"Got the start of you..." ~ Jane Eyre
All birthdays of my family and loved ones are special, but my Prince's birthday means so much more to me. He celebrated twenty-nine years two days ago. We celebrated together privately that evening, and we are also celebrating this evening with friends.
Dear readers, would you believe that last year I was invited to his birthday celebration...and declined? More on that in a moment. This post is the story of the birth of our relationship. I say relationship and not love, because I believe deep down I was born in love with this amazing man.
In the summer of 2005, my twin sister, Robin, had a housewarming party to celebrate. By this time in her life, she had befriended a new group of friends via her friend Jay, and she decided to invite them to the party. The new home was the former house of my father's parents, and I arrived early to help in the preparations. The sun was shining brightly as I began assembling a cheese plate on the counter, slicing strips of Manchego cheese (reader, believe me, I remember every detail of this meeting). The back door was open and I recall him walking in...it is as clear as day in my mind. He was wearing a black Jack Daniels tee-shirt as he walked in, and I recall his dark features and bedroom eyes. Robin introduced us, and within five minutes I observed his charm, wit, intellect, and warmth. There is something about his aura that draws people in, not just me; he is captivating. I recall him making me laugh, and I recall immediately how handsome he was...not just his face...but his entire body had my interest piqued.
In his true form, he came early to help as well. His consideration and benevolence were evident then, as they are now. I remember the small talk with him, and how social he was, and as more people arrived I was unable to chat with him as frequently as I did when we were the only ones there. Hours later, I pulled Robin to the side and asked her more about him. And that, dear friends, is the moment...is the day...that I met the man I am going to marry.
Of course, the course of true love never did run smooth.
Firstly, he and Robin were good friends...and those who are smart know that risking friendships for romance is not always wise. Still, despite repression of any kind of curiosity or desire, there were bigger forces moving us along down a path. I was dating other men in between the time I would see him at gatherings, and the one time he asked me to see Shakespeare in the Park, I declined despite my interest in him. Months later, I couldn't take it anymore and asked Robin to please set us up. I recall right after that talking with him for an hour in her dining room about Edgar Allan Poe as I graded papers. Robin was wonderful, and I knew she was procrastinating for my sake (they were going out to coffee), and she asked a few days later about a possible set up. He resisted, saying to her that "its your sister" and did not want to jeopardize their good friendship for the unknown.
So, I was heartbroken.
A few months after that, Robin told me that he was moving to Austin, Texas to work in a law firm there. My heart sank. I couldn't explain why. I was dating someone else, but I remember the devastation: the remote possibility of us ever together suddenly become the impossible. He would be gone. And that was that in my mind.
But not in my heart. For after that Robin said he was coming home. I will never forget the inward feeling of euphoria...to this day I cannot explain my emotions when she told me. She didn't even know what I felt - I just replied simply and monotone. What I do remember is asking her for his email a few days later, wanting to write to welcome him home. Reader, to this day, I have the email he sent me back. I had forgotten I had saved it, and you can imagine the nice surprise I had when I found out that I had it in my possession. Of course, I saved it for a reason...I just did not know the true reason at the time.
Still, his arrival home was not the time for us. I remember being out with him among friends once again, growing more frustrated because I was attracted to him and desired a date. I confess I became resentful and hostile that he said he did not think it was a good idea to me, so last summer I was curt and stand-offish with him at Robin's annual barbecue (we do laugh about this now). Though he came to a party I had in the summer, and my true feelings came through as I flirted with him, for I was exceptionally drunk and a drunk woman never lies. But by the time his birthday came around, I refused to go and subject myself to, what I felt, was rejection at the time (of course it was not, but I couldn't help what I felt). He was at my 30th Birthday celebration last year, and I don't even think we spoke more than a few words. I had dismissed him from my mind because it stung.
And then...Fortune decided that it was time to finally bring the lovers together. I needed to consult a lawyer about financial advice, and he was good enough to help after Robin asked him. We met at Starbucks for coffee one night to talk business, and I recall being nervous. I was getting ready as if it were a date - I was trying on different outfits and perfecting makeup - all the while telling myself I was being ridiculous. I recall him walking through the door at Starbucks, again very clearly, looking quite handsome in his black woolen coat as he carried his briefcase along side him. We sat down at 7:30pm...talked business for a half hour an hour later into the conversation...and, reader, left after Starbucks closed at 10pm and then talked in the car for over an hour after that. We spoke about everything and everything. It felt like being on a first date...that is the way the conversation naturally progressed.
The next morning I was speechless when I woke up. I was severely depressed, much to the point of silence. I woke up staring at the ceiling and recalling all that he said, confirming how much I was attracted to him and confirming that he was a Prince. It was the worst morning of my life...that I assure you, dear readers. I believed that we would not be.
That morning was a Tuesday, and Friday my colleagues were doing our usual happy hour at a bar around the corner from his home. I decided to take a chance...to call to invite him...with the reason being I wanted to buy him a beer as a thank you for his help. That was only partially true; I needed to see him again. He answered the phone and he said to call him Friday. I called him around eleven Friday morning, and later on he told me he almost didn't pick up the phone, because he knew what the true intent was. But he did pick up the phone. And he was coming. I remember racing home during lunch to get a change of clothes, my stomach gathering more and more butterflies as five o'clock approached, and my hands shaking as I reapplied makeup intermittently with emailing my friend, Laura, who was the only one who knew what was going on at the time, to try and calm me down.
I picked him up a little after five, and we arrived at the bar. For the most part, no one else existed around me, and only here and there did we mingle with my colleagues. We were there for a few hours, and all it took was one moment...one amazing moment...to make this love go down the course it was always meant to.
I was mid-sentence (probably something about Hemingway, I know he came up that night) when I felt the Prince's right palm touch my right cheek, his left hand grabbing my waist and pulling me in, and silenced by the most wonderful kiss in the history of all kisses. According to William Golding, the author of The Princess Bride, Wesley and Buttercup had one of the most amazing of five kisses in history. I think the Prince and I take one of the other four.
And so, that kiss continues and shall always continue, and that is the story of how our relationship was born. Our love...well...I think that was born somewhere far off, in a different time, orchestrated by forces that we cannot see or touch or ever know in our lifetimes.
Fast foward to a few weeks ago when I needed a t-shirt, and he handed me the Jack Daniels one. I was hesitant. There is something about that shirt that is symbolic with me, and I cant explain it rationally. In fact, I am sure its irrational...but that shirt I most associate with him. I told him, "but that is THE shirt...your signature shirt!" Alas, I slept in it that night...and have yet to return it...and even if I do...its become my shirt anyway.
What is also mine is he, and I am his. I know he is reading this, and I am so thankful for the day he was born. I love you, baby. I always have, and I always will.
Reader, welcome to my life.
- Name: ThursdayNext
- Location: New York, United States
Saturday, November 22, 2008
"Got the start of you..." ~ Jane Eyre
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
New recipes on:
Monday, November 10, 2008
"This lane inclined up-hill all the way to Hay..." ~ Jane Eyre
Yesterday morning I woke up in the Prince's arms and could not resist kissing him repeatedly, not feeling guilty for disturbing him even though we both could have slept a bit later. I become too excited; waking up with him always feels like Christmas morning - it is that special, indeed. I was looking forward to our day...or rather, his day. We decided to take turns deciding what the day's activities would be during this weekend getaway to the North Fork of Long Island. We were in Mattituck thanks go J. Sarah's parents giving us their vacation home for a long weekend.
Saturday was "my" day, which included eating breakfast at our favorite restaurant in Mattituck - Love Lane Kitchen. The kitchen, photographed above, is a great place for fresh coffee, delicious breakfasts, and fresh lunches. I had the special of sweet potato pancakes and the Prince had a panini with pesto and vegetables. After breakfast we arrived at the house to unpack. We then did a few errands before going wine tasting. Sadly, many wineries allow limos and party buses on weekends now, and its unfortunate because it really takes away from the lovely experience that is usually so relaxing and wonderful. The best time to go is winter and weekdays to wineries. We did do a flight at Peconic Bay, which was lovely despite the crowds. We then drove to the beach area and sat listening to music for a little while before we went back to the house for cocktails and snacking on cheese from Catapano Farms (they are a goat cheese farm and make amazing goat cheese gouda). I then made dinner - ratatouille and penne paired with Simi Chardonnay - that I will post on my food blog shortly. The rest of the evening was quiet and cozy - we so needed this downtime.
The Prince's day started the same way mine did- breakfast at Love Lane Kitchen! This time around I had an egg sandwich on a croissant and he had an omelet. We ran to get the New York Times and spent over an hour reading the paper on counter stools in the kitchen at the house with Meet the Press on in the background. Afterwards we changed into swimsuits and went into the hot tub on the deck, which felt decadent and therapeutic all at the same time. I stared at the trees above me, red and gold leaves abundant as the North Fork is experiencing the height of its foliage. After the hot tub we turned on football and got pizza for lunch. The Prince made a fire in the fireplace and we sat and watched the movie The Happening before I got up to make dinner of chicken cutlets crusted in Parmesan, potatoes au gratin, and honeyed carrots (which I will also post shortly on my food blog). After dinner, the fire was still burning as we waited for the Giants game to commence, and we sat on the couch staring at the fire, quite content, indeed.
I am sure he is reading this and thinking what I am thinking - how writing about our time together like this in chronological form does the weekend very little justice. For what made it most special are the moments we spoke, the moments we didn't have to speak, and the moments of laughter between us. Those moments stay private...always.
Besides which, I have no time to write anymore today. I promise the Prince an ode this weekend, and its time to write it for him, and him alone.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Vignettes From Election Night:
It is toward the early hours of projections and we are taking a short nap in his bed as CNN anchor voices fill the room with anticipation of a win, sounding like a melodic lullaby. The Prince's eyes are closed as I run my fingers through his thick, dark hair. For the first time in a long time, there is finally a calm in our breaths. Maybe we wont have to worry about our future together as much as we have been, fearing the worst for the economy and the quality of living in a tainted America. Perhaps tonight we, too, can win back our daydreams and make them a reality once more - a home, vacations to India, sending the children to Ivies. I close my eyes and continue to run my fingers through his hair and think about the lyric's from Springsteen's "No Surrender." - I want to sleep beneath peaceful skies in my lover's bed, with a wide open country in my eyes and these romantic dreams in my head - Later on that night I feel salt on my lips as I lick my tears and fall asleep with wet eyes...happy, alive, and grateful to sleep well once again. I think about my Prince and my love for him and his ideals, and how much we have shared during this election together and how integrated it is in our relationship. There is no one else I love discussing politics more with.
He calls her is rock, his best friend, and the love of his life. She emerges in red, the color of passion she has for him, her girls, her country, her belief in dreams. I watch them kiss and her whisper "I love you" into his ear, and they are able to steal a private moment together among millions of people watching - for no one can ever really surmise the true depths of their passion. I envision them at the end of the evening going home and closing the door to a world that is celebrating, lying in their own bed together, perhaps he running his fingers through her hair as they daydream about their future. It will not be easy for them, for now they have the burdens left to them from the horrible regime of eight years that has decimated so much. What has not been decimated is love - on all levels. Love of country, love of dreams becoming reality, love of partners in life. And because of that love, they, too, will sleep in each others arms with romantic dreams in their heads.
And tonight (or rather, these early hours of the morning), a man of mixed race is President of the United States, proving that America is capable of practicing the ideals it is founded on. One day mine and the Prince's children, who will be of mixed race, can look at this man and know that anything is possible in this beautiful country.