I remember so much about the first day we met (eight years ago today).
I had put the date off and rescheduled a few times because typically, first dates are a wash. I had no idea that this one would be different. I remember you asked me what I would be wearing since I was coming from work (which was a lie, I went home and changed and got ready, of course), because you wanted to make sure you were dressed appropriately. It was such an adult question it almost threw me off guard. I remember thinking that it was incredibly respectful and forward-thinking, something that seemed lost on so many others.
I arrived at the restaurant first. You walked in wearing a dress shirt and a blue scarf. Not a winter scarf — but a dress up scarf. I was impressed. I was wearing a blue chiffon blouse, so we were accidentally complimentary. After the initial nerves wore off, and the first glass of wine was in our bellies, the conversation just rolled. We talked a lot about music and my graduate school work (which was about the rhetoric of the death industry and you lasted a good while!), and Milwaukee, relationships, our families, food and snowboarding. We ate a cheese plate. And, when the server asked if we wanted a 3rd glass — you looked to me to make the call. So, yes. We got a 3rd glass.
You picked up the bill without hesitation.
As we walked to our cars, you asked if you could call me later that week. We hugged. We got into our own cars and went our separate ways. You didn’t try to kiss me. But you made it clear you had a good time. It was the most grown-up date I had been on.
You called the next day. We went to dinner that weekend. We’ve been dating ever since.
You have always followed through. You’ve never left me hanging, waiting, worrying, wondering or unsure. You have been the most solid thing in my life for 8 years. I am not sure I have ever told you how much this has meant to me. After a decade of unease and anxiety around partners, you were the calm sea I needed. My anchor. And you’ve never left me feeling alone in a storm.
We have our struggles. We have our days of disconnection and arguments. We even have weeks sometimes when things feel off. But I know we will always find our way back, because we both want that for the rest of our lives. We are matched partners and have built a marriage on just the right amount of trust and freedom. We are going the same direction, even though we have personal trajectories that sometimes never cross paths. This, for me, is the golden nugget of why we work. We have never bought into the idea that together, we are whole. Rather, we are whole individuals who choose to be together.
Whatever fates or stars aligned to bring you to me, I will forever thank.
Thank you for letting me be me. Thank you for loving me when I am dark and quiet. Thank you for giving me space and solitude when needed. Thank you for keeping me as your main priority. And thank you, more than anything, for being an involved, wonderful, attentive, outstanding and loving dad.
I love you so much. Happy 8!