May 31, 2009

I was late for my flight back to Manhattan and slightly annoyed that this variable didn’t make my boyfriend drive any faster to get me to the airport. In fact, we stopped for gas and went barely above the allowed speed limit for the duration of the 45 minute drive. I was irritable, as I usually am before yet another goodbye. See, our whole relationship revolved around goodbye…more goodbyes, to be exact, than hello’s. It started with me leaving Texas, then leaving Kansas, and then changing time zones–heading as far east as the United States would allow.

The best part about having a multi-long distance relationship with someone is finding out your prospective partner is deathly afraid of air transit, making your life a revolving door of ‘carry-on’s.’ And somehow in this mess of earning miles and losing miles that expired, you’re finding a way to ‘court’ one another during our face-to-face time. By this, I mean that most of the times we were able to see each other were also shared with our respective families.
One year of ‘flight therapy’ later and zero visits to New York, Bryan is taking me back to the airport to return me to the city that took me away from him to begin with. As I get out of the car, I am desperate to find a restroom; all I can think about is how nice it will be to shower and change out of my second-day-same-outfit trick into something ….cleaner. I buzz ahead of him as he grabs my trusty carry-on to follow me out of the parking garage and into the airport. He calls at me to stop and give him a kiss–something I don’t feel is necessary when we are at T-25 minutes from my plane taking off. I hop up on the baggage-drop to avoid straining my neck (he is 6’5″) and proclaim that he can kiss me while I am on my pedestal. He does.
“How about you don’t get on that plane?” he asks. This is something you normally prefer not to hear before boarding a plane. I’m weirded out. He asks if I trust him and then repeats his initial question.
I watched in slow-motion as he got down on one knee, explained the all-consuming love he had for me and the places we could go in life. He pulls out a trinket box that opens to showcase a gorgeous heirloom.
We stopped at a Quick Trip on the way home for obvious reasons–I still was very much in need of a restroom.
And now, after weeks and weeks, I finally have my ring–fashioned from the original 1980’s yellow gold/baguette setting….which was a real stunner on that day, to a vintage-inspired and self-designed ring that is timeless in every way.
I quit my job. I said my goodbyes. I packed my 10×14 apartment by myself and left New York, armed to take on my new role as somebody’s somebody–no longer only the independent and career-driven girl I once knew. As the plane touched the ground on the return trip, I said my first forever-long ‘hello.’

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