Monday, April 30, 2007

When Life Was Perfect, and My Writing, Far From It

In a previous post, I mentioned a letter I wrote to The Partner to be read on the eve of Y2K--pre-graduation, pre-wedded bliss, pre-baby, pre-wedded non-bliss. A commenter who just might be sorry she asked expressed a desire to know more about this message. Because I love to accomodate the faithful, I will post the text of the letter in its entirety. Please excuse the un-honed grammar, faulty logic, and any and all references to sequoias as metaphors for the enormity of my love. I won't change anything, as much as it pains me.

Here’s a little millennium message for you. I’m going to conveniently disregard the fact that this new year doesn’t technically herald the dawning of the new millennium. There’s still something momentous about moving into a whole new set of numbers, like when the odometer in a car turns over form 99,000 to 100,000. I mean, that’s exciting—does it really matter if the countdown began at zero or one? I’m too impatient to put off all the millennium-related partying and philosophizing on the little technicality that it doesn’t really begin for another year.

Okay, so let’s go over a few key events of the last thousand years. There was that whole black plague thing, the invention of moveable type, the discovery of the New World, the beginning of the United States of America, and the election of Ronald Reagan as president. And then there was the day I met you.

I think it’s pretty cool that this new chunk of a thousand years begins just as we are getting ready to start the new chunk of our lives as grown-ups. I mean, up to this point, we’ve pretty much been kids. Now we’re getting ready to graduate, get Real Jobs, sleep in our own huge fluffy beds and live lives that aren’t dictated or scrutinized by our parents. And here’s this new millennium, like a cosmic metaphor for the less earth-shattering but more personal and equally important changes in our lives.

There are a lot of things I’m leaving in the last millennium—places I used to live, friends I used to have, things I used to do but don’t anymore. I’ll be taking with me only the memories. I had a lot of good times and knew a lot of good people, but I won’t be taking them all with me. In a lot of cases, the memories are good enough. And where they won’t suffice, that’s where I’ll find the people who are going to come with me into the next part of my life.

I’ll be leaving a lot of mistakes, too. And from those, I’ll bring only the lessons learned—and I’ve learned a lot of them. I hope I know enough to make the right decisions now that my choices will be my own and will have more and more of an impact on my life.

So this millennium thing is big on all kinds of levels. There’s the level of you-and-me, which I think is big, too. And, just as this year means so many changes in so many facets of our lives, it means a lot of changes for us. Though, in this case, maybe the concept is more of growing than of changing. Because my feelings for you aren’t different than they ever were, they’ve just gotten bigger. Like, if my feelings were a tree [Editors note: Yes, it says “if my feelings were a tree." It gets worse.] I swear they’d be a fledgling Sequoia—big already, but getting bigger and bigger every day. I know I don’t often tell you how I feel [Editors note: thank God, if that’s the kind of clichéd imagery you’d resort to] and that’s probably not going to change anytime soon, but right now it seems like a good time to let you in, at least a little bit, on what goes on in my head (don’t worry, it’s not that scary in there, really!).

What I think is that my hand fits so perfectly in yours, and my head fits so perfectly against your chest or shoulder, and your arm fits so perfectly around me. Basically, your body is like the big, comfy bed I dream about. Your body is a place I can retire to when I’m happy, sad, tired, wide-awake, busy or bored. But just like I have to wait till I graduate to get the bed I want, I will have to wait till then to have you. There are a few more feelings of excitement, anxiousness and nervousness about waiting for you than waiting for a bed, though.

And it’s perfect the way we get along. Your mom says we don’t have anything in common, but she couldn’t be more wrong. Hey, that rhymed. Anyway, we wouldn’t have been able to talk for hours and hours each night for those six months before we even met in person without having a lot in common. You couldn’t understand me nearly as well as you do if we had nothing in common. I have no doubt that our minds are definitely in sync. It feels so good to have you to relate to [Editors note: What? It doesn’t feel “perfect”? It just feels “so good”? I think you should use the word perfect a couple more times].

So, it’s New Year’s Eve and even more than any typical first night of the year, this one is about looking to the future. That’s really scary to me. I’m not afraid of the future itself, only of getting my hopes up about events I want to happen that may or may not come to pass. I really need to get over that. If I don’t, that big metaphorical Sequoia that is my feelings is going to be really stunted, wanting to grow but being afraid not only of the view from so high up but also of being cut down.

So pass the sparkling wine and let’s make a toast: here’s to New Years 2000, to a new century, to a new millennium, to AOL, to school, to jobs (300 grand a year?!?!?) [Editors note: ha ha], to family, to friends, to big cozy beds, to Sequoias, to Suburbans, and to everything you could ever want, need, or dream of.

I’ll drink to that!


jen said...

you perfect giant redwood, you.

Lawyer Mama said...

Hell, I'd drink to 300k a year too!

I think it's a very sweet letter. What did the hub think of it?

Redneck Mommy said...

You're a brave, brave woman. You make me want to spread my branches of love around you and give you a hearty hug.


slouching mom said...

I love the letter. It's so hopeful! And earnest! And earnest!

But I love your snarky commentary more.

You rock. Both for letting us see this, and for having written it in the first place.

binkytown said...

I am totally NOT SORRY! This is a slice of real live Binky. I think the Partner and everyone out there would agree that a letter so true, so heartfelt, so authentic is a treasure. Something that can be held onto. Like a tree. (I'm kidding. I can't help it. I'm too sarcastic not to.)

Who needs Hallmark? (Who knew you were a flegling sequoia? :))

Applause to you!

Amy said...

What a gorgeous ode to your hubby!

All cliché's aside, this was the most heartwarming, toe curling, 'I don't want to be friends, I want to be lovers' kind of letter ever :-)

Seriously though, perfectly is a perfectly descriptive and appropriate form of description.


Amy said...

Fast forward to new years 2001... now post about that!

Boz said...

Some of it made me squirm; not sure if that is good or bad.

Lauren said...

Okay. I want to point some things out:

1. I was in eleventh grade when you wrote this.

2. You said, "Hey, that rhymed" in the middle of all of your sequoia sappiness. This is why I love you both, because you are just random enough to be way adorable.

3. I think that was a perfectly respectable letter. Not too much sap, but intelligence and good writing throughout.

4. You started off your love letter with an odometer reference.

5. Did I mention that I was in high school when you wrote this?

Lisa said...

I'm laughing through my tears. What a great letter!!

Anonymous said...

I would have married you if you wrote me that letter.