“… if I had been closed off to different ways of finding love, I may have missed meeting the love of my life.”
I guess you can say that I am a love seeker; open to all possibilities and all avenues that could lead to finding true love. I always kept an open mind to whatever and whomever was right for me throughout my life, and I knew that following this path love would find its way. What I didn’t know is that it would take the game of kickball to make it all happen.
It was spring 2004 and I was living single in an apartment in northwest Atlanta. I hadn’t been in a serious relationship for about a year since breaking up with my girlfriend of five years. That was my longest relationship up to that point in my life. Although I had never defined myself as gay, I fell in love with the person and was not going to let gender stand in the way. Ultimately, this strengthened my perspective on life and love, acceptance and openness. Why wouldn’t it? I felt true love, and that was the point.
This relationship did not work out in the end, but it gave me a taste of true love, and I craved the feeling again. Not tied to any specific sexual orientation, off I went in my new singlehood searching for love. I remember waiting all week for the chance to go on dates and meet new people on the weekends. If not on Match.com dates, I was at clubs like Vision, Compound or Tongue and Groove. In my early 20s, in a big city, I was free-spirited and having fun.
That was when I met HIM. I had recently started working at Storehouse Furniture on Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Atlanta as the assistant store manager. Most of my colleagues were also new and young, which made work that much more fun. Corporate wanted to create an environment of collaboration, so they sponsored a kickball team and got us all team shirts. I hadn’t played kickball since grade school, and neither had any of my co-workers, but we didn’t care. It was a chance to have fun together and enjoy drinks on the company. Sign us up! The funny part is we were so terrible that we had to set up a practice day just to learn the rules.
I remember the first practice so vividly; not because we were so disorganized and missing the ball, but because of who was there. It was Mr. Cool Guy from corporate, showing up fashionably late.
There he was, leaning on the infield fence, posing like James Dean. He was too cool for school, letting us know he didn’t need to practice this childish game. I saw through it though and something about him gave me goose bumps all the way in the outfield. I hoped to cross paths when we switched sides. Unfortunately, I never got a chance at practice to introduce myself, but I was persistent. And finally, after a drink or two at Jock’s and Jill’s in Brookhaven, I made my move. His name was Kevin.
Kevin wasn’t easy to get, he played hard ball. I pursued vigorously and even entered “stalker mode” at times. Having caught wind of my motive, my co-workers even joined in my pursuit. As it turned out, Kevin was the IT help desk, and if it wasn’t me calling his number for assistance, it was one of them submitting a request for him to come fix our computers at the store. Late that summer, I finally got his personal email address, and shortly thereafter, his cell phone number. I was now strategically equipped to launch a major offensive. The opportunity presented itself during Midtown Music Festival weekend. I had no one to go with and no ticket in hand, but I did have a plan to see Kevin. I knew he was going to be there and thought it would be the perfect time to make my move. I told you I was a free spirit.
Nearly 15 years later from that special night in 2004, Kevin and I are madly in love and have an amazing daughter, Arya (yes – we love Game of Thrones). Kevin is what I always sought for in a partner, and I truly feel that if I had been closed off to different ways of finding love, I may have missed meeting the love of my life. I have kept my kickball shirt from that special season because every time I pick it up, it brings back that emotional high of meeting Kevin and falling in love.
Thank you Amy for sharing your awesome story. We've repurposed Amy's donated shirt and created "Story Tags" like you see below to be sewn on new elovate.us t-shirts. So that we can connect with each other and make new stories to share.