Five Years Later, Part Two
Five years ago I opened the door on a rainy and stormy night, holding back a much fluffier and energetic dog than the geriatric model I have now. Standing in the dim porch light was an auburn-haired guy, nervous in his grey and light blue striped waffle shirt. I was so busy trying to make sure that Claude didn't run away that I didn't have time to acknowledge any first date nerves. I was wearing a cream colored shirt with short handkerchief sleeves and thankfully grabbed a jacket (both of which I still have) since the temperatures had dropped considerably after the crazy nor'easter storm that had blown through early. I got in the dark grey Jetta with him, even though we'd only talked on the phone and texted. I was much crazier in my dating years.
The roads were dark because power had been knocked out nearby neighborhoods and I acted confident as I directed him down some windy back roads. We made it to the restaurant I thought would be perfect: candlelit tables, live jazz music that night, and delicious food. We walked into a mob scene of people. "We won't be able to talk," he told me. I could barely hear him, much less the jazz music.
Back on the dark roads I decided to take him into my hometown. My preppy, pretentious hometown that I loved. I settled on an established new style Italian restaurant that wasn't the least bit romantic but it had been the scene of end-of-school-year dinners, birthday celebrations, and special dinners. It was a special restaurant to me. Sitting across from one another we didn't stop talking. He was polite enough to not give me funny looks for my sunny-side up egg pizza while I pretended to be sophisticated. There was the typical first date talk but there was also the deeper stuff like future plans and dreams and all that had led us here.
Talk and talk and talk. We couldn't and didn't want to stop. So after I ate that whole egg pizza we walked and talked and got ice cream. Sometimes in my mind I play it over like those romantic comedy montages. When it got too cold to sit outside on the park bench where we landed, we drove around in the car. Funny to think that our love of road trips and hanging together in cars started with that late night drive around the neighborhoods of my town.
When he finally dropped me off, it was close to midnight. I remember sitting in my car and thinking, it's over already?! We didn't make plans for the next time; we didn't even kiss. But I knew there would be a next time and I'm pretty sure he did too. Maybe I knew too that I had just met the guy that would become my fiance and who I'll called husband next year.
Five years later I am a different, better person because of the relationship Nick and I built. We met at exactly the right time. I remember meeting him and getting to know him felt like a home coming. Suddenly all of this craziness, all of the trying and failing, all of the uncertainty of not having a job or much of a plan actually seemed manageable. He was like my rock in a storm. It's hard to describe the moment you meet the person you're fairly certain you'll spend the rest of your life with. It just felt right like a pair of perfect jeans (leave it to the fashion blogger in me to think of this analogy). What I cherish the most about this love we've built is that it's based in never ending support. The day may be hard and long and the struggles may seem insurmountable but when we're together it's all possible. He is my biggest cheerleader, my greatest fan, and I'm his. I've read maybe a million posts proclaiming how happy girls are to be marrying their best friend. I think of Nick as something so much greater than my best friend.
Here's to the many, many more years to come!