For the past four years, Jake and I have always tried to tell each other "Well, I liked you when..." and then we talk about those first crushy feelings that were technically so high school, but now so important to our story. St. Patty's Day 2005 is a very integral day in our story, because on that day, four years ago, I knew that Jake liked me. There would be some interesting dips and curves, but nothing that huge, because after St. Patty's Day 2005, everything has really been a whirlwind.I know this is blurry, but I couldn't resist posting this adorable expression!
The story goes...
Jake was the accounting clerk for my family's business, and March 17th fell during Jake's Spring break from classes at Iowa. He told us that he might be in town a couple of days and would come out to take care of his duties, but he wasn't required to give us a set amount of hours. Looking back, he was not following company policy which is that all students need to work through the week of Spring break. It is important to know that this was/is a company policy because another student got fired during this same break because he wanted to take time off during the week to watch the Hawks play in the Spring NCAA basketball tournament.Iain twirling at the Balloon House
There was a game at about 10am on March 17th, and the Hawks were...I don't know, maybe at the Sweet 16 point. Who really gives a flying rats crap?! Oh wait, it is kind of integral to the story that the Hawks were getting up there during this tournament. Jake was out with his cronies at some bar watching the game. When the Hawks lost, it was at that point that Jake probably started drinking lots of green beer. I don't know these details that well (he will have to add his two bits worth at this part) and the reason I don't know, is because I was working my tail end off! Since we had fired a kid that didn't want to help out, and since my family was all on...Spring Break!...I was running the place with one other dedicated soul. The entire day, we were answering the phones, putting people on hold to answer more phone calls, and printing and shipping thousands of balloons. We were blowing the doors off, literally! It was a mad house! All I wanted to ease my pain, was a Shamrock shake from McDonalds.
I had never been to Bo James before, and even though I grew up in Iowa City, I went to Iowa State and therefore know the college stomping grounds better in Ames. I felt like an old lady traipsing into this college bar, and it was so dark. I felt like the biggest dork on the planet, trying to find my little work coleagues, mainly the scruffy, smart one who I had a serious adult crush on. I also felt pathetic, but at least I spruced myself up, throwing on a bright green Moosejaw Tshirt and my leather jacket overtop. I even put makeup on my tired face in hopes of looking appealing, especaially to Jake who I secretly hoped was a wee bit drunk. I thought it would make it easier on me. I don't know why.The green Moosejaw shirt from St. Patty's 2005
Oh crap! He spotted me instantaneaously! He was watching for me to come in, and even though I wanted the attention I felt completely uncomfortable so I knew I needed to get a green beer in my hand as well so that I could match the rest of these guys huddled in a booth. Joe was not arround, but Jake enthusiastically introduced me to all of his chums. His voice was so hoarse, and he was drunk...I mean...w a s t e d.
"Hear, go and get yourself a drink!" He was thrusting a $20 into my hand, but I wanted to buy my own drink. It was the right thing to do. "No!! Go ahead! It's my treat!!!" Jake, really, it's OK, but thank you. I asked if he was drinking green beer, and I believe he said that he wasn't because it creeped him out when he pooped green, or maybe he said it gave him the mad screaming shits....Honey, do you remember? Probably not, you were drunk. mwa! I hurried up to the bar and ordered an AmberBoch since it was one of the beers that I could actually swallow. I was looking for Joe. This was his silly idea afterall.
I got back to the booth, and Jake slid over so that we could sit next to each other. With barely a voice, he asked how the day went, and I told him that it was awful. Joe came by, and had his big beer in hand and also wanted to get into the booth, so I slid in closer to Jake. It was at that moment that he leaned closer to me and said, still rather loudly,
I'm really sorry, but you smell so good.
I quickly looked across the table at one of his friends, who heard Jake's very loud whisper to me. Nate made eye contact with a wink in his eye as if he already knew everything about me, and Jake had told him. I was elated! In the crummy college bar with tons of noise and depressed Hawkeyes, I had a feeling that something could be starting between Jake and I. We always look back on today and remember the very sweet and special comment about how I smelled. I still think it's one of my favorite parts of our story. I think we would have laughed our pants off if sometime during that night someone would have told us that four years from then we would be maddly in love, be married and have two beautiful babies.