That is absolutely true. That February 2002 weekend was the Young Life Women’s retreat, and I was the host… which is a fancy way of saying I collected the money and made sure everyone had towels. Kevin (to your left) and Curt came down to volunteer and help me get some side-work done in-between me racing to find toilet paper for the front bathrooms. Women’s Retreats are serious about their toilet paper and paper towels. Men’s Retreats, not so much.
Our relationship began a week later (Thank you, Chelsey and Kevin.) by letters and phone calls. We talked once or twice a week for an hour. This is fascinating for me to think about now, because I was three hours behind him and the kid can barely keep his eyes open past 10 o’clock. Continuing…
The Young Life Men’s Retreat was coming up… right about this time of year. Kevin thought maybe Curt should come for that, too. Like, as an actual participant in the weekend- being a man and all. Brilliant. It is decided that Curt will come back to California for the retreat and then he’ll add on an extra day at the end for the two of us to hang out. Like, a date or something. He’ll stay up the hill with the McKenzies and we’ll talk and hang out… in person.
As the weekend approaches, I am not panicky. I feel remarkably calm. Natural. Fine. Seriously. We like each other, we know it, and it’s good. He’s going to come, it will be awkward at first, and then it’s going to be wonderful. There will prolly be Puccini somewhere… and maybe maybe he’ll hold my hand- if it’s right. He’ll know if it’s right. I wonder if he’ll know if it’s right? And what about the other thing? The kissing thing. Do I tell him? Do I not? Will it scare him? Will he laugh at me? I should tell him. I’m 25. He’ll know if I don’t tell him. Maybe I shouldn’t tell him… and maybe he’ll never know. But, I’m 25. I should tell him because it’s a stinkin’ big deal and I don’t want the Big Deal-ness of it just floating on by into the cool night air. I’ll tell him. Tonight.
Hey! It’s me. How are you?
I am good. How are you? How is Michigan?
It’s good. blah blah blah blah
Great! blah blah blah blah
So… are you getting nervous for me to come?
Actually, no. I’m good. But I do want to talk to you about something.
Go for it.
[big breath] Ok. So I’ve been thinkin’ about this for awhile and whether or not I should tell you and I’ve finally decided I am going to tell you because it’s a big deal to me and I don’t want to have to talk about it when you’re here because that would be really awkward and I think things are already gonna be awkward in the beginning, so why waste more time, ya know? The thing is Curt, I’ve never been kissed before. I mean, I’ve never even held someone’s hand before! And I’m not nervous or anything, but I just want to get that out there because if you want to hold my hand you need to just do it, ok? Don’t ask me, because then I’ll panic and say no. So, if it’s right, just go for it. And, really, same for the whole kissing thing, ok? I’ll totally freak out. So don’t ask me, ok? You decide. I just, well… it’s kind of a big deal and I don’t even know what to say about it except I guess I just did and… that’s it.
[big. fat. silence.]
Let’s just, uh… let’s just see how things go, ok?
And then I died.
I fell right down on the floor in my California bedroom and I died, still holding the phone.
Right. Of course. Because I had forgotten to even consider the possibility that maybe he wouldn’t even want to kiss me. Basically, I am an idiot. Kill me now.
He came anyway (bless his heart), and the retreat happened, and Kevin left, and the extra day came. We spent the morning with the McKenzies (they are a whole ‘nother post unto themselves and deservedly so) and then took off for Cuyamaca and a hike that may very well be gone now due to the fires these past 5 years. We walked around the dried up lake and halfway back where we stopped on a random boulder and just sat for awhile. He was sitting behind me.
“I just want to tell you that I love you.”
[panic… and then, strangely, calm]
“Well, Curt…I love you, too.”
[The boy scoots around to sit in front of me… and whispers,] “Is it alright if I kiss you?”
[sidebar] Do people not think I’m serious when I talk? Did I not give explicit instructions on how this whole event was to go down? Gah. [exasperation exasperation exasperation, hands up in the air]
It went fine, thank you. I totally laughed out loud in the middle of it because, Dude… kissing is weird. But after that it was totally fine. I guess. I mean, we’re married now, so I think it was fine. I dunno. I don’t have much to go on. But, all in all, I’d say it went just fine.
And, now you know.
May 8th, 2008 at 5:18 pm
We all enjoy stories like this one especially when we know you now. Denise and I met in 8th grade, when we got to the KISS stage we were senior’s in college. When we were married my mother told me that I had come home from school after that first meeting and told her I had met the person I would marry.
By the way to all of you newish mothers out there who share your families, happy Mothers Day and blessings to you and your families.
May 8th, 2008 at 5:45 pm
I just love all these stories that you reveal bit by bit about you and Curt. God Bless you people.
I did have my first kiss when I was 16, but if it’s any consolation, the guy later figured out he was GAY. And by later, I mean like four months later. How traumatizing.
May 8th, 2008 at 6:00 pm
Dear Katie Sebeck. I almost spit my drink out at work this morning when I saw those DC pictures. MY HANNAH. You’ve got to warn people before you put stuff like that out there for everyone to see. Every time I think it’s ridiculous that I spend so much money on a nice, professional flat iron for my hair, I will check this post out. Oy, as you would say. OY.
I LOVE YOU & miss you too. (Baby Nora was born Monday – I’ll send you pictures of her with her pillow!)
May 8th, 2008 at 6:53 pm
Love it Katie- you’re awesome! I think that you should just write a book!
May 8th, 2008 at 7:23 pm
Haha! As you can see, I have had the thing up for a year, and only posted whopping like 4 times 🙂 Not hiding, just slowly poking away at it, trying to decide if I’m ready to get obsessed with it or not. I already spend 70% of my day obsessed with other people’s blogs, not sure that I need to add my own in there 🙂
May 8th, 2008 at 8:11 pm
Hahaha – I love this story. Mostly ’cause I’m there – even though I’m not 25 yet – just almost 21. And there is no Boy. But I’m there, where you were. And it’s encouraging that now, you’re married. 🙂
I hope you’re doing well!
May 8th, 2008 at 8:18 pm
May 8th, 2008 at 8:25 pm
That was such a fabulous story. Oh the things you will have to share with your kiddos!
Does Curt get embarrassed when you write them? Myron does. he is so funny and shy….
May 8th, 2008 at 8:25 pm
I just don’t know what to say right now…I am speechless. Your eloquence, your memory, your verbage….you!! I love your stories!
And Laura, the second guy I kissed turned out gay too. What’s up with that!
May 8th, 2008 at 8:42 pm
Eloquence? Seriously? I don’t think there’s any resemblence of elequence in that run-on of a memory 🙂 Perhaps the Dutch have a differnet definition than the Polish.
And Jess, that’s a good question… I have to say, I always ask Curt before I put this stuff out there. I never want to overstep his comfort zone. Well, that’s not true. I never want to overstep his comfort zone so much that he’s mad at me for more than a week 🙂 Nah, he’s fine. As long as the story is focused on me being an idiot, he’s fine.
May 9th, 2008 at 5:02 am
Jim! You are so great. knew her in 8th grade and did not kiss her until senior year college! How sweet is that. And thaks for the mother’s day shout out!
Oh my sweet katie. I hate that I missed that segment in life I knew you BC (before Curt-ha) but not while you were falling in love, and seriously I did not seeing that coming, him saying “i love you”. I mean serious, write a movie, a book, something! you had me at “i love you”!
May 9th, 2008 at 9:08 am
loved this story! also enjoyed the pictures of riley (and her mama!) in costume!!! 🙂
May 9th, 2008 at 3:59 pm
a friend of mine in high school/college had back to back boyfriends “declare their gayness” while dating her.
kate, thank you for having some idea of how important your words and your life’s experiences are for all of us. just because we all weren’t there with you in these moments doesn’t mean that there aren’t lessons for us to learn from them, so thank you for being a voice and a person of great beauty.
May 9th, 2008 at 8:49 pm
This story makes me so jealous every time I hear it. Jealous in the why-can’t-this-fairy-tale-story happen to me.
But it speaks of hope and patience, the things I lack the most.
So I appreciate hearing the story because it reminds me…
May 9th, 2008 at 10:17 pm
Aw wuv, twru wuv. 😀
May 10th, 2008 at 10:39 am
Oh, sweetie. I hope your day got better.
I logged on to sing to you… early Madonna… but decided considering the content of this post that maybe I shouldn’t sing “like a Virgin” Hey!
May 11th, 2008 at 5:12 pm
You make me laugh.
Happy Mother’s Day to the mom of one of my favorite girls. When can she come and play with me again?
May 12th, 2008 at 12:47 am
I remember your nerves. The what ifs. THE WHAT NOTS.
June 4th, 2012 at 8:19 pm
I had my first kiss at 25 too, although I did not marry him (still looking…), he was just a holiday fling.
But I really identify with your internal monologue you describe. I used to run though a thought shower very similar quite often. But I didn’t say anything to him till after he kissed me… a few days after.