Archive for the ‘Anniversary Ramblings’ Category

The Cheese To My Macaroni

20/12

So close, no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters…

The year was 1998. The time, late December. Back when I was just a wee Snarkstress just getting into the online groove of things, I used to spend an obscene amount of time online in chatrooms (anyone remember mIRC?) passing the evening hours and chatting with a few folks that I’d come to know very well. I was fresh from a break up of rather epic proportions and feeling very RAWR about relationships in general.

I was NOT on the market, despite being single, and the very last thing I wanted in my life was a boyfriend.

And then I started getting these emails, jokes mostly, from an email address that I didn’t know. Originally I ignored them, thinking someone had accidentally added my email address to their list. But one night, whether it was from curiosity or just sheer ennui, I finally relented and decided to read some of the jokes that had made their way into my inbox.

And I laughed. A lot.

I never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don’t just say
And nothing else matters…

Over the next couple of weeks, I found myself intrigued by this unknown Dragon fellow, and after hemming n’ hawing around it, I broke down and sent him an email. I admit, I probably came off sounding rather bitchy. *laughs* I wanted to know who he was and how he got my email address. He replied, telling me that a mutual friend of ours (*waves at Kim*) had said that I might like his sense of humor, so she gave him my email and he just added me to his list.

Little did I know…SOMEONE was playing match maker.

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters…

He was an Army boy stationed overseas, just trying to pass the time, and I helped him while away the hours. A couple of months went by and I found myself eagerly clicking on my inbox to see the latest letter, to get the chance to talk to him…even if, at the same time, I was having a bit of an online fling with someone else. Things with dood #2 ended abruptly when we both realized it just wasn’t going to work, and I went crying to my Dragon, whom I’d become closer to than I cared to admit.

“Men are scum,” I whined to him. “They suck.” His response?

“Not all of us. Why do you let them treat you that way? You deserve better.”

I was floored.

Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
But I know…

And angry.

I was angry at him for being right. I was angry at him for being so far away that he couldn’t prove me wrong. We argued, and I resolved, then and there, that I was going to have nothing more to do with him. How dare he presume to tell me that I didn’t know what I was doing? That I was picking the wrong people? That I was settling for less than I deserved? Just who did he think he was?

That lasted about as long as his next email.

He apologized, and I agreed to be friends with him again. But ONLY friends.

I didn’t want to deal with the fact that I was really starting to fall for this far away Dragon in the desert.

So close, no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters…

Fast forward a few months: He informs me he’s headed stateside. And that he’s thinking about being in my area for a visit. There was a concert that he wanted to see, and I told him I’d try to get tickets. We exchanged pictures…and my first thought was: “Wow. He’s skinny. SO not my type. Good thing we’re just friends.”

He tells me he thought I was beautiful. I tell him he was delusional.

He still carries that picture in his wallet.

Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
But I know…

His picture did NOT do him justice. My first thought upon seeing him in person? “Wow. He’s really tall.” Quickly followed by: “Wow. He’s really cute.” We went to lunch at the nearby TGIFriday’s, and I watched him flirt with our server, because, y’know, we were *just* friends.

Jealousy slapped me in the face like a pimp demanding payment.

Good thing we weren’t “together” right?

Since I couldn’t get the tickets for the concert, he would only be staying a couple of days, and we made the most of it, falling into an easy sort of groove wherein I discovered how incredibly devious he was (via his “magic” massage) and how hard it was for me to not admit that I was feeling more than just friendship for this charming, evil, funny guy.

I pulled a few wicked tricks out of my hat as well (nothing like having a guy help lace up your low cut renaissance dress when he’s towering over you…especially when you’re wearing the dress to a Ren Faire HE won’t be attending, but Vince Clortho, Keymaster of Gozer will be) in retaliation. I dropped him off at the airport so he could go to Louisiana for the concert, and it was the most awkward, thrilling, heart stopping kiss shared behind the opened trunk.

Didn’t want to make VCKoG jealous. He was in the backseat, staring.

I never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don’t just say
And nothing else matters…

More emails after. And things got a lot more serious over the next few months. So much so that I was having trouble processing how I felt. It’s really difficult to have a long-distance relationship, on so many levels. But I had added external pressure to keep him at an emotional distance. It was an uphill battle, one that culminated in our breaking up just a week before he was slated to arrive for another visit.

I know. Shame on you, Snarkstress. I still feel bad about it. But I was determined that this was the way things had to be. “LDRs never work out,” I was told again and again. “Might as well just keep it friendly.”

All of that went out the window when I saw him again. And things went decidedly further than before, but still I maintained that we should just be friends, perhaps with benefits, but nothing more. But the funny thing is, the more time I spent with him… the harder I fell, despite myself, until I came home from work the night before he was supposed to leave and asked him, all nonchalant, if he’d ever consider being my boyfriend.

His eyes never left the video game he was playing. “No.” He didn’t even pause before saying it.

“Why not?”

“You have too many…quirks.”

That’s the point my heart shattered and I realized just how terribly I’d screwed up. The man I had fallen so head-over-heels for, who I’d shared SO much of myself with emotionally and mentally, wouldn’t even entertain the idea of being in a relationship with me because I was flawed. I left him there to play his game and had a little breakdown in my room, because I was determined to not let him see me cry.

He did anyway. He followed me in, sat next to me on the bed, and said the words I will NEVER let him forget: “There are other fish in the sea.”

Let me pause my reminiscing right here to explain how much of a bad idea that is to say to the woman who’s just asked you if you’d be her boyfriend. No, I think you get it. We didn’t talk much after that, driving in silence to go see a movie (which, I was so upset that I don’t even remember the NAME of it at this point, but I do remember sitting in the car and listening to Kashmir before going inside, thinking to myself, “What the hell are you doing?”).

He left the next day. A very different ending from the first visit. I went home and cried.

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters…

And then I became a stalker. Well, not literally. I wrote out the longest, angriest, most self-righteous email ever. I told him that he was a fool and an ass, that he was missing out on the greatest thing in his life, and BY THE WAY, HE had some serious “quirks” too, but I had been able to overlook them.

Then I waited. And waited. And waited some more. When I got tired of waiting, I tracked down the phone number for the friend he was visiting and called. They were at dinner. His friend denied that he was there, I heard him in the background and demanded to speak to him. The conversation was short, “I got your email. I’ll answer it when I get home. We’ll talk then.”

True to his word, he did. And I realized that he wasn’t blameless. I had been a total wishy washy snit.

We spent almost 8 hours on the phone hashing everything out, and the next few months were difficult, but when he told me he was going to move to Texas to be with me, I realized that he was serious about us. And the rest? It’s history.

Never cared for what they say
Never cared for games they play
Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
And I know…

Our relationship hasn’t been easy. We clashed *many* times over things that were trivial at best, downright nit-picky at worst. We worked through the “quirks” and have built something solid and strong. I knew I was going to marry this man, and three years after we moved in together, I did. Our first two years as a married couple were the hardest in our relationship: we both did and said things we’re not proud of, that we can’t take back no matter how desperately we want to.

But we got through it. We survived it. We learned from our mistakes. We both grew up and learned that a relationship is more than just fire and passion, it’s communication and compromise. It’s responsibility. And it’s hard as hell. I think Louis de Bernières summed it up best (from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin):

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”

So close no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
No, nothing else matters.

9 years ago today, I promised to spend the rest of my life loving the man standing across from me. I’ve never stopped doing so, and I never will. He is my love, my life, my rock and my light. He’s my staunchest supporter and kindest critic. He makes me smile when I want to do anything but, he’s full of constant surprises and endearing quirks, he loves me with all that he is and shows it daily, and I consider myself incredibly blessed to have met and married the cheese to my macaroni.

He’s my very own God of Thunder, my Dark Knight, my Crazy Clown Prince.

I love you, my Dragon.

We may not be the richest people in the world, but what we lack in wealth, we make up for in love and laughter. I am proud to call you my husband. My love. My soul-mate. I don’t need a thing in this world as long as I have you.

You are my heart.

Happy Anniversary :)

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~Snarkstress