This day marks the eleventh anniversary of the day Mike first invited me over to his house, to watch a movie. Disney's The Emperor's New Groove, if memory serves. It marks the first day he ever poured me a glass of wine and held my hand and asked me a dozen questions about myself, trying to get to know me better, this strange girl sitting on his couch. This day marks the eleventh anniversary of the day I truly found him.
January 10, 2004.
I was wearing a black t-shirt and nervous as all hell. He had accidentally given me the wrong directions, so I drove around for a half hour before finding the courage to call and figure out where I was. (Eleven years ago was before smart phones! I just drove in circles, hoping "Mike's House" would flash in neon lights in front of my car.) I remember the walk to his front door, when I FINALLY got there, Molly eying me suspiciously as I stepped inside. I instantly loved his roommate, something I found out later truly mattered to Mike.
Mike and I went out of town last weekend, just shy of eleven years together, to celebrate my birthday. As we drove out of Oklahoma, heading toward home, talking about work trips and Kyle and 2015 plans and budgeting and life, I began to ache. It's a feeling I know all too well. The feeling of having to share Mike with the world, with the rest of our ordinary lives. It's the feeling of missing him when he's right beside me.
Mike makes fun of me for what I insist on celebrating. I'm a party-thrower at heart. I would invite people over and serve cocktails for Handwriting Day, if I thought people would come. (That's a legit thing, my Paper Source calendar tells me.) I like celebrating. I like tossing confetti in the air. Just give me a reason to celebrate, and I'll grasp at it. But when it comes to this day, January 10th, it's a no-brainer.
The day Mike and I became Mike and I? It's the very best days of all the days to celebrate.
My goodness, do I wish I could tell that girl driving in circles eleven years ago that she'd make it there. And she'd never leave.