It seemed like the work week would never end. I spent over 15 hours at work on Wednesday night because of the Open House. I stayed late again the following night because mid-quarter reports are due this week. I wanted to hit this 3-day weekend without a gray grading cloud hanging over my head. I succeeded, but it wasn’t easy.
I got home Friday afternoon and tanked a bottle of the Starbucks Mocha. It was the only way I’d make it through some kind quality time with my family. In this case, quality time took the shape of the thing we do best: shopping. When we got to Old Navy, Madison skipped over to her favorite fake-puppy of all time, Magic. I asked her to take a picture with Magic because she’d sit in her stroller and stare at Magic. She’d point at him and make in articulate noises in his general direction. She’s grown so much. I asked about the possibility of purchasing Magic, and one of the clerks replied, “Oh, no. Too many kids love that dog.” Fair enough.
Lynnette stocked up on leggings for Madison. It’s probably a smart move considering that the nighttime temperature in Mililani seems to have dropped by ten degrees within the past week. I love it. Anyway, Madison wouldn’t allow Lynnette to purchase those cold-weather items without a couple of skirts. Lynnette waited in line to pay and the Goob and I found this noise maker. It had different buttons for different sounds like burps, farts, coughs, people running, and other similarly cartoonish noises. You know, it’s exactly the kind of thing a kid would love but would get really old for an adult in about 4 minutes. “I can have this,” Madison said. “No, you have to put it back,” I said. “I’m going to ask mom!” she said. She jogged over to Lynnette. I couldn’t hear what was said, but I saw Lynnette’s smirk and Madison’s head jerk. Madison ran back to where I was. “Do you want that or your skirts?” I asked her. Slight pause. “I want this and my skirts,” she said. Well, we she got the skirts. There’s a 83% chance Madison finds this tiny thing in her Christmas stocking – if it goes on sale for $1.
During our dinner Friday night, I told Lynnette about my British Author’s lecture earlier that day. We covered Shakespeare’s Sonnets 116 and 130. I often season my lectures with anecdotes from my own life, in an attempt to make the concepts in the poems more relatable. 116 is one of Shakespeare’s attempts to define true love. Part of this definition is that true love has very little to do with physical attraction or appearance.
I’m a dork, and so in my youth, hiding those obvious qualities of dorkiness was imperative to having a female find me attractive. As discussed many times in this blog, my personal traits would not become attractive to females until adulthood, and even then, the attraction was light.
I found out the hard way, though, that misrepresenting yourself only causes problems because if the ultimate goal is to be with someone – to spend time with them – then they’re going to find that stack of comic books or seven Mets t-shirts, or that DVD collection of Transformers Season 1 and a wrapped up Optimus Prime. And then not only will you be a dork, you’ll be a liar, too.
Anyway, when Lynnette and I got together, I had already experienced the situation described above. As such, I did little things – nothing major – to test Lynnette’s willingness to be with me, even if she knew was kind of a clown, pretty much a dork, and wildly immature. My favorite of these stories:
It was probably the Christmas season of 2003. Lynnette, Matty, and I were at Nordstrom Rack. Christmas music started playing over the store speakers. I shouted something like “Whoo Whoo! It’s time to ride the Christmas Train!” Then I started doing this shuffle/walk/march thing down the aisle. It involved a lot of ass-wagging. Anyway, I turned back towards Lynnette and waved for her to come over. Then continued on with my shuffle/walk/march. A few moments later, I felt hands on my hips. I turned to see Lynnette’s: face, reddened with embarrassment, head shaking side-to-side out of regret or shame or some combination of both. I think my own face looked something like this. She actually climbed aboard the Christmas Train. I didn’t know that Lynnette would be the one at that moment, but she sure as hell helped her cause.
Rejection sucks. I mean I’m not saying Lynnette and I would have fallen apart if she didn’t hop on the Christmas Train, but the combination of that and those other little things assured me that Lynnette really wanted to be with me because she knew all parts of me, both good and bad. She could fall in love with the real me because I allowed her to see it,” I said to my class. And that’s how you know. When you know someone’s best and worst traits and you still choose them.
Love you, Lanet.