Mary over at Owlhaven is spending the month of October re-capping her and her husband’s love story. I’m not married, but Christian and I have had a fairly unique relationship. I’ve described how we met at length, but on Thursdays in October, I hope to take little snapshots of our relationship over the past two-and-a-half-years and flesh them out.
The evening before, I had met for the first time in person someone who up until I had only ever talked to online.
So far, it had been awkward. We had gone to breakfast before his Greek test, and then while he was in class, I talked to my best friend on the phone. I was excited for him to come back, but I wondered what we would do.
He went back to his dorm to change, and then suggested we go for a walk. I welcomed the idea, mostly because you aren’t necessarily expected to talk while you’re walking.
He talked the whole time. He told me about all the old buildings on campus, and reminisced about his freshman year.
We kept walking and eventually made it to the Episcopal chapel on campus. We climbed rickety stairs to the top and looked out onto the quad, where students were milling about. Then he went to the bathroom. I later found out that he was so nervous about the entire experience that his stomach was giving him some trouble.
But I had no idea, and spent the entire time while he was in the bathroom wondering if we would run out of things to talk about. We had a nice time on the walk, but we had a whole weekend left to kill.
His next idea was to go into the chapel, because he said there were beautiful stained glass windows.
And there were. They were brilliantly designed and started with the story of creation on one side of the huge building, then continuing to Revelation on the other side.
But some of the depictions of Biblical stories left a little to be desired, and so we started to poke fun at them.
“Is that a Chinese fire dragon next to Moses?”
“Were ferrets and rabbits really the most important animals created?”
“What is that one big eye in the middle? Is that supposed to be God?”
We spent the better part of an hour pointing out Bible events we recognized and laughing at the ones we didn’t. We were cracking each other up, which I think we had both thought we were capable of, but hadn’t experienced until then.
And so last night, when I asked Christian what one of his favorite memories was from the beginning of our relationship, I wasn’t too surprised when he said “looking at stained glass windows with you.”
You can enjoy the same foods as people, and you can like reading the same books, but that moment when you laugh heartily, together, at things that you’ve just said is the moment when you realize there’s something special about that person.
C.S. Lewis said it best in The Four Loves:
Friendship arises out of a mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden).