There’s something incredibly humbling about saying what you really, truly feel about someone you love in public. There’s a pressure to find the perfect words to describe emotions that cannot be described; to give justice to the depth and complexity of a real relationship; to not resort to clichés. No wonder most people only give their vows once.
But in articulating what it is that I love about KC after five and a half years together, I am able to step back and reflect on our relationship in its entirety, understanding what makes KC uniquely qualified to be my best friend and partner, and how I have grown and found self-actualization in tandem with my desires to be the best partner I can be.
I call KC my duck; she calls me her goose. We’re not entirely sure how it started at this point, but there’s a certain silliness to it that is able to constantly bring a smile to my face. Silliness is an underrated quality and unfortunately I’m not a silly person, but KC can bring out a playfulness in me that allows me to enjoy individual moments with an irrational exuberance to the point of absurdity. The funny thing is that we are probably sillier today, 5 and a half years into dating, than we ever have been.
And it is clear to me that genuine silliness is a trait often found in men and women of incredible intellect and independence of thought, and KC definitely falls into this category. I don’t know anyone more willing to wear her opinion on her sleeve or push the boundaries of what should or should not be accepted as a societal norm. The most engaging conversations I’ve ever had are with KC. With our slightly different world outlooks we find ourselves continually probing each other, challenging one another to defend a long-held opinion or build a stronger argument. And there have been arguments! I distinctly recall thinking how lucky I was to be dating KC while sparring over the morality of the minimum wage in Freshman year; KC concedes that I won that argument (which may be why I remember it so clearly), but she definitely persuades me to her point of view more often than not, making me a better person in the process. I wish she would write more, but I can picture KC rolling her eyes at me as I type this so lets move on quickly to something more up her alleyway…
Food. I love to eat good food, and consider myself a bit of a foodie, but KC takes food to an entirely different level. Deconstructing intricately prepared dishes with an expert eye, inventing exotic and mouth watering flavor combinations, cooking with the assurance and technique of a professional… KC has it all. Who else hosts a surprise birthday party for their boyfriend and 18 of his friends by preparing blue cheese-filled roasted leeks and homemade gnocchi? Who else bakes their media agency co-workers salted honey pies for thanksgiving? And who else makes a lunch out of the leftovers from homemade almond milk and edamame spaghetti? Her creativity and curiosity is worthy of its own Chef’s Table episode, and I am the very fortunate beneficiary of much of her creative output. Many of our special memories have featured food, and we are not embarrassed to say that food is one of the pillars upon which we have built and developed our relationship.
Our shared passion for food finds its corollary in our passions for travel and community engagement — what better way to explore cultures or get to know people within a community than by breaking bread and sharing a story with each bite. I have always loved traveling, but the thrill has intensified as KC and I have developed a “style” of travel that feeds our passions: trying out the local yoga studio, consciously choosing to spend time looking for the best local cuisine or coffeeshops over museums or attractions, inviting our Airbnb hosts to brunch or dinner.
When KC is exuding the passion that burns so brightly within her, throwing her hair back, eyes sparkling with laughter, and smile on full display, she is so beautiful that it blows me away. Nothing makes me happier than seeing KC’s beautiful smile with her little dimple. It genuinely fills my heart with joy and makes me feel like the luckiest man in the world.
KC is a deep, profound part of who I am. With her I feel simultaneously satisfied and motivated to push on into the world; without her I lose some of my purpose, and the world seems a little grayer.
Today is KC’s birthday, so Happy Birthday to my duck with the dimples. I hope this post can bring you a fraction of the joy and love that you give me.
Forever and always,