We met online on the Onion News Network’s personals. I was desperate for a roommate at the time since anyone who knew me avoided ever living with me. He was curious who would have a profile on Onion News Network, found me, and thought that I was interesting. After about a month of chatting, we met at my favorite boba tea shop and he gave me my favorite movie on DVD (which he bought in preparation for our first meeting) before I even sat down. It was all sorts of ridiculous, and we ended up spending the night together on our very first meeting. Now when I say, “spend the night”, we stayed up late watching the movie he bought me “Monty Python’s Meaning of Life” and built a fort in my living room.
He quickly became one of my best friends and even came along and got a job where I worked, Liberty Tax Service. I dressed as lady liberty, along with my dear friend Chelsea who dressed in an Uncle Sam costume; our job was to give donuts and hotdogs to local businesses laced with coupons and ads (see picture). Brian obviously wasn’t having a good time dressing up and waving at cars (when I loved it). We didn’t have much in common. I was a newfound feminist student activist; he was a programmer and gamer. I was weary about dating him because I didn’t see us having similar goals or even similar languages. I was the type of person that wore a prom dress made of duct tape. He was the type of person who left high school out of disinterest.
He made advances that pushed at the boundaries of friendship and I nervously skirted them, unsure of how romance and partnership would ever work with such opposites. While sitting on the couch, he would offer his hand or lean in to invite a kiss. I didn’t know how to react (honestly, I didn’t really know what I wanted) and so I didn’t answer his invitations and carefully avoided him in potentially romantic settings. When Valentine’s day came I worried about what he might do. I avoided him and went out to a movie with Chelsea. I came to work on the 15th avoiding eye contact with him. I knew that he would have something for me and I wondered why he was so persistent. He pulled out of his bag a bouquet of flowers that he had made completely out of silver duct tape. He had worked on that bouquet for hours and hours, perfecting each flower. He didn’t know what he was doing, but he knew that I liked unique handmade gifts. He spent the time and the effort and I knew how hard it was to work with that tape. I am so touched, so moved that he stretched himself so far out of his comfort zone to grab my attention. Brian and I mark that day (February 15th) as our anniversary. Nine years we’ve been together and I can attest that two seemingly opposite-minded people can have an incredibly loving, wonderful and adventurous relationship. We’ve both stretched ourselves in being uncomfortable for each other and that has both of us and our relationship grow that much bigger. Brian’s enthusiasm for game programming, comics, and computer physics simulations have brought me a whole new world that I didn’t know existed. My self-exploration in transformational work and theories in identity have opened a world of for him that he otherwise wouldn’t have explored. We both teach other and invite each other continuously and I’ve found things in myself that I never knew existed. I am lucky to have not only such a loving and wonderful man in my life, but a vibrant, interesting, and unique person who contributes to who I am. I am grateful to him for not only how great he makes me feel, but for how far he helps me grow. I am grateful that he doesn’t give up when I’m uncomfortable or when he’s uncomfortable, for otherwise we wouldn’t be where we are now and we both wouldn’t be in the big lives we are in.
What stretch have you been resisting lately? Where can you give into love?