Tomorrow Nutty Hubby and I will celebrate seven hopelessly smitten years together, four of them as one of those married couples you hate because they’re still all lovey-dovey in public and they haven’t tried to kill each other yet.
It doesn’t really feel like it’s been seven years, but I also don’t really feel not-quite-32 years old, so what do I know? Although I did spend one of those years in a different country, because the fact that Nutty Hubby proposed didn’t mean I wasn’t still going to ditch him for grad school abroad, so really it’s only like six years actually together together, and then when you take into consideration all the time you spend sleeping or at work…why, we’re practically strangers!
Anyhow, this morning I was thinking about this weirdo I agreed to spend the rest of my life with, and marveling at how I ended up married at all when just a few months prior to the start of our relationship I had decided that having a ring on my finger was something that really didn’t interest me anymore. And then I found myself wondering for the millionth time how the hell we even wound up together, because really, we were idiots about the whole thing.
I mean, I asked the guy out while we were chatting over MSN Messenger and he took five minutes to respond because he had just gone to the kitchen to make himself a sandwich, so for five minutes I thought he was just trying to come up with a polite way to tell me he wasn’t interested.
Now I know it’s not his fault that I decided to bare my soul at the exact moment that he was feeling a little peckish, but I swear I was one extra slice of cheese away from typing, “Haha JK LOL I didn’t mean any of that I’m just gonna go crawl in a corner and die now so seeya it was nice knowing you…”
Fuckin’ sandwiches, man. Those motherfuckers’ll get you if you’re not careful.
Devious deli meats aside, it can’t be denied that Nutty Hubby and I managed to inadvertently jerk each other around quite passably on our own. Like the first time he said “I love you” and I didn’t quite hear him so I had to ask him to repeat himself. Twice. Do I know how to boost a man’s ego or what? To this day he claims that was revenge for the five minute sandwich wait. I beg to differ. Not my fault the man mumbles.
But the time I most wanted to beat my head against a wall due to my own stupidity was before either of those events, back when Nutty Hubby and I were still desperately (and unsuccessfully) trying to convince ourselves that we would never be anything more than friends.
Our resistance was not unfounded. For starters, Nutty Hubby was my latest ex-boyfriend’s roommate, and needless to say, that was going to be all kinds of awkward.
Then there was the fact that in the fall I would be leaving to attend grad school in the UK, and if we did decide to move from friendship to something more, being long-distance for at least a year was inevitable. Neither of us knew if the other was willing to start a relationship with that in mind, and it’s not exactly something you can easily slip into conversation without being blatantly obvious about your intentions. “Man, that looks like a really good sandwich. Say, do you think you would still want that sandwich if it had to, like, go away for a year?”
And no, I am clearly not done giving sandwiches a hard time.
Finally, there was the aftermath of the Megacunts of Christmas Past to consider, AKA Nutty Hubby’s ex-girlfriends. I tried – and failed – to come up with a more polite name for them, but it’s really not an exaggeration. It seems, hypothetically, that the problem with being an authentically nice guy is that you attract bitches like moths to a flame. And after they’ve gotten bored with exploiting your kindness and generosity, they start making themselves scarce and giving bullshit excuses instead of just breaking things off, and then they sleep with someone who may or may not be your brother. Hypothetically.
Long story short, Nutty Hubby decided he was done putting himself out there if it was going to reward him so poorly. If a woman was genuinely interested in him, he reasoned, then she could damn well ask him out for a change.
Um, hi. Meet me, the fucking shyest person imaginable. I don’t even like asking my friends if I can have one of their fries.
So there we were, stuck in the doldrums of being two ridiculously compatible people with a combined self-confidence of negative zero, when it began to snow.
I know a lot of you are currently dealing with more snow than you should ever have to shovel in a lifetime and hate winter with the fiery power of a thousand suns, but here in Vancouver a decent snowfall is something of a rarity. And Nutty Hubby and I love the stuff. So when it looked like there was going to be enough for a decent snowball fight, Nutty Hubby and I gleefully agreed that a trip to the park was in order.
It was a gorgeous night. The fresh snow glittered under the city lights and crowned the inky branches of the park’s looming trees in white. We ran around the winter wonderland with childish abandon and chucked snowballs at each other until we were out of breath and our hair was soaked, and then we just wandered around pretending very hard that this wasn’t the romantic date the evening was obviously trying to be.
Eventually we came to a construction site on the far side of the park. They were partway through building a very large recreation center. There was no one around and only your average chain link fence to keep out trespassers.
Naturally we decided to go in.
We scaled the fence and dropped down on the other side, which turned out to be kind of a rocky ditch under all the snow. There was a small but slippery little hill to climb to get to the construction area proper. Nutty Hubby quickly scrambled up while I was still looking around, and then reached his hand down for me to grab as I prepared to follow.
And that’s when an acute case of The Stupids hit me.
I’m an independent person. Stubbornly so. Always have been. One of my earliest expressions as a child was, “NO, I DO IT!” and although my grammar has since improved, that’s still basically my motto. And so my very first instinct was to unthinkingly reject this most adventitious opportunity to hold the hand of the man I had a raging crush on (and maybe conveniently forget to let go), and to soldier on up the hill myself.
What the fuck, Nutty. What the fuck.
Even as I took the first step it hit me. Shit shit shit shit WHAT ARE YOU DOING? TAKE HIS HAND, YOU DUMBASS! But it was too late. Before I could blink, I was at the top of the hill and Nutty Hubby’s hand had been withdrawn. And there was no logical reason to apologize for the unintended rebuff, because we were, of course, just friends.
We continued into the unfinished building as if nothing had happened and ended up having a grand old time exploring, but it secretly took all my willpower not to subtly smack my head against every load bearing wall we passed.
It was partially so I could stop kicking myself over that small missed opportunity that I would finally psych myself up to sit down at my computer one night, confess my feelings to the man I would one day call my husband, and press Send before I could lose my nerve.
And six minutes later, learn that he felt the same way.
That better have been one goddamned amazing sandwich.