So I’m going to be (theoretically) fully vaccine-protected as of next Wednesday.
L has been (theoretically) fully vaccine-protected for a few weeks, and he and I are already planning our first post-vaccination date — outdoor dining, which I know many people have been doing for, like, the past year, but we haven’t.
We’re also planning on going to an outdoor concert in early May. I am incredibly excited about this. One of the stranger things about L and my courtship is that it all took place after the pandemic was in full swing, which means that we never actually went on what you might call “dates.” There have been oodles of experiences that you would expect someone to have had, at this point in a relationship, that we haven’t. On the other hand, we did decide to buy a house together fairly early on, so nothing about this relationship is what you might call “typical.”
If there hadn’t been a pandemic, would we have bought this house? Would I have continued living in my little apartment, and would L have continued living in his tiny house (not an actual tiny house, just a one-bedroom home, also it’s for sale if anyone wants to come live nearby)? It seems like we would have done the prudent thing, the careful thing, the “let’s see where this goes” thing.
We would have missed out on our home.
Not just the building itself, with the conservatory (formerly a hot tub party room, now a piano room/art salon) and the secret garden (yes I co-own a home with a secret garden, ask me how thrilled I am about this) and enough space for two freelancer offices.
Although we talk all the time about how choosing the right building helped us build the right life, so maybe the building itself is the important factor here.
(And the historically low interest rates.)
One of the quotes I put on our chalkboard wall right after we moved (because our home also has a chalkboard wall, why not) was Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.”
That’s what buying — and building — our home at the very beginning of our relationship did for us.
If we’d done the usual thing, where we had a date once or twice a week and fit each other in around our other interests and obligations, we might not have had any good reason to look in the same direction together. Or, more likely, we might have wanted to look in the same direction, but, like, life would always get in the way.
Life stopped, last year.
Which gave us enough time to build a new life together.
Except that isn’t true, life didn’t “stop” last year, we all had plenty of life to work and worry through (and a lot of it probably wasn’t the life a lot of us wanted), and to present this as “thank goodness the pandemic forced us to live together in a house we really like” comes across as both disingenuous and a little gloaty.
So I take all of that back. That’s not what I mean.
What I mean is a little more complicated.
What I mean is that the problems that have gotten in the way of every adult relationship I’ve had up to this point, the whole “on Monday I’ve got Dungeons and Dragons and on Tuesday you’ve got choir rehearsal and on Wednesday I have to work late so we might see each other seven days from now” thing, those problems were not an issue here.
I’m not saying go buy a house with someone as soon as you decide you like each other.
I’m not even saying go buy a house with someone you knew twenty years ago and then came to know again.
I think I’m saying that L and I chose a situation that forced real intimacy, and compromise, and looking outward in the same direction, from the very beginning.
Whereas if we’d done the thing where we’d gone to a restaurant every week for six months, that kind of intimacy might not have developed in quite the same way. We could have kept each other at a distance because the majority of our lives would in fact have been distant.
I don’t know.
Maybe love is half luck anyway, and we just got very, very lucky.
All I mean to say is that I am so so so so very very very very excited to finally go on a date with L, a for-real old-fashioned date that has also been new-fashioned to accommodate current public health protocol, a little less than a week from now. ❤️
On the subject of weeks, HERE’S WHERE I GOT PUBLISHED THIS WEEK:
All frequent flyers should consider both—but if you travel internationally, it’s worth taking a look at Global Entry.
Consider how a new credit card might reward your everyday expenses.
Credit Cards Dot Com
Once you know why the Apple Card changes color and what the Apple Card color categories represent, you can use this information to track your spending, stick to a budget and make smarter financial decisions.
Don’t Write Alone | Catapult
We post roundups of writing and literary jobs once a week. Here’s our list for April 16, 2021.
We post submission roundups once a week. Here’s our list of literary magazines and freelance opportunities for April 16, 2021.