Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What Happens in Vegas Doesn't Always Stay in Vegas. // Jen J.

I am 32 and it seems that either my friends are married and having babies or very much single and looking hard. I on the other hand seem to be the anomaly. My boyfriend and I are in a long-term relationship and living in sin. And of course I think the story of how we met is a good one, so I will share it now. Perhaps, it will bring a little hope to the singles out there because I am truly a cliche – I found my main squeeze when I least expected it. This is my version of the story, as my boyfriend may remember it differently. You see, he was drunk off of Crown Royal and 7up when we met.

The story begins in the fall of 2008. I had just volunteered for a six-month deployment to Iraq and semi-dating a real dufus. Simultaneous to my deployment preparation, plans were being made for my friend Pete’s surprise 40th birthday extravaganza in Las Vegas. Pete was already going to be in town because of the Annual Consumer Electronics Show (but, I really believe he was there for the Adult Entertainment Convention that was happening at the same time). Pete and I met while we were both living in the metro Washington DC area but he had since moved to Austin, and I to Pittsburgh. And to be honest, we really did not stay in touch. I caught wind of the celebration through my friend Allison and her husband Dave. The two of them and their friend Kim had signed up for the trip and mentioned I should come and share a hotel room with Kim. My deployment was quickly approaching and I figured that Vegas would be the perfect last hoorah before I left. Soon after I purchased my plane ticket I emailed the event coordinators to let them know I would be attending. One of the coordinators was a guy name Balex (I thought odd name but it turns out it's just a nickname) and all I knew of him was that he was from Austin.

In January, Dave, Allison, Kim, and I flew to Vegas to begin the festivities and meet up with about 40 other people that were there for Pete. As soon as the four of us checked into the Excalibur (not my favorite) we started drinking those tall bone shaped concoctions and before long we were “feeling fine”. At some point during the cocktails we found out that the “surprise” had been ruined because Pete had “run” into this Balex guy on the street the night before. The four of us were fairly annoyed and I know I bad-mouthed this Balex guy for ruining it.

After we all had our buzz on we returned to our room for naps. We had all taken, “at-the-ass-crack-dawn” flights from the east cost and were beat. After all we had a full night of activities ahead of us so we needed our rest. First on the schedule was a Mexican dinner at the Palms. This is where the big surprise was suppose to occur – until it was ruined.

The four of us headed over to the dinner where we finally met up with the rest of the group. Because the “cat was out of the bag”, the arrival was undramatic. Before the food arrived people mingled and introduced themselves. This is where I finally came face to face with this Balex character. He comes over to Kim and I and introduces himself. He reaches out his hand to Kim and says of all things that her hands were warm. I was thinking what a complete weirdo. But wait – things get more awkward. He notices that I am not drinking and starts interrogating me and asking why I am not boozing it up. The real reason why I wasn’t drinking was because margaritas were $25 and I was already hungover from drinking earlier in the day. He was so persistent and I didn’t feel like explaining myself so I decided to have a little fun. I told him that I was a recovering alcoholic and that I typically had my coin on me but my jeans were too tight. And just for the art of being outrageous I added that I had just gotten out of an abusive relationship.

Finally, that was enough to shut him up – but at the same time, I must have intrigued him. It didn’t take long for him to realize I misled him regarding my drinking habits, which I think intrigued him even more. He was after me the rest of that weekend and continues to be almost four years later.

Balex and I the weekend we met.
The first 2 years we were long distance – really long distance while I was in Iraq. But, we were very blessed and were able to spend a lot of time together. Typically, making trips on a monthly basis.  And last year, he decided to close the gap and relocate to Pittsburgh to give us a real chance.

The moral of this story is – yes, sometimes love does come knocking when you least expect it and there is often the need to to give people second chances. I will also add that you need to live your life for you. Signing up for the deployment was strictly for my own personal growth, so many people put off doing things because they are afraid of what they’ll will miss. But often times, you miss out on more standing still than if you take on life’s scary adventures.


  1. I met my man when I least expected it too, I am thankful to my best friend for setting up "the chance" for me to be at her apartment when her high school friend happened to be stopping by on his way thru town. 14 years later, 8 years married and two beautiful kids, I could not be more thankful.

  2. Aww..cute! And good for you to jump on a chance like that!! Hopefully he pops the questions soon!*

  3. Great story! And you are so right...I met my hubby when I was getting over a bad breakup and honestly didn't expect to date him let alone marry

  4. what a fun story! I wish I was better at talking bullshit when I'm on point, it makes stories so much more fun ;)

  5. What a great story!! I love reading people's love stories!!!


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