Hurrah! Today I have a very special guest: Elizabeth Rudnick, author of Tweet Heart! I really enjoyed Tweet Heart (review went up earlier today!) and I'm thrilled to have Liz guest posting during Love month. Especially such a wonderful, personal post like the one she has written.
Thanks Liz! Over to you...
To find out more about Tweet Heart or Elizabeth Rudnick, please do visit the following websites:
How a Love List Takes Shape...
4) Owns a unicorn and/or pegasus, preferably both
5) Can leap buildings in a single bound
6) Able to slay dragons (but only the mean ones! Has nice dragons as pets)
8) Full of grand gestures
9) Good horseback rider so he can save me
10) Likes puppies
11) Really good at dodgeball and red rover
Ah, my first love. I was five years old when I fell head over heels. He was dreamy. He had dark hair and smooth skin. He was kind and heroic and loved his horse. He was also a character in a movie. My first love was Atreyu from the movie The Neverending Story. He fulfilled almost every one of the requirements on my list. True, I never saw him play dodgeball so I couldn’t tell if he’d help save me in a torturous PE class BUT he was charming and handsome and romantic. I was convinced Atreyu was my soulmate. So you can imagine my surprise--and heartbreak--when I discovered that he was never going to ride up to my front door on his white steed and sweep me off my feet. The power of the movies had truly fooled me. My first heartbreak was complete.
Although, I guess it is probably a good thing. After all, I really needed someone to help me with my dodgeball game.
Crazy, Stupid, Love
3) Tattooed a plus
4) Owns a car
5) Attached--to someone else
7) Hot (oh, did I say that already?)
9) Likes horses
10) Likes to talk--about himself
11) Likes sports--but none that I like
13) Likes late night phone calls--even if my parents don’t
My love for Wyatt lasted from sixth grade to...well, till I was about 25. But you can’t blame me. Wyatt was perfect. I am not even exaggerating. The guy was an Abercrombie model for crying out loud! And I fell madly (and I do mean madly) in love with him the first day that I saw him. I had moved to town that summer and was starting my first day of school when Wyatt walked by with a few of friends. He was in the same grade as I was but he seemed so much older and cooler. And he was so very cute. For all of sixth grade, I ate, breathed, and dreamed Wyatt.
The next year my dreams came true and we went out--for three months, two days, and nine hours. Give or take. Those were the three best months of my life. I couldn’t stop smiling. I thought about him all the time. He wrote me poetry and made me mixed tapes (yes, I’m that old!). And then, he broke up with me. It took me a long time to get over that. I thought he and I were destined to be together.
Of course, I know now that we weren’t right for each other. He is happily married to someone else and I wish him the best. But every once in a while, when I want to feel a little crazy again, I just look him up on Facebook and take a trip down memory lane.
Can’t We Be Friends
1) Enjoys Sy Fy Channel and all things geeky
2) Likes going to movies in the middle of the day
3) Good listener
6) Likes all the sports I like; golf, horseback riding, squash, tennis and waterskiing
7) Likes to travel
8) Always up for late night phone calls
9) Likes me more than I like him
10) Understanding--when I break it off b/c I feel absolutely zero physical attraction for him
11) Family oriented
Of all the early loves, I probably feel the most regret about losing David. He was a wonderful man. He was kind, attractive, employed, loved to travel, and my family loved him. The problem was, I didn’t love him. Not in the romantic way at least. I loved going over to his place and ordering delivery and watching tv. I loved walking around the city with him and discovering new places and events. But every time I thought about forever with him, I saw him as the best man in my wedding, not the groom.
In hindsight, I wish I had held on to him a bit longer and tried to make it work. Because I’ve learned that friendship is a huge part of any successful romance and without it, love just isn’t enough. But I was young and a dreamer and thought I could find the whole package. So I said good-bye. He is happy now. Married and living a perfect life. I am glad someone else realized all he was and all he would be. And I only wonder “what if” every once in a while...
4) Well traveled
6) Financially stable
7) Likes puppies, sy fy channel
8) Family oriented
10) A good listener
Ah, Paper Boy. I think everyone finds someone like him once in their lives. The guy who literally fulfills every item on your list. The guy that makes all your girlfriends pea-green with envy because he is just that perfect. The guy you have absolutely no problem introducing to your parents. The guy that everyone assumes will take you away on a whirlwind romantic adventure where he will propose to you in the perfect setting with a big giant ring. Rob was that guy for me.
We got along wonderfully. He took me to lovely places. He put up with my dog even though he was allergic. He gave me flowers just because. He even offered to take me to his family home--in Italy!! But no matter how perfect he was; no matter that he literally fulfilled every single thing I thought I wanted in a guy, I just couldn’t warm up to him. I feel bad about it now because it was a time in my life where I let him treat me well while I continued to hold him at arm’s length because I was “getting old” and thought I needed a man. But I knew deep down that he wasn’t the one. And realizing that was a huge step for me.
It was the wake up call I needed to finally come to the realization that no matter how big a list you have, you can’t help who you fall in love with. The heart wants what it wants, not what the head has listed on a piece of mental paper. So while I still feel bad about how things ended with Rob, I owe him a huge amount of thanks.
Because of him, I met...the One.
1) Makes me a better person
After all those guys, I don’t know who I thought I’d end up with. Or frankly, if I would end up with anyone at all. My list was in shambles and so was my heart. But then I met the one. For me, it was love at first sight. Which, given the fact that when I met him he was a tad hungover (I was 31 so drinking is okay!), dirty, cranky and fresh off an eight hour car ride, is saying a lot. But man, oh, man, did I think he was hot. Not in the Abercrombie type of hot and not in the bad boy type of hot. He was hot in the my type of hot hot. When he was finally feeling good enough to take off his sunglasses (it took a while) he had these hazel eyes that were simultaneously kind and a bit wild. He wasn’t particularly tall but he was the perfect height for me and he had arms I knew would do a good job of holding me. So yeah, I was smitten.
Him on the other hand? I don’t think he paid much attention to me that first day. And I know for a fact that he didn’t fall in love with me at first sight. But that didn’t bother me. None of it bothered me. Not the initial brush off. Not the tattoos (he has three). Not the games. Not the fact that he didn’t necessarily have a place on “my list”. None of that mattered. That’s when I knew. He was the one. I wanted to be with him. All the time. I felt better when I was around him. I looked forward to every date. I got nervous when he called but always wanted to hear his voice. And the craziest part amongst all that crazy? That feeling hasn’t gone away.
Because this man, well, he is the one. He is the one who loves me even after I’ve spent twenty minutes yelling at him over a dirty dish (I can be a bit dramatic). He is the one who holds me when I cry and who makes me laugh. He is the one who melts my heart when he takes my hand. He is the one who will walk the dogs late at night when I’m snuggled up in bed and wake me in the morning with a grapefruit just the way I like it. But most importantly, and the reason I know he is the one, is that he makes me like me. After years of being with guys I changed for or guys who tried to change me, Caleb loves me for me. And in turn, I love being me with him.
So yeah, he doesn’t fit my First Love list, but he is perfectly perfect, imperfections and all. He is my first, crazy, paper, and platonic love all wrapped into one. And when I think about the future, it is no longer my future alone, it is ours.