A Decade of Eva + Kyle - Celebrating our 10th Anniversary
When I think of what makes our life together, it's pieced together with facts, but those are just the background. Yes, they matter, but they don't make up the story of our lives.
What I mean is, Kyle and I have lived together and we've lived apart and we've travelled to places and got new jobs, and finished different degrees and got married [twice] and had a million hair styles and those are the facts. But those aren't the things that make me love him.
I'm going to share 10 photos and 10 stories that don't necessarily explain any of the facts. They aren't the photos that necessarily show you exactly what we looked like at the time. They are 10 snapshots of what makes up a decade of being together so wonderful. Because sometimes its the grand gesture, but mostly its the "remember the time when..." and a lot of it is Netflix.
Kyle had always wanted to look like the kind of guy who could date a girl like me, so I took him to Value Village. There, it was, a pale pink oversized T with sea otters yawning on it. I didn't care that it didn't fit, this was pure gold.
He wore it to the after party DJ set before we had said "I love you" because we had just started going out and that would have been weird, Eva. But he started dancing, and he sang so hard his cheek bones popped, and I was done. This was it.
"Eva, Mr. K is on the phone."
- long distance when your memories are so old they include a landline and you moved home post university to live rent-and-grocery-free to work 3 jobs and save money to travel and your mom came up with cute nicknames for the guy that you realize you're maybe not casually seeing anymore.
We decided to do the epic American road-trip - driving from Pennsylvania, up to Montreal, down to Ben and Jerry's - a mild zig zag down to Nashville and on to Disney World, across through New Orleans and bypassing Arizona over to Great Arches, Las Vegas, Portland and home to BC camping the whole way, our Honda Civic packed with every single thing we owned.
I calculated the number of kilometers, writing down all the places we simply had to see, dividing our days into 4 sections so we had "some wiggle room" and came up with 4 points and days that we had to reach each of these points by. I'm pretty sure I calculated gas and grocery budgets. I was running this all past Kyle and he said,
"wait, did you remember to pack socks where we can get them?"
obviously not Kyle.
We're a good team.
"Excuse me, I know we have to all be here to get into the bar, but my boyfriend is taking a long time because he broke his ankle and is coming on crutches."
That time the Canucks made it to the finals and the streets were packed and we wanted to celebrate but Kyle was busted. Surprisingly it was very difficult to convince people to give him any special treatment. We're all in this Canucks Nation together, and we're all alone because if you wanted to sit and drink your beer you should have gotten here 4 hours before puck drop.
I did not love living in Pennsylvania, so when Kyle finished defending his thesis we took off before he got to walk across the stage and graduate. This is the only excuse.
On my graduation night, post stage-walk, we decided to get our friend a really fancy cigar. Except the fancy cigar places were closed so someone - I can't remember if it was Kyle- went to a gas station and got one there instead. We'd maybe had a bit too much to drink and Kyle made a classic Kyle decision and smoked the vast majority of the cigar.
Next thing you know it's my grad night and I'm trying to convince a cab driver the guy puking in the alley wouldn't destroy his car.
GD gas station cigars.
I was so scared to go to Zambia. I was really happy with Kyle, our dog, our shared life. When I started to consider not going he told me that I would regret it for the rest of my life. He said he didn't fall in love with someone who would give up on her dreams just because they were scary. That I didn't fall in love with someone who would stand by as I gave up on them. Not going wasn't an option. But he wasn't going anywhere. He'd stay home and hold it down until I came back.
Arcade Fire's ticket suggested that we dress in costume or in formal wear for their concert. I misread it as "Formal Wear Costume" and got to work making us costumes that would pair nicely with a silk dress and button up.
I built Kyle a crown of crow feathers and turned a jewelled wall hanging into my crown and practiced making masks for us out of black eyeshadow.
The sun went down and on the last song, Wake Up, played, our arms around each other, singing our hearts out, it was like being 22 all over again, when the world is magic and you've just fallen in love.
We went to get our engagement photos taken and Mike asked us if we were nervous. Yes. Very.
They told us not to worry and found a really cool spot of light in the woods and had us stand in it. Kyle got into it like, exactly, and very quickly. He explained to them that he had actually worked in off-off-Broadway theatre as the lighting guy - and like, it actually shows when he's getting his photo taken // or taking mine. He can find the light.
They had us look at them and were like, "holy shit! It usually takes couples a while to warm up to making these types of faces!"
Yeah, while Kyle has a background of lighting, I have a background of watching ANTM (America's Next Top Model) so like, no problem.
"If you need the hotel room to be very quiet, maybe I should go get a massage while you work on your PowerPoint"
When we were in India Kyle got a call saying that he had an interview for his dream job. For some reason they didn't really realize that he was in India and scheduled the interview for 2 weeks later at 1am. They asked him to prepare a presentation. Obviously we went to Fab India to get him a fancy shirt to wear.
Weaving down the road, stopping for cows, Kyle typed away on his presentation on the bus we were taking and when we arrived back in Jaipur, concerned about losing wifi, we splurged and stayed in a Ramada- which as it turns out, in India, is the fanciest place ever, complete with turndown service, rooftop pools and massage spas.
And air conditioning.
I wanted to let Kyle do his interview privately, but it was 1am so I kind of had to be there. I got into bed, prepared with headphones, and Kyle said, "Eva! Hello Tomorrow sent us our wedding video!" and magic of magic, we had enough wifi to download it. Perfect. Timing.
Then I tried to sleep, blasting the National, trying not to move so I wouldn't distract Kyle or let the interviewers know that he had a wife sleeping just off to the side - so awkward - and trying not to ask to watch the video again...
For some reason the interviewers felt a follow up interview was required. [but I mean, come on Mr. K! well done!]
We got back and immediately connected with Shari + Mike our photographers from Iceland who had brought Kyle's suit home. It had unfortunately been left out in the Icelandic rain in the airport and required emergency dry-cleaning.
You can now see Kyle on TV warning you about the effects of smoke on asthmatics.
He got the job! I'm very proud.
My job started out pretty great, but then it got really, really stressful. I have suffered from pretty bad anxiety my whole life and this job has made it really show up.
When I get into the car and put in the location into my GPS I panic.
So I call Kyle.
And he talks to me. And he makes me feel better.
I talked to a counsellor and she suggested I get a worry stone, something that when I hold it makes me feel better. I told her the only thing I can think of like that is Kyle.
I woke up too early this morning because I think I might be pretty excited. It's our 10th anniversary! And our Easter Egg Hunt!
Normally Kyle would just keep sleeping while I rustle around and get the computer but I think there's too much light in here because yesterday he tripped on the dog and tore half of the curtains out of the wall so it's pretty bright in here.
He looked freaking cute, and I leaned over and said "Rabbits, White Rabbits" and he said it too (is this a thing? for some reason we believe if you say that on the first day of the month before you say anything else you have good luck for the month)
Then I kissed him and said,
"Happy 10th anniversary"
"Happy 10th anniversary" - Kyle
Then he went back to sleep.
and that's a wrap on the first decade
I know that there's ups and downs, and long term relationships are hard and sometimes we fight and sometimes we're a little bored of talking to one another (but usually only after talking for like the previous 6 hours), but honestly,
It's never been hard to choose Kyle.
He's just my guy. He makes me happy and he makes me laugh. He likes the same music as me. He's helping me build a life that I'm so grateful to be living.