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Saturday, June 30, 2007

He's the man who loves me

The best how we met story ever is my own, but isn't this the way it should be?

In 2004 I was living alone and loving it even though I couldn't afford it. It came time to get a new roommate, but how? Newspapers are never good option for this endeavor and I'd already put up my postings at the universities and colleges in town. No luck. Then I went hunting on the net and found It turned out to be the best way to find a roommate -- ever!

I met a bunch of interesting people: a charmer from Soviet Georgia, a real dandy-- he didn't make it past the phone interview but he was fun to talk to. I met a lovely woman from England, who chose to live elsewhere. Then I got a great written response from some dude who'd been living in Chicago, a Canadian who had to move back.

My first phone call with said Dude went on for over an hour. We talked like we were old friends and I asked for references. They, of course, were stellar. His employer had only great things to say and the worst thing an ex-roomie, of his said was, "He's a guy, but if you ask him to, he'll do it." This, of course was when we discussed how he dealt with domestic responsibilities. I learned later that she didn't eat his food -- silly woman!

I asked him for a picture, which I've never done before but since the internet makes this so easy to do, I figured why not see if he's totally freaky. Nope, not freaky at all. I looked at the picture and thought, "Well, at least I won't fall for the guy."

Dude is the ninth male roommate, a long list, but what can I say? Living alone is a luxury I can rarely afford; such is my life. Besides, there were women roomies too. Since roommates are not long term commitments, they come and they go. I will say for all the people I lived with only one was truly intolerable, though there were several who challenged me as much as I did them. I'm sure more than one of the men wanted something more, and one woman, but I wasn't interested, for different reasons at different times, in any of them. I'm still friends with most of my former roomies, so that says something. This time around I was having much fun as a single (and healthier) me and didn't have any desire to hook up with anyone, let alone cohabitate.

"Dude!" walked through my door around 11 pm, October 15 2004. From the moment he entered I knew that I had met a friend. Dude was one of those rare instant friends who shared laughter and himself from our first meeting. Why "Dude?" I'm not usually a nick naming kind of person, but I guess it was the first part of him I responded to, his dudedness.

In he came through with two suitcases (minimal baggage, whoo!) and the challenge of a change of professions along with the difficulty of leaving his family in a city he loved. It was watching him make this transition, with a kind of integrity I've not seen in many, that made me see the quality of this new friend. Dude doesn't know that this is the reason I can never take my shit (And I have plenty) out on him; he set that bar really high and I am so the kind to play up.

Many of my friends thought we should be dating, and said so regularly. But I didn't want to loose the best roomie I'd had in years, and I didn't know how I felt about him, myself, or us. The more we "lived" together as friends the more I realized there was more to be experienced, but the risk of loss, and gain, held me back.

Nine months later, several amazing meals digested (The kitchen was Matt's domain from the very beginning. I can cook, but with his talents, uh - why, exactly?), we found ourselves sitting on the balcony, drinking some wine and enjoying a beautiful June evening together.

I looked at Matt and said, " I don't know, but you and I get along so well, and . . . "

So started "the" conversation, the first of many. What also started that night was a deepening of our friendship to a more intimate level. That was (is) fun! I called him Matt that night and so he has been (mostly,) to me since.

Both of us were concerned first for our friendship and then for our living arrangement. Going straight from single to co-habitation is very strange, but we've managed just fine. In fact, we are doing really well as a couple. Despite months of my infirmity and recovery, lean days, and even a time "apart," (but not exactly apart; neither of us could afford to live alone), we've managed to keep it together.

For me I realized that he is the man who loves me (Thank You, Wilco), as we took some space in our relationship. I was still spending much of my day on the couch: in a moment of clarity I knew that we were doing a really lousy job of breaking up -- no fights, no disses, no ignorance or pettiness, just friends caring, sharing and laughing me well. Connecting. In a du'obvious moment, a thought: "Well aren't we are doing a lousy job at breaking up!"

My laughter brought Matt to me on the couch.

They say love will not walk through your door to find you, that you must go out and get it. I am an exception (I know of one other.) to this rule -- oh, lucky, lucky me. Nya-na to all the "theys" out there; I got ya on this one.

A friend recently said, "You know, you might just be getting everything you want, you just got the order all messed up." What isn't messed up is this thing Matt and I have. I want to be the woman who loves him. So I am. So I am.

And he? He is the best boyfriend EVER!

Oh, and he is the man who loves me.
(The Big Cheese -we seem to have names aplenty now
-- Mr. Matt, chose both the nickname and the song. )

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