Before I fell in love with Jon, I fell in love with wrestling.
I grew up in Rochester, New York, in the early ’90s — this was before the wrestling boom, before the Attitude Era. Wrestling wasn’t “cool” yet but I didn’t care. I wanted to be Ric Flair so bad. “Not Miss Elizabeth,” I’d have to correct people. I didn’t want to wear fancy dresses. I loved wrestling. I was so proud of these wrestler-themed folders I had in second grade: Ultimate Warrior, Macho Man Randy Savage, Jake the Snake Roberts, the whole deal. Kids in class would make fun of me for them. “Why do you have those???” Stuff like that. I remember coming home one afternoon, in tears, and telling my mom what had happened. She asked me if I wanted to get new folders.
I said no way.
My first boyfriend was a wrestler. I went to an all-girls Catholic high school, so boys hadn’t really been a part of my life growing up. But then one of my classmates, before our senior year, she’d met this guy at summer school, Anthony, who wrestled in the local indie scene. And he’d been bugging her ever since then to go to one of his shows. Knowing I was a wrestling fan, she asked me to come with. We had a great time….. and eventually Anthony and I started dating.
Hanging out with Anthony, pretty soon I became friends with a bunch of other people in the Rochester wrestling community. It was a tight circle, the kind where everyone knows everyone. One of the wrestlers I’d see around a lot was this crazy-tall guy — I mean crazy-tall, like a legit 6' 7" — who played this character (or at least I thought it was a character) where he was basically the most arrogant dickhead you’ve ever met. He went by “Huberboy #2” (his older brother had taken “Huberboy #1”). I called him “Huber.” His real name was Jon.