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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Anniversary-ish post

Some time this past week George Washington Boyfriend and I hit our five-year anniversary. As much of a historian of my own life as I am, I don't know the exact date. I think it's safe to say that neither one of us expected, at the time, that we'd still be dating even one year later, so we didn't get into the habit of noticing and celebrating anniversaries--the three-month! the six-month!--with the frightening regularity that my undergraduates bring to the enterprise.

In lieu of a narrative account, I present for your enjoyment some relationship trivia:
  • Our first real conversation was about Colly Cibber. I knew then and I continue to know nothing about Colly Cibber, but I was long convinced that this meaningful exchange was what inspired GWB to ask me out. Turns out that he has no memory of this conversation.
  • In fact, he had apparently been contemplating asking me out for some while, but was hemming and hawing over it because, among other reasons, he thought I was "one of those New York girls." A mutual friend finally said, "that's stupid--and besides, she's not even from New York; she's from, like, [Northwest City]." This apparently made him comfortable enough to call me up.
  • I still laugh when I think about that.
  • Our first date was on Ash Wednesday.
  • On our first date, I surprised him by ordering Scotch and by knowing quite a lot about Springsteen and the Stones (any first date where you have the, "okay! so what's the single WORST line in any Springsteen song?" conversation is necessarily a good one).
  • He surprised me by being not only an extremely funny raconteur, but also a very good and thoughtful listener. Those two things do not always go together.
  • Shortly after we started dating, we rented Clueless. I made a completely incoherent remark about the movie's use of slang, and he paused, thought for a moment, and agreed with my statement while at the same time rephrasing it into something rather profound. That was when I realized what it meant to be a good teacher.
  • Nearly four years of our relationship have been long-distance.
  • He's probably the reason I didn't drop out of grad school. It's not that the relationship was so amazing in its early months--it's that I finally had someone to talk to about what I was reading and thinking.
  • He's an extrovert who doesn't have any problem staying at home or being alone for days. I'm an introvert who likes to go out and do things. It works well.
  • We go through periods of quoting Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to each other compulsively. Some people find this disturbing.
  • I AM older than he (by six months), although I do not in fact have more teeth.
More trivia about GWB himself:
  • He's six-foot-four.
  • He went straight from college to graduate school, where he finished his degree and got a tenure-track job in five years. Because he has a late-summer birthday, this means that he was hired for his current job when he was 26.
  • He's a first-generation college student, from a blue-collar family and town.
  • His entire life, GWB wanted to go to Harvard. His family and everyone at his high school expected him to go to Harvard. He got into Harvard. He visited it and didn't like it. Instead, he went to a liberal-arts college (and not one of those in the Northeast).
  • I didn't learn this until months after we'd been dating, but when I did, I knew that he was the guy for me.
  • When we first started dating, GWB was pretty conservative, politically. I think he now hates George Bush and the Republican party even more than I do.
  • Part of this is because he's a libertarian (and has always been socially progressive).
  • Part of it is because he's an atheist.
  • But most of it is that he's entirely intellectually honest. He's sure of his own ethical principles, and applies them consistently, even when they don't favor his preferred party or preconceptions.
  • That's why I most love the Harvard story: to me, it's all about the fact that he doesn't make decisions based upon what other people say or what he thinks he's supposed to like. (I like to think that I don't, either, but I'm not always so sure.)
  • He has an amazing voice.
  • Because he's tall and has a commanding voice, people often assume that he's an authoritarian hard-ass. Actually, he's extremely empathetic and even sentimental.
  • He has a very close relationship with his family.
  • He can do just about anything while simultaneously watching nine straight hours of televised sporting events: grade papers, read a book, revise an article.
  • I'm quite sure that he will be famous (by the modest standards of academia) before he's 45.
  • He makes me happy, even when I do not wish to be happy.
Happy anniversary, darling. I love you.

link | posted by La Lecturess at 4:33 PM |


Anonymous What Now? commented at 6:13 PM~  

Happy anniversary! What a sweet post.

So, is it ever difficult that the two of you are in the same line of work? I can imagine the many pleasures of it, of course, but is there ever competition?

Anonymous hk commented at 6:27 PM~  

Happy anniversary, my lovely intellectualistas, from a Lecturess loyalist and GWBoyfriend fan.

Anonymous New Kid on the Hallway commented at 7:02 PM~  

Happy anniversary! What a lovely post. It made me laugh, though, because LDH had wanted to ask me out for a while when we first went out, but he hadn't because he was intimidated because he thought I was "east coast old money." As a coal miner's granddaughter, this made me laugh - thankfully, we had mutual friends who engineered the first date!

Blogger Dr. Virago commented at 7:42 PM~  

What a lovely tribute. Happy anniversary.

And, btw, part of this surprised me, too:
I surprised him by ordering Scotch and by knowing quite a lot about Springsteen and the Stones

I'm not suprised by the Scotch, but by the Springsteen and Stones! The three just don't go together! :)

Blogger RageyOne commented at 7:53 PM~  

Happy Anniversay!

Blogger Ianqui commented at 8:06 PM~  

Happy anniversary! What a terrific post.

Blogger La Lecturess commented at 8:34 PM~  

Aww, thanks, dudes.

And WN: no, not so far--we're in such different subfields, and at what I perceive to be such different stages in our careers, that it isn't really an issue. When we first started dating I did have periods in which I really felt that he was so much smarter and more together than I was, and that that was what it REALLY meant to be good in this profession--but that was just my own lack of confidence in my work. Now I'm mostly able to recognize what my own strengths are, and in fact we complement each other really well: I'm probably a better close reader and teaser out of details (and I KNOW I'm a better proofreader!). He's better at grasping, immediately, the Big Picture, and figuring out where a project might go. So we bring a useful perspective to each other's work.

It's hard now for me to imagine *not* having someone to share my intellectual work with, in all its tangled detail.

Anonymous Anonymous commented at 7:43 AM~  

That is such a lovely post! Very lovely..
Oh, and am glad it isn't only me who isn't exactly sure when anniversary is (either 15/03, 16/03 or 17/03...)!

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