We’re supposed to think about relationships in the positive. In the great little things that enhance each other, that complete us, that make us better. We don’t want to focus on the negatives, on the flaws, because to pick at them is to do ourselves in. But I want to — need to focus on these flaws because it is in them that I know you love me. I want you to know that I don’t take you for granted. That I will never take for granted all of the seemingly little things.
I don’t take for granted you always buying soy milk instead of regular because you know that I never take my Lactaid pills. I will never stop thanking you for embracing my compulsive tendencies and making them your own, like the way the volume on the radio or television needs to be on a multiple of five, which no longer makes a lazy Saturday night in or a drive to the grocery store just a trip but an ordeal. Because just as much as your grand, romantic gestures, your subtle, just-as-romantic gestures are a reminder that these things about me, these things that I once couldn’t help but see as abnormal, someone else could find endearing. Like the way you will only use one kind of shampoo because you claim you like the way the eucalyptus smells.
I don’t take for granted you never suggesting that I order a salad instead of literally anything else. I will spend every moment thanking you for never questioning my decision to stay in bed, or go to get coffee, or do anything else imaginable while you go for a run. Because just as much as what you do say matters, what you don’t say speaks volumes. Like the way you’ll sit through foreseeably awful Katherine Heigl romantic comedies with me and never comment on their predictability, because you know that I find comfort in knowing what’s to come.
Not a day will go by that I don’t thank you for respecting my introverted ways, even if that means we don’t leave the apartment for days at a time. Even if it means that we order in for a week straight, because you know that I could never tire of Chinese food. Even if we run out of shows to watch on Netflix. They say that some connections are almost psychic, and I didn’t believe it until you never asked for a reason. I had never known that someone could read me from cover to cover in a matter of seconds until you never asked for a justification. Like the way you can look at me and just know that no matter how over the moon I could be for marrying you, a part of me will still be strangely sad as I’m walking down the aisle. Like the way you just get that no matter how elated I will be when we finally have a child, a part of me will still be sad as I’m holding him for the first time. Like the way you need no explanation for my tears on these milestone occasions.
I will spend every waking moment thanking you for giving me an indie movie kind of love, and not a mainstream Hollywood motion picture kind of love like I had always thought that I wanted; our love is going to win big at the Sundance Film Festival – we can watch the Golden Globes from bed, whilst enjoying our General Tso’s Chicken and pork fried rice.
For always placating me when I sound like one of your scratched, dusty records and begin comparing myself to others. For always knowing how to stop me before I spiral off the turntable.
For sympathizing with my overly sensitive nature. For empathizing with my becoming self-conscious of my smallest flaws.
For finding these flaws beautiful.
For all of these things that you say and do and don’t say and don’t do, I thank you. And I don’t for a second take them for granted.