Dan and Pete are sharing a post, because I met Pete through Dan and frankly I ran out of spaces on the list and wanted them both on it.
I met Dan first, I was set up with him by Katie (who will have her own shared post with her husband later on in this series). At the time Dan and I started dating I hadn't dated anyone for four years. Nary a date or a serious flirtation for four years. Needless to say I was very nervous for our first date.
After chatting online for a few weeks, and a rain check because Bob died (Bob, who will have his own post later as well), Dan rolled up to my apartment and we went to see the movie Talladega Nights. He would later tell me that my laugh made him jump because it was so obnoxiously loud, but what can I say, that movie is hilarious.
Dan and I went on to "date" for about another year and a half. Which sounds a lot more serious than I think it actually was. We never really seemed to connect on that level I don't think...or at least not at the same time. But even though the dating didn't work out that well the friendship blossomed. Dan isn't really like anyone that I've known before. He's is very kind and generous and has a razor sharp sense of humor. He's also very hard on me and is one of the few people that speak to me so directly about so many sensitive things; I 100% know that he is telling me things because he wants the best for me, not because he's an asshole.
I was very apathetic about dating in general. I enjoyed being friends with him, laughing and just hanging out. The dating stuff was just sort of icing on the cake I suppose. That certainly didn't help the odds of it turning serious.
I had a lot of late night phone calls from Dan, usually one of us would be....less than sober. It was during those conversations that I would share more with him than usual(because chances were he wouldn't remember the conversation anyway).
We just had a lot of fun together. We went fishing, played a lot of Skip-Bo (which I kicked his ass at) trolled thrift shops and fought over words during Boggle. We just hung out and had fun.
After awhile, apathy is just not something that can be sustained in dating I suppose. Things were happening and I was becoming more confident and outgoing, thanks in no small part to Dan's encouraging and outright shoving. During one late night phone call Dan suggested that we downshift to just friends. More so, he pointed out something that I had been feeling for a long time, that we weren't going to be anymore serious than we were at that time and in some ways our relationship was distracting me and hurting my relationship with Jesus.
That was the best gift that Dan has ever given me. Permission to stop and walk away (from dating, not from being friends).
Dan called out in me a lot of things that I often refuse to see in myself. He gave me a confidence back that I had misplaced along the way and refused to let me talk any of my bullshit around him. Dan makes me laugh and helps me not take myself to seriously. If I make the mistake of taking myself to seriously or get to upset he tells me about the time he punched his neighbors bunny and I can't help but laugh about the ridiculous lengths he goes to to make the people he cares about laugh.
In a completely unexpected and lovely way Dan also encouraged in me a boldness about my relationship with Jesus and the courage to step out and lead in a way that I would have never believed myself capable of.
Dan was the person that got me on Myspace (because he wouldn't agree to a face to face meeting with me until he saw that I wasn't some repulsive 2-headed man-child) and Myspace got me to start writing again in a way that I hadn't written for a very long time. He asked me at Paddlefest a few weeks back to be sure I gave him credit for that too...
Then there's Pete. Pete, Pete, Pete.
Pete of the code names so pervasive that even now I can't for the life of me tell you what his brothers real name is, only that I call him Julio for a reason I can't actually remember. I stalked Pete's blog through Dan's Myspace page and loved the stories of his meetings with the Pope. (I think you should bring the Pope back Pete, seriously). Sometimes I meet new people and I get this urgent feeling that we're going to be friends and that I have to make sure it happens. That happened with several people on this list and it happened with Pete. But seeing as I was dating Dan I didn't want him to think I was this creepy stalking girl (which I just am and I'm learning to accept that) so I just silently read and followed along on his blog. Ultimately I told Dan and he encouraged Pete and I to connect (I found out later that he thought Pete and I would make a good match, which we would but it's just not happening folks so move along...there's nothing to see here). I first met Pete in real life in 2007 I believe. I was taking him a computer monitor I didn't want anymore and he needed. He offered to carry in the monstrosity from my car, I said no I wanted to take him to the gun show (because I'm a massively socially awkward person that says stupid things to try to make you laugh...)
That first conversation is pretty much a good indication of what the rest of Pete and I's relationship is about. One or both of us say awkward things and then we giggle for a long time about it and make it an inside joke. (Jeeves! Open houses, camping in my apartment parking lot, we'll be right there we just woke up, did you see Bethany brought a MAN to church etc etc etc) Pete's working on selling his store in northern Ohio and moving to Cincinnati, into my basement. I can't hardly wait. He's agreed to chase the killers away. I get on my soapbox a lot with Pete, because he nods and smiles most of the time to placate me.
But I can't wait for Pete to move in.
Pete has absolutely no idea what a good guy he is. I mean some people don't know but Pete just has no clue and sometimes seems to refuse to let other people tell him. He jokes to deflect being uncomfortable and shy and says a lot of terrible things to and about himself. It breaks my heart, and I recognize it as a characteristic in myself.
Pete has shaped me with his laughter and companionship. Others on this list have done it as well, but for a reason I'm having a difficult time articulating Pete stands out a little from the rest of the crowd. I see a lot of myself in him and we get a long so well. When he comes to help around the house we're both driven in the same way and we both like to kick back and have fun the same way. There is a comfort level with Pete that I rarely find with others. We accept each other exactly as is and wouldn't change a thing about each other, but at the same time we urge each other to change and improve all the time. Pete and I are just as comfortable with each other out or in, working hard or vegging out on the sofa. I feel completely and unconditionally accepted by Pete and feel totally safe talking to him about anything without wondering who is going to hear about it or if he's going to make a joke about it.
Pete gives me space to figure it out, the encouragement to try and the advice to make it possible; which is an invaluable gift that I am forever grateful for.