Okay, let’s get something straight. Megan is the sweetest girl I know. She’s pretty. She’s smart. She’s a huge Alton Brown fan. If you ask her to wash your dirty underwear, she’ll do it without batting an eye. She’s all of the above. But there’s a side to Miss Green that most people don’t see. When we first met, she was pretty aggressive. It subsided as we got to know each other and she grew to really love this nerdy lump. I guess this marriage is a funeral to Megan’s Bluntly Aggressive personality . . . bow your heads . . . NOW, let’s get to this courtship, meeting, aggressive thingy story.
ERIN PALLESEN. That’s where this starts.
In 2005, Erin and I were taking improv classes at the IO Theatre in Chicago – then named Improv Olympic. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) doesn’t think people can distinguish between hopped up athletes and hopped up comedians, so they sued to have the “Olympic” stricken from the comedy theater’s name. Anyway . . .
Erin was part of an improv group called Normaltown. He invited me to see one of his shows at The Playground Theatre. Oh, The Playground Theatre – at the time, the exciting possibilities it held. We were all gonna be famous back then . . . I sat in the back row, by myself, and watched the group perform. And then it happened. This unbelievably cute girl walks into a scene. I couldn’t keep my eyes off her. I have no idea if she was funny. She could have been spewing Nazi propaganda and telling the audience that she just pooped her pants and I wouldn’t have known. I just stared at her. It made me think of how one of my favorite married couples met – David and Phylis Ravel – two of my undergraduate teachers at Marquette. David saw Phylis in a play and had to meet her. And so, I had to meet this girl. As soon as the show was over, I walked around the theatre, trying to catch her, but kept getting pulled over by friends. By the time I was done with the small talk, she had left.
A couple of weeks later, like all artists, I was working at my temp job at a company that will remain nameless. It rhymes with “soul sucking” and sounds like Sudential Sapital Soup. Erin e-mailed me and invited me to lunch with a group of improvisors who all worked in similar hellish situations. They called themselves “Lunch Club.” Their misson statement: helping make each other’s day jobs tolerable through e-mail jokes and threads and a daily afternoon meal at the Nordstrom’s foodcourt. They seemed nice enough . . . over e-mail.
As soon as I got my salad, or Potbellies sandwich – whatever food I ate – I sat down at a long table in the very back of the room. Moments later, Megan sat down next to me. I thought, “All right, the cute girl from the show. Sweet.” It didn’t take long for me to feel like an Al Qaeda operative at Guantaonimo Bay. Not so much by the rest of Lunch Club – they were just being cautious with a new friend. No, this is where Megan’s blunt side comes into play.
“Who are you?”
“What’s your name?”
“What do you do?”
“Why are you here?”
“Did you plan 9-11?”
She didn’t actually ask about 9-11, but for all intensive purposes, I wouldn’t say she was a Timmy fan . . . and with that, I was introduced to Megan Green, the “Bluntly Aggressive” improvisor. Finally, I had to go on the defensive before the water boarding started. “Dear God, what’s with the 3rd degree.” Nonchalantly, she answers, “Calm down. We don’t know who you are. I’m just asking questions.”
I had invaded her space – her circle of friends – and was being punished. No matter how cute she was, I was sufficiently scared. But, like a wounded puppy that thinks it’s red neck, meth-addicted owner will treat him better, I kept coming back. In fact, a few days after the first meeting, Megan warmed up to me – a little bit. She and I ended up walking back to work after lunch – alone. There was something so alluring about her. No matter how aggressive she was, I wanted to hang out longer. She worked way south of Frudential Frapital Froup, but I decided to walk her back to work. We were both late to work, but it was worth it.
Months passed. Megan and I grew closer – we became good friends. Then, one day, while walking to Lunch Club with ERIN PALLESEN, I said, “You know, I would have asked Megan out a long time ago, but she reminds me of this girl I went on some dates with in Michigan, and that ended badly.” I tell this to ERIN PALLESEN thinking it was in confidence.
Then the incident happened. Stephen Saff, a Lunch Club founding member, had one of his famous PARRYS. No, not a PARTY – A PARRY. He’ll be at the wedding. Ask him. these Parrys were famous for being loud, fun, and full of people. I got to the Parry and had just starting drinking when Megan entered. I won’t say she was drunk, but, she was drunk. She makes a b-line to me, pokes her cute, slender finger into my chest like an adorable hot poker and slurs, “What’s this crap about you saying I remind you of some girl you dated in Michigan? Don’t compare me to some hussy you knew in Michigan!” I was speechless. I looked over at Erin and wanted to tear his head off. Then Megan says, “If you want to ask me out, ask me out. But don’t compare me to some slut in Michigan – you don’t know what I’m like.” So, like an idiot, I say, “Do you want to go on a date?”
“No, not really.”
Megan was actually dating someone at the time, and it ended that night. So I had bad timing. WE had bad timing . . . all the time. She would ask me out. I’d say no. I’d think that was a mistake, and I ask her out and she’d say not no. Back and forth. Back and forth. We never dated but we became the best of friends. There wasn’t a day that went by that we didn’t talk. I finally asked her to see one of ERIN PALLESEN’s shows with me. I not sure if we we thought it was a date or not — but let’s be real here – it was a date. We went to dinner at a PIECE – a pizza joint in Chicago’s Wicker Park. We saw the show, had a good night kiss. But we refused to say we were dating. And then came INCIDENT 2.
April 14, 2006. Patrick Tamisiea’s 26th birthday. Patrick, myself and his roomates decorated his apartment in print outs of Alfonso Robero ‘s head. What does that have to do with this story. Nothing. It was just funny. A bunch of my Marquette University friends came to celebrate Patrick getting 1 year older and 10 years more immature. My good friend Kathryn and I were dancing on the make shift dance floor – i.e. Pat’s living room. Kathryn looks at me and says, “Who’s that?” “I look behind me to see Megan Green entering the apartment, walking past the makeshift dance floor. “Oh, that’s my friend Megan,” to which Kathryn replies, “She looks like she wants to kill me.” I was a little inebriated, so I take another look and . . . yep, Megan is glaring at us like she’s ready to pounce.
Later that night, Megan approached me when I was alone and pretty much put me between a rock and a hard place. For the first time in my life, I was the prey. I could tell you about this incident, it’s quite funny, but you’ll have to ask me at the wedding because there are boundaries . . . and Megan asked me to take it off the site . . .
In any case, I fled, like a wimp, and ended up in the back yard in front of a fire pit. And low and behold, who am I sitting between? PAT DWYER (who I found out later convinced Megan to do the thing I had to omit form this story.) and ERIN PALLESEN. I’m pretty white in the face and these two knuckleheads notice. One of them asks, “Timmy, what’s wrong?” I answer, “I think Megan just made a pass at me.” Then ERIN and PAT at the same time say:
PAT: “What the hell are you doing here?”
ERIN: “Oh, no. Really?”
Still, we would not commit to each other as boyfriend/girlfriend. We just kept going back and forth. The fact is, we both wanted to hang on to our single status like a 6 year-old holds onto his favorite blanket – it’s warm, it’s comfortable, it’s familiar, it holds a world of possibilities, it won’t hold us down and it smells vaguely of pudding. But we kept inching closer and closer to each other, like fated magnets. She got a new temp job across the street from Sludential Slapital Sloup and I would meet her in the lobby EVERY DAY after work so we could walk to the train together. I even went to her apartment before a blind date because I just wanted to see her. The attraction was there, but the fear was stronger.
Then, INCIDENT 3 happened. New Years’s Eve, December 31, 2005. Stephen Saff has another Parry. It’s chock full of people – Improvisors, French People, some guy named Matt Bible . . . It’s a blast. And Megan comes in wearing this gorgeous silver, flowing – almost 1960s dress. Her hair is up and her gorgeous neck leads to this glowing face. She looks . . . I can’t even explain.
We’ve been very flirty all night and it’s getting closer to Midnight. From what I remember, I had to find her among the gaggle of improvisors. I’m looking for this silver dress. It’s getting closer to midnight and I know that I want to kiss her. In a rush, I find her in the kitchen. We both have glasses or champaign or beer or – God, I don’t remember – I just know we look at each other and very unceremoniously, very non-chalantly, very matter-of-factly I ask, “Are we dating?” She says, “Yeah, I guess so.” I say, “Okay.” And it’s midnight. And we kiss. And that’s that.