I can not pinpoint the moment I realized I loved Harry*. But soon every time I saw him it became more apparent. I was finally in love for the first time, at the ripe old age of 26! At last I can verify that the clichés are true: my heart felt full to bursting, my stomach invaded by butterflies. The songs are also true: not only was I as corny as Kansas in August, but high as a flag on the 4th of July as well. Hey, I’ll admit it: I wanted to shout his name from the rooftops!
The one thing stopping me is that my building doesn’t have roof access. Ok, fine, that’s not the real reason. I totally would’ve gone through the emergency exit and become the bane of my neighborhood; my shouts of “I LOVE HARRY” met with a chorus of New York cliché “FUCK YOU!” Thing is, even in my love-sick state, I was lucid enough to hold this truth: you don’t shout someone’s name from the rooftops until you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, they love you too.
Harry had yet to express any feelings for me beyond the four little words, “I really like you”. Normally, I would run to my girl friends for advice, but this time I couldn’t. The idea that anyone should know I was in love before the very person I was in love with was unthinkable. Unable to ask my friends, I ran to the internet. Who should say “I love you” first? When should you say it? How do you blog about it after it’s said? My two favorite former-single-gal blogs, 20-Nothings and Fieldwork in Stilettos, provided the best substitute for real friends: advice, personal anecdotes, answers to my most burning questions. Time and again, the internet brought up the same conclusion: guys usually say “I love you” first. So I waited.
I lasted all of a week. I sat through two dates hoping he’d say those three little words. Then I got tired of waiting. In matters of the heart, turns out I’m an impatient person. After each of these two dates, discord and turmoil exploded from the two sides of my brain.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” the Left Side demanded, “What are you waiting for? You love this man! Tell him!”
“But, but, what if he doesn’t love me back?” my Right Side worried.
“Oh please, he adores you. It’s stupidly obvious,” retorted the Left Side.
“Well then why hasn’t he said it?” Right Side reasoned.
“Maybe he’s scared. We might just love a man who’s scared of saying those words.”
“Well hell, I’m scared too!”
“Suck it up. You’re starting to feel like shit every time you see him and don’t say it. Is that worth it?”
“So fucking do it.”
“FINE! MAYBE I WILL!”
This is how I ended up on Harry’s doorstep. A box of wine in my hands, the resolve to say three words now in both sides of my brain. I stood there completely unannounced, unsure if he was even home. My cell phone was dead. If he wasn’t there, I decided, I’d leave the box of wine on the doorstep with a note attached. He’d think it was hilarious. If he was home, I would tell him how I felt. Or die trying. No chickening out. Half hoping he wasn’t home, half praying he was, I rang the door bell.
To be continued…
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*Not his real name. I gave my boyfriend the pseudonym “Harry” in an homage to the Sex and the City character and because he has a lot of hair. Of the chest variety as well as on his head which he usually wears in a ponytail reaching well down his back.