All posts in: lance romance

20 Aug 2012

2012: week thirty-three

August 12 – August 18

I know we aren’t yet married, but the boy and I have been dating for almost 9 years and have been living together for 3.

Plenty long enough to finally merge our music collections.

100 GB of pure love. As you can see from this screen cap, a large percentage consists of retro pop and children’s easy listening.

Some other couple-y activities of this week included extensive apartment cleaning, co-hosting a final in-this-apartment evening get-together, and running daily miles diligently around the little pond.

If you grow weary of all this lovey-dovey nonsense, never fear. Next week, the boy returns to work so I am losing my summertime house-husband. In related news, I need to keep better track of my house keys, remember how to cook, and start having my packages delivered to work.

And although our mp3s are stored safely on our new external harddrive, I am glad that after spending 30 minutes on The Great Music Merge I took this screenshot and emailed it to myself, because this morning, someone decided to system restore his computer. For the fifth time this year. Add to couple-y activities: discussing payment plans for updated technology. This week, looking forward to fun couple-y activities such as debating what percentage of a honeymoon a new computer is worth.

Ain’t love grand?

Reading:

Watching:

  • Oh my, so much LOST, so much LOST…. getting so very, very close to the end! What will we watch next? We are flirting with Breaking Bad.

 

08 Aug 2012

marriage 101

Earlier this year, I read Marriage Rules by Harriet Lerner. Although I was not married, and not even engaged, I was riveted. Smart, practical advice for folks in normal-ish, long-term relationships who aren’t having any major crises but are also interested in maintaining functional communication in their household? Yes, please.

This book doesn’t hold any ideas that are terribly revolutionary, but the fact that they are common-sense-isms written on paper and well-organized is the genius. Because when you are fighting/feeling nasty toward your loved one, the common-sense-isms aren’t just going to appear in your brain – you need somewhere reliable to go to retrieve them.

Anyway, fast-forward to this past trip home, where among other assorted wedding tasks, I spoke with the Pastor who will be officiating our ceremony next year. Our church has had some Pastoral turnover since I left home for college almost ten years ago (TEN YEARS AGO??), so I actually hadn’t met this Pastor before, but he is young, friendly, and willing to provide us premarital counseling over Skype.

After I returned to MA, we exchanged a few emails to confirm the date/time/details, etc. At the end of one email, I thought, “Hey, why not ask if there’s any Pastor-recommended books to check out? If he’s an expert enough to provide me counseling, surely he knows where the best, smartest, most useful marriage books are hiding! Or even some Bible chapters! Heck, I would totally read some Bible chapters!”

Long after hitting send, I realized that I basically asked my Pastor for a Marriage Syllabus.

Because it’s been three months since my last syllabus, and SOMEBODY JUST TELL ME WHAT TO READ ALREADY!

Also, I AM GOING TO GET AN A IN MARRIAGE OR AT LEAST AN A-MINUS JUST TRY AND STOP ME!

Marry an overacheiving, forever-academic librarian and this is what you get. For the rest of your life.

(My Pastor recommended The Five Love Languages, in case you were curious. Needless to say, it has been added to my hold list.)

23 Jul 2012

2012: week twenty-nine

July 15 – July 21

Let’s see how much wedding planning we can do in seven days!

We can look at ceremony venues and reception venues and talk about MONEY and FOOD and a GUEST LIST and oh yes, try on dresses!

Question for all the successfully married or soon-to-be-married ladies: so, this mysterious, magical dress that is “THE ONE” just doesn’t exist, right? I don’t mean that in a Eh-get-married-in-a-Hefty-trash-bag-whatever kind of way; I mean, the idea of this Say Yes to the Dress OMGTearsTearsTears moment is just Hollywood-wedding baloney, right? Or at least, you’ll have That Moment if you want That Moment; if you don’t have one, that doesn’t mean the dress isn’t a great dress.

I case you didn’t notice, I am not the person who wants That Moment. I am not the person who attributes some magical talisman-like powers to a piece of clothing, I am a person who has been broke so long I’ve forgotten how to shop for clothing besides the occasional white undershirt, and I think I am still operating under a certain level of disbelief regarding most aspects of my life.

Including my status as an engaged person and any related decisions.

This post brought to you by The Confused Bride, who may possibly be married in a Hefty Bag.

Reading:

Listening to:

  • Lots of Beatles
  • Lots of old mix CDs
  • Lots of Michigan’s 94.1 – I will be kind of sad to leave this radio station behind in a few days
24 Jun 2012

his life with books

While we were killing time before Moonrise Kingdom, the boy and I poked around the Brookline Booksmith for a spell.

I spotted a book I though he’d like on the clearance remainder table. I brought it over and he said:

Gah! I saw this. I really, really want it. But I have too many books to read already.

Like many boys, my boy was not much of a ready when we met so many moons ago. But it’s hard to date a person such as myself and remain immune to books. At the very least, I will take your non-readingness to mean you won’t mind if I completely retell the plot of every book that I read. I will probably buy you books for gifts, and if you are trapped in a car with me for a road trip, I might even force an audiobook upon you. If you live in my house, I will put books on hold I think you will like, and bring them to you in the bookstore. It’s just inevitable.

Anyway, here are some books that my boy has enjoyed this year, most of them on audio.

 

Getting Things Done Fast by David Allen

America: The Audiobook & Earth: The Audiobook by Jon Stewart

Will Grayson, will grayson by John Green & David Levithan

Free Will by Sam Harris

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

Other hazards of dating me: I may create a Goodreads account for you against your will. And post about your reading habits online.

I’m really quite the catch.

30 Apr 2012

2012: week seventeen

April 22 – April 28

This life of mine is a teetering balancing act, right now. I keep adding things on top of the stack, carefully, but I have to be absolutely steady. Unwavering. If I think about failure too much, I start to get panicky and then I don’t perform and then I get behind and things start slipping. I must have absolute faith that everything won’t come crashing down on me.

I’m about to finish the semester without any major catastrophes. I haven’t even been sick, if you can believe it. I had a sore throat for like, one day.

But after a few days where things started to tilt, I realized just how much I absolutely rely on the support of this boy that I love. The crazier my schedule gets, the more he steps in to make my ridiculous schedule more manageable, more pleasant, and in some cases, just plain possible.

Some examples from the past seven days:

  • Helping out with dinner when I can’t keep my brain focused on more than one process at a time…
  • … and when my blood sugar falls so low I can’t make decisions or full sentences, ordering me take-out.
  • Cleaning up after my sloppy self and not complaining when I keep piling up the mess.
  • Doing the dishes twice for my every once.
  • Even though he thinks I am crazy and am inventing smells, my heart skipped a beat when he spent an hour Googling and cleaning our disgusting, stinky dishwasher.
  • Driving me to and from work, even across the river, even without prior arrangement.
  • Driving me to get coffee, even when I wake him up too early on a Sunday morning.
  • Driving me to work across the river at 9:00 a.m. on a Saturday, and when I dropped my iced coffee in the middle of the sidewalk, he went back and bought me another and hand-delivered it so I wouldn’t be late for work.
  • Deciding in the midst of all THIS, that he wouldn’t mind just dealing with allllllthis FOR THE REST OF TIME!

All of these acts of service while also listening to me whine about work, applying appropriate comforts when I cry about the future, and generally forgiving me for being the world’s worst human.

Thank you. Thank you. Thankyouthankyou.

I could not do my life without you.

Reading:

Listening to:

  • I listened to an episode of JD’s Cocktail Lounge on Monday and had the song “Dividing by 70” stuck in my head all week.

Watching:

  • LOST – We are trucking through this series with amazing speed. It helps that we’ve seen the first 2 seasons 3-4 times now…
  • Accidentally/on-purpose watched the first two episodes of Girls. I like it!

 

10 Apr 2012

this boy i love

A few weekends ago, I had the chance to attend a friend’s wedding shower. It was a pretty formal affair, thrown by her mother-in-law and full of the local cousins and aunts from his side of the family. Lots of skirts and lipstick, a plated lunch, and more booze than I typically drink while the sun is still up.

My friend and her fiance were all dolled up and gracious small-talkers and made the appropriate couple-y jokes while unwrapping gifts. They were comfortable in their fancy clothes, at their fancy lunch; much more comfortable than I could imagine myself being in their shoes.

But these were my friends; I could see through the act. Earlier in the week, while we stood wine tipsy in the park at Boston Common after dark, slipping on our flip-flops after an impromptu picnic, my friend was shocked and excited I was planning on attending the shower in the first place. “I’m so glad you’re coming!” she said. “I need you to sit next to me so we can make snarky comments and make fun of everything!” Earlier, her fiance got a bit huffy about being coerced into attending the event at all – it was a bridal shower. Why on earth would any Manly Man Man be seen at a bridal shower? My friend rolled her eyes. Her fiance balked and made a sarcastic comment. They both pulled on their sweatshirts and took the train home to their apartment in the North End, to walk the dog, to get ready for bed, to go to work in the morning.

They walked around the event room at the Marriott looking nothing but happy and grateful and composed. Their parents and families and relatives all saw a happy couple, getting ready for their wedding day, but only your friends know what their life, together, is really like.

But even then, your friends only know as much as you reveal – any relationship is so much more complex than any outsider can imagine. There are things that you hide, yes, there are things that stay behind closed doors, there are things you can only share with each other. You can smile and look happy. You can wear a three carat diamond, plan a lavish honeymoon, put on heels and sip champagne at 2 in the afternoon at the Marriott. But eventually you have to change back into your sweats and be with the person you love – and nobody knows exactly what that looks or feels like except you and the one you love.

More than eight  years ago, I fell in love. I fell in love for any and all the reasons that eighteen-year-olds fall in love with other eighteen-year-olds. Because he drove home for his birthday to see his mom. Because he ordered hot chocolate on our coffee dates. Because I liked the sound of his name. Because he laughed at my jokes and his friends liked me and he was a good kisser and we stayed up late every night talking about what movies we liked to watch when we were kids. We used to eat in the cafeteria together, go out on the weekends together, sleep in the same tangled-limb twin bed every night, together.

We didn’t look like that forever. We’ve looked like a lot of things, and for eight years I spent a lot of time thinking about what we looked like, to other people. When we were 19 and my shampoo and toothbrush lived in his apartment, I worried about what my parents would think if they could see my life, minute by minute, with him.¬† When we were 22 and we lived three hours apart, my family and friends were surely skeptical – we were adults now, in a long-term relationship… so why were we living with our parents? Why weren’t we starting our lives together? There must be something wrong. They must not be a good match. Their lives going in different directions. When we were 24 and we moved in together, unmarried, we were obviously sabotaging our future. When we were 26 and still without a plan, I think it became clear that we would just never be able to grow up.

But only your closest friends know what your life, together, is really like. Moving to Boston, I met so many friends who had just arrived to the city with relationships in tow – short relationships, long relationships, complex relationships, long distance relationships, marriages and engagements and everything in between. Smart, talented women, all placing substantial bets on the men they loved and the futures they’d chose.

And only you know what it’s like on the very inside of love.

There were times when our relationship looked different than what it looks like today. There were times when maybe we looked like we weren’t going to be together forever. Times I worried about it.

But in eight years, one thing has always been the same. Whether we were together or apart, happy or sad, I have always just plain enjoyed this boy, this boy I love. The future hasn’t always been clear, but I have always wanted to be happy with him. We’ve made bad choices, but we have always come back to being good because we just want to talk to each other. To laugh at each other’s jokes. To sit next to him the car while we drive somewhere – anywhere. To tell him about my day, even if last time we talked, I was mad at him for something. I always want to fix, to forget, to do whatever it takes to get back to being happy together.

It doesn’t matter what we look like from the outside, whether we are dolled up at our wedding shower or wearing last week’s dirty laundry, whether we are eighteen or twenty-seven.

I will always want to be eighteen or twenty-seven or one-hundred-and-seven together, happy, with him.

I am so happy that on February 14th, 2012, he asked me to marry him.

So happy that I said yes.

But from the very closest inside of my heart, I always knew.

 

 

27 Feb 2012

2012: week eight

February 19 – February 25

The nice thing about being hopelessly busy is that you are forced into a groove. I like being in a groove. While I wish my current groove allowed more time for things like creative cooking, long phone calls home, being social, or laying about and reading delicious books, I am feeling semi-balanced, and the groove is certainly taking over.

I was especially impressed with how in-step things feel between The Boy and I this past week. Mutual grooves. You load, I’ll unload. You wash, I’ll fold. You play, I’ll read. I’ll drive you to work, you start dinner, we’ll meet at the gym later. What do you want to do this weekend? Why, the same things that *I* want to do this weekend! How convenient!

On Saturday, we had an errand to run south of Boston. I woke him up earlier than he would have liked because I wanted to stop by this coffee shop I’d heard so much by reading Carrots ‘N’ Cake for the past year. He said “Ugh, don’t wake me up.” I said, “I don’t care, I want some of this coffee.”

On Sunday, he picked me up from work. After the gym, we got in the car. He said:

“Would it be completely unreasonable to drive to Marylou’s right now to get some coffee?”

A well-oiled machine, I’d say.

 

Reading:

Listening to:

Watching:

  • Parks and Recreation. I was excited about this when it first aired, but I fell off the wagon. Now, it’s on Netflix, and now, everyone is like OMG PARKSANDREC every week, so I feel like I’m missing out on something. This is our “dinner-watching” show, right now. I still find it only occasionally silly. I’m hoping it will pick up.
  • The Cartel – an interesting documentary on corruption in public education, but one of those docs that doesn’t even try to act like it’s not biased as all get out. Those documentaries annoy me.
22 Jan 2012

Love Letter 2012

Dear Lance,

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Thanks for eight great years, my love.

Seems like a long time, but I think we’re still lookin’ good.

Happy anniversary!

Yours and yours and yours,

Jessica

 

27 Jul 2010

crazy and crazy

Coming closer to a year living in Boston, a year post-move, and I am feeling waves of urgency pulling me here to write some things about it, about my life now, about my life before, about this crazy, crazy year of my life.

But then I can’t decide what to write.

For now, a poorly told anecdote. Showing is better than telling. Just take this story and multiply it by my life.

On Sunday night, I turned off the light for bed and moaned until Lance came in the room to see what my problem was. “What is your problem?” he asked. I told him I didn’t know if I should get up early or sleep in. I told him I didn’t want to go to sleep because I wasn’t tired and I’d just have to wake up again. I told him I didn’t want to go to my internship.

“I thought you liked your internship,” he said. “Why don’t you want to go?’

“Because I have to wake up.” I said. “And get dressed. And make food. And then eat it.”

He laughed at me.

I did go to sleep and I did wake up. There was a note on the TV. It said: “Wake me up before you leave I have something to ask you.”

So I did. In his underwear, half asleep, Lance explained this hare-brained scheme to buy a car in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and not just any car, but THE EXACT SAME CAR WE HAVE only with 30,000 less miles and a blue paint job.

Being that I didn’t know we were LOOKING for a car, I continued to make food, go to Somerville, eat my food, and come home.

I walked in the door more than prepared to be tired. Lance was waiting for me in the kitchen.

“Look what I got today!”

It wasn’t a blue Saturn, but a window air conditioning unit half the size of our four-door sedan, blocking all the sunlight and leaving a gaping opening in the window where my cat might find a deathly escape.

“We already have one of those.” I pointed to the bedroom.

“It was free!” he said. “I drove twenty miles to go get it. It was really heavy. But I can’t plug it in! I have to go to Home Depot and get an adapter. I’m going to sell it. I think I’ll make some espresso now, so I won’t stay up so late again tonight. Where should I put this air conditioner?

“Ummm… I HAVE NO IDEA!”

Not everything changes in a year.