Saturday, September 30, 2006

When you just know

So I’ve started meeting the boyfriend’s family … only two months after we met each other. Which isn’t terribly remarkable, I guess—except I’ve started meeting his nieces. Adults can meet love interests and understand when relationships don’t work out. Children—who I believe are a lot more perceptive about meeting Uncle Jake’s or Uncle Boyfriend’s “friends” than we give them credit for—don’t need to watch adult relationships start and fail. At least in my opinion. And the last thing I want to do is drag Uncle Boyfriend into my nephew and niece’s world or have him drag me into his nieces' world and then have us mysteriously disappear from each other’s lives. Kids can learn about heartbreak and uncertainty when they’re eight. Until then, their lives should be focused on pancakes and kittens and poop jokes and a growing awareness that they aren’t as popular or cool or attractive as the other kids.

So the point of that long, convoluted paragraph—which I’m writing when I should be in bed because in five hours I’m getting up and running a whopping 26-mile training run but I’m so thrilled with where our relationship is going that I’m forgoing sleep to write about it—is that the boyfriend and I are so sure of our future together that we’re involving the children in our lives. And that state of certainty is a pretty spectacular place to be.

Two months ago I had a job and a condo and a steadfast belief that the LAST thing I needed in my life was a man. Then I went to a delightful little brunch at some friends’ house. Two months later I’m unemployed and homeless and living with those friends and so madly and surely in love with the man I met at that delightful little brunch that I just had dinner with his brother’s family (it went smashingly well, but then again his family is delightful and I’d been on eight interviews in the two weeks before the dinner so I was fully programmed to be charming and witty and adorable) and I’m going to his niece’s christening tomorrow and in a month we’re driving five hours to his cousin’s wedding, where I’ll be under no pressure whatsoever to be even more charming and witty and adorable and to remember people’s names. Good thing we have five hours in the car beforehand. I’m bringing flash cards.

And since I’m unemployed and his work schedule leaves him time for mid-week getaways, we’re talking about road-tripping to Iowa sometime soon so he can meet my family—including my uncommonly photogenic niece and nephew, about whom I now entertain domestic fantasies about being best friends with his uncommonly photogenic nieces when we get together for our extended families’ weekly croquet matches. And the sooner we get to Iowa the better—I just got him tickets with my family and some family friends to see the chorus holiday show together, and it would probably be a teensy bit awkward for him to meet my parents for the first time in a theater lobby while I was backstage putting on my reindeer antlers. It’s better to do it on a beautiful Iowa afternoon where I can be there to make sure he and his many charms don’t snow everyone to the extent that they forget they ever knew me. Then again, if he becomes the favorite uncle, I can get away with buying the kids cheap socks for their birthdays since their expectations will be so low.

Soon after the boyfriend and I met and bonded over our passion for the show-tune sciences, we began joking about which songs we wanted sung at our wedding. (Not a Day Goes By (the happy version), Our Time, You Walk with Me, Unexpected Song and maybe You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow / Love Will See Us Through as a lighthearted recessional were the first titles on the list, which continues to grow by the day.) Before he left on his freakishy long business trip—when we hadn’t even known each other for a month—I told him (coyly) that I hadn’t been entirely joking about the whole wedding thing. He told me hadn’t been either. Except for the part about Unexpected Song, of course. Ain’t nobody singing Webber at OUR wedding.

Sometimes you just know.

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