Friday, September 17, 2010

Where Are You Going

And now the moment you've been waiting for, my favorite DMB song and the story behind it.

Drumroll please...

"Where Are You Going" from Busted Stuff

Where are you going?
With your long face, pulling down, don't hide away
Like an ocean that you can't see but you can smell
And the sound of the waves crash down

I am no Superman
I have no reasons for you 
I am no hero
Oh, that's for sure
But I do know one thing
Is where you are is where I belong
I do know where you go
Is where I want to be

Are you looking for answers to questions under the stars?
If along the way you are growing weary 
You can rest with me until a brighter day
You're okay

Once upon a time, 11 years ago, a guy and a girl met their freshman year of college. They were in band and had a few classes together, but didn't really hit it off right away. Little did they know where life would take them.

OK I can't do this whole thing in third person. It's wierd and I'm not Bob Dole.

Spring break meant the pep band traveled with the basketball teams for tournaments and since freshmen got kicked out of the dorms, Craig and I found ourselves bunking for the week at the band house with the upperclassmen who lived there.

Scratch that. Craig found himself spending the week with a whole passle of girls, including me. We started to get to know each other more and get along. I had a boyfriend, so nothing more happened.

I found myself single again and kept talking to Craig over the summer while I stayed in town and he went home to work. He came to visit over July 4th weekend and after a long night of fun, I initiated a smooch on the back porch. He went home confused. (An emotion he is very familiar with now) A month later, I used a bus ticket to go visit him and meet the parents. (EEK! Without even dating? What was I thinking?!) 

So as sophomore year started, we were hanging out with four other friends all the time. I was OK with him just being a friend until I saw him hitting on my best friend. That was not cool. Yes, I turned green. It's not a good color on me. 

So I confronted him on it a few days later on our way out of the cafeteria back to our dorm. He said we were really good as friends and he would hate for it to be weird if we broke up. 

I stopped on the steps and turned to look at him.

"Then we just won't break up."

And with that, we were dating. 

We had one year together before he starting his engineering co-op in Indiana. He would work for a semester and then take classes for a semester. So he was gone in the fall of our junior year. I studied abroad spring semester. He worked over the summer and was finally back for the fall of my senior year and his "first" senior year (his was a 5-year program).

Being apart was awful. We were both easily frustrated and fought more than we ever had in our first year together. All of our friends agreed that we were hard to live with when the other was gone. That same year, DMB's album Busted Stuff came out with the song "Where Are You Going." As soon as I heard it, I knew it was for us. How else do you describe a relationship where we were living in different places for a year straight?

But we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. We started talking about what to do when I graduated. We wanted to live together while he finished school and then would move wherever he could find a job. Newspapers are everywhere, but not so for engineering jobs. There was no question that the future meant we would be together. But a local job wasn't a done deal and my mom was sick, so I hadn't ruled out heading closer to home. It was hard to know what was coming next.

As graduation loomed and we were infinitely tired of the commute back and forth (it was hardest on him, who ended up visiting me almost every weekend to help me pass statistics), things started to go our way. My internship from the year before was available as a paid position and we found an apartment, so the immediate dilemma was solved. We talked in vague terms about getting married, what kind of ring I would like and even how I would want him to propose. 

He asked if I would want people there. Perfect strangers? No. People we knew? Friends? Yeah, that was okay.

I had no clue what was coming.

In May 2003 he made the trip up for the annual band dinner dance. While he changed into his tux, I complained to my roommate that he hadn't even remembered to get me flowers for my last dinner dance. She tried to make excuses, but I was still ticked. I didn't even notice Marie has a horrible poker face.

We sat through the dinner with my Marie and her boyfriend Dave and it wasn't long after the music started (mp3s provided by band members - aahh, Napster) that Craig put his jacket back on and pulled me out onto the floor. I had mostly forgiven him about the flowers and was ready to enjoy my night. When we were on the floor, "Where Are You Going" started to play. He pulled me closer and started to sing. 

He looked in my eyes, "I don't have any answers but I do have this."

The next thing I knew, Craig was down on one knee with a ring in his hand. 

I think I managed to nod or say yes and it wasn't long before everyone else knew what was going on and started cheering and snapping photos. I was a thousand shades of red, but the happiest I had ever been.

My roommate and her boyfriend had been in on it, helping Craig make sure the song was in the playlist in a certain order and even hiding the ring in Dave's jacket in case I felt Craig's coat before he took it off at our table. Once the coat was on the back of his chair, Dave slipped it back into his pocket. I thought nothing of him putting his coat back on, even though he always complains of being hot. Marie wasn't really lying when she said Craig was too preoccupied to remember to get me flowers. I liked the ring much better. 

Less than a year later, we were husband and wife. A year after that, he was the rock I relied on when I lost my mom. He is my best friend and soul mate. He has seen me at my best and my worst, and decided I was worth the headaches. Now, 6.5 years, 4 moves, 3 jobs and 2 kids later, we are heading to Chicago to celebrate my birthday. With the band that plays "our song."

And it doesn't matter where we go next.