Aren’t those the first words you want to hear when your boyfriend says he loves you for the first time? No, that didn’t fly well with me either.
It was the summer of 2012 and my boyfriend and I had been together for eight months. Around month six, I felt like I wanted to say those three “game-changing” words, but was too stubborn and afraid to say “I love you” first.
I was still in the process of getting my shit together and learning how to be more vocal about what I wanted in a relationship and express my feelings, (remember, I was the girl, who taught myself that being silent, casual, and non-committal was best), but he still had even further to go. He had to say it first! Irrational, I know. Saying how he felt or what he liked about me was really difficult, but I was patient and tried to let him verbalize at his own pace.
So here’s where it gets good: One night that August, we go out with a big group of our friends to our favorite bar in North Park. We’d been dancing, drinking, taking shots, being young, and having fun. Well naturally, on those hot-mess type of nights, you end up starving. I needed Mexican food, and I needed a cheese quesadilla with extra guacamole…immediately.
We leave the club, both intoxicated, but I am slightly more sober. We go to one of the best, shady restaurants where you question how clean the kitchen and the food really is. FYI, Mexican food is relevant in most of my stories. I order mine and he orders a burrito. As he waits for his order, he goes to the salsa bar to fill up ramekins of all the varieties of salsa and sauces. Normally, he would get about 3-5 containers. Well, this night he decides he needs like 12. The things you convince yourself you need when you are drunk.
“Are you sure you need that many?”
“Yes! I will use them with my eggs the next day.”
There’s no winning this one. He balances all 12, or maybe it was even 15, containers in his hands as he walks over to the counter to pick up his order. Suddenly, his grasp weakens and they all plummet to the ground and splatter everywhere, including on me. Salsa explosion. I knew this would happen.
He feels awful, and we try to help the lady employee wipe up the floor, but you could tell by her face it was just best if we got the hell out of there. When we exit the restaurant, there is the brick wall of the CVS building to our right and a bus stop to our left. It was a very narrow path for us to get through on the sidewalk.
Stationed at the bus stop was a homeless man who had his belonging with him and unbeknownst to me, his bike. Well, as we stumble and squeeze in between this path between the brick wall and the bus stop, I slam my stomach right into the handle bar that slyly poked out. I got the wind knocked out of me. Simultaneously, some part of my jacket gets tangled on the bike somehow and as I try and set myself free, “K” tries to help me. So, as I look up because I think I released myself, he goes down to help untangle me and elbows me straight into my left eyeball.
Holy shit. “Am I blind???”
I have never felt that type of pain. It was literally so intense and forceful, I could not see for a couple moments. Uncontrollable, involuntary tears out of my left eye were streaming down my face. He felt so horrible. It was throbbing, but really I was fine. I knew it was an accident, obviously. I just looked like I had been sobbing so hard…out of only one eye.
Finally, we get back to his place, eat our food and he starts acting quiet. I feel it coming. Is this the night he tells me he loves me? While we’re drunk?
“There’s something I have been wanting to say to you, but I wanted to find the perfect way to say it. Someone asked me the other day, if we had said, “I love you” yet, and I told them no, because I was waiting for the perfect moment. She told me I was stupid to wait for the moment, and if I feel it, I should just say it. It doesn’t matter when or where. So…I love you (extremely long pause), but don’t expect to hear it all the time.”
I couldn’t believe how fast I went from feeling completely euphoric to down right shell-shocked. WTF.
So I ripped him a new asshole and said,
“No. No way. You do not tell a girl you love her, and then ruin the moment by telling me not to expect it all the time. You either love me or you don’t. I believe when you love someone, you tell them every moment, every day, every chance you get. I grew up being very affectionate and always told the people that I loved how I felt about them.”
I couldn’t believe I was confronting this and being so verbal about what I wanted. It felt amazing. That meek, silent girl was disappearing.
He apologized and tried to back track by explaining that how he grew up, people assumed they loved each other, it didn’t need to be said. He told me he loved me once again and said he would continue to work on being comfortable with being more verbal if that is what I wanted.
Now it is 3AM and after we have gotten past this conversation, I realize that that time of the month has literally just come, and I am at his place and have zero tampons. I can either take a cab back to my place to handle this situation, or walk to the Walgreens around the corner to pick some up. He insists that I stay over and that he will even walk to Walgreens to pick them up for me.
I realized that if someone is drunk and willing to walk to buy their girlfriend’s tampons at three in the morning, then that really must be true love. So off we go together, drunk, covered in salsa, with my swollen eye in the dead of night to buy tampons and I felt like I had just found the best person in the world.
Actions do speak louder than words in the case of expressing your love by buying tampons for your boo, but sometimes you need to speak up for what you want. Also, this girl needs to hear those three little words, more often than not.
I love you “K”
Happy Valentine’s Day,