Roughly 4,015 days ago, The Man and I made it official. It being, whatever our relationship was.
I wasn’t big on labels for relationships at the time. I thought that a label might wreck what we have going on. (Don’t laugh, it made sense to the 17-year-old me.)
He asked me out for weeks before I said yes. I didn’t say no because I didn’t like him (obviously, since we are still together). I didn’t say yes, because he was my best friend. How could someone who I felt so completely comfortable around, be the same person who gave me goosebumps just with his touch?
Since I had impeccable taste in boys at the time (*ahem* not the best judgement *ahem*), there was something completely different about The Man when compared to the rest of my dating pool. I mean, I have written about some of them here (like ‘Hank’), and they weren’t horrible people. I mean, there was one horrible person, and some horrible “things” but it wasn’t like they were serial killers. Um, maybe. I didn’t fact check it today, so maybe they are serial killers or puppy-kickers, but I am not looking now…
The Man was pretty much the complete opposite of every other boy I had dated. He was nice to me. He cared about me. He actually listened to me when I talked. He didn’t stare mindlessly at my boobs…oh, wait…nevermind. Regardless, he was first and foremost a friend. A friend who I spent hours and hours with every day.
When we first started hanging out every night, it was for a reason. We worked together, and we often met to do homework and then prepare work projects. Our nights would usually end watching television in his room. Shows like The Simpsons or Gargoyles were pretty typical background noise. But, the night was winding down when we watched this…
Then, the relationship started taking a turn for something more. I started to like him, more than just friends. In December, we both were involved in an event. Because, I was in charge of counting the money at the end of the night, I was always the last to leave. Everyone filtered out to the post party, but he waited for me. He stood at the top of the stairs, and I was never more happy to see him waiting. There is a picture of us from that night, taken around 2:00 a.m., that I still have. We are spooning in a recliner, it seems ridiculous, but I knew something was starting.
In January we were at a dance. That night, someone was shoved into him (it was the late 90′s early 2000′s – people were ‘moshing’ – do they still do this?) and it broke the large sunglasses on his face (that matched his 70′s ivory white leisure suit – um, this made sense then) and cut his cheek, just below his eye. As the blood ran down his face, he ran to the bathroom. I followed to make sure he was okay.
In March, we were in the play ‘Death of a Salesman’ together. It was during that play, when we spent even more of our free time together that something sparked. We sat slumped down in the theater during rehearsals, next to each other. But, I was dating someone else.
It didn’t take long and it finally dawned on me. There was something distinctly different about The Man. It was then, as I passed notes back and forth with a friend, that I realized why.
All of the other boys I have brought home to meet my parents (a requirement before dating, although I found a few loopholes…) I felt embarrassed by. Perhaps that doesn’t explain it correctly. I didn’t feel comfortable having that guy around my family. There was just an unspoken vibe that make it awkward. At the time, I thought that was normal. The Man made me feel something indescribable.
On April 15, after the post-party for the play, he drove me home. We sat in the shadows of the street light in my parents drive-way talking. It was then, that The Man leaned in and asked, with a nervous tone, if he could kiss me. We moved closer, and our lips met. I will never forget that kiss.
Finally, on May 1, I said yes.
And, I’m so glad I did.
*Mostly an estimate, because I can’t figure out if we had a leap year in the last eleven years, to warrant additional days…