Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Listening for the secret, searching for the sound.

Valentime’s Day is one of those days where Super Husband gets to really shine. We call it Valentime’s Day after seeing the Valentine’s Day episode of 30 Rock last year where Rachel Dratch plays a hooker or something like that, a woman in the industry, and she falls down at the end of episode, screeching about Valentime’s Day. It so cracked us up that that is what it is. (I love an opportunity to use a double that.) So on Valentime’s Day, I get my hopes up. Way up. Pie in the sky up—hoping for the gift of all gifts. Hoping for the sparkle. Bring on romance and hold me tight.

Mr.Husband will forever have a hard time beating our first Valentime’s Day together. In February 2006, we’d been “dating” with the official label and everything for about three weeks. Both of us had not really had a Valentime’s Day in years and years and years. We were both secretly super excited. While I did a good job surprising Mr. Husband-then-boyfriend at work with a box of chocolate goodies and Godiva dipped pretzels, he took my breath away and kept me on pins and needles the entire day.

The weekend before Valentime’s Day, we’d taken our first road trip to Nashville to visit Mr. Husband-then-boyfriend’s grandparents: Harry and Jean. We made artwork in the car on the way there while listening to one Grateful Dead show after another. He was such a good wooer. While in Nashville, Mr. Husband-then-boyfriend took me to visit Yazoo Brewery, which is located in the old Marathon Motorworks building where Mr. Husband-then-boyfriend used to work for a small software shop. He sat me down at a table and ordered a sampling of six of Yazoo’s finest beers and told me that I was to drink them all. I did. I sampled and sampled those six tiny glasses until I was giggling and teetering off my chair. Later that weekend, it snowed lightly in Nashville. Tiny snowflakes drifted down among the streetlights and I swore that Mr. Husband-then-boyfriend made it snow.

I didn’t expect much when the actual day, February 14th, arrived. I hoped for flowers. I’m crazy for flowers—I love to watch them die and lose one petal after another as they droop down from their height of life. What I found instead of flowers was a tiny glass bottle hanging from a string on my Beetle door handle in my apartment parking lot. Wow. I looked around, expecting to see him. I was flabbergasted. That word is completely perfect for my feeling right then. There. Flabbergasted. I opened up a folded piece of red linen paper to find a series of three lines of numbers and dashes. What? This is no poetry with which I am familiar. I have stepped over to the genius side of life where everything pops and everything cracks with newness and thinking adventure. I think I floated to work. I couldn’t wait to speak to him.

Before speaking to Mr. Husband-then-boyfriend, I contacted a Boston genius, Dowling, and asked him what the series of numbers meant. He wrote back quickly, informing me that I was looking at a book cipher. He said that I needed to look for a special book that we shared in common or that a key would be provided. A book cipher. No shit. I was looking for something to unravel the numbers for correlation to a position of a word in a list and then the position of a letter in that word. Wow. Mr. Husband-then-boyfriend informed me around noon that a key would soon be on its way. I waited. I was in knots and had trouble working that day. I don’t think my boss knew I was dating yet, so I couldn’t share the hunt or excitement. That was tough.

Around 3:00, I received an email with a digital painting that contained twenty-seven words that referenced our trip to Nashville. Words that brought magical colors to my head as I swam in the memory of the road trip. Words like Hawthorne, the author whose story I read out loud in the car, Langston, the street Mr. Husband-then-boyfriend lived on in Nashville, and Centennial, the park that we walked through during our stay. It took me a while, but I finally discovered the meaning of the cipher … it was a website URL: He wrote a story for me. He wrote the story of our first kiss and posted it to the world. I was so his girlfriend. God save the geeks. I was totally geek-struck.

This year is our fourth Valentime’s Day that we’ll spend together. We’re heading back up to Nashville to visit Yazoo for the weekend. I hope Mr. Husband makes it snow again.


countrypeapie said...

Oh my god. How did you two find each other? Totally cosmic, man.

Kari Jean said...

Wow. Just, wow. I love you guys loving each other. :)

facingthetrend said...

Really, I may cry. It's so all so ROMANTIC and swoony, and I read Jeff's blog posting. The end totally got to me. What a find he is. You are so awesome for snagging him.

I love the world now!