Before my eyes ever landed on yours, we had talked for hours on the phone. Remember the phones that actually had to be connected by a cord to the wall? The phones you couldn’t stray too far from so you ended up lying flat on your back on the hard floor because talking was more important than comfort? Remember staying up much too late talking about EVERYTHING and then jolting awake only to find the phone lying next to your head?
Do you remember our first date? The date where you were afraid to hold my hand because you couldn’t believe I agreed to go on a date with you. Did you know I had butterflies in my stomach and I’d spent several hours trying to decide what to wear?
Our first Valentine’s together was celebrated approximately 3 months after our first date. Do you remember the gigantic red construction paper card you laminated and hole-punched together, with big glued-on paper hearts with a poem on the inside that you wrote just for me? Do you remember the picnic basket I filled with yellow roses and a dozen glass bottles of Yoohoo?
I hope you remember those days because those where the days we laid the foundation for our future. Do you remember how hard we fought in the beginning to make things work? We had so many fights about where we were going to eat; what I was going to wear; if I looked fat; whether you really loved me… you see, I had doubts. Lots of them.
In the beginning you had to learn that I couldn’t take compliments and that if you said I was pretty I would just sidestep your words. You learned to pick out my flaws and turn them into jokes and we would both laugh and I felt comfortable knowing you weren’t afraid to notice my flaws. I began to associate negative honesty with love and that felt right – I could accept that kind of love – for a little while.
In our early years I hated myself, who I was and how I looked and you stayed as I railed against myself. Do you remember the time I came unglued and threw my keys at you? Do you remember it was because I couldn’t find anything to fit over my widening rear-end? I was sure that when I fell into the pile of clothes I had thrown in the floor and proceeded to throw a tantrum (that any 3 year old would have been proud of) until I cried myself to sleep, that I would wake up and find you gone. But you stayed.
You stayed and we got married and we learned what worked between us and what didn’t. We created each other and if we are monsters sometimes we only have each other to blame. You never really say I have beautiful eyes and that’s because you knew it hurt me to hear, but I’ve changed over the years and I think I need to know you believe I have beautiful eyes.
We have both changed – it’s like time is speeding up and back all at the same time and neither of us can keep up with which direction we are going. Through the years we have hurt each other deeply only to end up caring about each other even more. I think sometimes we forget we are not static people with static emotions. The things we once believed may have changed and the things we used to love, we no longer love. We have fallen deeper in, and out of, love all at the same time.
We have both changed.
This Valentine’s Day I will be celebrating my best friend’s birthday out of state. You were never big on Valentine’s Day so when you gave me permission to go you didn’t realize it hurt my heart a little bit. Yesterday, you told me it made you sad too and I realized I will never spend another Valentine’s Day apart from you.
We have both changed.
This Valentine’s Day I would like you to be mine – whoever you are today – be mine for always.