Proposals, Engagements, and Other Such Mushy Stuff

June 13, 2010 at 9:02 pm (Dating and Girls)

So I suppose I should attempt to write an actual entry about this 😛

On May 17th it was 2 years to the day since LabGirl and I first met over a cup of coffee, in a little cafe nearby.
We got our wraps and our drinks, and an obnoxiously rich dessert.

And over dessert the talk got a little mushy-like, and we talked about how great the last couple of years had been,
I told her that I would really like spending forever with her.
She returned the sentiment.
I told her that was great, because I had something on my mind I had been meaning to ask her.
Which was when I put a little box with a pretty little ring in it in front of her, and asked her if she would marry me.

She kinda put her hands over her mouth, got really choked up, and managed to get out an “of course!” before trying on the ring:

Looks like the wedding is going to be October 2011!

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A LabGirl Update

April 8, 2010 at 9:16 pm (Dating and Girls)

We’re actually about to hit the 2-year dating mark next month.
Crazy, eh? Almost makes me think she’d be willing to sign on for the long haul 😉

My biggest fear was actually that we’d be at each other’s throats after I moved into her place in late October, shortly followed being essentially being stuck together and having to deal with each other for a pretty long portion of an ugly midwestern winter.
But… we survived that winter, and survived it pretty well. We didn’t end up going for each other’s throats at all, and only had a couple of those “heated discussion” things over the course of the cold whether, which really weren’t even that heated.
Mostly we just curled up under blankets all winter and tried to keep ourselves entertained while trying to push away cabin fever, which was really starting to hit around January-ish or so.

Of course, with me working 50+ hours a week over most of that time maybe we just didn’t see each other enough to piss each other off 😛

But I think it’s more likely that we just really dig each other. Which is cool, cuz I’m really thinking I’d like to keep her around for a long, long while.

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Shackin’ Up

October 2, 2009 at 11:35 pm (Dating and Girls)

So it’s official, I’ve turned in my notice to the landlady that I won’t be renewing my lease at the end of October.
And in about a week I’ll be starting the slow process of moving all of my crap over to LabGirl’s house.

I have a few uneasy feelings based almost exclusively on past failures – I’ve tried this with other women not once, but twice previously, and both ended very badly.

However, I think we’re a bit more prepared for it this time (she’s had a failed shacking up experience in the past as well).
We both realize this is going to be a lifestyle change for both of us, and we’re both going to need an adjustment period.
I’ve explained that due to the fact that I’m completely changing my environment and she’s just adding me into her, that I might be a bit more freaked out than her for maybe the first couple of weeks.
And that the first few workday mornings are probably going to be pretty rough.

Because we have two of pretty much every piece of furniture, the majority of mine is going to be disassembled and stored in the basement for a little while until things are solidified to the point where I’m comfortable getting rid of some stuff.

And I need to go through another round of un-pack-ratting my shit-tons of crap I have in storage but can’t seem to part with.
I think Goodwill may be getting some sizable donations soon.

Anyway I hope to have most of the misc crap boxed up and ready to move by next weekend, which I’ll take over by car, and then I’m hoping the furniture will fit into the back of her SUV after being taken apart – I think most of it will be OK, the only thing I’m not sure of right off hand is the dresser…

Anyway, here’s hoping the third time is the charm….

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LabGirl Update

June 7, 2009 at 3:44 pm (Dating and Girls)

Things are continuing to go just fine with LabGirl and I.

Back a few weeks ago we passed one year of dating, which we celebrated by going out for sushi and then revisiting the Young at Heart Festival (which unfortunately sucked this year as they had zero musicals acts worth checking out).

The idea of us shacking up has started to pop up in conversation more, though no real serious conversations, though she has mentioned a few concerns, the primary one being that for some reason she’s worried that because I don’t like my job and that I mentioned I actually had a great time when I was unemployed around 2002, that it meant there was a possibility that in actuality I was a bum and may decide to just become a big mooch after moving in.
Hopefully my explaining that I’ve been part of the workforce for over 20 years now without a break except for that short stint in ’02 where I couldn’t find a job (not to mention little factors of my personality such as, oh, ethics and morals) helped convince her that my work ethic wouldn’t allow that, since for some reason me still being at a job I’ve hated to my core and have wanted to leave for nearly a year now hasn’t done that.

We’re both trying to be more active now that’s the weather is warming up and it’s actually been kind of a challenge since neither of us is by nature a really active person. I took her out to try tennis last weekend (I have ancient tennis equipment that’s been collecting dust in storage for well over a decade) and I think she was very discouraged at how challenging it actually is, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to get her back on the court – we “played” for nearly an hour and I think only one or two times managed to actually hit the ball back and forth – otherwise it was a mix of serves that didn’t go where they were supposed to or complete misses when trying to return a serve. I, however, am considering buying a big-ass box of 50 or so used tennis balls for cheap and then just sitting there practicing serves over and over and over and over until I start getting the hang of it.
I’d also like to go mountain biking but she doesn’t have a bike and neither of us is going to have the money to buy another one this year, so that’s out.
And she seems not even an inkling interested in golf or disc golf.
And the dancing thing really went over like a lead balloon, which I was surprised of, I mean considering she’s a girl and all 😉 I may try to revisit that one at a later time though.
She *is* interested in volleyball, but that’s a game you actually need teams for, so I’m not sure how that’s going to work out unless we sign up to play with a bunch of strangers through the local park district or something like that, and I’m really not sure how much fun that would end up being for us.

Oh, and we’re going camping again over the last weekend of June, though I wouldn’t exactly call that “active.”

At the least if later in the year we do end up sharing a living space we’ll probably end up doing after-work walks and that type of thing more often, especially now that she’s adopted her brother’s dog, as one of the main reasons I’m not over there more often to do that type of thing now is just that I end up being stuck at home having to take care of stuff that needs to be taken care of around the house so often. (Speaking of that, that just reminded me that I have laundry I need to do).

Also, I’ve been noticing her more frequently pointing out how cute babies are while we’re out and about, and how pretty such-and-such wedding dress is that there’s a shot of on TV. In the past this might throw up huge red flags for me, but oddly, I’m not bothered at all.

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OK, I done told her

May 14, 2009 at 10:47 pm (Dating and Girls)

OK, I finally remembered to tell her about the blog tonight.

And warned her that generally it’s pretty negative and really just a place for me to vent and whine when I need to so I can spout it out here instead of making her listen to the full diatribe.

And really, to be flatly honest, pretty damned boring most of the time.

But, it’s here, and she should know about it.

Hi, LabGirl. I loves you 😀

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LabGirl and I have our first “We Need To” Talk session

February 5, 2009 at 8:47 am (Dating and Girls)

But hey, it didn’t happen until nearly 9 months after we started dating, and it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Apparently she’s got issue with my apparent coming off as a huge cheap-ass all the time.
Basically, the last few years, especially since I no longer make anywhere near the same money I did when I was in the IT industry, I’ve been noticing how expensive a whole lot of stuff seems to be. And apparently commenting on it. A lot. And it includes stuff that she’s either bought or expressed interest in buying.

Now the thing is – I’m not even gonna lie, I think a lot of stuff out there is seriously overpriced, and in many cases costs more than a competitor’s product because it has “more shiny.” Being a guy, I couldn’t give a ratt’s ass about the “Ohh-Ahh factor” in most consumer products – I just want the thing to do what it’s supposed to and I don’t really care how pretty it is or if it has a couple of extra bells or whistles.
Apparently women like shiny, and are more than willing to pay a premium for it.

Anyway, it seems the big issue is that because I keep saying stuff like “Holy crap, $4 for a cup of coffee??” and “$900 for a washer and drier set is supposed to be a good deal?” and “What makes a ‘spicy’ chicken wrap cost $1.00 more than a ‘buffalo’ chicken wrap?”, while she’s perfectly fine not wondering and frankly not caring why some things cost so much, that she had started taking the comments as some sort of personal attack.

I did have to explain to her than money is frequently on my mind, because I don’t have enough of it. There’s a reason I drive a 10 year old car, live in an apartment, and shop at places she doesn’t like to step foot into like WalMart and thrift stores.
And I honestly do wonder what makes a spicy wrap cost more than a buffalo one. And I also explained the reason I commented on the washer-drier ad was because a while back I actually sold appliances at a Best Buy for a time, and am pretty sure I remember the things costing about $2-300 a pop at the time. (And yes, when she mentioned she paid $750 each for hers, I bit my tongue rather than telling her I thought she got robbed).

I also had to explain that the fact that she makes nearly $20,000 a year more than I do is likely another reason for our differences in perception when it comes to spending. She frankly doesn’t have as much reason to worry about it as I do.

The subject of living together came up (it something we both see as likely happening sooner or later and it’s been tossed out there a couple of times… I’m figuring if things are still going well after my next lease extension we could be looking at something like October-ish) and how she was concerned that money was going to be an issue between us. And I had to tell her that I’ll most likely always be thift-minded – I grew up that way (my parents didn’t have a ton of money either) and have been that way myself pretty much out of necessity for quite a while, and I’ll more than likely make suggestions here and there about how we could save some cash. But I’ve never done more than just suggestions – I’m not out there telling her she’d be completely stupid to buy such-and-such, which, she admitted, was how she was taking my comments (*sigh*). And that yes, the fact that she makes so much more than I do may become an issue somewhere down the line (for example, if we decide to do something to fix the house, is it fair to split the expense 50/50 when it would be a much higher percentage of income for me than for her?) but that it would be something we didn’t need to worry about unless the whole shacking-up thing comes closer to actually happening.

I guess I should be happy that after dating this long that this is the only thing she can come up with that she has a problem with, and it’s really not even that big of a deal – mostly just her being defensive about something she has no reason to be defensive about. But I guess I’ll try to cool it with the smart-ass comments about how expensive shit is if it makes her happier.

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A winter weekend with the girlie

January 11, 2009 at 11:51 pm (Dating and Girls)

Had a pretty fun weekend.
Yesterday/Saturday we took the trip into Chicago to go to the Field Museum.
The last time I went to downtown Chicago to see one of the attractions there it was to go to the Shedd Aquarium, which itself was fine (if overpriced), but the drive was an absolute nightmare.
So, this time, I decided that if I was actually going to enjoy my day, public transportation would have to become involved.
Thus, the day began with driving an hour to a town a little ways out (through so much snow that LabGirl made the comment that it might be considered stupid) where we could catch the Metra commuter train.

The train took another two hours to get downtown, but that was probably much quicker than it would have taken to drive through the snow, and it was completely stress-free – you can just kick back, read a magazine, listen to tunes, or whatever.
From the train station we then bussed our way to the museum, which took maybe another 20 minutes or so.

Although most of the time it’d take a bit longer, I think I’m liking the public transport method of getting to and around Chicago. It’s not hard to do so long as you pre-plan and have an idea where you’re going (and, in the case of the bus, the driver actually suggested a much better route than I had originally planned by transferring to another bus that it crossed paths with that stops right in front of the museum), there were scant few if any scary people on them, you don’t have to stress out in Chicago traffic, and it’s probably cheaper to boot. I pre-bought a couple of 1-day bus passes (gives you unlimited rides for the day) online which were I think $5.75 each, and round-trip weekend train tickets were $5 a pop. Getting to the train station cost me maybe $5 in gas (if that) and $1.50 to park for the day. In comparison to driving which takes almost as long, forces you to deal with seriously insane traffic, burn through probably 3/4 or more of a tank of gas to get there and back, plus nearly $20 just to park the dang car once you get to the museum park. About the only part I didn’t like was that in the late afternoon when we decided we were ready to go home, there weren’t any trains going back our way for another hour and a half, so we got to sit around bored in the train station for all that time waiting on it. If it was a nicer time of year we probably would have just gone out and explored some of the nearby shopping or something, but yesterday the weather was just too crappy to stay out in it for very long.

The Field Museum is pretty impressive as far as museums go – it’s a hugemungous natural history museum with gigantic displays of animals from around the world, the evolution of life though various stages of the Earth’s development, displays about geology and stones (including a room devoted to the rare sparkly kinds and another room dedicated to jade, which showed some truly amazing artistry applied to it) and a display devoted to meteorites which was pretty darned cool too. There was also areas covering the cultures of the ancient Americas and Africa, and I believe there was also a display about Egypt although we somehow missed it.
It wasn’t what I’d go so far as to say was a fun place to go, but it was definitely interesting and worthy of spending a day around.

We got home later that night, exhausted, and it didn’t take long for us to fall asleep.

This morning I decided to be all nice and help her shovel her driveway – the thing is huge (the garage is well behind her house and the driveway extends all the way out to the street out front) and she hasn’t yet invested in a snow blower (or thrower I guess is the official term now?) but she did have two shovels, so I figured she could use the help considering the probably 6-8″ of snow we got over the weekend – you should see drag marks where the underside of my car plowed through it the night before.
It was exhausting work, and afterwords we decided to unwind by going to Aldeen Park to try out the sleds that have been in the trunk of my car since like early November.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find any photos, but this park is great for sledding – it has a HUGE steep hill which during the thaw season actually serves as a dam, making the park into a sort of make-shift reservior. LabGirl was actually scared to go up on the thing 😉 I talked her into it once, but then we spent the rest of our time sledding on the tamer hills, probably giving it an hour or so before deciding the cold was getting to us and we needed to go. LabGirl hadn’t been on a sled since she was a little kid, and I have to say, she seemed to have a blast. 🙂
We went back home and warmed up with some hot cocoa and a blanket while we watched a movie, ending another fine weekend together.

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Hookie Day

October 20, 2008 at 11:04 pm (Dating and Girls)

Well, OK, I suppose it’s not “technically” hookie since we planned it out beforehand, but LabGirl had today off, and I decided to take the day  off with her, figuring it’d be nice to have a relaxing non-weekend day together.

We did end up both having to take care of things in the morning – I had a class and she had a meeting, but after that we got together for a nice lunch at Panera Bread (turkey sandwiches with soup and multigrain bread – good stuff), and spent some time at Edwards Apple Orchard, where I bought a half peck of apples (with plans to bring them to work in hopes that I’ll actually think to eat them), some apple butter, a few cider donuts, and some cookies-n-creme fudge.

We then snuggled under a blanket and watched the fourth episode of Firefly (which she’s liking quite a bit so far) before she had to take off to a prior dinner engagement with her brother and sister-in-law.

Overall a pretty nice fall afternoon with the girlie.

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