It all started one night way back in January, or maybe even late December, on the night Seth wanted fried chicken for dinner.
That’s it. Fried chicken. It should have been totally simple.
Of course, I don’t really cook, and I certainly don’t fry chicken, so the fried chicken dinner would have to come from a restaurant.
He probably doesn’t even know how significant this was, but I remember it all very clearly. We’d barely started dating. We had just gotten back into town from a quick trip to Baltimore, we were lounging around my house, I asked what he thought he’d like for dinner, and he suggested fried chicken. And I began to try to figure out how to order fried chicken for just two people.
I was used to getting food for either one person or six people, and I had no clue how many pieces of chicken and sides and stuff you’d need for two people. So I asked him to give me an idea of what I should get and how much and stuff, and he (reasonably) looked at me like I was a total nutjob and said, “I’m going with you, aren’t I?”
Oh. Oh! He was going with me!
We had a brief awkward exchange of “oh, you were going to go?” and “oh, did you not want me to go?” and “no, of course I want you to go” and “it’s okay if you don’t want me to go” and holy crap we’re talking about fried chicken here. But here’s the thing: for me, it was a completely and utterly foreign experience to have someone who didn’t expect me to go take care of it myself.
I thought about that for days afterward. He went with me to get fried chicken! He helped me figure out what to order! He helped me carry it to the car! I didn’t have to do it all by myself!
And now it’d be totally weird if he sent me out for fried chicken on my own. I could do it, of course. I haven’t become dependent on him or anything. But I know he would go with me. I wouldn’t have to do it myself.
Last week we celebrated our first six months as a couple. He sent gorgeous flowers to me at work and we spent a little bit of time talking about how far we’d come and where we are heading.
We. We’re in it together.
In lots of ways, it is very new and novel and amazing for me to be part of a “we.” And I love it. Our relationship right now is so very balanced and healthy that it’s natural and effortless for us to be in this together. We go places together. We make decisions together. We deal with bad stuff together. We celebrate good stuff together. And I find the “we” creeping into the rest of my life in a way that feels absolutely right.
We’re into sushi and anime and video games.
We’re going to a party this weekend.
We’d like to travel to Japan someday.
We’ll get back to you on that.
And I’m still independent. I’m still capable and competent. I can still take perfectly good care of myself. But I don’t HAVE to do it all myself. He won’t leave me on my own. He won’t make me do it for him. He’ll go with me to get the fried chicken.
Of course he will.