The first of the month has always been special to me because JG and I started dating on a first of the month. Every time I flip over the calendar page, I shout out how many months it has been, like last month's exclamation of, “Happy 47 Months!” You see, four years ago, we started dating on the first of October.
We were sophomores in college at the time. During the previous summer, we worked at a camp together as lifeguards and program facilitators, and even though we had become best friends during the school year before, that summer drew us closer together than ever. I think that there’s a certain bond that exists between people who have scrubbed canoes together that doesn’t come out of normal dating. We spent a month just being friends at school, getting reacquainted with our other way of life; JG would ride his bike to my dorm and shout up to my window, and we’d go to brunch together on weekends. One night, in my room, JG whispered to me, “I can’t ask you to marry me now, but do you think you would be my girlfriend in the meantime?” And I was a big fan of that.
At first, I was pretty averse to the “girlfriend” term. It seemed so temporary, so fleeting, when I felt that what we had was solid and real. We didn’t hold hands as we walked around campus because I thought it somehow flaunted our together-ness. I was having a hard time getting used to being part of a package deal, but JG was patient with me. Eventually, I got over both of these hang-ups and I was happy to hold JG’s hand as I introduced myself as his girlfriend. What a thrill!
So here we are at 48 months, after getting engaged by month 23 and married by month 33. We used to give each other cards or a small token each time the 1st came around, but nowadays, it’s more often an early-morning greeting in bed or an email at work to brighten up the daily grind. The real gift is that we get to be with each other everyday, and I’m so glad for the reminder when each new month comes around.