The very first time someone told me to sit down and write a letter to you, I was a sophomore at university. A girlfriend was explaining that writing things out, particularly stressors directly related to your presence or lack there of, would lessen the load. She has gone on to have a string of unhealthy and damaging relationships, so I don't put much stock in her formula for preparing for a husband. Yet, I cannot remember if I actually wrote one. I may have started it and never finished, long hand like it should be, in my crazy cursive handwriting that has been dubbed a crowning achievement of the left-handed populace by my discriminately right-handed handed social circle.
I best apologize in advance for that, my left-handed orientation. Unless you find yourself of the same orientation, I will forever have to be on your left side, so as not to cause a conflict amongst opposing dominant genetics. As if that were not all you had to contend with, I am head-to-toe recessive genes: blue eyes, left-handed, and skin that burns so fast you would swear I was a ginger.
All of the science aside, I should be honest with you, right? I marry you, therefore, this conversation is probably not uncommon, at least, I should hope not. Brutal honesty? From where I am sitting: you scare me half to death. And it is not that I do not want to be married to you, because I do. Just ask some of my girlfriends and they can attest to the fact that I have days where a man to put his arm around me and pull me close and a man to kiss sounds like the best thing this side of heaven.
Those days are hard days.
Those days make me question a lot.
It flies in the face of everything I have been taught in church. Respectable young ladies do not have such desires. Respectable young women keep their hands to themselves. Impeccably brought up young ladies do not flirt. I hope you are prepared for this mentality. I hope it does not intimidate you or come across as a lack of interest. What am I saying, it probably will. I have no idea how to communicate that affection.
When I flirt, I do not even realize I am doing it until someone points it out. Which is perfectly acceptable, right, because I will have seduced you with my awkward. Physical touch of almost any kind, even the thought of it, makes me turn an unseen shade of red on the color spectrum. As of right now, I have never kissed anyone. Perhaps it is unrealistic, but I think it would be utterly fantastic if you were the only one I ever did. My cousin was lucky enough that her first kiss, at 22, was to the man she married the following spring. Which consequently, the thought of my first kiss makes my chest concave.
You want to know something else? I really hope you like dumb jokes or, in the least, can tolerate them without rolling your eyes. I am sorry, you can blame a good man I know for that unleashing of character. Perhaps that is inconsequential, but somehow, humor is where people draw lines. I prefer to doodle on mine.
But, all of this, centers around a single all-encompassing fear: messing it up with you. Saying or doing something wrong. Assuming instead of asking you. Cultivating a friendship that I then proceed to blow out of the water before anything can even progress because of an action, a word, a gesture that I said or did, or worse, failed to do. To be even more honest, I have no idea how our whole meeting, interaction, and relationship will work, let alone get off the ground. Is that a bad thing to say? You have to understand--the more I learn about relationships and marriage and guy/girl interactions, I find myself wondering how relationships begin at all.
I know some great and Godly men who are single and it blows my mind because I do not understand how there is any of you left to chose from when there are so few available to begin. And I see the women of my generation and I see the Godly women and I see the women whose behavior would never have been tolerated in historical society and see how they are the first to go off the marriage market which leaves my head spinning. And then my married and engaged girlfriends tell me how my single status bewilders them because I am so funny, smart, beautiful, and Godly. High compliments for sure, but missing the point. That combination of characteristics does not guarantee me you, only a life in which I can live crazy dangerous and on the edge, if I were not so afraid.
It all hinges on that: my fear. I hope when you enter my life, whether you are in it now or have yet to show, that you will challenge my fear and encourage the risk. And here is the linch pin, when you like me, I hope you would just say it. I would like to think that when that time comes, I will not be quite so fearful and that I would take the risk and the chance to tell you the same thing. I have never been able to say it before which everyone says is my problem--how can you act if you do not know.
And if distance is a hinging factor, I apologize now. I keep bouncing back and forth between Colorado and Pittsburgh and the idea of moving to Portland or London for graduate school. Distance is rough and I am not one of its vehement champions because I desire spending time with people above everything else in my relationships. Emails and texts are wonderful, but so are phone calls and Skype. And despite even those forms of communication and technology, I do not like the notion that exists when friends or even you, would become this beautiful idea behind a computer screen.
I do not want a beautiful idea.
I want what is real.
I know you scare the hell out me because I have never been so close with a man before.
I know this makes me become flustered easily in my relationships with men because I am so bad at distinguishing what is innocent jokes from what is flirtatious.
I know that it will take work and a lot of it, regardless of distance, whether there is a twenty minute drive or a twenty hour drive between the two of us.
A good man I met this spring gives me hope for you because I know he would not cave in upon meeting my father. He may never meet him, but you will and until this spring, I was not sure men existed that my father would not laugh off his property. I now know one and you would make two. The numbers are climbing.
Despite my fears predicated upon your existence, you need to remember only this one thing: I cannot wait to fall in love with you. I have waited twenty-two years and every day God has shown me ways in which I am getting stronger and in ways I am weak. I know I have days where I want you so bad my skin is the only thing stopping my body from going everywhere at once. I know it will not always be easy, but life, nor God, ever promises that.
And here is the final thing you should know: I will keep waiting for you. My life is not on hold. I have not stopped living, but I have waited longer than culture has ever declared possible so that I am known fully only by you. It is a mystery I cannot wait to experience with you.
Just know that.
I have waited and am waiting.
I may berate you severely if you take a decade to show, but I am here.
I am not going anywhere.