How I Met Adam, Part 9

Adam embarked on a life without alcohol on that first night we spent together.  I told him that now I was his “Higher Power” and if he ever tried to leave, he’d be in the gutter in no time.  (Kidding.  Relax.)  We were pretty much an old married couple from the beginning.  He was still working as a mechanical engineer.  He worked for a construction company that was reconfiguring a water treatment facility down around Long Beach.  (He called it the “shit plant.”)  He had to leave for work at a quarter ‘til four each morning so I’d get up at 3:15 like a good little housewife, make his breakfast and pack his lunch.  I’d have him a hot dinner waiting when he got home each night (banking on the old adage that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.) I went out and bought him a bathrobe the next Monday morning; (the bathrobe he still uses by the way.)  About two weeks in, when I went in to kiss him awake, he said, “If you’re not careful, you’re going to make me fall in love with you.”  I just said, “How ‘my doin’ so far?”  Incidentally, I was determined that I was not going to be the first to say “I love you.”  I think I had probably been the first guy to say it in every relationship that I’d ever had.  I won.  And he even said it much sooner than I thought.  Funny thing is, he said it like he’d said it to me a thousand times before.  I’d probably done something exceptionally sweet or was looking exceptionally hot as I am wont to do.   He said it in a tone that would reflect that it was a response to that sweetness or hotness, “I love you.”  I just said, “What?”  He said, “You heard me.”  “I know I heard you!  I just want to hear it again!”  So he said it again.  He’s said it a whole lot since then.  That is one thing I can say about my husband, he never lets a day go by without letting me know several times how much he loves me.

Shortly after we were together, he had planned a trip home to Utah.  Remember that I still hadn’t talked to Hank.  I was absolutely dreading telling him about Adam and me.  We had agreed we’d tell him together when Adam got back from Utah…but…while Adam was out of town, Hank called and asked if we could get together for lunch.  He was (and I was too,) feeling horrible about what had happened and we were both missing each other’s friendship.  I figured that would come to a quick end as soon as I told him about Adam and me.  We met at Eat Well.  I wasn’t going to sit there and hem and haw around.  I just looked him square in the eye and said, “I have something difficult to tell you.  Adam and I are dating.”  He didn’t miss a beat.  He just said, “No you’re not.  You wouldn’t do that.  I know you and you wouldn’t do a thing like that.”  I tell you he could have punched me in the face and it wouldn’t have hurt any more than what he said. I’m sure he would say the same thing. I explained that we had tried to avoid it, even from the beginning but it was just something too strong.  Telling him was the second hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.  (The first was being there for my brother after his wife was killed in a car accident.)  Hank is such a sweet and wonderful guy.  To know that I was part of something that would hurt him so bad was horrible.  We called Adam on the phone in Utah and they talked.  They told each other that they loved one another.  It was still very, very hard on Hank.  I told him that I would understand if he didn’t want to be around us at all but that I loved him and if there was any way possible, I’d like us to try to stick it out.  Now the fact that we have is a complete testament to Hank’s character.  I don’t think I’ve known anybody in my life that has had to march through more shit and not been reduced to a pile of self pity.  Hank just keeps marching on and I love him for it.  We spent the weekend together.  It was rough.  There was a lot of silence.  Every few minutes he would come up with a question and although I just wanted to run away, I did my best to answer it.  I think Hank mostly wanted to know that Adam and I hadn’t been doing anything behind his back during the short time they had been dating.  We hadn’t.  In fact there was a time when I was home on a short break from my activism travels and we went on a triple date to Universal Studios; I went with this guy Alex Nicholson (Serviemembers United fame), Bill and Dave were there…and Hank and Adam!  Hank wanted to know if there was anything going on behind his back.  There wasn’t.  Adam and I had enjoyed each other’s company a lot that day.  Part of the time I felt like we were two little boys being chaperoned by the other adults.  We would race each other up hills or spray each other with our Jurassic Park drink bottles.  Looking back on it, Hank said, “Well I guess anyone would have to be a fool not to see how much you guys liked each other.”  Many months later, over a few martinis (I drank Diet Coke), Hank would admit to me he felt like if I hadn’t started dating Adam, that there might still have been a chance for them to make it.  In that case it would be sort of like I stole Adam away from Hank.  I cut Hank a lot of slack because I know how much it must have hurt for the last two guys he wanted to be with to get together but…this pissed me off and it is now officially off limits for discussion.  Adam had assured me in terms that I couldn’t misunderstand that there was absolutely no chance that he and Hank would have dated again.  It’s been rocky at times of course but we have all stuck together and we all love one another.

When Adam came back from Utah, we all hung out from time to time.  It was, of course a weird arrangement, sometimes the three of us hitting the town or watching movies at home.  At least for me, and I’m sure for them too, it was a constant affirmation of the strength of our bond.  I had never heard a story like ours.  I doubt I ever will.

So two months later it was time for me to go to Alabama for Christmas.  I knew Adam had planned to go to Utah to see his family but I asked him if he’d be up for coming to Alabama first to meet my family and then fly to Utah on Christmas Eve.  He said he would.  Now when a southern boy takes somebody home to meet Mama, you know it’s serious.  I knew by then, if not a whole lot earlier that Adam was everything I had wanted in a husband.  In fact, as sort of a “metaphysical experiment,”  about a year earlier I had written on a piece of paper, “Create a Husband” and made a sort of shopping list of the things I would like in a mate.  There were physical attributes, emotional and spiritual.  Hank actually found that piece of paper months after Adam and I were together.  I had stuck in my copy of Ekhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now.”  Hank said, “Hey what’s this?”  I told him what it was and he asked if he could read it.  I was almost afraid for him to.  What if it wasn’t Adam?!  I told him to read it out loud.  It was if somebody had said, “Take a couple of pages and describe Adam Nelson.”  It was almost spooky.  There were couple of items that were not quite Adam.  I just chalked those up to God knowing better than I did what I needed.  I guess “Buys me a new car each month” was not really the highest spiritual concept.  (Relax.  Kidding.)  In truth though (and I actually find this kind of hard to admit) our homophobia probably attracted each other.  We were (and are) definitely two alpha males who have somehow found a way to share the same doghouse.  In the beginning we both lead with our masculine sides.  There’s much more to say about this but I think I’ll save it for another time and another blog.

So suffice it to say that by this point, I was pretty much thinking that I wanted Adam around for the long haul.  Before we flew to Alabama, I called my brother-by-another-mother Scotch Ellis Loring and we headed to Rodeo Drive.  He poked around at a few stores and ended up at Tiffany’s.  (That was the last extravagant purchase I’ve made.  Adam is much more frugal than I am.  I would make a terrible communist.)  Our rings are simple and classic, platinum with tiny dentils around the edges.  They scar easily but I kind of like that because they tell the story of our life together. (I have since learned from a jeweler that this is called “patina.”) It has never left my hand since he put it on my finger at the wedding.  I plan to wear it till the day I die.

So I hid the little blue box away in my luggage and we headed for Bama.  My plan was to propose with the rings and if he said yes, we’d just put them away until the wedding.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you whether or not he accepted.


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