There. I said it. Amongst the cheap couches, free trash, and *ahem* questionable ads, we found love. Keith posted an ad with a little bit of info and an intriguing Tom Waits lyric. I think I debated for a day or so before answering, but I just couldn't forget the guy who wrote it.
Little (or maybe widely) known fact: Keith hates phones. Or at least talking to me on them. We went straight to a first date after maybe 3 emails. The man suggested Screamin' Mimi's, how could I not love him immediately?
Keith had Mimi's Mud and I had strawberry. You likely don't care about that, but it's something I won't ever forget.
We had ice cream, we walked, talked, and walked (I think we covered most of Sebastopol on foot that night). Eventually it became obvious that we had completed a 5K on our first date and maybe we should eat something.
DO NOT TELL MY MOTHER THIS PART.
Breaking all known rules of internet dating, I agreed to go back to Keith's so he could cook me dinner. He made pizza. This should come as absolutely no surise to anyone. Also, he was NOT a serial killer. Whew.
I went home from the date giddy and terrified. My sister and Kassie can attest to how insane I was about that first date. Keith actually called me the next morning and asked me out again (apparently he ended the night giddy too, though he will not admit to it every time I question him).
For date two we went hiking in Armstrong Woods. I was so excited I hadn't really thought out the cons of such a date, namely sweating profusely. Luckily, Keith didn't care and even offered to let me blow my nose on his sleeve during the hike.
Afterwards we went to Occidental for lunch at the Union Hotel (more pizza in case you were wondering) and then a drive out to Bodega Bay.
We were pretty much inseparable after that. At least I can't rememeber anything but a blur of pizza, Deadwood marathons, hiking, and camping that I hope never ends.
Thank god Charlie approved.
Added by Kate on Mon, Feb 6th 2012
3 Deember 2011
Pinnacles National Monument
I love the story of the failed proposal almost as much as I love the real one!
Apparently (completely unbeknownst to me) Keith had gotten my ring a couple weeks before he asked me. We were scheduled to go on a camping trip with our good friends Carrie and Annamarie to Pinnacles National Monument. We had a long week, we packed the car in a whirl and headed out early Saturday morning.
Lest I forget to point it out, this was in December. We should have known what was up when the park ranger warned us about the temperature. We laughed it off, we're archaeologists, we survey in cold and sleep outside all the time! We fondly recalled when we had camped at Clear Lake in 20 degree weather a few years back. No big deal!
We set up camp and lazed about while the sun went down. It got colder, and colder. Finally we were huddled so close to the fire we thought we might catch fire, or burn holes in all the polar fleece we'd piled on.
Eventually we had to go to bed, though it was hard to leave the fire. Keith and I raced to the tent, where we slept in our down sleeping bags on several layers of mats, in full clothes, shivering anyway. It was a miserable night, and when we woke up, we realized just how cold it was. Water had frozen INSIDE the tent. No wonder we couldn't get warm!
We were demoralized the next morning. After no sleep and shivers, Keith and I went for the shortest and saddest hike I've ever been on, barely leaving the parking lot before turning around and heading home.
Apparently THAT was when he was supposed to have asked me. I'm so glad he realized how tired, sick, and just plain miserable I was at that moment and didn't go for it!
Added by Kate on Fri, Mar 9th 2012
7 December 2011
The real proposal was a week later. I had just gotten home that day from a week long work trip and was exhausted. We decided that it was now or never for us to get a Christmas tree, so we drove into Sebastopol to find a one.
We ended up at a lot where the proprietors had imbibed a little too much of the nog and the generator was on the fritz, making the lights dim to complete darkness randomly. In between flickers, we spotted a tree and managed to purchase it from the inebriated crew.
We took it home and decorated it in our pajamas, listening to kitchy carrols and recounting stories behind all the ornaments. When it was done, I sat down exhausted to admire the work. Keith came over and knelt down next to the couch and pulled out the little box, and asked the impotant question.
In my slubby pajamas and slippers, I said yes.
Added by Kate on Mon, Apr 23rd 2012