We met in our first year of high school – we had similar friends but we didn’t hang out all that often. But through those first four years of high school, we became closer friends, hung out more and more and every once in a while he would do the sweetest things that couldn’t go unnoticed.
For instance, prior to my 17th birthday I remember Vince apologizing that he wouldn’t be around to celebrate with me because he was heading out east for a family vacation. On the morning of my birthday, the doorbell rang with a florist that held a vase full of a dozen gorgeous roses with a cute little teddy bear and a card. At first, my mom and I thought the gift was from the guy I was dating at the time, but when we read the card, it was (as I’m sure you’ve guessed) from Vince who had pre-ordered the flowers before he left as my birthday gift since he knew he was going to be away.
When he got back, our friendship grew closer, we hung out practically every weekend, and he even helped me get over that guy I was dating after we had broken up. We played a lot of pool, saw a lot movies, ate together. And then Vince expressed that he had stronger feelings for me. My immediate reaction to him was that I didn’t want to ruin the friendship. That excuse lasted all but a long four months for both of us. And when I finally realized that he wouldn’t be able to wait any longer, I gave in to the fact that our friendship had evolved into love.
Because of this ‘evolution’ of our relationship, we both can’t recall the first time we dropped the “L” bomb. But since then, 11 years later, we’ve loved each other through transitions (like moving in together), supported one another as we got our education (him chef school, me my undergrad and now my masters), we’ve intertwined our families, and just over a year ago, got married on our 10th year anniversary, “officially” creating our own little family. And this is just the beginning of our great love story.
If this sounds too mushy, too romantic, or even unrealistic to you, let me reassure you that we are not without our flaws as partners. We challenge each other, argue over chores, I nag, he ignores my nagging (sometimes), I critique his cooking, he pokes fun at my lack of cooking skills. But at the end of the day, when we sit in bed for that half an hour or so to talk about our day, we realize that we’re pretty damn lucky to have each other and that while we might be like any other couple in many ways, our love is an enduring and special one. And we’re proud of that. We embrace all of it everyday.