Friday, February 13, 2004

The Third Watch (or is it Fourth?)

I'm pulling a "Gaines" tonight (or, more accurately, this morning). Usually I fall asleep long before he does, which often means that unless I make him go to sleep, he reverts back to his college insomnia habits and plays computer games until 3 a.m. Now, however, the roles are reversed. Earlier, at Bible Study, I had caffeine, which always wreaks havoc with my sleep schedule if I drink it after 5 p.m. Also, since we stayed late afterwards --until almost midnight-- to play Settlers of Catan, I'm still totally wired.

For the lack of anything better to do (counting sheep just isn't that appealing), I thought I'd share a Valentine's memory from --goodness, has it really been that long? -- three years ago. I would've linked to it or something, but since I didn't have a blog back then, I'll just have to recreate it for you.

The night was Wednesday, February 14, 2001, and I was working my usual six to eight evening shift at the BSC Writing Center. (English tutors take no breaks for pansy holidays!) At that time, the Writing Center was located in the basement of Phillips Science -- no windows, no carpeting-- just me, some abandoned student paintings (that same fish one you can see on the link), a few tables and chairs, two computers, and my art homework. The whole place reeked of isolation. Unless some lonely bio-chem major decided he really had nothing better to do than workshop his research paper on Valentine's Day-- which I found highly unlikely considering I knew all the bio-chem majors and they all had dates-- I had the place to myself. So I put my headphones on, fully engrossed in one of Gaines' concert bootleg concoctions, and proceeded to work on my design project.

About thirty minutes in, there was a knock on the door. No one knocks on the door of the writing center-- they usually just walk right in. The oddity factor increased when I noticed that the door was standing wide open. I thought it might be security coming by to check up on me (they were such nice folks-- security changed my tire or jump started my car at least 6 times while I was at school), so I just yelled "Come on in." Nothing happened, so I continued with my sketch. Another knock. I proceeded to investigate this strange occurence. I looked into the hallway, and what to my wondering eyes should appear-- but Gaines, with a bouquet of roses-- and beer. (Well, okay, not beer. But it rhymed. And it's 2 a.m., so you should expect this from me.)

Anyway, this whole incident was extremely confounding because 1) Gaines was supposed to be in Atlanta, which, in case you weren't aware, is at least a two hour drive from Birmingham, and 2) we had already planned to celebrate Valentine's the next night with a trip to see Beauty and the Beast.

Needless to say, I was overcome. I think I just stood there, stupidly, for about a minute or so before I noticed my roommate, Angelika, standing beside him. I think she asked if I was going to hug him or something. I still stood there stupidly. (We'd only been dating for two and a half months. Did she think I was that forward?) ;-) Apparently, the little weasel (by that, I am lovingly referring to Gaines) had been planning the surprise for weeks and had obtained help from three of my friends to find out my schedule.

Gaines graciously hung out with me until the end of my Writing Center session (Can you believe they paid me good money to do homework and spend time with my boyfriend on Valentine's?). He also stayed for InterVaristy large group that night, which didn't end until about midnight his time, and then drove back to Atlanta because he had a meeting the next morning. To further the insanity (which we attempted quite often while we were dating) Gaines made the return trip to Birmingham the very next day so that we could go to dinner and the show together. (Of course, by now, after the miles we've travelled to see each other, we could both probably just drive I-20 with our eyes closed, but at the time, it really meant the world to me. Two hours was still a long way.)

It was the best Valentine's ever. Well, at least, the best Valentine's up until that point in my life. I probably cried.

And now, thankfully, I'm going to end this foray into sappiness and spare you from reading any more heartwarming sentimental drivel, except to say that this... The "little" things, the small gestures of spontaneity, like that night, are just one of the innumerable reasons why I am so extremely blessed to have Gaines as my husband.

Now, if only I can fall asleep next to him...oh, wait, I can! (Or at least I can try!)

Good night! ;-)

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