Fighting the Good Fight

(This story is the continuation of this post).

When I last left this story, it was 2005 and I was a high strung gal with a crush on a boy. Funny, now that I write that, I guess things haven’t changed much in these last few years. I was ready for a relationship and I finally put my foot down — no more pussyfooting around here, buddy! I wanted commitment or I wanted nothing to do with this situation — and I was willing to fight for it.

But for Garrett, it was not so black and white.

Remember how I told you I wasn’t the friendliest girl ever to him right when he started working for Peet’s? Yeeeeeeah. Well let me interject a little unsolicited advice here people: Don’t be an asshole to other people.  This will complicate your life when you actually decide you want to be in a a relationship with those people you were an asshole to.

Garrett wasn’t ready to dive right in to this relationship head first (even though I was like “Trust me…it’ll be great!”  Even though we had built a new level of intimacy and foundation, he was still a little bit leery of putting his heart on the line. But you know anything about me at all, you know I’m not a girl who does really well at taking ‘no’ for an answer.

So I decided that I was just going to take a break.

Piece of advice number two — “taking a break” from a relationship that doesn’t exist yet is also not the best plan ever.  Let me tell you I was MISERABLE. Sure I was “in control” — not letting someone else jerk my heart strings around, but my heart was also breaking on the inside. Talk about a dark period in my life. GAH! I remember doing very little except wondering what Garrett was doing, hoping he would come into Peet’s so that I could just see his face (and of course promptly ignore him because I am very mature), and drinking heavily.

No Bueno.

Finally one day my good friend Jeremy took me out for a beer and just said “What the hell is going on with you?” Oh that’s right, I forgot to mention that this whole horrible period of time in my life was basically a great big secret from any of my and Garrett’s shared friends and co-workers (Jeremy included) so I think everyone probably just thought I had turned into a bitch overnight and couldn’t quite figure out why. So over another shared pitcher of Newcastle (Dear Newcastle, don’t my romantic woes at least earn me a free 12-pack? Great, thanks!) I pretty much confessed the whole story.

To which he responded:

“So that’s why Garrett looks like shit is drinking heavily. Ah, it all makes sense.”

Now, ladies, I know that does not qualify as a profession of love with fireworks and romance as I had envisioned. Trust me, if I was a screenwriter that would not be the climax of my chick flick — but at that moment in time it was exactly what I needed to hear.

He was miserable!

I was miserable!

And that had to count for something, right?

I decided that I needed to make an effort to fight for this relationship that I felt so damn strongly about. Coincidentally the next night Garrett called and wanted to meet me for a drink to discuss our situation. And seriously, the only things about that night I remember are that it began with a strong glass of gin with a side of tearful confession and it ended with the words “Let’s just evolve.”

Also, not a line that I would put in my chick flick, but man did it feel like a tall drink of water int he dessert.  That dark, miserable cloud that I had been living under had suddenly dissipated and a whole new era was being ushered in.  And in that moment, that was just perfect.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that bullshit, I know. But I can honestly tell you going living my life without Garrett was terrible, and I just never want to feel that kind of misery again. We did, in fact, evolve and it was kind of a process. And even though the beginning of our romance does NOT count as a fairy tales I’m almost certain that it will end like one.

The thing about this evolution that I am most proud of is that three years ago today, we both looked at one another and consciously made that commitment to never go through life without each other again. It was the best decision I have made to date. I can’t imagine my life without this man, and from past experience I can tell you that I don’t even want to try it.

He is the one I want to be with forever, the one this still gives me butterflies, the one who makes me feel safe at night, and the one who keeps me in stitches when we are lying in bed in the morning still groggy and not quite ready to get out of bed. He is the perfect one for me. And that, fairy tale or not, is the kind of love that is worth fighting for.

Happy Anniversary, Garrett! I hope we have a lifetime of silly kisses together!

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