Saturday, July 9, 2011

Today's fortune: July 9, 2011

Today's fortune: The one you love is closer than you think.

Here's where we run into a roadblock with this project: when I open a fortune that clearly doesn't apply to me.

This fortune is for single guys and gals out on the town, doin' their thang, lookin' for love in all the wrong places, hoping they just might find it. For me, I know exactly who this fortune refers to, and yes, she is very close. She's about twenty feet away in another room.

The challenge is finding wisdom in every fortune, even the ones that aren't intended for my demographic. But instead of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole by BS-ing my way through how I unexpectedly found a movie I loved at the local library today, I'd rather write about Jamie, my wife, the one I love, and share with you how our love first came into bloom.

When Jamie and I first started dating, I was 21 years old and still living at home with my parents in Liberty, Missouri. Jamie was 20 and lived on her own in a tiny apartment in downtown Kansas City. This apartment was a real piece of work. It was on the second floor of a beautiful old building in the Quality Hill neighborhood, right next door to a magnificent gold-domed cathedral.

Courtesy Kansas City Daily Photo, a great photography blog

To get to Jamie's apartment, you could either take the stairs or you could ride a rickety freight elevator, the kind with a wire mesh door. The apartment was a studio, and even that's a generous term. The main room was big enough for Jamie's futon, a very small TV stand and a card table with two chairs. The murphy bed folded down from the wall. To the right was a ridiculously small kitchen - no more than 10 square feet - and to the left was a long closet and a bathroom. Jamie enjoyed living there, and even though the two of us were cramped, I was thrilled to spend time with her in the apartment.

It was in that place, around about our tenth date, that I first told Jamie I loved her. Actually, what I said was, "I think I'm falling in love with you," but that was a lie. I had officially fallen in love with her about nine dates earlier. Jamie had fallen in love with me too, but she later confessed she was too scared to admit it. That's why her response to my statement was the soul-crushing "I more than like you."

(Just so you don't think this whole marriage is a sham, later in the night Jamie, under no coersion whatsoever, told me she in fact did love me. It's become a running joke between us; occasionally, when one of us says "I love you," the other's response is "I more than like you.")

A year later I proposed (she said yes), and a little over a year after that we were married. Jamie gave up her beloved studio and we moved into a cheap two-bedroom basement apartment on the dodgy end of the Country Club Plaza neighborhood in Kansas City. The rest, as they say, is history.

But those early days of our relationship stand out to me. They were breathless and perfect and intoxicating, and the memories are like candy for my mind. We were in love. We were love.

Now I'm going to go make dinner for the love of my life.