Today marks the ten-year anniversary that Corb and I have been together. Who would have thought it would have last this long?
We've had a lot of insane adventures together, but the one that makes me smile the most is when we dressed up to go to a fundraiser for Crossroads Rhode Island a few years ago. The event had a circus theme, and the group that attended decided to dress up for it. Corb was outfitted as the Ringleader and I went as the Bearded Lady (and I was the belle of the ball, let me tell you!) Anyway, here are some of the photos from that night.
The other thing I've been thinking of...the first time I decided I loved him. That's the power of Live Journal, my friends. I have the memory of our first date preserved forever, and I have the memory of this entry, which at the time I kept somewhat private, for fear of hurting Josie's feelings. But here's what I said, what I felt, ten years ago:
When's the best time to say the "l" word in a relationship? No, not lollipop or licorice, or even like. You know. The big one.
Corb and I have been dating for what will be ten weeks this Friday, and I've been seriously thinking "l" every time I see him for about the past month. I mean, every time, so much so that it's been affecting my speech, because every time I'd stare into his eyes or hold his hands or snuggle next to him, I'd think "I want this to last for a real real long time," and I start staring at him and he'd say, "What?" and I'd have to smile and say, "oh, nothing," because I wasn't certain what the right thing to say was.
Would I scare him off? Would he blush and say he doesn't feel the same way? Was it too soon? Was I heading into territory that was better left unexplored at this time in my life?
Ah, but the heart. It doesn't always pay much heed to "No Tresspassing" signs.
"Pauline's boyfriend's not coming camping," I said to Corb as we drove into Nashua. "In fact, he's no longer her boyfriend. He broke up with her and changed his cell phone number."
"That's too bad," said Corb.
"Yeah, for us," I replied. "She's going to be moping all week long. But I knew something was going to happen like that. He was rushing in way too fast. He told her he loved her after two weeks. That's way too soon, don't you think?"
"Ah," he replied, casually.
It's funny what bubbles underneath the surface. The Shadow may know what fear lies in the hearts of men, the Amazing Kreskin may be able to read minds, but when it comes to heart and mind, there's that pesky surface layer, that outside shell, and it continually renders me clueless.
Cut to: Sunday morning in New Hampshire. Lying in bed together, listening to his heavy breathing, feeling his smooth body next to mind, his hand draped around my waist. Feeling his lips gently brush against my shoulder.
I cannot contain it any longer.
"I love you," I say.
He opens his eyes, lifts his head up. "Ted, did you just--?"
I lower my head to his chest and squeeze him. "I've been thinking it for a while."
Corb laughs, shakes his head, and pushes me away; lifting himself up and moving out of bed. I look after him, somewhat shocked, still slightly dazed from the sweet arms of Morpheus' embrace the night before, but now, more confused than anything, and thinking the worst.
He moves over to his suitcase and pulls out a card. "I was going to give this to you the first night we arrived here," he explains. "But then you told me what you thought about Pauline's boyfriend and I thought you were trying to tell me something." He shuts his suitcase and moves forward, extending the card. "I feel the same way, Ted. I love you, too."
And then...well...you know...we kissed.
Can I tell you how much more intense kisses feel once you've said the words "I love you?" Can I tell you about the physical tingle of sheer pleasure I get in the base of my stomach every time I say the words, or I hear him say them to me, or as I stare into his eyes late at night, watching him gaze lovingly back at me.
Three little words.
And suddenly, everything's different.
Cut to: ten years later, and everything's still the same. I still love this guy, more than ever, and I still mean it when I say the L word to him. No, not lollipop or lesbian. LOVE. And it's how I feel about him, each and every day.