Just one year before I met Nic, I sat outside at a friend’s wedding. I will never forget the words he had written into his vows. “When I met her, I felt like I had hit the lottery.”
My eyebrows flew up. I mean, I know, I know, we’re at a wedding and all — but do you really want to say something that big? We know you guys are marrying each other — and in general, that’s a sign of serious esteem, but isn’t that a little bit extreme!?
THAT. Is motherfucking vulnerability.
Which is, as we know, the key to love.
Tomorrow will be three years from my first date with Nic. This day, three years ago, I was texting him in a park. We’d been texting for a whopping twenty-four hours at that point, and I wasn’t messing around. I had already asked if he’d want to get together and have a beer. He’d kept the chit-chat up without making a date. So, under a tree, while Bela ran around with a ball in her mouth, I wrote: “Hey. Do you want to get together or not?? I’m really enjoying texting you — but I’m not looking for a best friend here, okay??”
Nic is my best friend. The best friend I have ever had. It’s so weird, and it’s so trite and it’s so true. I told him we’d have to have separate apartments (*across the hallway from each other), but here we are, in a house, together. We even share the same bedroom. We share food. A dog. A baby! We share everything and though I hadn’t wanted to share anything, I am happy. Grossly happier than I have ever been.
Over the course of the past three years, I have written about him here, and I have written about him there — I have written about him everywhere. I share quotes of amazing/stupid/funny bullshit he says, and I sometimes share pics, and I have even posted a couple “I’m so happy with him” statuses. Each time, shortly after I share, I feel a little sick. Kindof hungover. Bad adrenaline. Nobody wants to know you’re so fucking happy, Kelly. Nobody gives a fuck. It’s annoying.
If it’s so annoying, then why do I remember what my friend said about his soon-to-be-wife? Because, that day, he cracked open a door in me. I felt a little scared for him, but ultimately, what I felt was happy.
Someone in this world loves someone else in this world enough to say shit like that.
I realized then that I felt happy that he felt that happy. And that he felt safe enough to say it out loud. No shame.
Love, for so long, had been so shameful to me. To admit that you love is to admit that a part of your happiness in hinged upon someone else.
This morning, I came across one of my prized neighbors, Ginger. She’s retired. She walks her tiny dog around the block, and we talk. She assesses Oliver’s growth while I caress her canine’s ears. We always ask, with open hearts, how the other is.
She was telling me of her best friend’s visit, and I listened. But as she began to end her story, I could feel myself erupting. “IT’S NIC AND MY ANNIVERSARY!!!” I practically screamed!
My voice rang through the trees. There were tears threatening my face. I looked her in the eyes, but then quickly, dropped my head. I stepped back ever so slightly, giving her a little more distance. I was ashamed. I shouldn’t have gotten so excited. I shouldn’t have gotten so loud.
Shame and joy. Shame vs. joy. The shame IN joy.
I closed my eyes for just a split second, digesting my vulnerability. She can know I love him. There’s nothing wrong with letting her see how much I love him. There just can’t be.
It’s our anniversary. I got so little of what I wanted from him, and so much of what I need.
P.S. If you want to see the post of the first time I wrote about him! – it’s here