Monday, December 13, 2010

Kiss the One You Love: Kathryn and Vinny

I need each and every one of you to do me a favor. Remember that NIVEA contest I wrote about the other day? (Two long-distance couples win a trip to NYC to share a midnight kiss in Times Square.) Well, a reader of Fairytale Beginning and a fellow Sooner fan, Kathryn, entered the contest, and I'm asking all of you to vote for her. She lives in Texas and her boyfriend, Vinny, moved to Australia for a 3-year job opportunity. She won't be able to see him again until July or December 2011 (If I had to wait that long to see Cayden again I'd probably have to admit myself into a mental ward. For real). That just breaks my heart!

How cool would it be if YOU helped them ring in the New Year together in NYC?? Also, Kathryn has never had a New Years kiss!! We must fix that!

It's super easy, all you have to do is click HERE and then click VOTE.

There are only 11 days left to vote, and you can only vote once, so it's not like I'm going to have to bother you every day (although I might send some friendly reminders). The couple in the lead right now has more than 800 votes, but if each and every one of you vote for Kathryn and Vinny, we can totally pull out a win! (I know there are more than 1,000 of you who check into my blog daily, so pretty pretty pretty please, vote!). I promise it will only take, like, three seconds out of your day to possibly make their year.

And if you're a super sweetheart, maybe you can post it on your Facebook and tweet about it so we can get all of your friends to vote as well? I know it's all thanks to you guys that I won the Cosmo Blog Awards, so I already know yall have what it takes to make dreams come true :) (Yes, I'm aware that was super cheesy.)

Tweet suggestion: Help this long-distance couple share their first kiss together! Vote for Kathryn and Vinny. PLEASE RT!

Here's their story and a little more about them:

"I met Vinny while I was in graduate school. The first time I saw him he was standing over the copy machine while I was walking to my office. He was a PhD student and I was there for my Masters. I thought he was in desperate need of a haircut and he was wearing a sweatshirt with the University of Florida football logo on it, which is my least favorite college team. We exchanged a little "smack talk" since my team (The University of Oklahoma) had played his team for the National Championship the year before. It was all in good fun, but I did not think our relationship would become anything more after that point.

In December, my second semester at Graduate school, I got a mass email from Vinny to everyone in our graduate department about this type of toy drive he was organizing. He was collecting "Jared Boxes" which are boxes of toys, clothes, and other essentials for children of all ages that are sick in the hospital. The Jared Box came from a little boy named Jared whose parents would always bring him a little box of toys to brighten his day in the hospital while he was fighting cancer. Unfortunately, Jared passed away but Jared Boxes are still collected by numerous organizations and donated to local children's hospitals. I was really touched by Vinny's compassion for the cause, so I started to look past his love for the University of Florida and Tim Tebow (which is where he did his undergraduate degree) and decided I needed to get to know him more.

We initially started to talk occasionally on facebook chat or in passing at the graduate student offices. It was only small talk, but I noticed that my day would always be a little brighter whenever I ran into him. We went out to the bars on campus or in Oklahoma City a couple of times with other people from our department, and we would somehow end up only talking to each other despite the fact that we would be in a group of 10-20 people. Despite the numerous chances he had to ask me on a date, I went home to Texas for Christmas break dateless and he went to Florida.

When we returned from our break, I got a text message from Vinny finally asking me on a date. Yes, he asked me via text but I let it slide since I found it hilarious. I still remember what it said: "Hey, so I'm thinking we need to go on a date. You pick the day, and I will get my classiest Affliction shirt dry cleaned." (Side note: we both watched Jersey Shore as our guilty pleasure so that is where the Affliction shirt came from) I found that text so funny, that I couldn't say no! On the date the plan was to go to dinner at a sushi restaurant and see a movie.

We went to dinner, where the food was great and the company was even better. I introduce Vinny to the concept of RedBox that night and we ended up watching "7 Pounds" at my house after dinner.

We shared our first kiss after the date, and it was the kind of kiss that still gives me butterflies when I think about it.

After that first date, we became inseparable and I became Vinny's girlfriend. Things could not have been better. We loved each other's company. Some of the memorable things I can remember doing are visiting several Oklahoma museums, art galleries, zoos (including the drive-through zoo in Arbuckle, OK), sporting events, oh-and class. We had to spend a lot of time at school, especially since Vinny was finishing his dissertation and graduating in May of that year. I was scheduled to graduate in August. Vinny had applied to several jobs, and was starting to go on interviews. We had only been dating a month or two when he was offered a job as a professor/researcher at Central Queensland University in Rockhampton, Queensland. It was a great opportunity, but the job was in AUSTRALIA.

To make a long story short, Vinny and I talked about it and decided that he should take the job. We had just started dating and did not know where it was going yet. I did not want to be the reason that he missed out on an opportunity, so I told him that if he really wanted the job then he had to take it. That was in March 2010. He would be leaving June 1. We had roughly 2 months left together. We discussed the option of ending things at that point so we wouldn't have to do distance, but we didn't like that option. We decided that we would just take everything one day at a time and see where things went. To make a long story short, we made the most of our time together and things got serious between us.

After graduation, Vinny and I went on a roadtrip together 2 weeks before he left for Australia. From Oklahoma to Texas to meet my parents and youngest sister, and then to Florida to see his family. It was such a great trip, and it brought us much closer together. When we returned to Oklahoma, I told him that I loved him. Thankfully, he felt the same way.

June 1st was a rough day for us. Taking Vinny to the airport was absolute torture, and it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. We had no idea when we would see each other next, especially since it is so expensive to go to Australia and a very long plane ride. It's not exactly the kind of trip you can make in a weekend. The not knowing makes everything worse, so I was a mess for a few days while I waited to hear that Vinny made it safely halfway around the world. When he finally arrived, our long distance relationship began via facebook chat, gchat, and emails. Skype was not an option because Vinny did not have a webcam, so I sent him one. We were finally able to Skype about 2 months into his time in Australia. We have been able to talk once or twice a day, but it is not the same as being together in the same place. Skype can really be a tease since you can see and hear the other person, but cannot touch them.

I was able to make a trip to see Vinny in October for 12 days. I was gone for 2 weeks, but it takes a whole day to fly there. The trip was AMAZING and I can't wait to go back and see him again, I will just need to win the lottery first! Vinny is so busy with work and teaching that it is hard for him to take time off to travel back to the States. The next possible visit will most likely be in July for a conference in Las Vegas. We both need to go to the conference, but who knows how much time we will have to just be together.

Winning this trip to see Vinny would mean the world to us. He would be able to take off of work because he will not be teaching class yet, and I would get to see my boyfriend much sooner than I thought! I know that my chances are not the best, but I really appreciate all of your help!! It's so nice to read your blog and know that I am not the only person who is in a long-distance relationship. :)

If we were together on New Year's it would make the 3 years we have to spend apart a little less torturous.

(Side note: I am a pretty outgoing person and I have no problem sharing things about my life with others, but it was a real challenge to write about my relationship! I feel like nothing I write will portray what Vinny and I feel for each other in the right way, so I have a new respect for how you share your story with Cayden. Vinny and I have not been together for long, but I feel like I have known him forever. We know everything about each other, the good and the bad, and we love each other. I know my chances for winning this contest are slim to none, but it can't hurt to try. I really have nothing to lose, except my palms are sweating right now just thinking that people will be reading about and judging my relationship. )


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