Yesterday marks the anniversary of the first day of the rest of my life. Forgive me if you’ve heard this one before, but it’s a story I never want to forget.
I wasn’t completely sure that love was out of the realm of possibility for me, but on that day, I had no idea that I was going to meet the love of my life. I know that after my break-up and the subsequent dramatic writing that I did here, I became the temporary poster-child for heartbreak. I still get an e-mail now and again from someone who remembers my story and wants advice on how to stop hurting. Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that the best thing I ever did for myself was be open. I said yes to everything and everyone and did my best to accept every invitation and show up looking like I wanted to be there whether or not I really did. And for everyone who’s going through a break-up that’s the best advice I can give.
I like sharing my story because like any modern fairy tale it’s a little less cut-and-dried than “I lost my slipper when my knight woke me from a deep sleep while I was locked in a tower with long hair that was spun out of gold and I lost my voice but my prince rescued me from the dragon and I lived happily ever after” (or whatever).
I was sitting poolside, my feet up on a low table, a rapidly filling ashtray by one foot, a rapidly emptying wine glass by the other, when a guy sat down next to me and introduced himself. I had never met him before, but I had been told he was going to be there and I had been watching him that day. He has an easy way about him and I had been watching him for signs of awkwardness, being that he wasn’t a regular member of the group assembled there that day and he showed no sign of being uncomfortable. So when he said, “I’m Seth,” I said, “I know who you are.”
Hours later, we had not moved. We just sat there and we were blown away by the way our lives were connected without ever having met before. It was already written that we should meet, but if anyone had written it, it would have seemed too convenient, like it was just at service of the convoluted story of Los Angeles at the turn of the new century. At some point in our conversation we talked about how we should get a drink sometime, and I programmed my number in his phone. Later, everyone was gone but the host and hostess, and we all sat outside in the dark until it was clear Seth and I needed to go home.
He walked me to my car and we said goodbye. There was no contact and I don’t particularly remember feeling any electricity, but I do remember watching him walk away down the street. He has a swagger that comes from his innate coolness, and as I watched him walk away, I had no idea that a year later I would be his partner, but I knew we would have a lot of fun. I smiled as I drove back to my little apartment and figured he would call or he wouldn’t and I was just going to leave it at that.
He tells me that he felt me behind him as he walked toward his car and that he considered leaning in for a kiss before he left, but that he just went with it and it wasn’t quite right so he didn’t. And I’m glad he didn’t because I don’t think I was ready then, but a month later when he finally called the number I had programmed in his phone all those days before, I was ready to be kissed. And how.
So that’s my little story. It’s not a fairy tale, and the ending is yet to be written, but for me it’s a perfect little anecdote for how simple and easy and complicated and convoluted it can be to meet someone who turns out to be the love of your life. Now, dust yourself off, put on the outfit that makes you feel like a super hero and say yes. Your partner could be out there right now.