Wednesday, February 23, 2005

02/23/05 Wednesday -- Big Things Come in Small Packages

Someone asked me not long ago something along the lines of what was the greatest thing a significant other has ever done to knock my socks off. Now that seems like an interesting thing about which to write! I don't remember what the conversation was, how we got there, or even quite what the answer was at the time... but now that I've had time to ruminate, there are three bits that answer that question, and a fourth from someone who wasn't exactly a significant other, but certainly belongs in this category. None of these things were "big" materially, nor did they take a significant amount of time. Just a smidgen of effort exerted in a desire to win a smile if not my heart. <~f~> My stomach still flips over when I think about them. For simplicities' sake, these are enummerated upon only in order of occurrance...

One. Has it really been a year? It has... almost exactly. Wow. One year ago Monday I was walking side by side with someone phenomenal on a crisp clear cold President's Day holiday, talking about all sorts of things... and nothings... and having suggestions tossed at me that perhaps here & there precious vacation days could be taken for the sole purpose of doing more things just such as this. Together. On several levels I was being pursued.. feted.. turned ON! Possibility was a blossoming flame on the near horizon, and I have to say that I spent a lot of time that day sublimating my intense desire to find a way to get myself pinned most thoroughly 'twixt himself and the nearest tree.... a nearby troupe of boy scouts and the lone elk not withstanding. No... that's not the moment in question, I was just digressing. The moment in question didn't end up in as neat & pretty a package as it seemed at the time, but I have to say hands down it was absolutely the most perfect answer/response I've ever received to any sort of query. Ever. In its elegant simplicity, I thought it said more to me about who this person chose to be than any millions of words that came before or could possibly come after. As part and parcel of an incredible package of other exhibited behaviors, I just knew an electric, stimulating, ultra-satisfying something had just dropped into my ever so unworthy lap, and I couldn't get enough of it. I forgot that men do that "thing"... where they give you their very all and then some in the very beginning, then once they know you're hooked, they back off into their OWN comfort zone, leaving you wondering where all the sparks went & what on earth did you do wrong? Damn Y chromosomes. The moment, you ask? It was oooh, so utterly simple,and yet enormous in its elegant implications: "I don't suppose you feel like coming over & hashing some (more) of this out now, do you? And thus give Monday all things good?" The response? Nothing else that could have possibly been said would have filled me further with warmth & a sense of being cared about, honored, cherished... desired. All he said was, "I'm on my way."

Two. At some point early on when we were dating, the car B's dad drove for one reason or another wasn't working. Now... it's important to know that the two of us had disparate work/school schedules, and we had to grab our time together catch as catch can. Often our stolen moments were naught but a sleepy kiss hello and a settling into a cozy warm spoon before dropping back off to sleep together in the wee hours between staggered shifts. Without a working vehicle on his end (I was on the side of town AWAY from work for him), we hadn't seen much of anything of each other for a fairly long few days. One afternoon, I heard the lid on my mailbox open & shut, & a knock on my door. Thinking it was the mailman, I ran to my room, tossed on some clothes & went out to pick up the mail. What was there, you ask? Lying in my mailbox --special delivery -- was one special deluxe, delivered with Love, Symphony candybar. With almonds. See... much earlier we'd had a conversation about "favorites", & I'd done a bit of casual drooling over wanting one of those (none in the house, & us far too occupied to go out just for a candy bar!). So, in an ever-so-successful attempt to tickle my fancy, the sweet boy rode his BICYCLE all the way across town to secretly drop a bit of sweet in my bin & hie away. It wasn't so much that he remembered what I liked as that he made the effort. Ok... it was the combination. But that he thought I was worthy of making time out of an ever so packed life for such a simple & incredibly romantic gesture.... <~f~> That particular brand of candy bar never tasted so good...before or since.

Three. Ben & I lived together for nigh on five years. I have to say that he is the one man I've ever built something with who, without a doubt, truly loved me. Every part & particle of who I was, who I'd ever been, who I might become.. for better or worse, the phenomenal and the ugly, he accepted the package. He loved me. He loved me. Completely above and beyond anything he wanted, desired or dreamed of for himself or anyone else he'd ever met - family included - came his love for me. It enveloped everything we ever did together, and made it oh, so very hard to let him go. I have accepted the fact that I may never again in my life meet another man who will cherish me as utterly as did Ben. In many ways, that's ok -- it's a trade off. There are other things in a relationship that also need to be there for it to last a lifetime, and some of them just weren't there for me with Ben. If I spent even a moment, I'm sure I could name a thousand things he did in our time together that knocked my socks off. He did it almost daily! Even when things got rough between us, sweet things came far more naturally to him than did mean. But the one that I'm remembering now? I have a moment in time carefully preserved in one of those little bubbles in my head.. Ben was always cooking me something. Being in retail management at the time, something of a perfectionist, and utterly dedicated to my manager on a personal level, I worked an awful lot of long hours on my feet making the store meet our expectations. Ben liked to putter in the kitchen now & then (On our first date he made me authentic, homemade enchiladas... and even deigned to sully them with sour cream just for me. Mmmmm....), and often made me a little sumpthin sumpthin just to tickle my tastebuds. One day on my lunch hour I was traipsing the mall in search of sustenance, and there happened to be a craft-fair of sorts going on. One booth had these cute little ruffly country kitchen aprons for sale, and as a bit of a joke, I picked one up just for my special chef. Cream, ruffled, with tiny pink roses all over. He laughed ever so hard when he opened it... but the joke was truly on me a few weeks later when I came home from work to be greeted by Ben cooking me dinner.... in nothing but that apron & aftershave. Life is short -- eat dessert first.

Four. In all our many years of knowing one another, and despite all the odd permutations our relationship has survied, Dave & I have never been a "couple". There have been interesting and confusing undercurrents as long as I've known him, and we've certainly dabbled in dangerous waters more than once, but never have we fully crossed that unfathomable line. There's just something in our souls that gets us all sorts of mixed up about each other, I think. Anyway... one New Year's eve, I was in the throes of maturing adolescent angst over one "Brian". Things between Brian & I had gotten rather heated.. in a good way (teenage simplicity, folks... not heated the way relationships get today!)... and we'd spent several evenings over the course of a couple of weeks playing hither & yon at innocent young love sorts of activities. Then.. as New Years' approached, I planned a party. Sounds like fun, yes? A casual little get together on New Years' eve with a cute boy who kisses really really well & some of your closest friends? Would have been grand except Brian showed up with a date. Yes, folks.. the oldest schmuck way in the world of telling someone you're done.. he appeared at a party to which I'd invited him with a date. Now even as an adult that would sting more than a bit... but to a kid? I was crushed! Humiliated! And as hostess of the party, how on earth was I to deal with THIS situation? I hid for awhile and cried, is what I did. Alternately ranted & raved... and cried. At some point Dave called to check in before driving over - I don't remember why, but he was probaby checking to see if he needed to stop at the store for ice or something.. irrelevant. He heard me crying. Listened to me rant & rave, heard within his own heart every wrenching frustration my agonized little soul was feeling. Never said a word but that he'd be out there in a few minutes. It took him longer than a few minutes, but not by much, and when he arrived? Full suit & tie. Freshly showered, smelling unbelievable... I think he might have even brought some sweet traditional token like flowers or wine or something. My White Knight appeared like magic on my doorstep, by suggestion alone his appearance & actions screamed to everyone there, "Hell yes, don't I LOOK like her date? This is New Year's, I was Invited, and she is Special. I have taken Effort to show her so, and anyone who doesn't think so is a bloomin idiot & doesn't know what the hell they're missing out on." Brian & Tara (yeah, I even remember her name) didn't stay a whole lot longer after that, and the rest of us had a bloody good time that night. It's not the only time Dave has saved my bacon, nor the only time he's gently touched my innermost soul with his caring in ever unique ways, but it certainly stands out there. While much of that New Year's memory is enveloped with the sea of hurt & frustration I felt over Brian... there's a sacred bubble salvaged and polished to a bright sheen around Dave & his silent actions that night. Hell.. there's a sacred bubble salvaged and polished to a bright sheen around Dave. Period. He's my White Knight. My Lancelot. Pure -- if you know him, don't choke: He is! -- perfect on a whole other plane than that of this earth. He is one of the few, if not only, people I know who can curl up in a corner of my soul and be comfortable.. and a tiny spot is forever reserved for him there. In this life as well as the next.


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