City Goes Country

An Unlikely Love Story

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Camo is NOT a Color

A lot of people ask me, "Isn't it hard being in a long distance relationship?" Yes, it has its moments, but being long distance with Tavern Man seemed almost easy. We made time to talk every day and for the most part, we never ran out of things to say. Developing a relationship this way almost seemed like the smarter thing to do. We really got to know each other and learned to communicate probably better than if we were living in the same city. Sorry if that's too cheesy for some people.

When December rolled around, I got ready to fly back out to see him, this is 5 and half months after we met, and 2 and half months after my last trip to see him. I was so exited because this time I would get to stay there for a whole week! But wait, shouldn't it be his turn to come see me? You'd think, but it was hunting season, and heaven forbid he miss even an hour of hunting season. That would be like me missing a production of the Nutcracker, it just doesn't happen.

So guess who got to go deer hunting during her visit?! This girl! Let me summarize the hunting experience, it goes like this: you get up at the butt crack of dawn, throw on layers of camo (we'll discuss camo later), drive down to the swamp, put on bright orange vests so your friends don't shoot you and because you know, deer can't see orange, let the dogs out to chase the deer toward you, walk around in what may as well be Antarctica weather, and sit and wait, and wait, and wait until you're a popsicle. Sounds fun right? The next time he went hunting that week, I excused myself to spend the day with my dance teacher. Now don't get me wrong, I love that he took me so that I could participate in something he loves to do, but I believe that was my first and last time doing the hunting thing.

OK can we go back to the camo now? This trip to the south was like walking in to an episode of Duck Dynasty. There is camo everywhere! Shirts, pants, wallets, phone cases, hats, purses, crocs, jewelry, WINE GLASSES, if an item can have a pattern on it, then it is sure to come in camo. Now, I am by no means a fashion know-it-all, I myself live in yoga pants and a sports bra, but I firmly believe that camo is NOT a color. I am not talking about army camo, that would be more acceptable, I am talking about the kind that looks like the forest threw up on your clothes. I will admit that this camo has its purpose, and that is for hunting, but should it be worn outside of this occasion? Probably not. My first exposure to this type of camo was when Tavern Man sent me a picture of him wearing an expensive button up, collared shirt that was camo print. I opened the photo, my eyes got wide, I zoomed in on the photo to make sure I wasn't seeing things, and then I immediately text back asking, "What the heck is that?!" Apparently it was a dress shirt, something you would wear to a nice occasion. To me it was something he should never wear again. My dislike for camo has become a joke in our relationship now. I know he won't stop wearing it, and he knows my feelings will not change towards it, so we just have to laugh about it.

That weekend was New Years. We went to his “neighbor’s” bonfire, and by neighbor I mean we had to drive a mile to get to him because of how secluded Tavern Man’s house is. And this bonfire was no beach bonfire like you go to in Huntington Beach, this fire was literally as big as a house. After eating at the giant bonfire, we made our way over to his friend’s house where there was a much smaller bonfire happening in the backyard in a burn barrel. We hung out around the fire, chatted with his friends, and played a rousing game of quarters in the garage. At midnight, I got my first New Years kiss! Next we hit up the Waffle House, because that’s the place to go at 2am. We got home about 5 minutes to 3am, at which point I ran into the house and FaceTimed my best friend so I could countdown to the New Year with her, this time on California time.

Beady Blue Eyes

On AMBER EYES AND OTHERS

My whole life I dreamed of the glamour of high school. I recall flipping through my older sister’s yearbook, pointing to the homecoming queen, and saying, “I am going to be just like her.” I can assure you that prophesy never came to pass. For the first few years of high school, I kept to myself, intimidated by others’ friendships that had existed before they could say each other’s names. I was a new girl in ninth grade, and even going on into my junior year, I still hadn’t found my niche. My dreams of being crowned homecoming royalty were completely shot down when I realized I would never get asked to a dance or go on any sort of date that I, myself, wasn’t paying for.

Here’s the kicker: I never thought I was unattractive or weird. Of course, I had my quirks like everyone else, but for the most part, I believed my ugliness remained in the past and, as the entirety of junior high seemed to be, just a bad dream.

I had just gone over the hump of my senior year in high school when I met him. He was in my clothing class, and his face wasn’t a new one to me. I had seen him since I moved there in ninth grade. He hung around the people I was never friends with, and he went to parties I was never invited to. Still, he never caught my eye, and he continued to never catch my eye as we gabbed while he made ridiculously hideous pajama pants. Although he was of an average height, he seemed lurpy. His blonde hair fell like a short curtain over his forehead, and he flipped it out of his eyes about every two minutes. Beady, blue eyes peeked from underneath his blonde drapery, and even though they were small, they were somewhat pretty.

We became friends.

Somehow we got entangled in a dare. Driving down the frontage road in our friend’s car, we stood up so we were out of the sunroof from the chest up, and we kissed. It was just a joke, and I never thought it was anything more. The next time, the encouragement for a kiss came from a stranger. Beady Blue Eyes and I sat on the top of a picnic pavilion in the middle of the night. Someone drove by and chanted for us to lock lips. I never thought Beady Blue Eyes had the guts, but before I knew it, his hand was on the back of my neck, and we kissed a kiss that lasted no more than two seconds. This was a joke too, I thought. We were no more than awkward friends that had been tricked into kissing two times now, and that’s that.

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