Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Pivotal Moments and Velvet Rope
A year ago this month, something changed.
All it took was one moment. Fleeting really. Just a look. Eyes locked and BOOM. Everything changed.
A briefly held gaze, heart all a flutter and I realized something major. SHIT, I was in love. (even if I may have been a little skeptical of it, possibly in denial of it.) I was head over heels; I was screwed.
It started out as any other month we'd had up until then really. He and I were always together, were doing things with the kids on weekends, hanging out together when we didn't have them. As the month wore on, I guess it was more and more frequent.
We had always done that though, outings with the 3 kids and each other. A picture on the outside of a nuclear family, even though we weren't exactly. Outings to the aquarium, the Museum of Science. Various carnivals and birthday parties. Kite flying and movies.
It wasn't out of the ordinary for us to plan things that were familial in nature with each other. It was what we did, how we rolled. Even without the kids, we were a picture of a "normal" couple. "Dating" without actually "dating" for close to a year.
So naturally, the day before Thanksgiving last year, it wasn't out of the ordinary for us to make plans. For the 5 of us to meet up and do things, together as we always had.
It's the first time I ever, EVER did something Christmas related before Thanksgiving. It's a huge pet peeve of mine to walk the aisles of stores before Halloween and Thanksgiving and find Christmas paraphernalia all over the place. Or hear holiday music played. It's annoying. Let the other damn holiday's have their 15 minutes before you go sweeping them under the rug as non-important. Sheesh.
However, the day after Thanksgiving, I go no-holds-barred, balls out in all of my Christmas decorating. I spend that entire day pulling out holiday boxes, moving furniture to make room for the tree I would get at the end of the weekend. My entire house resembling that of one lived in by one of Santa's elves. My bathroom, bedroom, kitchen...everything is adorned with holiday decor and snowmen. (I love snowmen, no idea why seeing as I HATE actual snow...but I digress.)
So that day, that random Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving last year, the kids had a half day at school, I had a half day at work, and he had the day off. Seemed as though the stars were aligned for us to so something festive, right?
There we were, lined up at Jordan's Furniture. Santa's Enchanted Village and Polar Express 4D, the motion odyssey ride, all under the roof of a furniture store. Add a 3D Laser Light show, all set to Christmas music, it was win-win.
Time was not on our side however and we had some waiting to do after we moseyed through the Enchanted Village. Looking at the quaint holiday scenes that were transcended from the old Jordan Marsh in Boston of our youth. Faux snow fell from the sky at random intervals, and it was, well, enchanting.
We posed for an impromptu "family" photo, and then we had some time to kill. We went out to dinner. We ate, we joked, we laughed and made our way back to wait yet again for the exciting and fun parts of the day to happen. The real meat-and-potatoes of our evening.
Tickets purchased and hot chocolate in hand, we waited. The kids getting antsy and excited as we neared the time our tickets were stamped with for the next show.
And there, in the lobby of Jordan's Furniture, amidst velvet covered ropes and kids sipping hot chocolate, it happened. That moment.
He and I, talking as we always had. Joking as we always had, and then, there it was. Eyes locked and emotion flooding. A revelation. A brief glance that I will never forget. I was locked in on those hazel eyes. Soft brown and flecked with green, beneath a bevy of long lashes (the kind that make the ladies jealous) and full of more warmth and sincerity than I had ever seen. That’s all it took.
Had it been a movie, the background would have faded to black, or blurred somehow with all focus on just us two. Two protagonists, caught in a moment. Me in my red coat and he in his blue sweatshirt. Standing out in my mind as though no one else was there, no one else mattered. A matter of seconds really. A wrinkle in time that would change our lives as we knew it. At least I know it did mine.
That was it. That look did it.
That look, followed by an up-all-night phone conversation. An acknowledgement that there was something there, something real. It was then followed by a tumultuous couple of months of back and forth. Of questions and confusion and hesitations and maybe a little fear; I believe on both ends. But ultimately, it was followed by one of the greatest things to ever happen to me.
That just 2 short (although seemingly long at the time) months later, that threshold had been officially crossed. No more just talking about it, we had done it. We had left the Friend Zone and were full on smack dab in the thick of it. We were finally together together.
I finally dropped my guard. I toned down the cynicism and sarcasm and insults and realized this man made me happy. Actually happy.
And I have never been happier. I have never been more appreciative of someone. Someone who has been there for so much. The good, the bad and the ugly. Who has been my best friend and more. Who I can't picture another day in my life without in it. Who fills me with so much love and hope yet can drive me nuts at the same time. A perfect balance. And I love him more every day.
To think it all started by breaking tradition. By not adhering to my own Cardinal Rule; by celebrating Christmas a little early. And I would do it again in a heartbeat. Every part of it. I fell in love with my best friend.
Maybe holidays are a time for miracles, because last year, I certainly got one.