I love where we started

I cannot believe that Jay & I are getting married in one week!  Holy crap, the entire last 15 months have gone by soooo quickly!  I figured that this week, I’d try to do something Jay & Colleen origin-y or something to that effect.  So I guess I’ll start at the “beginning.”

It all started with a podcast.

Well, I guess, technically, it started with two podcasts.  After I first got into Lost in December 2005, they were in Season 2.  I also had just gotten my very first iPod, the black classic.  I was looking for some sort of “spoiler” guide that would break it down more for me and give me some info on what was to come.  I’ve always been the type of person who has needed to know more.  I downloaded three podcasts:   Delta Park Gets Lost, The Transmission, and The Lost Podcast with Jay and Jack.  I remember listening to my very first Transmission podcast as I took a walk thru my parents’ neighborhood for some fresh air and exercise.  My first Transmission was Ryan & Jen’s last Transmission (at the time, of course).  I don’t remember my first Delta Park, but I know they didn’t publish very often and their website was waaaaay more kick ass.  I also remember my first Lost Podcast.  It was before The Transmission, actually, but most likely because they came first in the alphabet lol.  I was at Marist College and going for a run and decided to put it on.  They were dorky but fun.  I kept listening but it wasn’t until the RambleCast that they really became Must Listen Podcasting for me.  Come on, anyone reading this must remember the early but classic verses!  Anyway, in Fall 2006, I was listening to a call from a listener and heard a familiar voice; a college classmate and friend named John Norton.  He has a pretty distinct voice so I knew right away that there was no way it was a different person with the same name.  I believe I contacted him and was all, “aahhh hey! I heard you on Jay & Jack!”  From there, we decided to do a podcast and January 2007, the very first MetroBuzz was released, thanks to John’s genius for all things tech and a little bit of guidance from Jay.

It was good times.  I was so depressed before MetroBuzz started.  I was restless and frustrated by being a college graduate and still living at home, working at Ann Taylor Factory, not able to find a “real” job.  That podcast was such a blessing for me, in so many ways and I will always look back fondly on that first year because it was just so much fun.  For April Fool’s Day 2007, John & I decided to have a fake intro, where people would think they were hearing The Lost Podcast but in fact, it was us, blah blah blah blah blah.  That was the very first time I ever spoke with Jay, even though I had to sit in my car stealing Internet in my aunt’s driveway because the Internet had died at her house where I was dog-sitting.

I can say that it all started with a podcast.  But in fact, it really started with a note in a tree at the Raleigh-Durham Airport.  A note left for me by Jay’s step-grandpa and a MetroBuzz listener (and good friend) Rob “IronFiggy” who found out I’d be visiting Raleigh a few days after he was leaving and thought it’d be fun to leave me a note and hide it at the airport for me to find.  I found it upon arrival on April 27, 2007 while waiting for my friend Cassidy to pick me up (I was visiting her at UNC Chapel Hill).

Back in the day, Jay and Jack had the most kick ass message boards EVER.  Rob & his cohort Ann, a coworker of J&J, conspired to hook me and Jay up (I think lol).  We briefly spoke via PM before I left my BTR crew at Penn Relays about possibly meeting up if there was time, but it was very non-committal.  Ann picked me up from Cassidy’s apartment in Chapel Hill and took me to meet Jay.  Ironically, both he and I almost canceled on that meeting.  I really liked Ann though and wanted to meet her, so I knew that even if I didn’t meet Jay, I’d still have a great time.  Ann took me to downtown Raleigh to show me around and to maybe possibly meet up with Jay.  We had a stranger take this picture when we first got there:

I remember the exact moment that Jay pulled up outside the Pour House in Morse Square in downtown Raleigh in his red Cavalier with the Apple sticker on it.

“So you must be the world famous Colleen,” were the very first words he said to me in person.

We walked around with Ann, who took our picture in front of a Confederate Memorial statue (haiii the South!) and then she (maybe) mysteriously had to leave.  Jay agreed to take me to the airport because she couldn’t do it anymore.  We went to Five Guys for a burger and talked about everything from “The Office” to Kevin Smith movies to John & I going to Comic Con 2007 to Clay Aiken (don’t ask haha).  We must have quoted “Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica!” a bunch of times.  I remember the exact table we sat at that day, how when he paid, I tried to object and a small but meaningful exchange we had about him being a nice guy and nice guys finishing last a la Jack vs. Sawyer.

I gave him a kiss on the cheek when we got to the airport that day as a polite, Italian-American’s way of saying “thank you” in the friendliest manner possible.  I noted he was taken aback but receptive.  You know how sometimes you do something and go, “Why the HELL did I just do that?”  I never once questioned that.  It always felt natural and it always felt right.  And that’s how we started.

You see, I wasn’t the kind of girl in college who constantly hooked up or spent her days searching for her future husband.  I didn’t hide from boys, but I wasn’t in high demand nor was there more than maybe 2 or 3 dudes who I felt strongly enough to possibly pursue.  Nothing ever worked out and by my senior year, I basically felt that I would never end up with anyone and had prepared myself for a life of being a NYC power woman who worked a lot and loved her job and made decent money but always went home alone at the end of the day.  I never had anyone feel as natural to me as Jay did.  In fact, I never ever had any anxiety over him, any worry that he didn’t like me, any…anything.  A lot of times, there’s some form of drama or questioning or self-doubt or something when it comes to talking to a member of the opposite sex who you’re attracted to.  I never had any of this.  It may have been the first time in my life that I wasn’t embarrassed over relationship stuff.  It felt easy, it went smoothly, and the rest is history.

[Note: Full story co-written by me & Jay is here.  It’s got a little more detail to it.]

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