I have written Calvin a Valentine letter every year that we have been together. I have them all saved on my computer, with a cute little heart themed template and all the ooey gooeyness you could ever ask for. I asked him if this year he would mind if I published his letter on the blog (a little early!), instead of printing one out. He said as long as I didn’t talk explicitly about our sex life, it was fine. Though why he wouldn’t want me to brag about his prowess here is a mystery to me. Don’t guys love that kind of thing?
Anyway. Here is my Valentine to Calvin this year.
Valentines Day 2008
We have quite a story together, you and I. When it began, we were eleven years and three thousand miles apart. You were married, I was married. People who don’t believe in serendipity need only refer to our beginnings to change their minds. Even now it completely boggles my mind to think about how random our meeting was.
I’d recently moved to Arizona from Maine, and the chance of that alone happening was very scarce. I left under protest; I never intended to leave home, ever. But my husband at the time was adamant, and so we packed up our belongings in the back of a pickup truck and drove six days to get to Arizona.
I was working for a temp agency. After working several jobs for them, they just happened to mention a position in an obscure construction trailer at a company I’d never heard of before. This construction company was contracting for AcronymCo to build them an office building. And you were the guy assigned to look out for the building controls aspect of things.
You came to the trailer for a meeting. I was making coffee. You flirted with me (shocker!). We got to talking. You made me laugh. We worked on projects together; we spent long boring hours monitoring alarms while stuck in a tiny isolated office with nothing but conversation (and a calculator) to entertain us. We eventually became very good friends.
As the years went by, you went through some stuff, I went through some stuff, and we kept turning to each other. Falling in love with you wasn’t this great revelation that hit me like a bolt; it was more like a quiet understanding that filled me so subtly that when I finally, consciously thought, “I love him,” there was no surprise. It was as if the feeling had always existed in me. I looked forward to seeing you. I felt lit up inside when you called. I saved all of your voicemail messages (for YEARS). I still have every single e-mail you ever wrote me, and every card you ever gave me.
When the smoke of our individual dramas cleared and we began to date, it was like my eyes had opened up to an entirely different world. We had so much fun, you and I. Just being in one another’s presence added an extra element of rightness, which made everything we did significant and special. Pizza on the roof, going to the zoo, strolling along Mill Avenue holding hands and sipping smoothies, going for rides and just listening to music, grabbing ice cream, wandering among the shops in Old Town Scottsdale. We talked and talked and talked – to this day, we haven’t run out of things to talk about (at the time that I am writing this, I just got off the phone with you after a 45-minute conversation, and then you had to cut it “short” because you had to take another call).
From the very beginning I absolutely knew that we had something rare and special between us. For the first time, for both of us, we could be completely ourselves. Completely at ease, knowing that we would be understood, accepted. There was never a single moment of pretense between either of us.
We know, more clearly than anyone looking in from the outside, how very different we are as people. But those differences serve to make us more compatible, I think, rather than less. For me, it is a daily discovery of how good it feels to be loved for exactly who I am. Being around you makes me feel more like myself than I am even when I’m by myself.
I never before looked forward to the future in the way that you have inspired me to do. Every moment, every experience, every memory serves to build upon our history. The thought that we have history thrills me. The anticipation for our future thrills me even more.
My life is better for knowing you. I’m a better person because of you. I love you, I love you, I love you.
All my heart,