I had seen Travis when I was assigned to the JSpOC, but he worked in a different section than I did and had three ranks on me, so I didn't really talk to him very much at first. As I got to know my co-workers better, I realized he was a good friend of my trainer (and then-NCOIC), Josh Griffin. He would stop by our desks to chat sometimes, and I think we might have gone out to lunch as a group a few times.
We both accepted Thanksgiving dinner invitations from the Griffins that year and spent most of that day playing games and being told that we thought a lot alike. I still didn't really think about him too much, although I did start to notice that he would stop by more often, even when Josh wasn't around, and he was pretty amusing to talk to.
That summer, we'd been talking about the new Captain America movie and Travis invited me to go with him and the Griffins to see it at the local drive-in. Since we both lived in SM and the Griffins lived on base, it made sense that he would pick me up and we would meet up with Josh and Crystal at the movie. Well, somehow the Griffins didn't make it that night - Josh said that Crystal didn't feel well, Crystal claimed to not know anything about it - but Travis and I ended up talking all the way through Captain America and Transformers 2, and until about 0300 at Denny's after that. (I now have a soft spot for Marvel's Avengers movies.)
We went out a few more times (I think the Santa Barbara Zoo and an evening in downtown SLO), before I warned him that my parents were coming out to visit for a few days and he may be more comfortable laying low. Instead, he deliberately came by my apartment while my parents were there and introduced himself. They liked him. I was impressed that he was the kind of guy who not only wanted to meet my folks so soon, but also took the effort to make a good impression on them, escorting them onto base so we could meet for lunch and giving them a tour of the area.
We started hanging out almost every day after that until he went to NCOA in Texas that fall. His lease was coming due on his apartment, and he didn't have time to find a new one and move before he had to go to Texas, so I told him he could store his more valuable things at my place. I figured six weeks apart, especially through the holidays, would give me a good estimate of how this relationship was really going to work. We still talked and Skyped every day, and he flew back to have Thanksgiving with me and the Griffins again. When he got back to California from NCOA, he came over to get his things from my apartment and somehow we just never got around to moving them back out.
We decided that spring that the apartment was too small and too far from work, so we found a townhouse closer to base and have lived here for the past year. We started talking marriage and where we would have our wedding when we moved, and even went to look for engagement rings. He wanted me to meet his parents before he proposed, though, which I thought was fair, and we made plans to spend Thanksgiving with his family on the East Coast.
At the end of October, we discovered I was pregnant with our son. Travis' reaction made me fall for him all over again. I told him I was starting to worry that I could be pregnant, but I didn't want him to worry yet because "It's probably nothing." He stood me up, gave me a huge hug, and responded "But if it IS something, it is something wonderful!" I didn't worry after that! He has been an amazing father!
We still made our trip East to spend time with his family, and another trip in April to Las Vegas. We took a gondola ride at the Venetian hotel, and as we were leaving, the gondolier gave us "homework" for the evening. Travis was supposed to give me at least five compliments throughout the evening (not difficult for him, he loves thinking up quirky and sweet things to say), and if he did, I was not to refuse his next question.
We've only been together about two full years, but it seems like I've known him forever. He's the most amazing, fun, quirky, amusing, disciplined guy I know, and I can't believe I am lucky enough to share my life with him. Now we're enjoying our baby boy and making plans to share our joy with our friends and relatives as we celebrate our lives together as a family!
Our beginnings were modest. Back then, she was just one of Josh’s coworkers. Katie was cute, but I never had the nerve to ask her out. I ran into her a handful of times. The first time was at Josh’s place during a Thanksgiving holiday. We engaged in some conversation (all small talk), but I could already tell she was smart and confident. Others had already mentioned that we thought alike, but as usual, I had paid very little attention to it. We would run into each other quite often after that through some lunch outings with a mutual friend, Josh obviously. In hindsight, it’s kind of hard to imagine that he didn’t set us up from the get-go.
We were friends at this point. But soon after, the “accidental” date happened. We, Josh and I, had been planning a movie outing to the local drive-in to see Captain America and the latest Transformer movie. It was going to be Josh, his family, Katie, and me. But he backed out at the last moment. It was obvious what his motives were. Katie could also see right through his lame excuse. Still, I wasn’t going to waste an evening, and I might as well take the opportunity to get to know Katie. And I could also see she didn’t mind my company either. I picked her up in my car and proceeded with the date. I have to say that it was the best date I ever had in my life up until that time. We had talked about our interests, our likes and dislikes, and other things people talk about on first dates. I think there were a few flirtatious comments, but I don’t remember them. I just remember enjoying her company. In fact, we enjoyed each other so much I think we went to Denny’s afterwards just to talk a little more.
More dates followed, and as time passed, it became apparent that we loved each other. I had already moved in with her, and we had just moved in together in our current residence. I had already met her parents, and she had already met mine over the holidays. I think we were already treating ourselves as married though we hadn’t even tied the knot yet. However, we were not married, so I needed to fix that.
My most opportune moment came when Katie and I took leave to Vegas. My excuse was that I needed a break from work. That part was no secret, but the ring I brought for her was. Honestly, I had already sat on this ring for at least 4 months, and I was trying to find the right moment. The moment had presented itself during our gondola ride at the Venetian. Admittedly, the gondolier was very entertaining. We struck up a great conversation with him, and we enjoyed his singing for a good portion of the ride. After the trip up and down the canal, the gondolier had made Katie promise that if I were to give her five compliments throughout the day, she could not refuse anything the next thing I requested after that. This was the opportunity I was waiting for! We had already planned on heading to Mystere and Gallagher’s Steakhouse that night, and I decided to leave the ring behind the pictures from the gondola ride on top of the bed in our hotel room. The pictures were propped up to block the view of the ring box. I would react accordingly to what her actions were when we got back from the show and dinner.
Later, the show was obviously great, and the dinner was excellent, too. We had thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and headed back to our hotel. We entered the room, and the first thing she noticed was the picture of the gondola ride displayed on the bed. She looked at it and smiled, but she didn’t grab it. I was ready to pop the question, but I had to broach it with some flair. The five compliments were given with a few extra (I did not want to ruin the occasion with some bad math). Additionally, the anxiety was killing me. Timing was everything, and I was not going to let this instance disappear. I approached her, turned her around, and asked, “Are you ready for my request?” as I gave her a mischievous smile.
She returned it with her own amorous stare and said, “Yes…”
I pushed her on the bed, and as she landed with a surprised look on her face, I promptly knelt down beside the bed. Before she noticed my stance, I lifted the picture. As she sat up, the expression on her face turned from surprise to joy upon seeing the ring. I asked the question. “Will you marry me?” I had actually almost lost my breath, but I managed to squeeze it out.
She obviously replied, “Yes,” and that is where we are at now, awaiting the big wedding.
Though she is my significant other, she is a wonderful friend, too. She’s beautiful, smart, compassionate, patient, and everything I could hope for and more. It was easy to love her, because she made it easy for me. She loves me as I love her, and for me, that is beyond words. I know it would not do justice for me to write down how I feel. But I can’t help but try. She is the world to me, and I can’t think of anyone I would rather spend my life with.