It was a simple interaction, but it seemed like everything
at that moment. My buddy E and I had cabbed it over to Gellman’s place to help
celebrate a friend’s birthday. Gellman and his wife had made our friend dinner,
and the plan was that we’d all head to the Hi-Dive to have some drinks and
catch a band. But there was time for cocktails before we left, so the five of
us ended up in the kitchen, standing around the island, mixing vodka and Red
Gellman’s Nano was hooked up to speakers, and was playing a unique and diverse mix of music—old stuff by old artists, new tunes by new unknowns, new stuff by old artists, gems, crap, whatever. He was very attuned to each new song as it came on, and either commented on it, or hustled into the other room to skip forward to the next random tune. But mostly, we were standing around, giving each other shit, enjoying the banter, especially when it came from Gellman’s funny, cute, and charming wife.
And then a song came on (I’m not sure what it was), and Gellman interrupted the conversation to look at his wife and say, “I downloaded this for you.” And she smiled at him.
I doubt E or our friend Jeff even noticed that this occurred, or if they did, thought it mattered much. But for me, it was everything.
Because it was simple, and normal; even a bit mundane, maybe—a common moment between people who love each other; a statement of companionship, of a shared life. I imagined Gellman finding the song and thinking of his wife, and downloading it because he knew she’d like it. A small gesture, but one that says everything in a relationship that works. You do it because your world is colored by her—you feel so unbelievably lucky that she chose you—and you do it, not even because it’ll make her happy, but because it makes YOU happy to make her happy.
I want one of those. I want to be in a place where there’s
someone I can do little things for, and each gesture is a tiny reminder of our
choice to be together, and of the love we feel for each other. Yes, I crave the
excitement of the next new girl, of navigating our way through the joys and
heartaches of a new relationship. That “does she or doesn’t she?” thrill, and
the deep stomach pang when I’m waiting to see her again. But when it all comes
down to it, it’s that happy daily existence that I really ache for: three
minute phone conversations during the work day, discussions over the grocery
list, someone telling me to hurry home.
For now, I’m enjoying my new urban life (maybe too much, now that I can walk to all of my favorite bars), and the crazy pleasures living in the city provides. I don’t intend to hurry the end of my single years (they’ve been way too fun, even with the occasional heartbreak and lost opportunity); in fact, I’m going to relish the joys inherent in being unfettered (except on Tuesdays and Thursdays and every other weekend, of course, when I do get the pleasure of domesticity with someone I truly adore).
But when that girl enters my life, and I know it’s her, and when fear and uncertainty trick me into doing the little things (I do so well) that can sabotage a relationship, I’m going to remember Gellman and his iPod, and remind myself how the little things that come later will make my life even better.