“I like daffodils and orchids and sunshine and bubbles and kites and colorful tights and nailpolish and chai tea and small braids and…” The first paragraph of my online dating profile was a run on sentence list of things I liked.
My friend A, a semi-fearless traveler with a penchant for adventure, was appalled, and declared that it didn’t reflect me at all. I believe she thought I was portraying myself as a Giggle Giggle Hair Girl to attract men.
I am not a Giggle Giggle Hair Girl. Not that I have anything against them — when that’s their genuine personality — it’s just not me. Not that I don’t giggle — I am quick to laugh; one of my favorite games is fake laughing until you real laugh. But I am not so good with the clothing that fits and matches, let alone outfits with jewelry, scarves, shoes, and hair. Hair. I started cutting my own hair when I was college-poor, and I haven’t stopped, even though my method of gathering it into a pony and lopping at it with kitchen scissors is hardly refined.
But I digress.
A thought I was putting on a Giggle Giggle Hair Girl facade, when in reality I was listing out the things that made me excited, many of which admittedly had a whiff of Zoey Deschanel to them. (Who tends to fit into another trope, but in the pursuit of coining mine, I will omit it here.) OK, but I don’t want to live in a world where liking bubbles (seriously, go look at one) and kites (so magical) is relegated to the realm of GGHGs.
I have a secret fantasy of going door to door soliciting people to buy copies of “Death of a Salesman.” I can understand your happiness at reading “Death on the Nile” while on the Nile.
This, among other thoughtful, humorous comments, was in his first message to me. So I naturally friendzoned him, in about as literal a way possible:
I’m glad you contacted me! We’re clearly meant to be friends.
He was too extroverted, I decided. And I wasn’t crazy about the picture of him posing in front of flowers.
And then…then we skyped. For five hours. And everything changed.
I should have known when you didn’t want to be seen reading Calvin and Hobbes on the metro.
As I was coming out of a previous relationship, I joked with people about “I should have knowns.” I had spent over a year in a relationship, convinced that we would work out in spite of personality, cultural, and value differences. We would work through sheer determination. I kept trying to do x, y, z. And then I was just trying to try.
Relationships are hard. Marriage is hard. It’s what everyone is always writing about, talking about, getting counseling for, wringing hands over, ending phrases in prepositions with.
Love is a choice. It’s an action, a verb.
I still believe all of these things. But start with a good foundation.
I caught the happy virus last night
When I was out singing beneath the stars.
It is remarkably contagious -
So kiss me.
We were long distance for over a year. Upside: it forced us to talk instead of do activities side by side. Downside: Sharing life over a screen is nothing like sharing life. Upside: We appreciated every moment we had together. Downside: This meant we were obnoxious to hang out with for everyone else.
…and I remember telling his sister that we were only disgusting because we were long distance. Not to worry. Things would change.
I know that if we stick this out that one day we will fall out of love and have to remember to fall back in again. That date nights will have to be scheduled, that we will have to remind ourselves to hold hands. Maybe we will have children and turn into sleep-deprived passive aggressives. We might hurt each other and wonder if forgiveness is ever possible. We might take each other for granted, stop communicating, dig into ruts. It will be work, it will be effort, it will be choices.
But. For now we are a shmoopfest. We are a stereotype. We look into each other’s eyes and philosophize about what it means to stare into another’s eyes. (Trust me, you should be glad we found each other because nobody else wants this mess.) We create lists of countries we will visit and countries we will live in. We spend hours over a beer at a brewery. We look at each other’s hands, and cook for each other, and chase each other, and laugh. We laugh a lot. We are very seldom hungry.
“I’m running a little late because I’m in a grocery store…I’ll explain later.”
He is buying groceries for a homeless man again. Why do they always want steak?
I was single for the first 22 years of my life. And I loved it. Being single was a wonderful experience for me, and the only reason I would give it up would be to be with someone who makes me better than I can be on my own. Who wants to join me in exploring the world. Who wants to live and give and share with others. Who takes my ideals and runs with them.
Who fits with me on an emotional, spiritual, physical, and intellectual level.
“If you could travel back and live in any time period, what would it be? What about the early 1900’s?”
“That would be cool, but I don’t think it would be a great time to be a woman.”
He didn’t want a Giggle Giggle Hair Girl. But he did want her 2nd cousin, the Red Lips 40’s Heels Girl. I only wear heels at weddings and funerals. I am slightly tilted when I walk. When I apply lipstick, I get a pinkish glow over and under my lips, and bits of red on my teeth.
I didn’t want Creative Dreamer Man. I wanted Mechanical Engineer C++ Man. But then, I didn’t know that being with him would be like coming home.