Sunday, October 30, 2011

he never danced with another since he saw me standing there

My love story is long, complicated.

2007 - Dallas
August Rush
after party
red dress
chocolates
conversation

I remember feeling a warmth rush over my body. Without turning around I knew that the boy had walked up behind me and, though I had no idea why he was standing so close to me, I felt at once a strange familiarity and an energy that I had never felt before.

There we sat, in that little spot outside the Angelika Theater, eating our stolen treats and talking for the first time like the oldest friends. When it was time for me to leave he shakily asked me for my phone number and I, most uncharacteristically, gave it to him.

I don't know what made him talk to me that night, what made me agree to go see The Darjeeling Limited with him the next day or what made me rethink everything I believed about men, relationships and life to allow myself to fall in love with him. There was something there that chained us to each other, that made us want (sometimes it felt like HAVE) to figure it out.

I became a better person thanks to his understanding and trust, and I deeply admired his courage to take on my complicated life like it was his own. He was 20 years old, a college student with good grades, well behaved, nice, never in trouble, friends with his parents. His life was pretty straightforward - skateboarding, school, family and loyal friends.

I was me and B and my family and my experiences... I was a lot to take on and, frankly, I didn't believe anyone capable of it.

We broke up unceremoniously, but stayed together. We were best friends and we loved each other. "The love of my life," he said, and I knew it was true for both of us. Rarely a day went by that we didn't talk, a week that we didn't spend together. I laugh now as I type, "It was hard." It was the hardest thing I'd ever done.

I went through a nasty post-college bout with depression. (Side note: does this happen to everyone? Now all my friends tell me they went through something similar but at the time I felt so terribly alone.)  It's tough to say whether it was caused by the relationship ending or the other way around, or if the two just happened to coincide. I would guess the latter.

We tried to figure it out so many times. Okay, we'll just convince our friends and family that we know what we're doing, then... we'll figure out what we're doing? What if we take it reallllllllly slow? Too late for that, it seems. What if we just stay friends? ...who are in love and want to spend their lives together... Hmm. What if we just run away? Then we would push each other away. I tried to date other people with disastrous outcomes. I was so sad and, I know now, he was too. It felt like we were always waiting for the time to be right.

But, in the meantime, we had lives to lead. He finished college. I moved to L.A. I hated L.A. and moved back. I moved to New York. I fell in love with New York and thought, perhaps this is the love of my life. Perhaps I am the love of my own life and I can just stay in this city and let myself be wrapped up in it and that be enough. And eventually, that became true. It was.

I lived in Hawaii for a summer and when he came to visit me, I knew that things were different. Oh, the love was still there. The friendship that had grown from being each others' confidants over the last three years was deep. We knew each other so well that we were beyond reading tone of voice or facial expression, we could sense each other. I knew now that we were grown ups, it was time to do this or move on. I let go at last. I took my heart back and put it somewhere else. I felt new things.

But, while I was doing that, he was working to figure this out, to be everything that I -- and we -- need. He sat me down one day (when we were both now living in New York) and laid this at my feet. He said that all he had was mine and asked me to take it, to trust him... after all of this. I asked him to take a step back and wait, and he said, "As long as it takes." My heart knew what I was going to do long before my brain had decided.

On the 4-year anniversary of that first night that I wore a red dress and he asked me to go see a movie with him, he took me to a movie and asked me to marry him. In that moment I knew that every choice I've made has lead me to this and, more importantly, that they were the right choices.

Our story is not very conventional. We're not very conventional, but we've worked hard to get here and -- after all of that hard work, all the tears and anger and long nights on the phone and moves across country -- we still enjoy the pleasure of each other's company more than anyone else's. If I have learned anything it's that love is not one easily-defined thing, and it is also not enough to hold two people together. When I realized that I didn't want to live out my life without this person in it, well, the choice was made for me.

This one... he is my best friend, my most trusted confidant and the person I most hope B grows up to be like. I love him and I am so very stoked to be his wife.

5 comments:

  1. I loved reading your love story. How beautiful. I am so happy for you, my dear.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just

    really

    great.

    I am so happy for you. Beautiful story.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such a happy story!
    And yes, post-college depression happens. It's happening for me right now!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Had seen the recent wedding tweets & posts, and finally had a chance to search the archives for the background story. Now I'm in tears...congratulations.

    ReplyDelete