the family I nannied for to give me, and hopped on his bike, remembering that I worked somewhere near the Ramsey house. A few days after we met, I was sitting at the computer, doing a few hours of work while the kids were at school, and saw Scott coming up the drive. "I'm so glad it's you," he said. "I didn't want to have to hand this note to the people you babysat for." Relieved, we exchanged correct phone numbers, and had our first real date the following day.
And now, eight years later, we of course have a wedding anniversary to celebrate, but September 3rd still feels like a special day. We joked this morning as Hops meowed to go outside at 4:30 am that we never would have guessed eight years ago that we'd have this great cat together. The truth is, though, that if someone had asked me eight years ago today where I would hope to be on September 3rd, 2014, I would have said, "exactly where I am now."
our first picture together (taking selfies before selfies were a thing): Twin Sisters Peak, late September 2006