It's Heavy Ain't It

My anniversary is coming up and I have been thinking about when my husband and I first met and how I came to know he was "the one". If you read this blog much, you've probably figured out that I adore him. I don't talk about it much or I relate it in a funny way because getting to this place has been a long and sometimes bumpy road. There are times I feel guilty that I'm so happy because I know so many good people who deserve love but haven't found it yet. I remember the time before him when I was really lonely, ready for love but it eluded me. I had friends falling in love, getting married, starting families and while I was happy for every one of them, I wanted that too.

My life has been serendipitous. Maybe it's that I handle change well and am generally a look on the bright side person, maybe it's just luck. I have a nice family and I grew up in a safe place. I've had the opportunity to get an education. I've had good jobs and lots of doors open to me and I've had people step up to help me when I needed it. I always felt my life would turn out good, maybe not the way I imagined, but good. I had moment after moment of grace, except for one area. My love life was not blessed by the same ease, opportunities and nice people.

Sometimes I picked the wrong guy, sometimes I was the wrong girl, laden with baggage that made earning my trust impossible and my needs unfillable. I got to a point where I thought maybe this was the one part of my life that would suffer for all the abundance of good things in the others. The broken part of me thought something was wrong with me, something made me fundamentally unlovable or at least difficult to love. I thought I was too neurotic, too complicated, too needy, too distant, too bossy, too moody, too insecure.

The hopeful part of me saw a sliver of light. If so much of my life has worked out great even when sometimes it didn't look like it was going to, how could this be any different. Maybe I had to wait a little longer, maybe I had to work on me and fix things that I had always assumed someone else would fix for me.

So I spent time alone, on me. There was therapy, introspection, confronting some things so I could get past them and shelving others for a time when I was stronger. I also took a good hard look at my contribution to the relationships that didn't work.

I wrote a long letter for myself. Though I am not a religious person, it was kind of like a give it to god moment, if I could write it down maybe I could let it go, give up my will to make things happen. I acknowledged and detailed my greatest fears. That I would end up alone, that I would pick wrong, that I'd never find someone who could put up with me much less understand me. I also wrote down what I wanted for love, not so much a list but feelings.

I want to feel safe, I want to feel loved, I want to feel like I could be me assets and flaws and not feel like someone was going to leave. I wanted someone to adore me, protect me. I wanted someone to take care of me and let me takes care of them in return. I wanted to feel like one half of a whole. Then I put the note away and I waited.

It was about four months later that I met my future husband, I liked him immediately. I wouldn't say it was love at first sight because at this point, I didn't trust my instincts with regard to love. So I tried to keep my expectations in check and just go with the flow, not the easiest thing for me in any realm. He called when he said he would, he did everything he said he would. We saw each other more and got closer. We talked about the fact that neither of us was seeing anyone else and we weren't going to.

Just a week before I was to leave town to go to Wisconsin for my mother's wedding, he asked me to go to Vegas with him. He told me he'd like to get me my own room that he wanted my company but understood if I wasn't comfortable going. Not comfortable? Obviously, he didn't understand any boundaries I had were shaky at best. I said yes, and no, he didn't have to get me a separate room, we were adults, we could keep it PG-13 if we chose to.

So I went to Wisconsin. And I didn't hear from him. Three days into the trip I called and left a message on his phone. I tried to keep it light but truthfully I was worried. Maybe he regretted inviting me to Vegas, maybe he thought we were moving too quickly, maybe he met someone else. A hundred different reasons floated in my head, none of them good. I was so confused, he just didn't seem like someone to just eighty-six me even if he was feeling wonky.

After my call, I did not hear from him. I was miserable. I put on a happy face because I didn't want to be a downer at my mom's wedding, it was really tough. My mom had asked me to sing at her wedding. Getting up and singing a few songs about love when you are sure that a person you might just love is done with you is miserable. I felt tears well up but at least the occasion provided good cover, everyone thought I was just happy for my mom.

I tumbled around a tiny thought in the back of my head, maybe he didn't call me because he lost my number or broke his phone or maybe he got into a car accident and he's in the hospital somewhere, maybe... The realist, the one who's read The Rules and He's Just Not That Into You, knew better.

Occom's Razor is the principle in science that states that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. It was unlikely that he dropped his phone, or fell and knocked himself unconscious causing some kind of intermittent amnesia. It was more likely he'd had a change of heart.

So I tried to forget about it and have fun, didn't happen. I cried a little as the plane landed in Los Angeles. I was sad, I felt like yet again, my instincts were wrong. I got home and unlocked the door to my apartment. The cats greeted me at the door, whiny from my absence. My cat sitter had piled up all my mail on the desk where the phone sat. As I removed the mail piece by piece, I realized that I had 10 messages. I pressed play.

Beep. Hey Chris, it's me. I hope you check this phone for messages. I dropped my cell phone and it shattered into like a million little pieces and I've lost your mobile number. I went to the place and tried to have the numbers retrieved but the whole mess is hosed. I hope you get this, please call me and give me your cell and your mom's numbers. Ok, I hope you're having a good time. Talk to you soon.
(Of course I heard “dropped my cell” phone and went straight into the ugly cry. To say I was relieved was an understatement.)

Beep. Hi Chris, It's me again, I haven't heard from you, I left a message earlier today. Maybe your just busy with all the wedding stuff. Ok, call me.

Beep. Hi, it's me. Hope I'm not bugging you but I'm a little worried I haven't spoken to you. I sure hope you check this machine. Ok, bye hon, I'll talk to you soon.

Hey I got your message but you didn't leave your numbers. I'm guessing you haven't checked this phone for messages. Oh god, you must think I'm such an ass for not calling you. If you get this, please call me.

There were six more messages but I stopped there and picked up the phone to call him. That was it, I knew I was in love. I had missed him so viscerally and was so relieved to know he wasn't different that the person I had first thought he was.

So we went to Vegas and there were no separate rooms and the weekend was not PG-13. We had fun, we came home, we saw each other more. We began to intertwine our lives, I gave him a key to my apartment, he wrote a check to cover the cost of a car I bought until my money in a cd was freed up. He asked, I said yes and soon we were returning to Vegas for our second time to get married.

My husband is the best man I know. He has taught me so much about love, tenderness, trust and committment . He has helped me learn communications skills I never got from my parents, neither of whom are great communicators or deal well with conflict. He has taught me to fight fair and forgive easily. I trust him implicitly and I have given my heart to him freely knowing with absolute conviction that he won't trample it.

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Anonymous said... July 20, 2008 at 9:57 PM  

That is a wonderful testament to your love. So sweet.

Congrats on your anniversary!

Anonymous said... July 21, 2008 at 1:40 AM  

Oh sob! Pass the tissues please - this is beautiful - well written.

The photo of you both is lovely too. Sorry to gush, but siighh!

Thanks for sharing the romance. Sniff!

bechtold clan said... July 21, 2008 at 7:19 AM  

what a great story..its wonderful to have finally found the "one".

MJ said... July 21, 2008 at 8:58 AM  

Very lovely - God does answer our prayers, doesn't He - congratulations to you both!

Los said... July 21, 2008 at 10:44 AM  

That is a fantastic story! BTW, I would've been the same way if I hadn't received a phone call the entire time!

Rassles said... July 30, 2008 at 11:37 PM  

I'm really not good with the sentimental, but this was just fucking cute.

Aww, shucks.

Rassles said... July 30, 2008 at 11:37 PM  

And, of course, gloriously hopeful.

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