After hanging out a couple of times, Armondo and I totally clicked. Everything just seemed right with him, though I had no intention of getting too involved too fast.
The first while getting to know him, I learned details about his recovery from drug use, the stories of his tattoos, his family dynamics etc., and would often find myself falling into his soft brown eyes as he spoke. But it wasn't all about him. He was as good a listener as a talker.
And he cooked for me. And if any of you have been following along for awhile, you know that I SO cannot cook!
I couldn't help but compare Armondo to my ex, Jimbo in the beginning, and to other guys I had been with recently. Armondo seemed to have and do all the things that Jimbo didn't, but wasn't as needy and nerdy as RM. And he seemed totally into me.
I have to admit though, that things were a little weird at first. I was hurting from finding out all the details of Jimbo's indiscretions, and was scared to jump head first into a relationship, and Armondo was less than a year clean and sober, so the two of us entered the relationship a little messed up and cautious. Sex didn't happen at first, which probably is actually a good thing, but we would spend nights together sleeping in each others arms. We spent a lot of time together in those early days and got to know each other really well. It was just... comfortable.
I also started to get to know his room mate, who outed herself in the previous post's comments, so I will use her blogging name Ryann. She had a computer (Armondo did not) and the two of us kept in touch often by msn chat. That is, when I wasn't actually at her house.
One of the funniest things I remember when talking to her on line was when I told her to tell Armondo that I wanted him to come over.
She passed on the message, and not five minutes later, he was at my door. Ryann's comment on MSN was "where'dhego?" He hadn't told her he was leaving, nor did he call me to tell me he was on his way. Just bam. There he was. And he would often drop what he was doing to come see me. It wasn't long before Ryann was fretting that she was going to have to start looking for a new room mate. I thought she was crazy for saying that, being that Armondo and I hadn't been together for very long, but only a few months later, it turned out she would be right.
We never really had an exact date that we considered to be our anniversary dating date, but we generally called it Hallowe'en.
And Hallowe'en that year was AWESOME. There were several parties. For Hallowe'en day at school, and the bar at night, I dressed up and went out like this:
And then, after Hallowe'en, my room mates and I threw a party. Everyone HAD to dress up, and if they didn't, we would dress them up! Armondo and I had raided the cheap after Hallowe'en deals that year at Value Village and had a huge tote full of accessories to dress people up with.
And this is me at our Hallowe'en party. Right after I kicked a$$ at the bobbing for apples competition! (You all know what that means, right? hee hee) My make up is running, but basically I was a slutty, dead nurse.
The boyfriend I had before Jimbo almost hit me the day I got my tongue pierced, and Jimbo totally wasn't into piercings either, but, Armondo was different. When I met him, I think he had 6 piercings. I had three. It only took a couple of weeks of being together before we decided to go and get our nipples pierced. Armondo already had one done, but he got it re-done in the other direction, and got the other nipple done too. I got both of mine done too. And, out of all the piercings I've had done over the years, THOSE ONES hurt the most! (I've had nine all together, including ears.) We spent the next week or so with breast feeding nipple pads in our shirts to protect them and to soak up any blood. It was pretty hot.
A couple months later, Armondo moved into my small two bedroom suite that I was sharing with a married couple and their toddler son. He was due to move in at the END of the month, but moved in half way through, before I could even get organized, and that, combined with some off hand insult he made about my father, caused our first major fight. That night, Armondo left for work, thinking he was going to come home and be dumped. That didn't happen though. I WAS angry, but he just seemed too "worth it" to get rid of.
On New Years Eve, he quit smoking. He had cut back quite a bit before hand, and had stopped smoking around me, and would often shower right after a cigarette, so it hadn't been so bad, but it was a good thing he quit, 'cause THAT would have been what would have broken us up. (Shallow, I know, but I just couldn't stand the thought of living with a smoker for a long period of time.)
Right around that time, we got ourselves a small two bedroom apartment in the other end of town, and started our animal collection.
In that small apartment, we already had Sabre (I'd had her for about two years by then), and started to collect rats, degus, fish, crawfish, and a guinea pig. I was pretty much bringing home a different pet every month. (The fish and crawfish were his though!)
We were very happy in our little, messy apartment, and things just got better and better.
March came around, and so did my birthday. Armondo took me out to breakfast at a diner and presented me with a box that sort of looked like this: