Nate and I probably met a couple of times before we actually met.
Nate went to college with his best man, Matthew Marovich. Matt is a brilliant guy, funny, sweet, talented, and prone to hysterical ranting and raving, usually while muppet-flailing.
Matt and I met through our Renaissance faire guild while we were both in college (although going to different schools), although I made it down to Santa Cruz a few times to hang out with him. He swears that we hung out while he was hanging with Nate. There is photographic evidence that Nate and I were at the same parties at the same time, but for whatever reason, we didn’t quite ever connect.
And then in August of 2008, Nate and I really met at a renaissance faire that Matt and his (then fiance, now) wife were working with me. They had dragged Nate along to guest with our guild, and had evidently spent the entire drive to the faire site warning Nate that we’re a hard group to break into, but just be friendly, helpful, and respectful, and maybe, just maybe, we would warm to him. Maybe.
It’s a thing about working faires the way we do, which is to say that we work really hard and play only slightly harder than that. Our guild likes people who are useful before they are nice, and in the division between “nice” and “interesting”, we’ll almost always pick “interesting”.
Nate is unusual in that he is genuinely kind, has a wicked sense of humor, and is competently helpful.
Sometime on Saturday while I was tipsily wandering around our faire yard and after Nate had cheerfully acquiesced to being a beast of burden for the Ladies ™, I asked him to pick up a chair or bring us a drink, or something equally useful to someone who was wearing more velvet than any human being rightfully ought to. After delivering whichever slightly ridiculous request the Ladies had made, I pointed at his chest and said, “I like you.”
I am known for not liking many people and certainly not enough to want to spend time with them intentionally. When I meet people I like, I don’t believe in dicking around with half-assed looks from afar or wondering if they like me, too. I liked Nate, so I told him then and there.
Later that weekend found us working hard shoulder to shoulder and exchanging email addresses. Soon after we discovered that we have similar hobbies, and a friendship was formed.
Nate and I were both dating other people at the time, so our relationship started with a friendship. We were both trying to identify what we wanted in our lives and it was sort of inevitable that when we both finally found ourselves single at the same time, we looked at each other and realized that the answer to that was waiting right there.