Today is Elaine and my six month anniversary. A happy day.
We'd been friends for a long time, with some sort of confusing moments, but in the fall of 2009 we started spending a bit of time together, as friends, and it clicked well. We went on our first official date on January 30th. A Brand New concert in Denver. Spent the time before the show riding the elevators in Denver up skyscrapers and trying to sneak into the SIA show. We failed at the latter, so we went to the concert. Lots of nervous laughter and long glances. Afterwards, we decided to head back into Denver and spent the night till about 2 am walking through the snowy city. Accidently walked into a cabaret show, and got kicked out of the area in front of the tallest building in town for loitering. It was a very magical night. Of course I was a complete gentleman…we didn't even have a first date kiss or anything like that.
We started seeing each other in February in earnest. It was a whirlwind romance and there are some pretty intense memories from it all. It was made all the more intense by the fact that she was leaving to go to Ireland on March 1 for two month. We were walking around Mud Lake one night and she told me she loved me. Of course, being the goof I am, I said nothing in return, and she ended up texting me telling me she was sorry for "moving too fast." Little did she know I was skipping all the way home.
I was a little concerned that getting involved in a relationship with her right before her trip was a bad idea, and actually suggested we split for the trip so she could "enjoy" it more. It was something I was doing that I thought was right, but in reality I hated the idea of it. And she would have none of it. She refused – thank goodness – and she and I carried a long distance relationship across the Atlantic Ocean. The trip was hard for both of us. I had a countdown sheet on the wall – 65 days – and I would make her video diaries from various places – backcountry skis, the top of Green Mountain, Mud Lake – etc.
Her trip was fun but it was hard for a number of reasons. She'd never been out of the country before and I guess we just missed each other. Around early-April she asked me if I'd come out and visit. Well, I was not totally honest with my folks at this point, and I regret that, but it was not exactly an easy thing to spring on them given the history of the relationship. But anyway, in early April I flew from Denver to Cork, Ireland and we hung out for a number of days in Caherciveen, Ireland. It was an amazing reunion. We took a boat out to the Skellig Islands, perhaps the most surreally beautiful places I have ever been.
We had planned to only spend a few days together as I didn't want to interfere with her trip, but it turned out that was not enough. We made plans to rendezvous five days later. I tried to hike the 120 mile Kerry Way in five days and nearly destroyed myself in the process. It was bad…to the point I couldn't move I was so wounded.
We had an emotional night the night before we met back up, and, long story short, ended up in Gallway. We started wandering the town and she confessed that she wanted to be with me for a long, long time. I didn't know what she was really saying, but we wandered the streets of Gallway all night long until dawn. It was raining and the streets were deserted. And then, it just hit. I got down on one knee, next to a statue of Oscar Wilde, in a puddle of rain, put a Cladagh ring on her finger and asked her if she'd be my wife. And low and behold, she agreed. Happiest single moment of my life.
That morning we took a bus tour of the Cliffs of Mohr, too blissful to really care that the bus tour in actuality sucked. We spent a few more days together before she had to fly home. I didn't know it at the time, but we would not see each other for awhile. I was stuck in Ireland by a huge volcano in Iceland that stopped all travel. I finally made my way to London, where I spent an entire evening wandering the town – listening to a bagpiper over the River Thames next to Big Ben is a memory I will never forget. I called Elaine and piped it through to her. At midnight I went to Saint Paul's Cathedral and stood underneath it. And while I'm not religious, I said a little prayer at that moment, thanking whatever for my good fortune.
I rode the Tube through town – clearly an American (Londoners do not wear flannel) – and slept the whole night in Heathrow Airport waiting for the flight home. Came home, met her that night on a walk around Mud Lake, and we started planning for the meeting to tell her parents. We wanted to have a real wedding where her dad walked her down the aisle, where her sisters were part of it, where my mom and dad and sister would attend. She definitely had no intentions of moving out that night, but alas the meeting was a freaking disaster. And I think honestly, there was this feeling that everybody was trying to pull us apart, everybody was against it, so on June 1st we went to the Boulder Country Courthouse and got married. And I have to say, it was the best thing I ever did.
They say the moment when you get married, you should have no regrets, and everything should be blocked out but your bride-to-be. And I know we got married in a courthouse, but you know what…it was exactly like that. I still remember holding her hand, staring in her eyes, the most beautiful eyes in the world, and how the rest of the world didn't exist. The state official saying we were married wasn't even there. It was just me and Elaine, in our own little bubble. It was, strangely enough, perfect.
My old friend Marcus lost his wife in a horrible accident a few years back. And I remember at the wake, he was saying, "We don't fight." And I thought to myself…something is wrong in my current relationship at that time because, sadly we both fought too much. It was like our souls were being wounded. And it made me sad, both for what was happening to me and to my partner at that time. We were always bickering.
Elaine and I…we don't fight. It makes no sense really. We live in a caboose for crissake. Your closet is likely bigger. We are both hella individual people and we are both comfortable alone. Sometimes, most of the time, we preferred it. Yet now, I can't get enough of her and she can't get enough of me. The only time we are sad is when we are apart.
We've gotten a lot of criticism. And honestly, all of that criticism comes from people who have never seen us together. And you know what? That's fine. It doesn't matter. It's in the past. People are allowed to have their opinions. It really doesn't matter.
Elaine – the past six month have been – bliss. You have made me the happiest man alive and despite the sometimes fucked up nature of the swirl around us, it does feel like something of a fairy tale. You are, simply put, the best wife and woman (on par with my mom and sister) alive. Six months has been great. I look forward to the next sixty years or so. I love you very much babe. Happy anniversary. – Dan