Tuesday, January 26, 2010
COLUMN: By Amy
[The following column might just raise the bar for acceptable levels of cuteness in professional journalism. As a total surprise, my girlfriend Amy's birthday present to me was to try her hand at column-writing and give me a week off. WARNING: It's full of the sort of warm, fuzzy, "aww"-inducing touchy-feely romantic mumbo-jumbo that may very well hit the gag reflex of our more testosterone-laden audience. And it's also one of the nicest things anybody's ever done for me.]
Dear Shane, you've said before that it would be fun if I helped write your column sometime. Well, I needed a good idea for a birthday present for you -- so here goes!
I first got the idea to write this as a response to people saying, "Let's hear more about this boyfriend of yours!" So I began thinking about how we met and the first time we really got together - which happened to be on your birthday, exactly one year ago...
You used to be some guy who worked at a dance club where my friends and I went to dance.
[Actually, I was the borderline creepy leering guy who couldn't stop staring at the cute girl on the dancefloor.]
Then you were a Myspace friend while I lived in Cairo, Egypt for two years.
[yep, I was THAT guy... Mr. Internet Stalker.]
Then we became fast Facebook friends, of course.
[I was THAT guy, too. See, it was just my luck to notice a super cute girl in my club, happen upon her profile on Myspace, get up the nerve to send her a message, and THEN find out that she had just left for two years in Egypt. Le sigh. But she was worth waiting for, and we really DID become fast friends via the keyboard.]
I began to notice that your posts always made me smile. We spent a lot of time instant messaging, and you constantly made me laugh. Once I got back to the States, you eventually invited me to hang out "in real life." It took several times, over a period of months, before I finally accepted the offer. It was your birthday, and we watched a movie. If you know me, you know I love birthdays, so there was no way I was showing up to your place without some sort of gift! Hmmm... what to get for Shane? Well, I considered some sort of music -- but then I remembered you saying that you owned about a billion CDs. I decided to stop by Old Town Bakery for a fancy cupcake. Everyone likes cupcakes, right? The celebratory cupcake was a hit, although it ended up flipping upside down in the box on the way to your place.
[Truth be told, I'm not really a fan of cupcakes -- but when a cute girl hands you one, you eat the heck out of it, even if it looked like the thing had exploded all over the box.]
You tried to prepare me for the extent of your love for music, but I was still shocked when I walked in to find one wall in the living room covered entirely with shelves full of CD's. (I later found out about the mountains of records you have stashed in closets and under the bed.) That night, you entertained me with several stories of how you acquired the many autographs on your wall of the musicians you had met.
[That's right. I'm not above name-dropping. 'Check it out, this celebrity totally gave up .5 seconds of his or her time to sign this piece of paper... because I'M SO COOL!']
Then it became a little more personal when you gave me a sampling on a CD that you had titled, "Amy's Favorite Mix CD Ever". I started to listen (with strict instructions to not read the tracklist until I had listened to the entire CD without peeking.) It was while hearing lyrics such as "You've got terrible vision if you can't see that I'm in love with you," (Rhett Miller) and "I want to tell you..." (The Beatles), that I began to realize this Shane guy kinda likes me -- like, the more-than-just-friends kind of likes me!
[Not to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty doggone good at making mixtapes -- and that one I made Amy was, like, a harmonic convergence of aural and lyrical perfection, if I do say so myself. Bachelors, a well-made mixtape can be the greatest weapon in your love arsenal -- e-mail me for advice anytime.]
Since your birthday last year, we've talked or spent time together every day. I'll never forget when you asked me to dinner for Valentine's Day -- and what a hilarious night we had! (Still my favorite column you've written so far.)
[Nothing says romance like second-degree burns, a broken-down car, and a two mile jog through the snow.]
You've taught me so much this past year. For example, I've learned more than I ever cared to know about British rock music. I know the best techniques for getting points in a Rock Band tournament. (You really could be a professional Rock Band coach, you know.)
You've shown me that cats aren't too scary and that I can even pet them! (Somewhere along the way in life, I developed an irrational fear of cats. No, not lions and tigers and the really scary big cats -- I was terrified of your average housecat. I mean, scared to touch them or even have them near me. Once in high school, when I was babysitting, I called my mom crying because a cat was "looking at me!" Scary, right??? But Shane insisted that his cats were nice... and I slowly began to see that he was right!
I have learned that snuggling on the couch with you, even while you teach me the many strategies of Nascar drivers, is the best place to be. You've shown me that long drives to nowhere can lead to the most wonderful places.
I've learned many more things about you this year, like how much you hate onions, peppers, mushrooms -- and GERMS! I learned that you play trivia like a professional. I found out that your eyes are the best shade of green God ever made. I found out that when you hold my hand, I can feel it in my heart.
You are such a caring, loving, and kind man. You have been there to encourage me when I was sad. You didn't give up on me, even when I was tempted to give up on myself. You have laughed with me and cried with me. You make me want to be better and do great things. You make me feel like dancing!
[Any girl who can drop Leo Sayer lyrics on the fly is the one for me.]
I hope you have a wonderful birthday, honey! I'm so very thankful for you! You have blessed my life, and I pray that I will be a blessing in yours. For all the gifts you've given me, here's one for you. Happy Birthday! Love, Amy.
[Awww... I'd mention how this column almost made me cry, if I wasn't such a burly and macho piece of man-meat.]