and it not even really going yet!
We're still in the midst of it, and already it's like no other.
I'll admit that I was unprepared. ...a bit. When your girlfriend lives in Bulgaria, you need to plan ahead. Like waaaaay ahead. A Valentine's Day gift needs to be mailed a month in advance, fingers crossed that it arrives in time, yet with a big ol' note that says "do not open until February 14th," lest it arrive in a mere five days. This happened once. In fact, one package passed the other, arriving two weeks before the one that was mailed weeks earlier. That's back in time in some books. This is what you get when you've fallen in love with a chick from Bulgaria.
So, here we are. She is here now. No longer "there." This is much closer to me, so far more convenient by nearly all sense of measure. Our only real challenge is reminding her to put the toilet seat back up where it belongs when she's done, but I'm nothing if not patient.
Since she's here and not there, the package-it-up-and-ship-it-early requirement is gone; for good and for bad. I know what I want for her, and have known for weeks, but in the end, I'm a man, and a man always does tomorrow what should be done today. Like wrapping and signing cards.
It's not that men can't wrap, they can. They just can't wrap well while driving down the cul-de-sac, praying you aren't watching for the car to pull up.
It's not that we have nothing to say in a card, it's just that we knew it walking into the store, but the card said it better. We know what we want to add in the empty spaces, but now this pen looks like it's running out of ink, and if that happens before "I love you" comes out, then what? Forgive the brevity, and know that every drop of ballpoint ink came with the prayer to have you forever, to hold you always, and "please God not let me make a mistake, because I can't handle a scribble that makes me look like an idiot in this Valentine's Day card."
As I wrapped up my work day, my friends and coworkers made me very happy -- huge smiles, shaking my hand and patting my back, and telling me how happy they were that my girl is finally here with me, and in time for Valentine's Day no less.
"What are your plans?" "What are you going to do?" they asked. It won't matter, I told them. "I'm going home, and that's were she is."