Sleeping in Georgia

I just watched Sleepless in Seattle with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. A classic for sure, but never one of my favourites. I remember watching it on VHS with Kevin for the first time. It was close to when I was leaving for the last time. I probably already had my train ticket. The plans were finalized. At the end I looked over and he had tears. He was crying. I had never seen him cry before. Normally he was so unemotional, so logical and detached. It was shocking to see. I wasn’t crying at all. The movie had no effect on me at that time. I was cold and emotionless myself. I have this ability to detach and become stone, which in poor Kevin’s case I had done months before this day. It was how I protected myself, how I maintained control. I thought it was the right thing to do, the right way to be. Turn off emotions, don’t feel. It wasn’t until many years later that I realized you can turn it off for awhile but eventually all that pent up emotion will come out and you will have to deal with it.

Anyway, I looked over and he was crying and I couldn’t imagine why or what had got into him. I blurted out, “What’s wrong with you? Why are you crying?” and I laughed. I didn’t mean it to be a hurtful laugh, it was more of an OMG incredulous type of thing, but it cut him to the bone and I could see that instantly. He told me I didn’t have a heart. And you know that didn’t bother me, because matters of the heart were painful and so I was a little proud that I could bury mine and not have to feel this pain that he was obviously feeling. I’ve never really liked watching this movie ever since.

First, I never believed in it, all that romantic mumbo jumbo about magic and fate. Second, it always reminded me of that day with Kevin when I wasn’t very nice, when I wasn’t a whole person.

So for years I’ve kind of avoided watching this movie when I would see it on the tv guide. I’d sooner watch reality television or a good action movie. Given the choice between Sleepless and Rambo, I picked Rambo every time.

Until today.

Today I get it. Today I know that fate and magic exist. Today I can cry at the end because I share the joy, not because I long for something I never truly believed existed.

On January 30th, 2009, I spontaneously clicked on a Facebook sidebar ad for a dating site that said “Women always free” and discovered to my surprise that I already had created a profile years ago that I had forgotten about. Less than a minute later while I was reading my profile with shock, wondering when the frig I’d done this and where I had lost that “together” girl along the way, an instant message from some man in Georgia popped up and my whole life changed. Just like that. Yes, I ignored him (what could I possibly do with some guy down the states?). But he was persistent and the next day I eventually answered his emails and the rest as they say is history.

I knew early on that this one was different. I knew as soon as I heard his voice on the phone that this was someone who would be special to me. And I knew within a couple of hours of meeting him in person that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. We have the magic. Everyday we have the magic, whether we’re just watching Archie Bunker reruns on tv or we’re out having a romantic dinner. In the movie they say, “I just knew” and that’s the way it is with us, not just me, but the both of us, we just knew.

On December 6th we officially got engaged and we’ll likely get married sooner rather than later. Because there’s no need to wait. There’s no need to be careful and try each other on for years. We just know.

This has been a crazy year of change for both of us. Neither of us saw this coming or ever imagined we’d be in this situation. For years we both slept alone. Me, lightly, with one eye open all night in case of home intruders, rapists, fire, some natural disaster like hurricane or tornado. Here, in Georgia, beside the man I’m supposed to be with, I sleep soundly, snoring during severe thunderstorms that could very well turn into tornado. I feel fearless now. I feel like I can handle the worst life can throw at me, because now I’ve experienced the best.

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