Monday, October 8, 2007

Taking a cue from dooce

Dear Torsten,

Exactly one year and one day ago, we went on our first date. It was for lunch at a seafood restaurant on the waterfront that was not very good, but neither of us noticed the food quality at the time. We were supposed to meet at 2:00 p.m., but I was extremely late, so it was more like 2:30. And then we didn't leave the restaurant until dinnertime. One could say it was a good first date.


When we first started dating, I told you that I wanted to take it slowly, so we did. We saw each other only three nights a week, but we talked every night on the phone before bed. You came home with me at Thanksgiving and met my parents. My mom was impressed that we had only been together for a month and a half. Apparently, we were so comfortable together that it seemed like it had been much longer. It's always felt that way with you.

You brought me flowers all the time when we first started dating, and everyone told me to enjoy it while it lasted, because it wouldn't last. I didn't believe them, but as it turned out, they were right. And you know what? Even though I occasionally protest that you don't get me flowers enough, those things are expensive, and now that we are sharing a life and a budget, it just doesn't make sense to be buying flowers all the time. Now I see why that sort of thing doesn't tend to last. And now that we are as close as we are, you've found much more unique ways of being romantic--ways that are tailored to me, to us, and don't make me squeal, "No, no, NO!"


When you came home for Thanksgiving, you met my mom's best friend, who is like a second mother to me. When we were leaving her house, she pulled me aside and said, "What a sweet boyfriend! I can tell he loves you very much." At the time, we hadn't said those words to each other yet, and with good reason, because I wasn't ready. You were, though, and you tried to say it to me just a few weeks later when we were on top of the Empire State Building at one in the morning. I know it was the perfect, romantic setting, and I'm sorry that I pitched a fit about how cold I was and demanded to leave immediately. But I knew what you were trying to say, and I was so, so unprepared for it, and so I wanted to nip it in the bud. And I did. And I know you thought I was clueless, but in retrospect I think we both agree that what I did was for the best.

And when you did tell me you loved me a few months later, I was ready, and I knew it, and I was able to say it back without any hesitation at all. By then, we were spending pretty much every night together, moving back and forth between our two apartments, and your dryer had become my clothes closet. We had to give up the en-suite washer and dryer when we gave up your apartment and you moved into mine, and damn, do I miss it. But one of the great things about living together is that we have systems in place. I cook, you vacuum. You go do the laundry in the coin-operated laundry room, and I put it away in the closet later. We have a balance. And also, I hate those laundry machines, and you would have no idea where in the closet all my different clothes go, anyway.


There was this one time back in December when you and I stopped at the CVS near your apartment to pick up a few things, and I saw these two stuffed dogs on a shelf, wearing little scarves, totally identical except that one was brown and the other was white. They were so cute and you offered to buy me one, and I had so much trouble choosing that you told me I should just go ahead and get them both. When I told that story to my sister later, she said that as soon as I mentioned the fact that there were two dogs, she knew how the story was going to end. We do have both dogs, except now they live in our apartment together, on a shelf. They're named Lynnie and Grabber, one for me and one for you, but I don't remember which one is which.

I remember thinking how generous you were, how it wasn't even a thought for you to just buy me two big stuffed dogs just because I saw them and liked them, and you compounded that by giving me an incredibly generous gift of a beautiful digital camera for Christmas. My mom was shocked by your generosity but also impressed, and I think it was around then that she realized that you and I were serious, that we were probably going to get married. When she and I were in France a few months later without you, she asked if I thought I'd marry you, and I said yes without hesitation, and she wasn't at all surprised or caught off-guard. She just nodded, because she knew it was right.


My Christmas gift to you was a professional Belgian waffle maker, which you professed to love but which has sat unopened since Christmas, first at your apartment and now at ours. I would be offended by this but I know you just haven't used it because I don't like waffles and it's a big production to make Belgian waffles just for one person. I like to think of that as a form of love, though--if the situation were reversed, I know you'd get out that waffle maker and make a big mess just for me, if I wanted a waffle. You have always been the type of person to put other people ahead of yourself, and I am so, so lucky to be on the receiving end of that thoughtful, genuine selflessness.

Moving in with you required very little adjustment on my part. I thought it was going to be this big thing where we got in each other's space and needed to compromise on a lot of things, but so far it hasn't been like that. The only stress was from all the unpacking, and we got that done together in one weekend, and since then living with you has been nothing but happy and stress-free. It's made our lives easier, because it doesn't feel as much like each moment we have together is precious, so now it's simpler to go out and do separate things, or go to parties or social events without feeling like we're wasting our time together. Also, I'm sorry that I always make you watch Friends or Sex and the City when you'd rather be watching The Simpsons. But not sorry enough to switch. Thanks for being so accommodating.


So now we've been together for a year, and in just over another year we'll be married. And I have no more hesitation, because everything with you is so right, and understanding, and comfortable. I'll never have to drag you out of romantic settings again, because this time I am ready, and so happy to be sharing the rest of my life with you.

Love,
Jess

17 comments:

  1. Hi, yeah, um, tearing up at my desk over here. I LOVE YOU TWO.

    Also, I love your curls. They're sickeningly PERFECT. My god woman, you are blessed.

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  2. Oh, I am all mushy and have a very big, goofy grin on my face.

    SO SWEET.

    You two are awesome!

    And yes, your curls are AMAZING.

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  3. Cuteness. And a year ago from last Wednesday was the anniversary of my first date with Fiji!! We're like anniversary twins or something! Congrats!

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  4. Jess, that is SO sweet! Will he read this? So happy for you two!

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  5. That was beautiful! You should definitely show him this, as it is such a gift and a great way to keep memories intact.

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  6. LOVE all the pictures! This is great!

    And, !@#$)&* to Google Reader. By the time I read your posts they are STALE and I have lost my zest for commenting! BAH!

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  7. You two seem perfect for one another, and very happy. But my favorite part was the I'm sorry I make you watch my shows when you'd rather watch yours, but not sorry enough to switch. :)

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  8. That was so sweet. As a single girl who's apparently terrified of relationships, though, I had to laugh that you said you "took it slow" in the beginning by spending only three nights a week together. I'm realizing lately that I generally DON'T want to spend three nights a week with any guy I've dated, and that probably means the guys I've dated just aren't right for me. When it's right, I'll want all of that, right?

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  9. Clink and Artemisia--Thanks for the hair compliments. I'm flattered. And glad that I made you both all mushy.

    Tilly--Neat! I always wanted a twin. Seriously.

    Stephanie and Flibberty--He does read this blog, so yeah. He saw it.

    Tessie--I've given up on Google Reader with you. Now I just check your blog myself.

    Swistle--I'm pretty sure there's a line to marry you, but I would totally join the queue.

    JMC--I'm glad you thought that was funny. I was afraid it might seem... I don't know. Crass?

    Stefanie--You know, I was thinking about that when I wrote it because in retrospect, 3 nights a week is a lot. But for us, it felt like taking it slowly, because we could have really easily spent every day together. I've never felt like that about anyone else, so maybe that means that when it's right, you'll want it too. But really, I have no idea. That's just how it happened for me.

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  10. Aww! That is adorable. I love how you wrote it to him and put in pictures ala Dooce. So super duper sweet. And like swistle said, I would now like to marry both of you please. :)

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  11. awe such a cute post! there's been an abundance of anniversary posts lately it seems. love is in the air :)

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  12. oh sweetie! that was so wonderful and lovely and...

    what? wait.

    you don't like waffles?


    its a good thing you two are so awesome cause that could have ended our affair right there.

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  13. awww! i love reading back-dated entries! this just made me smile super duper hard.

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