Me and You.
You need eight hours of sleep every night. Really. Eight. If you lose 15 or so minutes, you’ll spend at least fifteen minutes of the next day looking lost and bewildered. Maybe with a coffee cup in your hand.
Me? I need four or five. And need is relative, because I can deal with less, but I wouldn’t kick more out of bed in the morning. There’s no discernible difference in my comprehension or coordination, either way. So I make you stay up too late, sometimes, and sleep in when you’re ready to go.
You, like most human beings, like your home to be “room temperature”. What is that, anyway? I’m not totally sure. Like 73F? 68F? I don’t know. But it’s what most people have.
Me? I like a cool house. A windows-open-in-winter house. A put-on-a-sweater or use-that-blanket-on-the-sofa house. I always laugh when a recipe tells me to bring something up to room temperature, because I don’t think they mean ours.
You are a great driver. You can handle weather, crazy drivers, bad roads, and bossy WAZE instructions with aplomb. You taught your son to drive, and he is also an ace at just 17. It runs in the family!
Me? I don’t drive. I am a good road DJ, sure, which might be useful to someone who doesn’t know how to operate the stereo in their vehicle or doesn’t have Spotify on their phone… but I also give you side-eye because you’re a “late braker”. I think I invented that term. It’s really not a big deal, and you’d think, “Well, beggars can’t be critics, can they?” Which isn’t even the right saying, but you get my drift.
You could probably eat some version of the same things all the time. You’re not particularly picky, save for not loving mushrooms or fresh tomatoes. (Chefs would tell you that you have a fear of umami, but I don’t think your Mommy is scary at all. Just kidding!) But you’re not choosy or cranky about food, and you’re happy just to, you know... eat.
Me? I don’t really like leftovers (thank you for taking them for lunch!) and I embrace a LOT of variety in the kitchen. I also like to cook every night, which is somewhat of a pain because I get home just before 7. But you take it all in stride, along with the odd glass lunch container I got you at Whole Foods and the tiny extra dish with the weird sauce I invented.
You like all sorts of music. You like all sorts of films. Documentaries? Sure! Post-hardcore? Sure! Action films? Sure! Classical? Romance? Why not? Indie rock? Sure! You’ll give anything a chance, and there’s not much that could pop up on iTunes or on screen that would send you scrambling to change it.
Me? Well, I challenge that “give anything a chance” mentality with some really odd choices. Let’s watch a 30-part documentary about chefs, or war criminals, or a store in New York! I will also skip through entire playlists looking for a song I like, and if a movie has zombies, clowns, arterial spurting, or a few other boxes ticked, it’s a no-go.
You can talk to anyone, anywhere, about anything. You’re a wildly social human being — the kind that always waves at babies, pets dogs, talks to people in lineups, and holds the door for 90 people before he finally forces himself to walk into the store.
Me? I wouldn’t say I’m antisocial or introverted or rude, but I do have some shyness baked into my otherwise noisy, silly, stage-loving self. I work with people all day long, and so do you, but I think I need a little more me-time. Sometimes this involves cooking, sometimes a manicure, sometimes grocery shopping all by myself. You deal with it. You even encourage it. And you also push me out of my comfort zone when I’m too much of an island (or try, at least).
You are at the gym four mornings out of seven, you love golfing, you go for walks (which would be runs if your physiotherapist hadn’t threatened to shiv you if you didn’t stop running), you hit the mountains on a snowboard now and then (I say “hit” meaningfully). You’ve transformed your body over the past couple of years, and you look fantastic.
Me? I sit on a yoga ball at work, I’m always busy around the house, I go up and down flights of stairs all day, and I forget to eat for hours at a time… but I’m still shaped a bit like a cloud. Or a lot like one. I’m also height-challenged, so you’re called upon to reach many a thing, at many a time. I swear you lifted your eyes to the heavens when you realized your son had finally grown really long arms.
I won’t even get into my tendency to be cluttered, my odd, erratic laundry habits, my reluctance to phone for takeout (I can order online!), my devotion to yoga pants at home, my avoidance of movie theaters, or my love of places like Sephora and Peet’s and THE INTERNET where they will take your money in exchange for all of the things.
We are not exactly the same, but you’ve never tried to make me be anything but myself.
I love that you embrace my quirks — and even when they drive you nuts, you take a deep breath and get on with life. We might fight sometimes — though rarely — but you don’t hesitate to offer or accept an apology when we do.
So thank you.
Thank you for falling in love with Christmas. Thank you for making me watch super hero shows because I didn’t know I adored them… until I did. Thank you for road trips full of coffee and laughter and selfies at appropriately scenic locations. Thank you for loving my family and putting up with my father and my brother trying to be Abbott and Costello on Facebook.
Thank you for doing the whole “long distance” thing as long as we needed to, and for making it so easy for me to join a ten year-old’s life in progress. Thank you for giving me another set of parents to fret about my wellbeing and tell me I’m wonderful.
Thank you for your curiosity, your sense of humor, your kindness, your work ethic, your passion, your desire to get it right, and your obvious, often-expressed, overwhelming love for a very imperfect me.
We don’t really “do” Valentine’s Day. We don’t need to, because we’ve made up our own little milestones. In fact, in just over a week, it will have been eight years since the first time we exchanged words of any kind, and I’ve never had eight better years, not ever. That’s worth a toast, I’d say.
You are, simply put, the greatest.
Me? I’m the luckiest.