The past two months, it’s been hard to breathe. Between working 6 days a week, trying to finish up a project at Job 1 and start a project at Job 2, I have all but abandoned faithful friends and confidants. I knew I couldn’t make it up to them individually, so I planned a picnic.
It didn’t take long for us to catch up. I love them; they love me. The leaves, turning colors anywhere from ruby-red to burnished gold, floated to our feet. I’m sure people were talking, but my soul sat in silence, content to just be.
And then it started…
“Kelly, so tell us about your boyfriend.”
It’s an innocuous query from a bunch of undersexed and overbrained New York career women, but it snapped me out of the dream-like space I was inhabiting. I answered questions in clipped phrases, sighs, and facial expressions not closely approximating a smile.
My friends were shocked. My boyfriend is, without a shadow of a doubt, better than the last one and anyone who has crossed my path in a number of years. We went foraging for 5 hours in Prospect Park, then cooked dinner with the greens we collected. We talk about retirement. We bike through neighborhoods to find thrift stores. He twists my hair. HE TWISTS MY HAIR!
So why am I so meh whenever someone asks about him?
Because I am dating Steve Urkel.
Seriously. Gap-in-teeth-questionable-fashion-sense-glasses-from-two-decades-ago Steve Urkel.
I have been dating for about a thousand years. For most of that time, I went out with someone because of charisma, sexitude, or swagger. It’s hard to care about someone’s values when you are drunk making out with them on the top of a Manhattan hotel bar. Chemistry is not connectivity. When I look at anyone’s stable relationship that I admire (I can count about 3), they all say the same thing– passion and chemistry don’t sustain you.
I guess my friends’ point is that it should be there at least at the beginning? Where is that set in stone? No, I don’t daydream about him. I don’t call him obsessively. We do not makeout on rooftops.
But when I am sad, he takes kisses my forehead and takes my hand. Even when he works more than me, he is always concerned that I am getting enough rest. He takes out the trash, walks the dog, fixes chairs, and washes the dishes. I never ask him to.
He doesn’t give me butterflies.
But there is truly no other place that I’d rather be.