So I know this isn’t the usual stuff we’ve been posting, but I was listening to Elton John’s “Your Song” at work the other day, and I thought, “hey, I’ve got a public forum on which I can post romantic gifts on”. So I thought I’d throw up a quick little article describing what I have found to be the most important aspects to a wonderful and loving relationship as a birthday present to the woman that inspires me and inspired this account. Here goes:
6. Trust: I know, I know, you’re thinking, “why is this #6, and not #1?” The answer is simple; trust needs to come first. Before anything else, before love, before those nights after a couple bottles of wine where you start telling each other things you’ve never told anyone, you need to trust each other. From that first meeting, exchanging numbers on the dance floor with sly smiles, (she looked so cute under the black light, tan from the summer sun) we trusted each other, trusted the spark that was unarguably between us. We trusted, at the very least, that we both wanted to see each other again. And trust has been there, every step of the way. I trust her when she’s out with her friends, I trust her wherever she is. I’m not saying I’ve agreed with each of her decisions, some I’ve been downright furious about (as she’s been furious about some of mine). But I always trust that I can tell her what I’m thinking, what I’m feeling, and I trust her to give me her honest reaction to those thoughts and feelings. This is a type of trust that’s hard to find, and I’m very lucky to have gained it. It’s something that we have to work on at times, but it’s that constant journey of trust that makes this relationship one hell of an adventure.
5. Openness: She didn’t like Football that much when we first got together, now she cries when the Bears don’t make the playoffs. I predict every game of the NFL season long before the first game even starts, and while I don’t expect her to ever reach that kind of neurotic obsession, just watching a game with her, cheering alongside me, looking so sexy in her jersey and pigtails, and no matter who wins the game, I know that I’ve already won a much bigger prize. And you should see her throw a pigskin: perfect spiral, arcing through the air right into my hands. I taught her that. It’s a two way street, also. Rebelution’s new CD that has me bobbing my head, my eyes closed as I listen to the sweet reggae sounds that make the world seem like it couldn’t be more perfect, she introduced me to what is now our favorite band. We show each other TV shows and movies, restaurants and other fun activities. As Master Yoda would say, “when happy is one, so too the other is.”
4. Passion: I won’t go into details here. Suffice to say, looking into her eyes gives me a thrill beyond measure.
3. Laughter: Whether we’re rolling dice in a silly little points game (where a bottle of wine is often involved), rolling around on the floor in a heated tickle war (I always win) or just driving down the road, stuck in traffic, belting out some Lady Antebellum or just me listening to her belt out Katy Perry, laughter is always fruitful in all our dealings with each other. Part of this is trust, trust that we can be silly and ridiculous with each other without judgment, without worrying about always looking cool (for all you gangstas chasing ho’s, this is something you may want to learn). Another part is openness, we can talk to each other about anything. And four years in we still find new topics, new activities, and all kinds of new laughs.
2. Commitment: Even during those months when we weren’t together (sometimes you need to be apart to grow closer), there wasn’t a moment when her smile didn’t light up my whole day. And there wasn’t a day when I wasn’t absolutely sure that I wanted her in my life, always, in whatever fashion our relationship took. That type of commitment is hard to find, and when you feel it, hold on to it. Not all of us are lucky to be with our best friend, and oftentimes relationships between friends don’t work out. But in my case, at least, the friendship is real, palpable, and will be there as long as we both draw breadth. I know we both are hoping our relationship truly goes the distance, but we also both know that, whatever happens, I’ll be there for her and she’ll be there for me. And knowing that takes a lot of the pressure off, we can just be ourselves and take it as it comes, every day taking another step down the path of life, together, hand in hand.
1. Adventure: I still remember one of our first conversations, (over text messages of course, because who talks on the phone anymore?) when we realized that both of us enjoyed fantasy novels. I said to her, “ok, true nerd test, do you know The Legend of Drizzt?” Her response, “OMG I’m reading that right now!” The Legend of Drizzt is a fantasy series, much of it taking place on the road, high adventures galore for the title dark elf, and his human, dwarf and halfling friends. And so Jessica and I set out on our own adventure, and each day is truly another part of this grand journey. Whether it’s a big trip overseas that we have planned in the coming months, a day trip over to Woodland for a gumbo fest (after which I still have a serious craving for some Fire on the Bayou cocktails), or just an afternoon at the local Farmer’s Market, everywhere we go together is part of the story, exciting, a memory to be treasured. I know it sounds hokey, especially if you’ve never felt it, but when someone completes the second half of your heart you never knew was missing, every second that ticks by is chalk full of amazing.
So there’s my story, let me know if you enjoyed. I enjoyed writing it almost as much as I enjoy feeling it.