You guys! We loved reading your submissions to our “Adore Me” contest. And we really, really struggled to pick a winner. It just feels so wrong to decide whose couple story is the cutest of all (it gives us bad flashbacks to high school yearbook superlatives). But we ended up going with the kite story because we’re suckers for a guy who’s not afraid to wear gold boxer shorts. Congratulations to our winner! Just in time for Valentine’s Day, you’ll be receiving your very own ADORE ME SET by LELO — this includes a stylish red lipstick vibe, a red silk blindfold, red silk and suede wrist restraints, and a satin storage pouch.
WINNER: “He Wore Gold Boxer Shorts and He Flew Kites”
Two weeks before I met my current fiance, Adam, I went on the worst date of my life. A coworker (now dubbed “kite guy”) asked me on a date to the park. He was cute, and we seemed to have a lot in common, so I accepted. I packed a bag full of snacks, some cheap kites, a Frisbee, a blanket to sit on, etc., expecting to have a fun afternoon outside. I was not at all prepared for what happened. “Kite guy” refused to fly the kites with me, he complained the whole time that it was too hot outside, he accused me of trying to have sex with him in public (because I brought a blanket to sit on….god forbid) and told me to my face that he was having a miserable time. He even faked an “emergency call” to quicken his escape from the horrors of a public park.
Two weeks later, I went on a blind date (that our friends had set us up on) to a midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. There I met Adam, a nerdy engineer, completely confident wearing only gold boxer shorts. He screamed all the lines with me, and when we met for dinner a few days later he had a beautiful cloth kite sitting in his back seat. He didn’t know the story about “kite guy,” he just really loved flying kites. I had finally found a guy to fly a kite with me, and when we did have our afternoon in the park, it was as silly and fun as it should have been.
It’s two years later, and we still fly our kites at parks. By now though, the park visits have turned into camping trips and weekends spent white water rafting. The point is, though, that our lives are full of adventures and fun. And now that I look back on my terrible date with “kite guy,” all I can think is thank god he was terrified of public sex!
“I Told Him I Loved Him Then Hid Under the Bed with the Dust Bunnies”
We had only been dating a few weeks when I ended up with a terrible sinus infection. Congested, grumpy, miserable, and too tired to go to the last day of a music festival. Instead, he took me grocery shopping and carried my bags up three flights of stairs and put me to bed with my antibiotics. I was lying in bed and he was sitting on the edge facing away from me, putting on his shoes before he left. I wrapped my arms around him from behind and blurted out, “I love you!” And then I freaked out and hid under the bed. I was covered in dust and I didn’t want to come out. It was the first time I said it, but it won’t be the last. We got married last year and this will be our fifth Valentine’s Day together.
“He Called Me Dude”
Early in our relationship, my boyfriend and I were away for the weekend. Our first mini vacation together. We were in the middle of nowhere, literally on the grounds of a monastery. It was super late and we had been driving for hours, so we were walking across the dark parking lot heading out to find some food. We were just talking and such when he suddenly called me “Dude!” I just had to laugh. What a ridiculous thing to call your new girlfriend. I pointed it out and he said, “It’s just that you’re my best friend.” To this day, “Dude” holds a special place in my heart. Last year I even found a Dude chocolate bar for him for Valentine’s day.
“She Wrote This for Me!”
Pretty, beautiful, radiant as the sun,
Watching you there, I swear you could be the one
to take all my fears and turn them to blissful rain,
like the time I skipped and jumped around in your driveway
while you took shelter on the porch, laughing because I was so silly.
But that carefree joy of a summer shower
doesn’t even compare to the feelings I have when I think of you.
my stomach turns to butterflies and as they fly up out of my mouth,
they carry with them a steady supply of awkwardness tied to their wings
that never ceases to make you smile,
even if it’s only because you think it’s funny that you could have ever fallen for someone as ridiculously ridiculous as me.
Ridiculously hooked on you.
Your love is my drug.
I don’t need a dollar sign in my name to know that you’re sweeter than any hit of cocaine
I don’t need the pills, the needles, the bruises on my arms because you give me a better high without even trying.
Trying to pretend that I don’t love you more every day,
that those butterflies ever go away.
those caterpillars just make more cocoons inside me
and when they hatch and reveal their shimmering wings and iridescent hues
become the most beautiful expressions of my feelings for you.
And that awkwardness that’s tied to their wings becomes poetry
because god knows I’d never be able to say these things
out loud without writing them down first.
first to fall, more like trip, stumble, heels over head,
sliding down a chute with so much adrenaline
you make me feel on top of the world.
The world is our oyster,
and, baby, you’re a pearl.
Yeah, I know I mixed up those shellfish and that pearls come from mussels.
Right? Oh well, I’m never right anyway.
That’s okay because as long as you can pin me down in a scrap,
and as long as I can put on a frustrated facade to hide how incredibly turned on I am to feel you pressed against me
then I can deal with your incessant correctness and if I’m wrong,
I don’t want to be right.
because if you’re wrong, then I don’t get to see those amber eyes of yours sparkle in the candlelight
as you laugh at how much sense my answers to your questions don’t make.
That sparkle has always reminded me of September
and us lying side by side on a bridge looking out over the lake talking about our favorite places to be
and you protecting me from spiders that i was sure were coming for me.
Though most of my favorite memories of us have taken place in the dark,
I don’t need the stars to light my way because you are as radiant and dazzling as the sun.
“Maroon 5 Serenade”
The anniversary of my current relationship is the day after Valentine’s — a fact I find mildly ironic, awesome, and hysterical. On the day of our second anniversary, my boyfriend and I had rehearsal. We had no plans to celebrate — or so I thought. Turned out that he had enlisted the cast and crew to help surprise me. They all came on stage after rehearsal and sang Maroon 5′s “Sunday Morning” to me. The lighting designer made heart-shaped lights dance all over the set. At the end, the whole cast was chanting “Kiss her,” so I got a big kiss out of it, too. I was so embarrassed. But, now that we’re long distance, I hear that song and think of him, especially the line, “Someday it will bring me back to you. Find a way to bring myself back home to you.”
“This is OUR Fairytale, Dammit!”
“You want me to say it out loud? Because the instant I say it out loud, you have to give up the fairytale image of going down on one knee and fireworks going off. Can you handle that?”
Let me back up. Me and my partner’s relationship has been marked from the very beginning by a certain gentle push and pull in terms of communicating about what we both want. Our relationship started senior year of high school after I had been pursuing a two-year, arduous crush over this tall guy I had known since middle school and saw every day in our group of friends. He was quiet and awkward and I was obnoxious and awkward. Since we were already hanging out in a group every day anyway, I took every opportunity to show my affection — by pulling his hair, stealing his things, and smacking him with my books while yelling “Vigilance!” (Which is, in itself, another story). After these kindergarten tactics, for whatever reason, failed to get his romantic attention, I finally built up the nerve to start calling him.
So I did. And we talked for hours every time I called, but he still never seemed to get the point. After a few encounters that were even more awkward than we were, and a few long months later, I finally just asked him to hang out with me. Just me. And, for whatever crazy reason, he agreed.
We then started a tradition of going to a local park once a week and just walking around, talking. We did this, just the two of us, for maybe a month or two with no signs of romance — at least none I could see. One such day, we were passing through a small garden in the park, when the boy drops to one knee, takes my hand and — asks me to be his girlfriend. I yanked him to his feet, hugged him so hard we almost fell over, and then we continued our tradition — only now, our two very sweaty hands were clasped as we circled the park.
Flash forward a few months, and Valentine’s day is upon us. Despite constant pressure from family and friends (and even teachers), we had still not kissed. Now, having had my last relationship, albeit a juvenile one, end with my ex’s declaration of his homosexuality, I was growing concerned. Surely, I thought, he will kiss me on Valentine’s Day. The day rolls around and I wake up with — glory of glories — a sinus infection. Cue panic.
I tried my best to be romantic. Invited him over to a dinner I made — but I overcooked the pasta, the chicken was too greasy, and we never made it to the chocolate dessert I was so proud of. No kiss, and I couldn’t decide whether I was relieved or upset. We spent an hour in the video store picking a movie, and settled on Werewolf, a horrendous B movie that has become a favorite ever since that night. (If you’ve not seen it, do — you will not stop laughing). As we sat watching the movie, I kept thinking, Oh God. What if he kisses me, and I sneeze in his mouth?
He did not kiss me that night. It was a full six months into our relationship, on prom night, when he kissed me. (He apologized for the cliché a few nights later.) This, my dears, was our mutual first kiss.
We spent five years growing and learning and loving. Zoom in to the scene of us living in our first home together, working sixty hours a week to have it, and enjoying any spare moment we have to decompress with each other because working nonstop and coming home together is better than living two hours apart. Now, I had been having regular moments of panic about our relationship status for the past year — mainly, I was ready for us to get engaged, had been, and he was showing no signs of intent. This may sound familiar. Our relationship’s start, our first kiss — you can fill in the blanks, but once again, I was ten steps ahead and felt that he would never catch up.
Christmas Eve rolled around, and I think I realized that he would never propose. It’s not pretty, but when I’m upset, I get passive-aggressive. I want him to step forward, but he dodges and evades as quickly as I snark. I’m not an easy person to be around, and he is as patient with me as they come, but everyone has a line. So I got passive-aggressive, and it led to an argument wherein nothing was said too literally but we knew what we each meant. Finally, we slid into bed, fuming at each other, and turned out the lights. In the silence and the dark, I said,
“So what am I supposed to do?”
“What do you mean?”
“If I talk about it, I take away from your moment — anything you wanted to plan or do, you don’t get it any more. But if I don’t talk about it, I don’t express my feelings, and I resent that.”
“Then talk about it. I don’t understand why we can’t just talk about it!”
“You want me to say it out loud? Because the instant I say it out loud, you have to give up the fairytale image of going down on one knee and fireworks going off. Can you handle that?” I was shaking, by the way, but I could tell he wasn’t any calmer.
“Can you?” he asked.
I wanted to scream. “Yes!”
“Then say it. I’m sick of the passive-aggressive comments. If you don’t realize by now that I’m not going anywhere, then we need to sort this out.”
I took a deep breath. I was crying, which always made me mad and so I cried more, so I was waiting to get the nerve and the voice to say what I needed to say: “Do you want to get married?”
“Yes. I want to marry you so hard.”
We’re conspiring to this day, and going to come out of the engagement closet — together — once we have things where we want them. And to anyone who asks us, “How did you get engaged?” or, “How did he propose?” we’ll just shrug and grin and say something along the lines of, “It was time,” or “Long story.” Because it’s our story. Nana nana boo-boo.