May of 2005 was good for us. We had new jobs, a new car, and each other. Angela was close to quitting smoking completely. We did lots of activities on our weekends since we both had them free. Trips down to San Diego, up to L.A., out to the desert. We went where ever we wanted. It was the start of our many travels together.
Near the end of May, the two of us got into an argument about something stupid on my part, I’m sure. It was our angriest argument to date. (We’ve since far exceeded that level in our 11 years of marriage.) Angela drove to the store to get a few things while I stayed home. This was the first time I felt doubt in our relationship. Angela came back home with a pregnancy test two pack. Apparently she had been a few weeks late and she was stressed about that on top of our fight.
She took the first test. Positive. We waited a while before she took the second test, which was also positive. Angela’a job didn’t provide insurance, and I couldn’t cover her with mine. We set up an appointment at Planned Parenthood so we could get a professional test. We went up to the Planned Parenthood facility in Costa Mesa sometime during the first week of June. Their test also came back positive. So here we were, six months into our relationship, heading into the unknown with a new human on the way.
SHE SAID NO
We started planning our new future. At least I had a good entry level job to help provide for the family. I told Angela I thought we should get married, but she said no. Because we’d only been together six months, she wasn’t sure if we’d continue to work out once the baby came along, and she didn’t want to have to deal with marriage/divorce on top of everything else. I was cool with her decision, but I did try to convey the economic benefit of being married. (I’m older now and understand that this should never be a valid reason for marriage.)
I was so scared to tell my parents what I’d done. So many people in my life were concerned with the speed at which our relationship was progressing. When my friends would talk to me on the phone, or in person (when Angela wasn’t around) they would tell me they though we were moving too fast, that Angela was a rebound, that I needed to make the decision that was best for me. I was getting it from a lot of different people in my life. I loved having people looking out for me, but I told them I was an adult and knew what I was doing. (A lie. I still don’t know what I’m doing.) I finally got around to telling my parents in mid to late June. My dad called me an idiot.
THE OTHER ME
In July, Angela and I were invited to my friend Jon’s wedding. Jon and I had worked together at Best Buy for a few years until I left and he moved up to San Jose. He and his fiance, Memi, were getting married in Cupertino at the end of month. Angela and I made the trip north, our first time going to the Bay Area together – also the first wedding we attended together. Most of the people at the wedding were either from up north, or were family, so we didn’t know anyone there but the groom. Jon purposely sat us at a table with another couple who’d made the trek north from Orange County – Jared and Line. (Pronounced like Lee-nuh).
The four of us hit it off immediately. We decided to hang out after the wedding and drove to their hotel in downtown San Francisco. We spent a late night out in the city getting dinner, walking around doing “normal couple” things. Normality didn’t last long, though. I got into a yelling match with a parking lot attendant over validation, while our new friends were in the back seat insisting they didn’t mind paying the $7. After the attendant asked me multiple times if I could read, gesturing to a sign that listed the restaurants who validated parking for that particular lot, it ended with me shouting “OF COURSE I CAN READ! I WENT TO COLLEGE!” before flooring it out the parking lot without paying. The night culminated with me punching a car that purposely nudged Jared as we crossed the street in the crosswalk while our light was green. Angela had to apologize to our new friends for my behavior. Somehow, we have remained great friends.
Life again started returning to normal. We’d become comfortable with the fact that in months we’d be parents. We started thinking about names and settled on Anson. It was different, but not totally out there. Angela had read it in a book of baby names. Apparently, according to the book, it meant “son of Andrew”, so it was kind of perfect. We quickly learned, however, why you never share your potential baby name with friends and loved ones. Everyone in our life hated the name, except for one of my coworkers, who was also named Anson. Angela’s mom suggested the name Mason. We eventually caved to family pressure, but we’re happy with our decision today.
By mid-August our lease was up and the landlords weren’t sure what they wanted to do with the place, so we all had to move. Angela and I had to find a new place to live, not only for us, but for our son who was well on the way…
Read the next chapter in this story: Finding Our Way.