Chapter 9: The Neek Can Skype!

So, fresh out of my first date, and first kiss EVER, I entered the world of dating…sort of. Yes, I was now in a relationship but 2 things were hindering my “officially dating” status…

1. Our Jobs
2. Christy’s 2 week vacation.

I’ll start with our jobs, which as I believe I have mentioned our situation before, I’ll keep it brief. The short version: We work at the same movie theatre, I was her

Manager, we were not allowed to date. Simple enough? We didn’t actually have to worry about this right away, however, because of my reason 2…

SG

Christy in Singapore

Christy went to Singapore.
No, you meanies, she did not run off for two weeks immediately after starting our relationship just for laughs, but because her parents, in fact, live in Singapore. Having just begun our relationship, however, I admit her being away was disheartening, and I missed her like crazy! We managed to skype a number of times, though, and by the time she had returned home, we had (mostly) worked up a plan regarding our work.

Essentially, we agreed Christy would go to our GM, and ask for a transfer on the grounds that we wanted to start dating. Pretty simple. That was the plan, anyway. Of course, on the night she was going to actually show up and tell him, I panicked and blurted it our before she even got there WHICH  it turns out was a good thing, because some other employee had made several complaints to HR, one of which was that we had been dating.

All in all, it was a pretty routine and easy-fix situation, though that particular annoying employee in question certainly caused me some worry for nothing! Within 2 weeks, Christy transferred to another theatre, we told our friends we were dating, and made the whole thing “Facebook Official!”

Chapter 8: The Neek Breaks the Rules

To recap, mine and Christy’s first date had so far gone something like this:

Dress code uncertainty, Mini Golf attempt, missed kissing opportunity, and rain, rain, rain! So, with that lovely start, and now properly soaked, I whisked my date off to one of her favorite places: TGI Fridays.

In case you were wondering, Christy really likes TGI Fridays for their 1. Parmesan Crusted Chicken, and 2. Strawberry Lemonade which, as on this particular night, she frequently orders as a cocktail with vodka. Personally, I favor their Ribs and Rum and Coke.

So one delicious meal later, Christy and I are making our way to the movie theatre where the 75th Anniversary Wizard of Oz in Imax 3-d was playing! Now I had never seen the Wizard of Oz, but Christy was really excited about re-watching one of her childhood favorites. She had even painted some old flats she had with red glitter to celebrate the occasion! FYI – I liked the movie!  wiz3dWiz

Afterwords, we hopped back in my car and headed back to my place…. end of date, right? If I were a “normal” non-neek first time date-planner, I might say yes, but as you probably have figured out… there was more! What better way to end the night with a glorious round of Futurama episodes?!

Now by this time, I had discovered that Christy actually had rules for first dates!

Rule #1: No alcohol.
Rule#2: No movies.
Rule #3: No going to boy’s place after date.

For those of you that have been paying attention, that makes rules 1, 2 and 3 now snapped in half!…granted, Christy DID explain that those rules were in place on the premise of her going out with someone she hadn’t been spending huge amounts of time with/sort-of-but-not-really dating for a couple months, but instead meant for guys she didn’t know very well. In addition, you have to also consider the fact that she waited to tell me mid-date about them!

It doesn’t really matter, though, because if I have it my way, I intend for her to never have to use those rules again!

For those of you that just won’t let it go… you will be happy to know that night marked my first kiss.

And so my epic first date drew to a close. It was September 24, 2013.

Chapter 3: The Neek Hears a Rumor

After our initial trip alone to Universal, it was like a plug had been pulled somewhere, and we were suddenly spending countless hours together.

For one thing, I’m pretty sure we went at least once a week to Universal the first couple of months after we bought our passes. The reasons for this were:

1. It was ridiculously fun.

2. We wanted to get our money’s worth out of them!!

Other activities we did together included things like: mini golf, bowling, and movie-watching. Looking back at these activities, I now see that they were in many ways very “date-like”… a prospect I paid little attention to during this time period.

Additionally, there were always the late-night Steak and Shake hangouts to look forward to… an activity generally only Christy and I shared since Rohan tended to go straight home after work. When I say late night, I mean LATE night. We used to stay there for hours – like until 4 or 5am frequently. What would we do for all that time, you ask? Snack. Chat. Fantasize about winning the Lottery. Hold hands – I mean….

About that… I have since been informed (by Christy) that holding hands/ giving hand massages across the table several times a week for lengthy amounts of time is unusual for “just friends.” Who knew?! Okay, okay, I maybe knew that… but I just didn’t want to stop, and I was afraid of where admitting that might lead!

Needless to say, when we later visited Steak and Shake after actually beginning to date, our waitress, to my astonishment, was not surprised other than to find out that we had not actually been dating before.

Way to show off my social skills, right?

Another exciting development around July was that Christy and I both purchased annual passes to Busch Gardens! All the roller coasters! We only went twice during the summer, however, since it requires more travel time to get there.

Thomas and Christy's first trip to Busch Gardens.

Thomas and Christy’s first trip to Busch Gardens. (Christy is taking the picture)

Basically, for 3-4ish months, Christy and I were getting to know each other really well. We were spending a lot of time together, texting constantly, and ultimately becoming closer.

I know some would say that it would have been better to just “start dating already,” but I disagree. Given my past record with meeting new people…especially girls, I feel like this stage of getting to really know one another just made my feelings for Christy grow that much stronger. Also, you have to remember that we technically weren’t supposed to be spending time together outside of work, my being a manager and all.

Speaking of work, rumors of our relationship were rampant at the theatre. Rumors are typical and many-varied at the theatre, but ours were oddly specific.

Rumor: Thomas and Christy were dating.

Fact: False. (By technicality) We had never discussed dating each other or in any way had “made a move” to a more romantic relationship.

Rumor: Thomas and Christy were spotted holding hands at Chili’s.

Fact: False. We had actually never eaten at Chili’s together when that rumor started circulating. Steak and Shake, yes, but no one from the theatre was ever there when we did.

Rumor: Thomas and Christy were spotted making out in the parking lot of the theatre.

Fact: False. This had never occurred ANYWHERE, much less at our own work place. Come on, people!

I’m sure there were other rumors, but if so I can’t remember. Regardless, we were definitely an “item” at work long before we were an “item.”

By the time we finally got around to part where we were actually together, I’m happy to say that our fellow workers were thrilled and extremely  happy for us, but that part of the story is still to come…

Chapter 1: The Neek Makes a Friend

For anyone who hasn’t figured it out yet, this blog is the story of how I met my girlfriend, stuff we do together, and stupid things I do that she makes fun of me for (and maybe vice versa).

I guess I’ll start at the beginning…

Way back in 2010, I worked as a projectionist in a big movie theatre (I still work there, by the way, but digital upgrades have forced me to diversify my position).

I’d like to say that one day my whole world ceased to exist as I knew it as I gazed into the beautiful blue eyes of our newest transfer employee, that her beauty left me speechless, that her smile was like sunlight, and that I knew we were somehow destined to be together…

I’d LIKE to say that, but the truth is, we worked together at that theatre for around 3 years before really taking notice of each other in a “beyond the workplace” kind of way. That sounds a little harsh, maybe, but I was her manager, she was a concessionist, and the two weren’t really supposed to “mix.”  It wasn’t that I didn’t know or talk to her for all that time, just that our time spent together was solely made up of coinciding shifts at work.

That being said, our friendship began sometime around the start of the New Year in 2013, but it was not until closer to April that I realized there might be something more to our story than just casual friendship.

Working at a movie theatre means working late hours frequently. As a manager, it isn’t uncommon for me to stay until somewhere between 1:30-3:30 am depending on our last showtimes. As a, for lack of a better term, “normal” employee, Christy would generally have been scheduled to finish up a closing shift at least an hour before I was finished, sometimes more.

Sometime around February of 2013, there was a shift in the usual dynamic of closing…Christy stayed. It was the first of many nights where Christy lingered after her shift was over to hang with myself and our friend, and also a Manager, Rohan. As the days became weeks, and weeks became months, our nighttime hangouts between the 3 of us became routine.

There was texting between the two of us (late night pleas for help with strange computer issues on Christy’s part), we “friended” each other on facebook etc…

March and April marked the first “non-work” excursions the 3 of us did together… the 1st was to Outback with a 4th fellow employee, the 2nd was the 3 of us at the Bowling Alley, and then a movie.

By this time, our late nights had begun to incorporate after-work visits to Denny’s and Steak and Shake as well.

Before I even realized what had occurred, I had made a new friend! I tend to be shy and anti-social around people I don’t know. Therefore, as an employee I had worked with for over 3 years, Christy had already gained an advantage in the communicate-with-Thomas category.

One of the things I discovered that she and I shared was a common obsession with all things Harry Potter! Accordingly, given our Orlando, Florida location, we together decided that a trip to Universal’s infamous Wizarding World of Harry Potter was completely necessary! Little did we know, that one idea could lead to so much more than being friends…