Sitting on the couch next to David this morning sipping my coffee while we both eat breakfast is normal. Five years ago though, David was a stranger to me. It is amazing how quickly a perfect stranger can become the most important person in one’s life. I joke often that David is my second skin, a mirror of my soul, and a reflection of myself. Whether we are cuddling, arguing, playing, eating, resting, or apart, I know that we are secure as a couple. I have never felt this special connection with another human and perhaps that is why our marriage always feels fresh and comfortable. Five years ago, we awkwardly dated and played games. Did he like me? Did I like him? Would he call me? Would I text him? We danced the common courtship dance that eventually led us to this moment, celebrating our five year anniversary of “knowing each other.” In honor of this momentous occasion, that I feel lucky and honored to be sharing with my mate, I would like to share 5 short stories about us to give you a sense of who we are and why we feel self-important in our relationship and often wish society would employ us to be full-time “models of love.” =)
- how we met: Summer 2007. I just moved with my college roommates into a luxurious apartment in Coolidge Corner that we sublet from some BU law students. Snagging a summer internship with my graduate school adviser, I headed to catch the BC shuttle bus from Cleveland Circle to campus for my first day of “work.” As I was standing at the bus stop, I spotted him. David stood just off to my left with his nose in a book. He was reading, Le Petit Nicolas, the same book I was reading in English to the four little boys I was babysitting. I couldn’t stop looking at him. Something deep inside was immediately attracted to him and my eyes kept focusing in on him despite telling myself not to be that awkward girl caught drooling over some guy I didn’t even know. As the bus arrived, I made the intentional move of sitting across from him. Within moments, our eyes locked and we flashed each other that “comer hither” smile. The bus ride lasted no more than 10 minutes and throughout the trip we liberally took lingering glances at one another. Once on campus we headed our separate ways and I thought, “Well, he was cute. Too bad I won’t see him again.” An hour later, at a 9:00AM meeting with the technology department to discuss our new History Department website, I find myself again sitting across from David. I, the student liaison from the History Department, he, the computer engineer commissioned to create the website, and we had the whole summer ahead of us to build the website…and our relationship.
- how we almost didn’t happen: It took a little while for us to move from co-workers to dating prospects. I may have stalked him on Facebook and waited day after day at the bus stop to insure that we rode in together every morning “coincidentally.” Yet, when we did go on dates, “nothing happened.” We ate dinners, watched movies, and took walks around Boston but David never made a move to hold my hand or to kiss me. After 14 days and countless dates, I was completely confused. Convinced that he just wanted to be friends, I did the thing every mature adult would have done. I e-mailed him that I was too busy to continue hanging out. And this was the end of our relationship. Three weeks after my very mature e-mail, David wrote me back asking if I was not too busy to meet for dinner. Of course, I was dying to see him again but still harboring a grudge over not being kissed and finding myself in David’s “friend zone.” But a free meal is a free meal and I was a poor graduate student so I agreed to meet him at the bus stop. As he approached me, I got the usual nervous butterflies and admonished myself for getting to invested. Within arms distance, I opened my mouth to say “hello” and before the words fully formed from my lips, David came in and kissed them. We mark this day as the true beginning of this thing we call us.
- how we fight: Our biggest and baddest fight occurred on May 29, 2010. We were living together and as you might already know about me, I am a little obsessive. It manifests itself in many ways, but the most prominent is in my constant need to have a tidy home. David’ habit of not opening his mail was getting under my skin as the pile of unread documents grew and grew on the desk. Finally, I snapped. I grabbed the enormous pile of mail, walked into the living room and irrationally threw it on the floor demanding that he open the mail immediately. Surprised by this erratic behavior, David got up saying not a word and left the apartment. I spent the next hour and half crying my eyes out and vacuuming. I remember vividly pushing the vacuum and sniveling about how unjust life was. Meanwhile, David walked towards Coolidge Corner and spying a directional sign for “JFK’s Birthplace” headed in that direction. Upon coming to the house, he saw balloons and streamers celebrating the late President’s birthday. The museum-house was free to the public and David took advantage to go through the exhibit. Once done he came back home to tell his nerdy history wife all about it. Once he came through the door, we rushed into each others’ arms. We both apologized profusely for taking each other for granted and for “not using our words.” And spent the afternoon sharing history tidbits about JFK. Ironically, one year later on May 29, 2011 we were married bringing this whole story full circle.
- how we became parents: When visiting my parents in Ohio one Fall, David and I went to visit some puppies “just to see and play with them.” How could anyone just go to visit puppies? We knew what we were doing. We knew what was about to happen. We came home with Buster. Our little puppy boy is our “simple” dog. He loves to snuggle, wrestle, and sleep. He spends his whole day doing one of these three practices. He is easy-going (despite his humping habit) and his tongue is too big for his mouth causing him to stick it out often giving him the most lovable face. One year later during Thanksgiving in Ohio, I fell in love with Bella and made Buster a brother. Bella is our “complex” dog. Like me, she suffers from anxiety and a stress complex. Never sitting still, Bella is constantly chewing on a toy, pacing a window, or sitting on top of one of us on the couch. One shy dog and the other playful dog have rounded out our current family. They provide us with a constant source of love, attention, and energy. And, we hopefully provide the same to them. I just wish so often that they could talk to us.
- how we married: On March 13, 2010 David proposed to me while we vacationed in Rome. With his one question, “Will you marry me?” David unleashed a whirlwind of questions, “When will you get married?” “What are your wedding colors?” “Who will be invited?” “Will you have a signature cocktail?” “What is your stationary theme?” “Where have you registered?” “Where did you buy your dress?” and the questions go on and on. Yet, despite all of the noise, David and I throughly enjoyed our engagement. Our wedding day was truly the most loving and wonderful day of our lives (so far). One of my favorite moments of the whole day was immediately following the ceremony. My dad was ordained for the day and announced enthusiastically, “I now pronounce you husband and wife.” We kissed and embraced and will gleeful grins we recessed down the aisle to a quiet spot under some palm trees. There alone, we hugged so tightly and cried into each other’s arms with such delight. We had done it!