I don’t believe in love at first sight between a man and a woman. A parent and child, yes. Your hairdresser who always makes you feel Diva, okay. Jeans that make your ass look tight and your thighs look delicious, well duh. With your new puppy-breath dog, hells yes. But with a man, it’s just flat out pathologic. It’s Sinatra singing Just The Way You Look Tonight in the background.
And still there I was, convinced. Had I owned an answering machine, I’d have changed the outgoing message to play, “Today I met, the boy I’m gonna marry.” And people everywhere would look at their hand receivers to check if they dialed the right number. I hate answering machines; it means you actually have to call people back. It’s added work and more items on the to-do list. Yuck. If you don’t catch me, and it’s important, you can call back.
I have boxes of back-stocked history on lined paper, letter upon letter from previous boyfriends, and they all say the same thing. “Always and forever,” “I’m so sorry,” “I always want you in my life.” Then they’re signed with initials. The letters are hand-written with care, the words plotted, and yet, the letters close with impersonal initials. “I love you so much, and I am sorry… for everything. Love, GR” What the hell is that? You’re not endorsing a check. You can’t put your full name in there? Initials are wretched in the name of love. What else are you going to cut short?
I should have known better. Love doesn’t happen in six months; it happens over time, over the flu, and wardrobe malfunctions, over ‘rhea, and “I don’t know if this will work” fights. It happens without makeup, after you meet parents, and deal with the fact that his mother doesn’t think you’re right for him. You don’t really know someone until you’ve had a summer, until you’ve survived Patron and awkward moments with an ex-girlfriend. Until you’ve survived disappointment and given up all your outs, all your safety blanket boyfriends.