The Story of How We Met

April 13, 2018

In March 2016 I was in my final semester of Massage Therapy school in Fort Collins, CO. I wore my hair big, my jeans ripped, and a general attitude of “I’ve got this all figured out.” (Sure, Savannah, sure). I’d been single for three years which was one of the best, and trying, things to ever happen to me. It gave me a chance to develop some standards for myself and for potential partners.

One of my good friends Renee was seeing a guy named Chris who played guitar in a local, Fort Collins band. She invited me to open mike night at Avogadro’s Number where he would be playing on a Friday night. So we went and ended up at a table with a random assortment of Fort Collins, Bluegrass musicians who all knew each other. After Chris’s set, we moved to the pool tables where I spotted a guy leaning up against the edge of a booth talking to Chris. He was wearing a light wash pair of Levi’s, an unbuttoned, long-sleeved plaid shirt over a graphic T, and had a shock of curly, dark brown hair peeking out the back of a grey, beanie cap that came down almost to his eyebrows.He had dark brown eyes, a strong jaw, was clean shaven and had this grin on his face like he was causing trouble. I believe exactly what went through my mind right then was “He’s cute and the clothes need some work.”

He turned out to be neighbors with another member of the band and was doing photography as a hobby. So he’d come to the local shows and shoot pics for the band, usually in exchange for free admission. His name was Tony and I now know he was out with his camera trying to break out of his habitual, homebody habits of cleaning and hanging out with his dogs. (Spoiler alert ladies, he’s taken!).

he played a game of pool with me, Renee, and one of her musician friends named Miles. Our game came to an end and another group of guys wanted to play. Tony and Chris agreed to play them with stakes of “Losers have to crawl under the pool table.” It seems odd but actually, it’s the perfect wager. Under the pool table of a dive bar in a college town is an uncharted territory of cobwebs, spilled beer and who knows what else.

They accepted and Tony and Chris beat them handily. Tony was on a roll, sinking ball after ball and they dutifully crawled under the table after the game, much to everyone’s delight! We all headed back towards the stage, I sat next to Renee and Miles plunked down right next to me. Tony ended up at another table. I had my eye on him and planned to go over when the opportunity presented itself and see what he was all about.

My plans were brought to an abrupt halt when Miles tapped me on the shoulder and handed me his phone with the contacts open, wanting my number. I was not interested in Miles at all but I didn’t know what else to do without making a really awkward rest of the evening. So I put my number in and then sat seething because it seemed like a dick thing to do to give a guy your number and then go flirt with someone else, and I just couldn’t bring myself to crush him like that. The night wrapped up quickly and we left. I figured it wasn’t meant to be and spent the next month promptly deleting every text Miles sent me.A month later, in early April, Renee and I went back to Avogadro’s number to watch the band play. We got there, grabbed a table and were heading to the bar when I saw Tony across the room. He spotted us too and came up right behind us in line.. He was relaxed, easy going and quickly secured us for a game of pool later.

He sat next to us and after a few songs we snuck out to play pool. Renee stayed to watch the band. We made stakes again that the loser would crawl under the table. I’m not very good at pool but managed to keep up with him until we were down to the 8 ball and it was my shot. The alcohol kicked in at just the wrong moment and I clipped the cue ball instead of shooting it. Tony graciously offered me another try and my pole made crisp contact and I suck the 8 ball. I immediately conceded that he didn’t have to crawl under the pool table since he had technically let me win.

Instead, he offered to buy me a drink and I ordered Makers Mark on the rocks, my drink of choice at the time as I was very into “being cool and drinking whiskey.” He then asked me to go dance, which I thought showed great courage, and we danced a fast-paced song, neither of us being very good, before he admitted he had injured his ankle skateboarding that day and showed me a picture of it, it was swollen twice the size of his other one.

At this point, he had scored many points. Confident, easy going, bought me a drink, asked me to dance, and then asked for my number. I happily gave it over and as Avogadro’s was closing we headed down the street to the pool hall, another bar after twenty minutes of corralling drunk friends and Tony disappearing to pee in the bushes behind the bar when they wouldn’t let him back in to use the loo.

We had another beer and Tony insisted on biking me home, saying it was “On his way!” It was, in fact, not on his way. If we were at point A of a triangle, I lived at point B and he lived at point C. Nevertheless, I let him bike me home and then we parted ways with the tentative promise of a date hanging in the air. I couldn’t say for sure but rumor has it that he “whooped” into the night air on his ride home that night. I definitely went to bed with a grin on my face.Wanting to see him again, I had offered to work on his hurt leg with the excuse that I needed the massage training and he had countered with dinner. We compromised with massage, then dinner, and texted every day leading up to our date, which was set for the following Wednesday. I distinctly remember Tony sending me this video of Denver the Guilty Dog and that being the exact moment I decided I liked him.

Fast Forward to Wednesday, April 13th, 2016. Tony shows up for the date, I work on his leg and then we head to Choice City Butcher and Deli. I loved that place but later found out Tony was peeved because they didn’t offer their dinner menu and table service on Wednesday nights. Instead, we waited in line to order sandwiches and sat ourselves.

The conversation dragged. I now know this is because Tony was incredibly nervous, and his former, easy-going social interaction was helped greatly by a few beers. Tony is one of those rare people that is a really fun drunk and even two years later I sometimes still have to ask if he’s had a few to really tell.

The tension broke when I accidentally locked myself out of the restaurant while using the bathroom that was shared by three other business in that building, and he had to come let be back in (he remembers this as being a heroic rescue)… After dinner I asked if he wanted to keep hanging out, he responded with “yeah but I need to let my dogs out.” And so we spent an evening on one of the ugliest, but most comfortable leather couches with a large coonhound in between us. Until finally Tony made him get down and we had our first kiss.My younger sister likes to refer to this time as “She went on one date and I never saw her again.” Essentially, I went over one day and never left. It’s now two years later and we’ve started the blog Cleaver Cooking. We traveled to Costa Rica and then one Sunday on that ugly, old red leather couch, I mentioned that I wanted to travel more in the next few years and Tony turned to me and asked: “You got room for two?” We decided to spend the seasons in different cities to experience the U.S and eventually the world.

We’ve lived in Colorado, New Orleans, Salt Lake City, and as you read this we are packing up to head to Portland Maine for the summer. What I’ve learned along the way is It’s the people that make the place. Here’s to many more years with you, meeting new people and exploring new places.

To Be Continued…

April 13, 2018

In March 2016 I was in my final semester of Massage Therapy school in Fort Collins, CO. I wore my hair big, my jeans ripped, and a general attitude of “I’ve got this all figured out.” (Sure, Savannah, sure). I’d been single for three years which was one of the best, and trying, things to ever happen to me. It gave me a chance to develop some standards for myself and for potential partners.

One of my good friends Renee was seeing a guy named Chris who played guitar in a local, Fort Collins band. She invited me to open mike night at Avogadro’s Number where he would be playing on a Friday night. So we went and ended up at a table with a random assortment of Fort Collins, Bluegrass musicians who all knew each other. After Chris’s set, we moved to the pool tables where I spotted a guy leaning up against the edge of a booth talking to Chris. He was wearing a light wash pair of Levi’s, an unbuttoned, long-sleeved plaid shirt over a graphic T, and had a shock of curly, dark brown hair peeking out the back of a grey, beanie cap that came down almost to his eyebrows.

He had dark brown eyes, a strong jaw, was clean shaven and had this grin on his face like he was causing trouble. I believe exactly what went through my mind right then was “He’s cute and the clothes need some work.”

He turned out to be neighbors with another member of the band and was doing photography as a hobby. So he’d come to the local shows and shoot pics for the band, usually in exchange for free admission. His name was Tony and I now know he was out with his camera trying to break out of his habitual, homebody habits of cleaning and hanging out with his dogs. (Spoiler alert ladies, he’s taken!).

he played a game of pool with me, Renee, and one of her musician friends named Miles. Our game came to an end and another group of guys wanted to play. Tony and Chris agreed to play them with stakes of “Losers have to crawl under the pool table.” It seems odd but actually, it’s the perfect wager. Under the pool table of a dive bar in a college town is an uncharted territory of cobwebs, spilled beer and who knows what else.

They accepted and Tony and Chris beat them handily. Tony was on a roll, sinking ball after ball and they dutifully crawled under the table after the game, much to everyone’s delight! We all headed back towards the stage, I sat next to Renee and Miles plunked down right next to me. Tony ended up at another table. I had my eye on him and planned to go over when the opportunity presented itself and see what he was all about.

My plans were brought to an abrupt halt when Miles tapped me on the shoulder and handed me his phone with the contacts open, wanting my number. I was not interested in Miles at all but I didn’t know what else to do without making a really awkward rest of the evening. So I put my number in and then sat seething because it seemed like a dick thing to do to give a guy your number and then go flirt with someone else, and I just couldn’t bring myself to crush him like that. The night wrapped up quickly and we left. I figured it wasn’t meant to be and spent the next month promptly deleting every text Miles sent me.

A month later, in early April, Renee and I went back to Avogadro’s number to watch the band play. We got there, grabbed a table and were heading to the bar when I saw Tony across the room. He spotted us too and came up right behind us in line.. He was relaxed, easy going and quickly secured us for a game of pool later.

He sat next to us and after a few songs we snuck out to play pool. Renee stayed to watch the band. We made stakes again that the loser would crawl under the table. I’m not very good at pool but managed to keep up with him until we were down to the 8 ball and it was my shot. The alcohol kicked in at just the wrong moment and I clipped the cue ball instead of shooting it. Tony graciously offered me another try and my pole made crisp contact and I suck the 8 ball. I immediately conceded that he didn’t have to crawl under the pool table since he had technically let me win.

Instead, he offered to buy me a drink and I ordered Makers Mark on the rocks, my drink of choice at the time as I was very into “being cool and drinking whiskey.” He then asked me to go dance, which I thought showed great courage, and we danced a fast-paced song, neither of us being very good, before he admitted he had injured his ankle skateboarding that day and showed me a picture of it, it was swollen twice the size of his other one.

At this point, he had scored many points. Confident, easy going, bought me a drink, asked me to dance, and then asked for my number. I happily gave it over and as Avogadro’s was closing we headed down the street to the pool hall, another bar after twenty minutes of corralling drunk friends and Tony disappearing to pee in the bushes behind the bar when they wouldn’t let him back in to use the loo.

We had another beer and Tony insisted on biking me home, saying it was “On his way!” It was, in fact, not on his way. If we were at point A of a triangle, I lived at point B and he lived at point C. Nevertheless, I let him bike me home and then we parted ways with the tentative promise of a date hanging in the air. I couldn’t say for sure but rumor has it that he “whooped” into the night air on his ride home that night. I definitely went to bed with a grin on my face.

Wanting to see him again, I had offered to work on his hurt leg with the excuse that I needed the massage training and he had countered with dinner. We compromised with massage, then dinner, and texted every day leading up to our date, which was set for the following Wednesday. I distinctly remember Tony sending me this video of Denver the Guilty Dog and that being the exact moment I decided I liked him.

Fast Forward to Wednesday, April 13th, 2016. Tony shows up for the date, I work on his leg and then we head to Choice City Butcher and Deli. I loved that place but later found out Tony was peeved because they didn’t offer their dinner menu and table service on Wednesday nights. Instead, we waited in line to order sandwiches and sat ourselves.

The conversation dragged. I now know this is because Tony was incredibly nervous, and his former, easy-going social interaction was helped greatly by a few beers. Tony is one of those rare people that is a really fun drunk and even two years later I sometimes still have to ask if he’s had a few to really tell.

The tension broke when I accidentally locked myself out of the restaurant while using the bathroom that was shared by three other business in that building, and he had to come let be back in (he remembers this as being a heroic rescue)… After dinner I asked if he wanted to keep hanging out, he responded with “yeah but I need to let my dogs out.” And so we spent an evening on one of the ugliest, but most comfortable leather couches with a large coonhound in between us. Until finally Tony made him get down and we had our first kiss.

My younger sister likes to refer to this time as “She went on one date and I never saw her again.” Essentially, I went over one day and never left. It’s now two years later and we’ve started the blog Cleaver Cooking. We traveled to Costa Rica and then one Sunday on that ugly, old red leather couch, I mentioned that I wanted to travel more in the next few years and Tony turned to me and asked: “You got room for two?” We decided to spend the seasons in different cities to experience the U.S and eventually the world.

We’ve lived in Colorado, New Orleans, Salt Lake City, and as you read this we are packing up to head to Portland Maine for the summer. What I’ve learned along the way is It’s the people that make the place. Here’s to many more years with you, meeting new people and exploring new places.

To Be Continued…

Savannah Says...

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