I don’t think the husband or I would admit to being overly romantic. We just (as in, last week) established a regular date night after 8 years of parenting. (I consider the years of parenting to be consecutive rather than inclusive – 5 years for the first kid plus 3 years for the second equals 8 years total. It’s Mom-math.)
Feeling romantic after date night, I unearthed a mix CD (remember those? what are the young’uns exchanging these days – playlists?) the husband gave me a full two years before our first kiss. The first song is “Don’t Panic” by Coldplay. He knew me better than I knew myself; he was making a move and quite rightly knew I would bolt. At this point in 2003, we had been friends for three years and I continually told him I would never date anyone the same age as my younger brother. He and my brother are 6 months apart.
“Don’t Panic” is followed by “Lover, You Should Have Come Over”. There seems to be no seguing from the ‘warning’ to the ‘proposal’ (which makes me laugh now). And nothing came of his handing over his heart via mix CD. I remember when he gave it to me I was totally wrapped up in a make-out fling with the friend of a friend. And HE had also given me a mix CD which I obsessed over trying to decipher the messages between LCD Soundsystem, Portastatic and the White Stripes.
I definitely can give some romantic credit to the husband considering he showed up two years before our first kiss, wasn’t discouraged when I shrugged off his attempt and held my hand all day one Sunday in 2005. The details of that day might sound terribly vanilla but when we kissed under the tree in front of my house, it was dizzying and I knew I was in love with him. His student visa promptly expired, he left for Ethiopia and six months later I made my own romantical move to be with him in Addis Abeba. It seems to me there are a lot of forks in the road of life. I have no regrets listening to the other guy’s CD first and later kissing my friend under the tree.
Five years of friendship, two years of living in sin, six years of marriage plus eight years of parenting equals a lot of love. On the same mix CD is “True Love Waits” by Radiohead and I leave you with these words of wisdom: True love lives on lollipops and crisps. I’m not sure what that means exactly but (after doing all that math) I do know if it isn’t fun, it isn’t worth doing.