two years ago, on January 24, Ben and I went on our first date.
I get to call it a date because Ben let me choose whether it was, in fact, a date.
it is the best decision (to this date) that I have ever made.
for a couple weeks, Ben and I had sent each other Facebook messages (I know, that’ll be a good story to tell the kids someday. wink.), and there had been obvious attempts of flirting (probably failing on my part) and many exchanges of witty banter. but one night he messaged me and asked if I was planning on going downtown that evening. I said yes, and responded back saying I hoped I would see him out. well, because Ben is like, 80-years-old, he fell asleep on the couch before getting a chance to make it downtown, but I think it worked out just fine…
the next day he sent me a message apologizing for not showing up, and asked if he could make it up to me. we made plans to go out to a wine bar, The Veranda Lounge, after he finished class on a Thursday night. he asked me if I wanted to meet him there, or if I wanted to make it a date and have him pick me up.
I picked the date. I also picked that my preferred mode of transportation was by magic carpet and that he could serenade me like Aladdin with “A Whole New World,” but he has yet to make that happen…
anyway, if I remember correctly (I do), Ben was pretty shy that first night in the car, and I tried to break the ice by making a joke about not knowing him very well, and that I had told a couple of my friends if they didn’t hear from me by a certain time that they should call the police because I had gone on a date with a serial killer. to which Ben half-laughed and told me he wasn’t a serial killer…so, ya know, good conversation starter.
we end up at the Veranda and we ordered a couple of glasses of wine. I’m sure we remember our first couple hours of conversation differently, and I know there were silences, maybe some of them were awkward, but I remember laughing a lot. and being intrigued. he was going to be turning 29 in a few days. he drank red wine (so chic for my 22-year-old self), he smoked (double chic, health hazards and all). I recognize these things are trivial, but he was intellectual, he was witty and thoughtful, he was so, so funny. he did weird, fascinating things.
I was smitten.
after Ben dropped me off, we texted until we fell asleep, and I went to bed with the best kind of butterflies. the kind of butterflies that never go away. I still feel them when Ben walks in the front door after a weekend away at a swim meet. I feel them even when we’re watching the 54th episode of Rescue Me and he grabs my hand. I feel them in the early morning when my alarm goes off and he’s sleeping beside me.
that isn’t to say there haven’t been challenging times. it took us a while to navigate our relationship, and it wasn’t always clear what we were doing, or what was going to happen, but I continued to be my tried and true awkward, pushy self, and famously made almost all the first moves. shocking, I know.
it feels like we haven’t stopped talking since that first night at the Veranda, and we probably haven’t, because I like to talk. it feels like there is not enough time in the world to experience everything I want to with Ben, but there’s also something to be said about how much I enjoy doing the mundane things with him. there is no single person that I’d rather spend time with than him.
making someone your person is simultaneously wonderful and terrifying.
I love knowing that “going home” means being in the space I share with Ben. at the same time, it feels stranger and stranger to be apart from him, and sometimes it is vividly painful to have him leave. it isn’t sad, it is painful. last summer we spent three months living in different towns, and I think that was the first time where I felt the reality of a life apart. I hated it.
but I also think it makes sense to feel a little wrong when you first realize how impossible life would seem without the person you’re with, especially when you’re “young” and it’s only been a (relatively) short time. if you ever find yourself feeling those heavy feelings someday, I’ll be sure to tell you that realizing you’re supposed to be with someone can be really scary, but it’s the right kind of scary. you’ve got to go into it.
let love overwhelm you.
I could sing a thousand songs about you still that would not do
there’s a million tiny things that make the things that you do, you
I wouldn’t trade our time together, wouldn’t trade for anything
’cause nothing else here in the world can bring the happiness you bring
and I am overwhelmed by you
am over come with joy
you’ve taken me higher, and shown me what love can do
where would I go, or be, without you…