Friday, April 01, 2005

How did you meet Jeff?

Kristen had this idea for a meme about how people met Jeff. She was originally referring to a particular Jeff who must know everyone in Singapore, but my first thought was about how I met my Jeff. Everyone, after all, probably has an interesting Jeff in his/her life, or at least an interesting meeting or encounter with one. So, I'd love to hear your story about how you met Jeff. Here's mine:

Short version: we were in the same SWOS (Surface Warfare Officer School) class in Newport, Rhode Island.

Long version: I showed up in Newport in September 1994, a couple months after I graduated from college, lonely and nervous about my first real Navy assignment. Within hours of my first day at work, I met 3 women with whom I became great friends over the next 6 months. Marta and Melanie were looking for a house to rent with two of Mel's classmates from Stanford. Emily was determined to live alone. I also lived alone during SWOS (coincidently enough in the same house where Brigita and her Mister rented an apartment many years later).

Emily and I went on to have some terrific adventures together, with road trips to Boston, Provincetown, and Salem, lots of vegetarian dinners, and we threw a most excellent party together: Days of Wine and Roses (guests were asked to bring roses or champagne) complete with love potion from the witch of Salem on the invites.

Oh, and of course Jeff was one of the Stanford guys who moved into the church that was converted into apartments a few blocks away from me in downtown Newport. That church was my second home. I was there at least once a week to do laundry and watch Melrose Place (I didn't have a washer and dryer or cable). We all went out every Friday night together, usually dancing at the GAP. There is still a song that I associate with each of the housemates from those GAP nights. And Jeff was always around. He was a nice guy, and different from most of my ensign classmates with an easel in his loft bedroom and the biggest computer screen for his Mac that I'd ever seen. He and his roommate Brad were both from Colorado and they'd do crazy stuff, like swim in the very cold waters off of Newport Island in November, or rappel down their apartment wall.

We all went off to our ships in March of 1995. I went to Bremerton (WA), Jeff to Long Beach, and Marta, Mel, and Emily went to San Diego. Jeff and I exchanged holiday cards, but that was about it. In the fall of 1995 I was invited to interview to become a nuke. I remembered that Jeff was a nuke, so when I got my orders to Nuclear Power School, I wrote and asked if he'd like to live together. We had a great time in Orlando with a fabulous group of friends, and found that we were very compatible as roommates. I was still a vegetarian at the time, and out of respect for that, Jeff didn't cook meat at the house. We both commuted to school by bike, and there were a couple of times I'd got to patch a flat on my bike and find that he'd already done it.

We, along with our "gang," moved to upstate New York for Prototype, and we lived in separate apartments in the same big house halfway between downtown Saratoga Springs and the Saratoga race track. We both got orders to ships in Bremerton, WA and lived within a mile of each other in Seattle and commuted to work by bike. With different deployment schedules, we didn't see each other too much during the time that we lived there, but still hung out, went on a few hikes, bike rides, and shows together.

Summer of 1999, we got out of the Navy, Jeff moved back to Colorado for grad school, and I eventually moved back to Virginia to work for Capital One. Spring of 2001, Jeff was finishing up grad school and talking with a mutual friend of ours in Boston about returning to Seattle and buying a house together. I'd been missing Seattle, and wasn't happy in Richmond. My job was good, but the company did have a site out in the Seattle area, and what did I have to lose by seeing if I could find a job out there? So, I managed to get transferred (very lucky timing in retrospect), and Jeff, Dennis and I bought a house together in Queen Anne in August 2001.

Jeff and I spent a lot of time together that fall and winter, alternating cooking duties, snowboarding every other weekend, going on bike rides and road trips together. Eventually it became uncomfortably clear that there was more going on than just friendship. So spring of 2002 we made the transition from friends to something more.

Long story, but long friendship.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Small world I worked at Capital One 2001-2005.

11:17 PM  

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