While I’m laying on the beach and canoodling my new husband, I’ve asked some special ladies to guest post for me! The theme I gave them was “Love” and I love how they each put their own little spin on it! Today I’d like to welcome Leland, from Some Adventure!
It’s the stuff of fairy tales: my boyfriend Mike and I met in late February 2010 at a bar where Snooki (yes, that Snooki) was making an appearance. Friends, if you’re looking for the place to meet your match, look no further than your local Jersey Shore-themed bar night.
We chatted that night and Facebooked the next day, exchanged numbers and went to lunch a week later. We were Facebook official in June. I had a key to his house in August. On our timeline of relationship milestones, everything seemed to be in order.
It was around early fall when things started to get off track. You know that point in a relationship when those initial little butterflies transform into giant, majestic bald eagles and begin soaring over mountains waiting to proclaim their love? And you know how you don’t want YOUR eagles to profess their love before the other person’s?
At this point, despite my ACTUAL REAL feelings, I didn’t want to be the girl drops the bomb first, ultimately scaring the un-ready and un-willing boyfriends into the awkward zone. I mean, not that I had been there before. Twice. (Okay, a babillion times.) I told myself to screw the timeline in my head – the L-word would enter our relationship on his terms.
Fast forward to January 2011 – if you’re keeping track, that’s 11 months since we first met, 10.5 months since our first date, seven months since Facebook officiality, and five months since the key. But I ditched the timeline, remember? Truthfully, I was freaking out. What was TAKING so long? Was I completely off-base in my feelings? If he didn’t feel strongly about me, would we really be almost a year into a relationship? WHAT. WAS. HAPPENING? Fortunately, I managed to keep my crazy from erupting out of my ears.
That fateful day in January was the first game of the broomball season, and Mike had recruited me for his team. Broomball is a sport kind of like field hockey, but on ice but while wearing sneakers instead of skates (read: SLIPPERY!). The ball is a grapefruit-sized Nerf ball, and there aren’t brooms – just poles with triangles for shuffling the ball around. Clearly I understand the game, but to this day I’ve still never played a minute of it.
The first quarter of this first game of the season, Mike went in as goalie. I was on the sidelines with a veteran player learning the rules, when a few minutes in to the game there was a commotion on the ice. A whistle blew, and Mike stood up from the goal with his right arm up in the air, unable to lower it more than half way down – his arm had popped out of the socket when he dove for the ball and his hand slipped back on the ice.
For a man with a dislocated shoulder, he faced the first fifteen minutes of his injury extremely calmly. He had done this before, he said, and could pop it back in with someone’s help. Traditionally, a dislocation should be that simple to fix. It wasn’t that easy this time, though, and he couldn’t get it back in place. Within the next few minutes his pain got unbearable, and I drove him to the emergency room.
I spent the next six hours by his side as the team of doctors in the ICU worked put his shoulder back in to place. Funny thing about the ICU, if you’re there with a little shoulder injury, occasionally your doctor has to stop helping you to start helping the person who needs a heart transplant the next bed over. Before they left him for another patient, they’d always give him another dose of painkiller. As you can imagine, he was out of his mind from the mix of pain and drugs.
It was 4 a.m. by the time his shoulder was back into place, after the doctors kicked me out of the room so they could put him under and shove his arm around. They called me back when he was awake again so I could help him get ready to go.
We were a delirious pair – Mike still reeling from the painkillers and me with no sleep and all the stress. I got to the side of his bed and asked how he was feeling. With his good arm, he pulled me in close for a hug and slurred, “I love you.” There’s nothing sweeter than hearing those three little words bedside in the ICU from a man on all the drugs. I whispered back, “I love you, too,” hoping he’d remember the exchange in the morning.
And? He did. The next morning he assured me that it wasn’t the painkillers talking – he had meant what he said, and he said it again. We’ve been saying it to each other every day since. (I love you, Mike!)