Sometimes, in the shuffle of the day to day (taking a shower, letting the dogs out, letting them in, taking them for walks, feeding the cat, getting to work, picking up the Kid, picking up PVDD, making dinner, watching a movie, going to bed, doing it all again the next day), I tend to lose sight of where I’ve been and where I’ve gone to get here.
It’s almost a year ago when I met this guy, this guy I refer to as PVDD. You might have heard of him, from time to time. Right now he’s a charming picture, asleep on the couch, with Dog draped over his legs and the Bitch asleep on the floor next to him. I’m watching Office Space while working. I went out a minute ago for my daily garden constitutional, in which I check the progress of my plants, checking for new shoots on my jasmines or to see if any new gladiolius bulbs have decided to sprout, you know, that type of thing. I walk across the patio and inspect all the little plants there, seeing if any need a shot of water, checking that the dogs haven’t killed any with their lethal pee. I check that there are no morning glories attempting to wrest control of my flower beds, that there are no random patches of grass attempting to disturb the perfection of the area I have leveled out for the rest of the patio.
I wandered around this morning, thinking of how, a year ago, none of this was. No flowers, no patio, no jasmine vines or gladiolus bulbs. No PVDD. No Bitch. It’s amazing, when you lift your gaze from the morass of daily life and look back over the landscape, the things you can see.
When I look, I see changes. Changes in me, both good and bad. Changes in PVDD, changes in the Kid, changes in my friends. Changes in my house, in my garden. No changes in the Dogs, really, unless you count that they’re getting fatter and Dog is getting taller. Oh, and they kind of sit now.
It’s a good feeling, knowing I’m different. Knowing that I’m growing. It’s a little disquieting knowing that as the years go by, I tend to get a little more rigid, like a tree adding another layer of bark. It’s a challenge and a struggle to keep my bark flexible, to keep from getting unchangeable. I think that’s a challenge for all of us, to not allow the years to add too many calluses to our personalities, to take too much off our edges. To make sure that we don’t miss opportunities to change something, or make it different, make it better. To not lose hope.
A little over a year ago, I got an email from this guy. He mentioned that he’d read my blogs and liked my writing, and he invited me to come down to the bar where he worked so he could buy me a drink. Ever the gentleman, he assured me that he wasn’t looking for a girlfriend, that he just appreciated a good writer, and that I could bring the Family von N if I would feel more comfortable. I mentioned back that I was glad for that, being that I was dating someone, but that sometime I would make time to come down to the bar. He also invited me (several times) to a softball game that he participated in every Sunday.
Time passed, and one weekend I found myself headed to the bar to collect my drink. I approached the bartender, pretty sure that it was my mystery emailer, when suddenly he came out from behind the bar and the first words he ever said to me were, “There’s my favorite blogger that I’ve never met! Gimme a hug!” And I was engulfed in a hug delivered by a six-foot plus bear of a man, exuberant and ebullient, and fairly excited to meet me. It was pretty cool.
Of course, jager bombs ensued.
About a month passed. The guy I was seeing and I parted ways, and one Sunday I found myself wandering down to the softball field to observe the game. I brought the Dog, and I thought I recognized the guy from the bar, and I watched for about thirty minutes off to the side. I kept thinking he saw me and he’d come over, but he didn’t. Eventually I wandered away and that was that.
Until one day I went back into the bar, he mentioned I hadn’t shown up at softball yet, I mentioned that I had, he expressed surprise, and we made plans to boat with the family the next day. Thus, the blog on how I was saved from drowning by the Family von N and my mysterious companion.
Soon enough, the rest became history, and my erstwhile bar-and-softball friend became the PVDD that we all know and love today. It’s not been easy. We’ve had fights and drunked-up escapades and laughter and tears and tutus and bloody noses and trips to the emergency room and vacations. Being in a relationship isn’t always easy, it’s not always what I want or what I thought I’d get out of life, but it’s good. Funny how things work out, ain’t it?