It was 5 years ago today that my life took a sudden turn, and I went barreling down a path that led to this moment, right now. Valentine’s day 2000 was spent like a lot of other days: I got up, went to school, probably slept through algebra and geometry, got gumballs from Liz on break, played euchre with Mel and Steve and Jamie on spare, munched on a bruised green apple for lunch, and passed notes during writer’s craft. I probably gave out 30 valentines (I think Toy Story was that year’s theme), and treat bags filled with goodies. At home, I probably locked myself in my room, turned up the Smashing Pumpkins real loud to drown out the Spice Girls, and ignored the homework that I’d probably left in my locker anyway. It was a Wednesday, and it was snowing awfully hard by the time I was home from school. It was starting to look like the next day would be gold: a snow day. It meant being trapped indoors because the roads around our country home were unnavigable, but that was okay by me, because my best friend lived in the same neighbourhood, and no snow ever kept us apart. Hump days were good to me back in high school, for the first part of it, it meant Party of Five night, a time to get together with friends, and have a good cry. When Party of Five was cancelled, Wednesday nights became Dawson’s Creek night.
By the white-out conditions outside, I assumed that I would be watching Dawson’s Creek alone this particular Wednesday night, and that was if I was lucky enough to have the power hold out that long. But after dinner came a familiar phone call from a good guy friend of mine, with a plea: Wednesday night just wouldn’t be the same without me, he’d saved a seat on his couch just for me, yadda, yadda, yadda.
So, silly girl that I was, I got in my Mom’s van, and slowly made my way across town just to watch Dawson’s Creek. I didn’t really think about why this friend of mine was so insistent that I risk my neck to get to his house, I just turned on the radio and tried not to get stuck in any ditches. The episode that night, Valentine’s Day Massacre, was probably very satisfying to me since it’s when Pacey first admits he likes Joey (yay!), and I’d like to say that I remember everything about it, and everything about that night, but I don’t. As far as I knew, it was a night just like any other. I brought him a Valentine, and a bag of candy.
What I didn’t know was that on this day, February 14, 2000, my friend Jason had mustered up the courage to make a confession a la Pacey. But he didn’t do it in words. He didn’t tell me he liked me, or that he wanted to go out with me, or any of those logical choices. Instead, just as I was about to head home, he put a box in my hands. A velvet box. The kind with jewelry inside.
This flustered me, and probably for the one and only time in my life, I was without words. I think I tried to refuse it. I felt it was an inappropriate gift between friends, and he wasn’t making any ‘more than friends’ statements. He insisted that it was for me, that he’d picked it out himself and wanted me to have it. So, I kissed him on the cheek, and left. The drive home was probably more shaky than just the snow would allow for. The wheels were set in motion.
The next day, he copped to wanting to be more than friends. We had our first kiss and our first sexual encounter, and probably our first fight, and all before the next week’s Dawson’s Creek had aired. We still haven’t had an official date, but I think we’re doing okay. Now it’s been 5 years and I can’t believe how much has changed, and how much has not. No more Dawson’s Creek, although Wednesday nights are Gilmore Girls nights now: Kirsten&Charlie-Pacey&Joey-Luke&Lorelai, and all the while, Jay&Jay. In these past 5 years, we’ve had 16 jobs between us, 3 homes shared together, 1 University degree, a foreign wedding and a familiar reception, dozens of good friends, only 2 small fires, 37 hair colours, 3 surgeries, more good times than bad, and a lot of luck.
Happy anniversary, Jason, and here’s hoping we survive another 5 years of this crazy, kamikaze-style love that we’ve got going. xo