(And booze, because of course.)
Wednesday, December 25, 1991
This was our first holiday together after I figuratively walked to the edge of the cliff and jumped off by telling my tugboat man I loved him the first time we shared a cup of coffee.
I was positive he was going to break up with me.
My ten-year-old son was with his dad for the day.
My tugboat man and I went to the gym in the morning for a little holiday workout before they closed at noon. The house was freezing when we got home. I remember going to the thermostat to turn on our central heating. It’s rare that we need the heat on continuously here in SoCal; we use it briefly to take the chill out of the air.
It was (like it still is) a sad home when my son’s not here.
On the way home from the gym we stopped at a liquor store and bought a small bottle of Jagermeister and a bottle of Rumpelmintz.
I was in the bathroom when I heard him. He very quietly said, “Rosebud, will you come into the family room? We need to talk.”
Oh NO, NOT the dreaded we need to talk. This did not sound good. Not good at all.
That’s breakup speak, I just knew it. But on Christmas DAY??? Who would do that? I know we had kind of fast tracked our relationship after that first cup of coffee–he even had been introduced to my son during a work-related event or two and things were moving along great-or so I thought. Maybe things were moving too fast and he was getting cold feet. All kinds of doomsday scenarios were floating around in my head. All I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to come out of the bathroom; I stayed there, heart pounding, tears welling up in my eyes. I looked at myself in the mirror.
Why today of all days? What did I do wrong?
I was still wearing my workout gear with an oversized plaid shirt. Nineties grunge, ya know?
At some point I steeled my nerves and came out of the bathroom to get it over with and figure out how to endure a breaking heart.
He was sitting at the small dining table we have in our family room where we eat informal meals. There were a couple of shot glasses filled with Rumplemintz (peppermint schnapps). He looked very serious. I mean, like he planned to deliver really bad news. He pulled out a chair and said, “Have a seat.”
I said, “No. I don’t want to.”
Nice guy. He was going to get me drunk, break up with me, and run out the front door. This could be the worst day of my life. Seriously. He was going to do this before I could get a Christmas present from him? Seriously?
“Oh, come on. I need to tell you something. Come and sit down right here.”
I forced my sad little plaid covered self over to the chair and looked down. I looked anywhere but at HIM. I didn’t want to see him for the very last time.
He wasn’t saying anything. I could feel him looking at me. At that point, I was thinking to myself, oh hell–just get it over with already! I gotta get myself a gallon of ice cream and start on it asap.
Finally, he reached over, took my hand and said, ” I need you to know that I love you.”
WHAT? You set me up for a break up scenario and you were planning to tell me that you loved me? WTF?
I had anticipated the worst possible outcome. Instead, once again–he surprised me.
Crap. I can’t go any further with this story! He just told me that I can’t write the rest of what he said ‘cos it’s private–not for anyone to hear but me is what he said–but I can tell you it was lovely and sweet, and I’m so glad he’s here now–home for Christmas–because I’m always reminded of that first year.
If you don’t have to drive anywhere, try our special holiday tradition cocktail, the Reindeer: mix equal parts Jagermeister and Rumplemintz. Very potent!
Where did your most memorable “I love you” take place?