possessing the qualities of a good companion; pleasant to be with; congenial.
That’s the word that most often comes to mind when I think of us. We’re so many things and more than that, but at the end of the day I think this is the thing that I love the most. Out of all the people in the world, I want to be with Big Daddy the most. I love him the most. I like him the most.
Big Daddy and I met in the spring of 1998. By chance. I had come to the idea that I would stop worrying about finding a partner. A companion. I decided that I would just worry about college and my impending internship and how I was either going to a)find one that paid or b) find a way to balance an unpaid one, a job and two classes. I was going to focus and have fun and stop worrying about what wasn’t happening.
Oh, Fate. You silly, silly thing.
But there he was. Wrapped up just for me like a present. Looking back, Fate was pushing towards each other. A taken opportunity. A very small act of rebellion. An ability to achieve a goal. Tiny steps towards each other that we never knew were happening.
At first, I wasn’t a fan. He was mouthy. He was quick to point out a couple of less than flattering personality flaws. He could be a little abrasive. But I liked him.
Oh, on the surface he wasn’t what I would have picked for myself.
He wasn’t preppy.
He didn’t dance.
He didn’t sing….well.
He listened to metal for God’s sake. He would head bang if you gave him the chance.
He did NOT own Harry Connick Jr albums. He could NOT discuss the merits of swing music. He would not consider taking dancing lessons. He wore concert t-shirts.
After a few weeks, I found myself looking forward to talking to him. I was disappointed when he wasn’t around. I missed him. Because despite the aforementioned hangups he was funny. And smart. And easy to talk to. And maybe, despite the concert t-shirts and the lack of preppiness, a little bit wonderful.
When we exchanged phone numbers, my Mom was less than thrilled. She listed off several ways he could be a serial killer in disguise. She detailed which ways he could be lying to me. But somehow, I didn’t believe that was possible of Big Daddy. I believed every word he told me. I could feel his honesty.
I held onto his phone number for days. Working up the nerve to call him. Sure, I was 21, but when I picked up the phone I had butterflies in my stomach. One Friday night, I finally got up my nerve. I dialed the number. I asked for him.
And there he was.
His voice sounded like honey. I smooshed the phone into my ear. To hear him closer. And he?
Fall down, pass out, sloppy, sloppy drunk.
“Can I call you back?” he slurred at me. “I have friends over that are leaving.”
“Sure,” I said. I hung up the phone.
And I waited.
Big Daddy, really was pass out drunk.
But at the time, I didn’t know that. I tried calling back and he didn’t answer. I tried to be positive, but maybe the vibe I’d been feeling around Big Daddy was nothing more than something I wanted to find. Maybe he was just friendly and nice and I wasn’t being true to my idea of putting my nose to the grindstone and getting through the college/internship/work trifecta.
But…Big Daddy called back the next day. And apologized. And explained that he had passed out. And his laugh? It was wonderful.
As the summer went on, Big Daddy and I spent more time talking. And more time connecting. I realized that we had things common, more than we didn’t. And as August drew closer, I realized I was falling in love with him.
Even if I’d never seen his face.