Sunday, April 03, 2005

"He's the One"

"He's the one! I know it this time! I'm letting someone into my life for the first time ever!" I'd been trying to ignore the two perky and loud Harvard co-eds sitting at the table next to me at Dammits for as long as I could. I had promised myself that this morning I would not only finish this week's Sunday NY Times but the last three weeks of Friday and Sunday NY Times as well. Then, one of the girls announced this little gem with enough gusto that everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at her. I just couldn't concentrate on the NY Times Magazine any longer. Feigning to be reading, I listened as she gushed as only a young twenty-something who has fallen in love for the first time this week can gush. She went on to tell her companion how he had nickname for her already. How he actually told her about his oldest high school friends and she was even invited to meet them. How she actually felt finally here was someone she could let into her life because, as she told her friend, "You know how I am. I just can't, like, jump into a relationship like E. I have to get to like really, really get to know someone first and I think I really know him. I mean, like, when he first, like, saw me at the boathouse two weeks ago, I just KNEW". I wasn't sure whether to politely correct her "like" use of the word "like" or to stand up and declare as adamantly as she, " You don't know! You can't know!! You WON'T know!!! Not for many more years. Not until you have lived a bit more, loved a bit more, and most importantly, lost a bit more. Then you will know." But I didn't. I couldn't. There was something in the urgency of her voice, the way her eyes lit up as she declared to the entire coffee shop as well as her friend that she had found the elusive One. It all reminded me that part of being a young twenty-something is the surety of finding the One. The giddiness to the point of not being able to breathe when you meet someone new and the assuredness that he/she is the One.

I thought back to all my "Ones" and how I couldn't wait to share my happiness with my best friend, K. How I would call her up at work or home as soon as I was sure and declare that I had something very important to tell her. She knew me well enough to know exactly what that statement meant; I had found "him" again. She would agree to meet me at one of our haunts where she would endure my every dissection of how I just KNEW this was the One. She would ask all the right questions. Questions like "Does he call you a lot?" and "When are you going to see him again?" She would let me ramble ad nauseum about the smallest little features about the One. Then K would do exactly what I needed her to do. She would make me temper my excitement by pointing out that even though all signs looked good, perhaps in a few weeks or days or even hours, I would find he was not the One but just another almost.

As I listened to the girl's friend ask the same questions and offer the same advice/encouragement K had offered me so long ago, I thought about my One and looked over to the chair next to me where MBH was staring intently at the screen of his Mac. We have become that old staid pair the past year or two. Complete with the idiosyncrasies possessed by two people who are past the bloom of early infatuation. We pick at each other over things only people who have lived together for a long time pick at each other over. We grumble under our breath when the we think the other isn't listening or when we hope the other is listening but don't have the courage to say what is on our mind too loud. He berates me for being just like his father and walking out of rooms while still trying to have a conversation. I secretly seethe that despite having seen every episode of Seinfeld at least seven times, when it is on TV that is the only thing on his mind. He still uses his pet names for me and I still get a thrill to hear them. I still look at him in the morning when he is half asleep/half awake cuddled up against me and know there is no place in the world I would rather be. When I am having the worst week of my life at work, I know he will surprise me with a packet of my favourite tea biscuits from Cardullos or find an e-card with a drawing of a frazzled woman who somehow looks just like me to send and brighten my day. He knows that when his world is about to come apart, he can always turn to me to be there to encourage him, to stroke his ego, to support him, to unconditionally love him. Because, as I wanted to tell the two girls as they picked up their stuff to leave, it isn't the giddiness that tells you that you have found the One. Rather it is finding the grittiness and knowing you want to stay. Then, and only then, will you really know he's the One.