in recent years

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you turned me into somebody loved

I took this picture of my girlfriend Crystal in August of 2007, just four months after we first met. We were at a barbecue for my family celebrating all the August birthdays (my mom, my dad, and my aunt) and Crystal had come along. My family took to her immediately. We were just friends then, but I knew at this moment, this fraction of a second when I snapped the picture, that I was in love with her.

Now if you want to vomit, you’re not alone. I kind of want to puke all over myself too, but I’m trying to do this post all honest-like and that means there are going to be some ~emotions~ floating around loose on the air. Throw on a swine flu mask and you should make it through just fine.

Crystal is smart and funny and talented and generous and patient and kind and crazy and sweet and clever and loving and beautiful. My friends love her, my family love her, and she loves them back.

She likes my writing and my cooking and my jokes. She ALWAYS LAUGHS AT MY JOKES, which is like the number one thing I look for in a new friend.

She is terrified of everything: bugs, heights, the dark sometimes. It’s REALLY CUTE.

She loves so many of the same things I do and when I want to go out and do stuff she doesn’t, she sucks it up and does it anyway. BECAUSE SHE LOVES ME.

She was my friend first. We were friends for a year and a half before we ever tried dating. Granted, my friends and family were already calling her my girlfriend based on the sheer amount of time we spent together, but whatever. And maybe we did it once or twice. BUT WE DID NOT DATE. We were not emotionally entangled like a couple. And then we were.

And at first it was crazy and everything felt like this:

But eventually we got it figured out and tomorrow will be our second anniversary. (Someday I will tell the story of that faithful “getting together” conversation and how, just as we were starting to have celebratory sex, she got a bloody nose ALL OVER MY CHEST. But today is no day for that.)

I don’t know entirely how we’ve made it this far.

But I love her more every single day. And without her I’d have trouble functioning. My novel wouldn’t be getting written, I wouldn’t be surviving school, hell, I wouldn’t have ever even applied for the MFA program.

I love you, bub. Thank you so much for two amazing years.