I had to flash the big warning in the title line. Didn't want anyone to read this unawares and be irritated with me! I was always an Ann Lander's fan while growing up and I've found another dispenser of wisdom for this part of my life - Carolyn. Today's column was a continuation from yesterday, but all by itself it's so sweet I wanted to share. Skip if you need to, I'll understand.
By Carolyn Hax
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Here's what Jersey Guy from yesterday's column reported a week later:
Many thanks for taking my question. After you did, I left work and next thing I know I'm in the town where the whole fling happened (deserted this time of year). I go into a bar and begin to drown my sorrows when my buddy calls and asks what I'm up to. I tell him. So he comes and over a bunch of beers I explain. We go through the whole, "She probably doesn't remember you," "She lied to you about something big (her age) already," yada, yada. But the thing that really stuck was, "So what's your best-case scenario? You two meet up again, fall in love, run off and get married? Dude, she's 19. She doesn't have a clue who she is yet." And he was right.
So I go home and then, for whatever reason, I just told my fiancee everything. And at first she laughed. (Definitely not the response I was expecting.) She was like, "Don't you think I have good memories of hot lifeguards?"
But then I guess she saw I was serious. Then she cried -- hard -- and if you've ever seen someone's heart break right in front of you, you know what I mean. After a bit she said, "There's still time," meaning that I could take time to sort stuff out. Then she got up to leave and said, "You're only human," and at that moment I felt anything but.
It was then that I realized I was seeing a side of her I never realized/appreciated/noticed before. She was showing me strength and grace and just unbelievable humanity, and I was just floored. I was like, this is exactly the kind of person I want to spend my life with -- someone who won't freak at any bump in the road, someone who's accepting of faults. I started bawling like a baby. Do you wanna know, she came back over and hugged me? I'd just stomped all over her heart and she's the one hugging me.
And so I'll tell you this: Next time someone asks me what my future wife is like, I wouldn't just say she's pretty and smart. I'd tell you about the time she hugged the filthiest homeless man I'd ever seen after listening to him tell his story for 10 minutes in February in New York, snow everywhere and not a cab to be found. Or I'd tell you about the way the faces of the kids in her class light up when she walks into the room, and how she spent her own money -- money she didn't have -- on school supplies. Or I'd tell you about how she throws her head back when she laughs, like it might be the last time she ever gets to do it, you know? Or I'd tell you about the time I was acting like the biggest jackass known to man, thinking of leaving her for some girl I don't even know, and she still had it in her to forgive me.
So I guess that's it Hax.
That is it indeed. Is it perfect, or too perfect? I guess it's for each of us to decide.