So like I said: I’ve been keeping a secret. It’s not a bad secret—in fact, it’s the complete opposite of bad, but I’ve been afraid to commit it to writing, lest in sharing it I somehow destroyed it. But he’s said it. And he’s said it again. And I’ve said it back so it’s high time I brought you all up to speed.
When I was seventeen and trying to determine whether or not I was in love with my first boyfriend, the Canadian I’d met at Not Back to School Camp, I turned to my best friend and asked, “How do you know when you’re in love with someone?”
“You just do,” she replied.
Even thought she was two years older than me, already in college and in possession of a perfectly nice boyfriend who she would eventually go on to marry, I didn’t believe her.
“You just do?” What a load of crap!
I was waiting to hear something scientific, or at the very least something romantic (“A chorus of angels will descend from the heavens” or “Rainbows will spring up in your path,”) but she was adamant.
“Trust me,” she repeated. “You’ll just know.”
That was almost ten years ago, and even though numerous boyfriends (and numerous declarations) have come and gone since then, I’m not sure that I ever really believed her.
Until last week.
To those of you who’ve been reading for a while, it’s no secret that I have issues with the phrase “I love you.” It’s never worked out properly any time I’ve said it (or been told it). In fact, the last time a guy told me he loved I was so surprised that I proceeded to bang my head on the steering wheel.
Presumably, this was not the reaction he’d been hoping for.
As such, I’d been both wanting and not wanting The Wedding Date to tell me he loved me, and I’d been both wanting and not wanting to say it to him. But I was scared. A first “I love you” is like a first kiss: you put it out there and hope the other party responds but there’s no guarantee. You could be left standing there with your mouth hanging open, feeling like an idiot and wondering what the hell happened.
Several weeks ago, however, I did something stupid. I got angry at The Wedding Date because he didn’t wake up to walk me out. We’d spent the weekend together at his place, and we were going to be seeing each other again in a few hours at my parent’s annual Oscar Party, but I couldn’t believe that he was going to let me go without saying goodbye. I tried to wake him but he’s a much heavier sleeper than I realized at the time so when he didn’t respond, I hit him in the shoulder.
By the time he stumbled, rather bewildered, into the kitchen, I was in full meltdown mode. “I always say goodbye when you have to get up early to go to work!” I cried. “And I always offer to make you tea before you leave. You don’t even care that I’m leaving!”
(And this to the man who spent his day off making me breakfast because I was on a deadline.)
I was overtired. And stressed out about getting back to Philly in time to make it to the event I was covering for the Dance Journal. And anxious over the fact that I hadn’t hit it off particularly well with any of the women I’d met at his birthday party the day before. Nonetheless, it took me exactly three minutes to realize I was overreacting.
I called The Wedding Date the instant I got on the Parkway and he was, as usual, perfect and apologetic even though it wasn’t his fault.
Everything was fine after that—I apologized and he came to the Oscar Party (where he nearly won all of the trivia games, despite my attempts at cheating)—but a week later, he turned to me and confessed, “I have to ask: do you normally hit your boyfriends?”
“No! God no!”
“I didn’t think so—you don’t strike me as that kind of person. But I was wondering. I just wanted to make sure.”
It was then that I realized, for the first time in my life, that I was afraid of losing someone. I’ve broken up with every man I’ve ever dated but this was different: I was terrified. And suddenly I knew.
To my great relief, The Wedding Date eventually came to this very same conclusion. And so it was that the “A” word was finally said.
I need to explain what the “A” word is.
Refer back to your high school Spanish text book and remember folks, The Wedding Date is Colombian after all.
- The Case of the Missing Loofah (fieldworkinstilettos.com)
- A Double Date… with The Wedding Date’s PARENTS! (fieldworkinstilettos.com)
- Finally: The Wedding Date’s Kids (fieldworkinstilettos.com)