For those that read Kevin’s version of how we met, I think it’s clear that he may have over-exaggerated a few details. This is the tale of what really happened.
For a few weeks, I had been planning to attend UF Law’s Music Law Conference—not because I am a nerd but rather because I am a lifelong lover of learning and music. And at the time, I was considering going to law school. Like all things that require me to show up at a specified time, I promised myself I would wake up early and be there on time. But it was Saturday, and even for a working woman who is used to 8:00 AM starts to her days, 8:00 AM on a Saturday is just cruel (though it probably didn’t help that I had gone bar-hopping with my co-workers the night before). I’m still not sure how Kevin managed to be there before noon.
Of course, I was late, but not by much. I arrived around 8:10, furious with myself but prepared to issue the appropriate apologies as necessary. Besides, being a little late doesn’t really matter when you look as cute as I thought I looked. I was wearing an adorable new dress, and my bangs were nearing perfection. And I was newly single, so I was ready to go full-concentration mode on this seminar. The last thing I was going to do was scan the room for datable men.
The cost for attending this event included breakfast and lunch. As I was approaching the entrance, I noticed two men walking parallel to me, their arms full with breakfast supplies. Suddenly, one of them dropped a gallon of milk. Again, newly single and working on my kindness towards others, I saw this as my opportunity to get a good deed in for the day. I hurriedly changed course, scooped up the milk jug, and locked eyes with the non-dropper. Though his arms were overflowing, he managed to offer me his little finger and said:
“Here, you can put that on my pinky.”
Guys, for real, it was like meeting Gaston.
“No, it’s okay, I can take it for you,” I said.
So I followed them to the breakfast area, only to find that I was the first one there (aside from those hosting the event). I guess 8:00 AM means something else in law school.
Having earned 10 karma for my good deed, I then focused on making breakfast for myself. I toasted a bagel and waited patiently as the coffee was brought in (catered by Panera). One of the event staffers noted that Panera had only brought one bucket of decaf. In a booming voice loud enough for all (and by all, I mean the six people who were there “early”) to hear, that same non-dropper guy gawked, “Who drinks decaf!?” (I should also note that he made eye contact with me during this interjection, which I interpreted as his version of flirting.)
Sheepishly, I raised my hand.
What followed was a never-ending silence that I had to break, so I said, “I have issues with caffeine.”
Finally, someone else said, “No problem, here’s the decaf!” and I felt slightly less awkward.
Decaf and bagel in hand, I sat alone, eating, observing, and waiting for the event to begin. Perhaps because I had kindled his curiosity, or perhaps because he felt sorry for the girl sitting by herself who had been damned to a life of decaf-only coffee options, non-dropper guy came and sat with me. He introduced himself (“Hi, I’m Kevin”), and the conversation flowed easily as we discussed our pets, my half-blue eye, our shared love of coffee and bagels, summer jobs, fire-bellied newts and the fact that they can regrow their limbs, and probably Harry Potter (I don’t remember, but knowing us, I feel like it happened).
Eventually, the event began, and though it was interesting, I caught myself glancing over my shoulder occasionally, curious as to Kevin’s seating location. In true Kevin fashion, he skipped about half of the morning lectures and finally appeared (and sat in the back) for the last seminar of the morning.
When the lunch break came, I made myself a plate and again sat alone, observing other people and lazily reading a book. I noticed that Kevin was sitting at the check-in table several yards away, and I noticed that he was checking my whereabouts every so often, and I noticed that he noticed that I noticed him noticing. But I am a dreadfully shy person, and there was no way I was going to just walk up to a stranger and start talking. And I was newly single and not looking for anything…remember?
After what seemed like hours of Twilight-esque glaring at each other, Kevin finally approached me. He asked me more serious questions: what was I doing here, what did I do for a living, what did I go to school for. We chatted for about 15 minutes before he said he had to go; he was heading to the springs with some friends. (Are you keeping track here? Kevin only attended one hour of the morning lecture and was completely skipping the afternoon series! Later, I would discover that this also happened to be his general approach to law school.)
“But can I have your number? We should get coffee sometime.”
I hesitated for what felt like forever. Yes, I would love to get coffee! This Kevin guy was charming and handsome, and I was completely surprised that he liked me and wanted to see me again after only speaking with me for maybe 30 minutes. Let me be clear: this had never happened to me before. Up to this point, I had met all of my boyfriends at school, band practice, or work, so giving my number to a random guy (while I was sober) was a very new experience for me.
But I was single and not looking to date anyone!!!
Alas, I replied, “Sure,” and pecked my specifics into his BlackBerry.
Too excited to sit through an afternoon of boring lectures, I too snuck out and went home, giddy with excitement and the idea of new beginnings.