It’s been a few weeks since the Austin marathon, but I’m still thinking about it. Because that was a big fucking deal. And Eric, in particular, has been interested in doing things that are a BFD in 2015. Which means that I have had to step up my “supportive girlfriend” game. Eric is so, so good at making a fuss over something. When I was finishing my Nanowrimo book, he was secretly planning the celebration.
He bought LED light bulbs and downloaded an app that let him program the lights to flash in different colors when he played music. Then, he figured out which songs we should play to celebrate. The minute my word count was verified, we had a dance party.
I woke up in the middle of the night on the night before my birthday to find him creating a cheesy playlist of birthday songs to play when I woke up.
When he decided to ask me to be his girlfriend, he wrote a Choose Your Own Adventure book, complete with alternate endings should I choose “No” when a cartoon version of himself asked me to be his girlfriend.
I appreciate all of this, but, honestly? It’s hard to keep up. For his birthday this year, I wrote him some silly stories that I bound in colored paper. I used to do his laundry for him because he hates doing laundry, and I don’t mind it. But after two “incidents” involving pens that exploded in the wash, he very sweetly asked me to never touch his laundry again. In my defense, men’s pants have too many pockets.
I tend to do practical things for people I care about, but I often fail in the Grand Gesture department. It makes me nervous, and I’m not good at crafts and things. I know this because my geometry teacher once told me so.
For the half marathon, I had to step my game up. I did some outdoor runs with him instead of just working out at the gym. This included some runs in the cold that neither of us was super excited about, so bonus points for solidarity! But I also had another idea. I made a shirt, and just to show how nervous this kind of thing makes me, I did a ton of research and crowd sourcing of my design at work. In the end, I came up with this:
As first attempts go, this was a learning experience. The image was smaller than I though as my original design somehow reverted back to portrait layout without me noticing. Also, the iron on transfer could have been done with a bit more skill. Still, I was excited to be making a gesture. It was fun to have a secret, and it was fun to give my support to someone who is so generous with his. I met him at two spots along the course and shrieked his name. I gave him a high five near the finish line.
And afterwards? The rest of the day was Eric Day at our house. Whatever he wanted or needed, I took care of. The rule was: if you want to get out of bed, you can, but under no circumstances do you have to get up for anything if you don’t want to.
It was fun to cheer him on, but more than that, it was fun to have something on the calendar for months that we talked about and looked forward to and treated as a BFD.