Snarky and Catty. In the years to come, that is the part of our very special bravo reality tv wannabe pilot earlier today I will use for coctail fodder. (I will gloss over the help and moral support they provided, not to mention the Asti, just to needle them)
"yeah that's not really working for me. What else do you have?"
"I don't like that tshirt, you should put it back. Grab a white one instead."
"don't you have a little black dress to bring with?"
"yes! And heels! You have to be wearing heels when he sees you for the first time."
"ok the t is better, but now the skirt is too matchy matchy. What are our other options?"
"what about pants. Which pants are you bringing? ... really? just jeans... Huh..."
"ok, where's that other tshirt? The one we just told you we didn't like? If youre insisting on jeans, we want that one back now."
"no you may not check a bag!! It'll fit. Let me do it."
"that's it! You are no longer my amazing race partner. We'd need to be running out the room in the morning and you'd need to go back for your makeup? And hair product?!"
Imconcievably, I finished packing without pitching either one of them out the second story window and made it to the airport early. (with no checked bag)
Uncharacteristicly, I did so without the pålæg chokolade I'd written myself a note to remember, and without a memory card in my camera.
I'm on a Sun country flight bound for San Francisco. I have been trying to get to San Fran off and on since 1995, so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that I'm finally going. What is a surprise is that the trip was planned last week. Which skims deftly over the deeper meaning of the trip like a dragonfly skittering across the surface of minnesota lake in august. I'm going to see the man the first boy who ever told me he loved me grew into. It's been 27 years since we first met on the shores of lake morgan at a summer camp tailor made for the kids of danish immigrant parents. It's been 25 years since I last saw him off from a train platform in Milwaukee. And yet... and yet... in the past two months, a fairly innocent facebook reconnection has taken on a life of its own. It's not as if we've been passive participants. 1800 emails and hours and hours of phone and video conferencing time would rat us out if ever we tried peddling that version of events. But with acceleration worthy of a 1968 red mustang (my go to dream car answer and his real life first car), we went from polite 'what have you been up to in the last quarter century' filling in, through a rediscovery of our status as confidants and right into courtship.
I should be nervous.
I should, in fact, be petrified.
Without the acid chemistry test of an in person meeting, we've begun crafting the story of our future. We've plotted the outlines of where we would choose to live next. together. We've been up front about concerns we are extrapolating the past into the present and near future. But though it seems seeds were sown back then, it truly doesn't feel like we are on some power trip back in time to reconnect with our teenage selves. Which is good, because My teenage self isn't famous for her good judgment.
I do not have a history of picking emotionally available, adoring partners who simultaneously make my toes curl from 1500 miles away. I have a history of picking the pretty boy who ends up running for the hills when I show any sign of needing more, or the bad boy who ends up tossing me across a hotel room in the middle of the night.
but the preppy boy who knew how to speak from the heart as a teenager? Not likely my type...
Yet if it's at all in my power, I pick him now.
"I love you"
"I love you too; see you on the flip side"
Those were the words we exchanged as I boarded the plane that will take me to see him for the first time in almost 25 years. That we fell in love at warp speed through prose and stolen phone calls without once laying eyes on one another in the flesh seems odd to even me. But I can't deny that is exactly what happened.
Stolen phone calls? You caught that, did you?
Yes, well, in any good love story there must be strife to overcome, a proverbial dragon to slay begore the star crossed lovers can have their happily ever after. You'd think the 25 years would be enough, but no. Just to be difficult, we decided to do it as his marriage was falling apart and I was actively job hunting in Copenhagen and hoping to move abroad for a year or two.
That should make me nervous.
He should be campaigning for me to ditch my plans. Or be making excuses for why he loves me more, but will choose to stay with her for the sake of their kid.
Oh, right. that... I forgot that little detail too didn't I?
Matters not. He has said more right things to me in the last month then I've heard in all my life. I have every reason to doubt him and no inclination to do so in the least.
So here I sit, half dozing with an hour and a half to go before we touch down, and instead of fretting, I want to nap. Me. The poster child for insomnia. Wants to nap....
Catch you on the flip side...
[one hour later. I've slept a bit, but not much. Though it's pitch black outside, I look out the window anyways, not expecting to see much because a lifetime if nighttime flights has yielded afforded precious few views. Impossibly bright and larger than life outside my window is the big dipper. Facebook status updates of days gone by (before we were being careful) would tease details of stargazing. In point of fact, there was a time not too long ago that he was off for a long weekend where there would likely be no blackberry service. That it would translate to a possible 4 days with no contact, was more than we could handle, so we hatched a plan to simultaneously across time zones go out once a night and look at the big dipper. Secure in the knowledge that at least for those few minutes we'd be together, he took off for parts unknown (or, you know, Oregon...), where we were pleasantly surprised with full blackberry service. Still... We went out each night at the appointed time to stargazer together just as we had that night long long ago and far far away.
The Hereafter is crooning at me through my headphones
"let's pretend that we are young again
"a drink for all the memories you keep"
"believe me when I say I love you dear. Believe me when I tell you not to fear.
That autumn morning everyhting was clear. Believe me when I tell you not to fear."
"a dollar for the country that I knew. A dollar for an afternoon with you."
Is that you universe? Telling me not to fret the turbulence I'm quite literally experiencing right now, much less the turbulence we will not doubt face in the coming year as everything is turned topsy turvy and katywampus before it's reorganized into what it's supposed to be.
I hear you.