Speak low if you speak of love

Marc and I started dating the summer after I graduated from high school. For the past seven months we had wooed each other with the great passion unique only to teenagers – the passion that begets the most brilliant, if tragi-comedic memories.

We did our best to keep our new relationship status under wraps for the first few weeks.

This meant that we would stop holding hands if we ran into someone we knew on the street, and kind of tried not to make out in public.

Each time he would sleep over at the apartment I shared with my sister, and emerge, disheveled and blushing from my bedroom, Kate would take me aside and ask the same thing.

“So, like, you guys are dating, right?”

I would stare at the wall two inches above her head and shake my head.

“No Kate. We’re just friends.”

“Suuuuuuure,” she would respond. “Just friends.”

I told Marc that I wanted to be with him the first week of August 2003. I don’t know the date, but I do know it was the night that he cooked me tofu stir fry at his new place. His roommate was away, and he had asked me to come and eat dinner with him.

His wording was something along the lines of: “come over and help me warm my new abode.”

I knew that this was it. I was going to tell him that I wanted to be with him.

I was living in such emotional agony that I couldn’t concentrate on anything else in my life. Everything was imbued and coloured by such a high degree of physical discomfort and extreme angst. I laugh about it now, but at the time I really felt as though I would die if I had to spend one more minute in his company without touching him.

My sophomoric mind couldn’t make sense of what I was experiencing. I didn’t think he was “the one”. Marriage didn’t even cross my mind. But I knew that something was up. There was something about him that was tearing me apart, and it wasn’t just because he had amazing calf muscles and really good taste in books.

This boy had completely turned my life upside down and, as a firmly minted feminist, it wasn’t in my nature to allow myself to feel like this.

But there I was, intellectually, emotionally, and physically hot and bothered, and all I wanted to do was read new books, kiss new lips, and tell new tales.

I wanted to give my heart in exchange for his.

When I told him, in no uncertain terms, that I wanted to kiss him, and kiss him a lot, he responded in the politest, if most Victorian way.

“Oh!” He exclaimed. “Thank you!”

“Thank you?” I asked.

“THANK. YOU.”

Marc, being the paradigm of good manners and grace, made it clear that he felt the same way.

Our official (pre-wedding) anniversary is August 16th. We picked this date, seemingly randomly, but in truth because it was the night that we first parted ways as a freshly pressed couple. We were too raw to understand that two weeks apart wouldn’t kill us, and too feverish to properly see the magic that had already begun to sprout in the corners and cracks of our new love.

We said our goodbyes at a corner intersection, at 1 AM, three blocks away from his basement home.

I choked back tears, unable to properly articulate the mess of emotions careening about my heart. Marc, stoic as hell, told me that he: “would write.”

Again, I laugh now, reliving this memory. We were such beautiful Austenian caricatures: our youth, our sincerity, our unapologetic belief in the truth of our truth. How I hold this moment close, and remember the weight of my walk home. My soul, confused and heartsick.

There have been many times over the course of our thirteen years that Marc and I have spent time apart. Summers when I lived and worked in Halifax, and autumns when he built Olympian sites.

We’ve traveled separately, visited foreign lands; made memories of our own.

On June 28th of this year, we rang in eight years of marriage.

We were nine hours, and 7,500 kilometers apart.

I, in Tallinn, Estonia, and he, in our little home in New Westminster, BC.

I have been thinking so much about my time in that city, and how I immediately fell in love with this exquisite piece of the Baltic world.

That Tallinn is a piece of magic, there is no question. But knowing that I was there on a day so important to my personal narrative – well, I cannot pretend that this did not catalyze my immediate love affair with the city.

As I write this, I stand on the cusp of a three-month absence from Marc. Like that night, so long ago, standing paralyzed on that street corner, I am ruminating on time spent away from each other. Me, on the east coast and he, here on the west.

Only this time I am less confused. Less angsty. Less heartsick and heartbroken.

I am sad, but I am alive. Afire.

We are life. We are love. Simply. That is our truth.

And those calf muscles?

Yep. Still there.

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A lot of ins, a lot of outs

Hi kids!

A little while ago the lovely Runningwithoutsocks made me all shirty and blushy by letting me know that she dug my blog.

And what do you know? The feeling is completely mutual.

Her blog is terrifically awesome sauce, and I really encourage you to go and check out her stuff.

She was also fab enough to pass along some questions that I was encouraged to answer if I should wish.

And I do. I do so wish.

So as my knackered little bones sink down into the recesses of our big comfy couch, I present to you, dear readers, my answers:

If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?

Oof. This questions has (and will continue to) plague me for years. Because on one hand, it HAS to be the ability to fly, doesn’t it? I mean, I’ve been having flight dreams since as far back as I can remember, and it has always been soul-crushing to wake up and realize that I don’t have this ability in real life.

But on the other hand, invisibility would be AMAZING. As would the ability to read minds.

AND SHAPESHIFT.

Urg.

You see? This is why I totally suck at this game.

Can I just wish for more wishes?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This is another hard one. It’s hard to paint a concrete picture, because in all honesty, I have no idea what the next six months, let alone five years has in store.

So I will say this: I will be with the love of my life, and we will most likely have produced a little human being. I will be a world-famous stand-up comedian, and M will be an internationally renowned curriculum developer.

It’s either that or shacked up in an chalet somewhere high up in the Pennine Alps, raising large families of St. Bernards and eating a crap ton of Gruyere cheese.

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Chocolate or vanilla?

I once ate a Mars bar covered in ants.

I was two years old at the time, but I’d like to think that little girl still lives somewhere inside of me.

So…NEXT!

Favorite movie?

Ooer. Also a hard one. I have many favourites: A Fish Called Wanda, Love Actually, The Bourne Trilogy, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Three Colours (though White is my favourite), Amelie, Never Let Me Go, La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element…

I COULD GO ON.

But, if I was told that I was going to be sent to a deserted island and I could only bring one movie with me, then no question, it would be The Big Lebowski.

I love this movie more than I can properly communicate. Nothing will ever be more brilliant, or as funny as this film.

EVER.

Summer or winter?

Summer. No contest.

Sundresses, hiking, biking, patios, cold drinks, warm nights, barbeques, beach days, sunglasses, the smell of sunscreen and sand, running in the early morning…

GET HERE NOW DAMN YOU!

What’s your fondest childhood memory?

Yowza. This is a toughie.

I have a million and a half memories that all could easily qualify for top billing.

I’ll share just one: driving around with my two sisters in our old brown van, singing out hearts out to The Beatles’ “Drive My Car.” It’s nearing the end of the school years, so the weather is warm and sunny. I’m in grade six, Jess is in grade four, and Kate is in grade eleven. Kate has just bought us slurpees and my cheeks hurt from smiling.

Remembering everything about this scene just feels like pure happiness.

Favorite band?

Ack! Also too many. Franz Ferdinand, Hot Chip, Kaiser Chiefs, Queen, Pink Floyd, Simon and Garfunkel, Peter, Bjorn, and John, Matt Anderson, The Rolling Stones.

This question is impossible!

But to pull out the desert island reference again, I’ll have to go with The Beatles.

Because THE BEATLES.

If you could live in any city in the world, which one would you choose and why?

Probably Edinburgh. I loved living in the UK and this was my favourite city that we visited. I would go back in a heartbeat.

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What do you dream about?

My dreams are CRACKED. I don’t want to scare anyone off so I’m pleading the fifth on this one.

Your most distinguished trait (could be physical or character trait – or both!)

Distinguished, eh?

I feel like I should leave this one up to the judgement of someone else.

Character trait(s) – my passion, dedication, and drive.

Psysical – my long hair and even longer legs (which allow me to tower over people.)

Why did you start blogging?

Because of said passion. And because if I didn’t find a way of communicating all the thoughts running around my head on a daily basis I would have run off to the woods never to be seen from again.

(Until, that is, Werner Herzog decided to make a documentary about my life.)

So there you have it you fab chaps!

In lieu of the regular Friday Fry-Up, a little insight into my mad self.

We’ll be back to our regular scheduled program next week.

In the meantime, drop me a line highlighting your answers.

I will read and relish them, as I rest awhile.