“See? He’s her lobster!”
May 19, 2011 § 6 Comments
When it comes to expecting presents, the husband and I are like kids on Christmas morning. Which is kinda funny, since we opened all our presents around the 15th of December this year. So when our anniversary presents were ready, we couldn’t wait until Sunday to exchange them. We decided last night to go out to eat at the Cheesecake Factory and exchange them afterward.
I made the husband follow the traditional gift exchange and he had to creatively make me something out of paper. He ended up giving me a necklace holder to put on the wall! It’s an old mirror (1805) and he bought old books and tore out the pages and plastered them over the mirror and screwed in cuphooks so I could hold my necklaces. It’s so beautiful! And he even bought me an owl necklace to go with it–he thinks I collect owls, but I’m pretty sure he’s the one that has the secret fascination with them.
For my present, I took every single email we’d ever sent while we were dating and bounded them together in a book. This was no small feat, let me tell you. We had over 200 or so emails. And some of them were only one word or so.
The fact that our anniversary is days away is startling. No one told me that a year would go by faster than I could catch my breath. In fact, I still wake up in the middle of the night wondering why there is a boy sleeping in my bed next to me. Thinking of this, and re-reading all of our emails to each other, made me realize that a lot of people have no idea how this marriage happened.
So let me tell you the story.
(It’s the cutest most romantic and cheesiest story you’ll ever hear, by the way.)
We met on August 1, 2009, in Norfolk, Ma, four nights after my breakup with boyfriend #2. I had flown to MA for a week to visit my cousins and a potential grad school (okay, I might’ve used grad school as an excuse). The trip, though planned for a couple months, came at a great time, since boyfriend #2 made me hate the entire male species and I was ready to get away for just a few days. And then on the third day of my trip, I met him.
It was in my cousin’s living room. He had come over to talk to my cousin’s husband about something or other and it was while they were having a conversation that I–quite literally–jumped, bounced, skipped into the room wearing only basketball shorts and a t-shirt. I saw him, awkwardly shook his hand, and then continued my search for my sneakers.
And then my cousin’s husband had to go and ask him if he wanted to accompany our troupe to Plymouth, and the guy said yes. And then he took my seat in the van.
I didn’t “fall in love at first sight,” and my “heart” didn’t “quicken” or anything like that. But I did go to bed that night thinking, “He’d make a great husband.”
After three days of hanging out with each other, I left to go back to Texas. He didn’t text me until a week after I had got home (apparently, this is some sort of guy rule) and after that we talked through texts or emails almost everyday. He came for a three day visit in October, and when he left, I was smitten. I knew I’d marry him. And sure enough, on the seventh day I saw the guy, he proposed at Iguana Joes, in the dark, next to a dumpster, with his knee in gum. So romantic. Six months after that, I was married.
I remember friends asking who the heck was I engaged to, and didn’t I think this was all so fast? But what I had to keep telling them, and what I had to keep reminding myself, is that cheesy line–you know the one, “When you know, you know”–well, that line is true. I knew. By September, only a month after we’d met, I told my mom I wouldn’t be surprised if I married him. Was it fast? Maybe. But you have to remember, when it is physically impossible for you to go on dates with a person, all that’s left to do is talk. So talk we did. About 200 texts a day, three hour phone calls most nights, and, of course, the hundreds of emails. So by the time we were engaged, I knew how many kids he wanted, his favorite color, his favorite and worst childhood memory, what he was afraid of, what he wanted in life, his goals, ambitions, and all his successes. I knew this guy like I knew myself–better, even–and he knew me. Was it fast? Probably. But if I wasn’t graduating in May and had to stay in Texas to finish school, I’m convinced we would’ve gotten married a lot earlier.
It’s like the line from When Harry Met Sally: “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
So we got married. And I moved to Boston, the one city I had dreamed about living in since I was 11. And we’ve spent the entire first year of our marriage doing all those things you normally do before you get engaged. You know, dating. We went to dinner and movies, and walked through our town, and watched TV on our couch, and read books next to each other in bed, and so on and so forth. This whole year has been about getting to know the person I live with in a more physical sense: what kind of toothpaste he likes and how many times a day he brushes his teeth. How he likes to put honey on his chicken. How he likes to sleep on his side. The stuff you find out when you’re dating.
Maybe we were backwards. But I wouldn’t change it for anything.
I guess next year we won’t be dating anymore. We’ll be married, once and for all.