The 4th of July is the holiday that, more than any other, makes me long for love. Sure, it would be nice to have a Valentine (see Previous Post: Reflections on Valentine's Day), someone with whom I can exchange Christmas gifts, or to share my turkey with at Thanksgiving, but for me, it's good old Independence Day that succeeds in filling me with the greatest amount of yearning, and perhaps a bit of wallowing, too. I adore fireworks and want nothing more than to share the happiness and blissful contenment they bring me with a man who loves me and will hold me close while we watch thundering bursts of light and color explode above us. There has only been one year when my dream came true, and instead of writing about another dating disaster (believe me; there will be more to come), I'd like to tell you about the Best 4th of July Ever.
I had my first date with Peter on July 2 and happened to mention to him my excitement for Independence Day's impending fireworks display. Date #1 went well so when he asked if he could be my date and watch the fireworks together, I happily obliged and we made plans to watch the display from the roof of my apartment building. Pete showed up for our July 4th date with a surprise: a romance playlist that we listened to together, slow-dancing around the roof and waiting for the fireworks to begin. It felt magical, like a fairy tale, the kind of thing that I previously thought only happened in the movies, not on a second date! It was a fantastic playlist, too: Buddy Holly, Ben Folds, The Swell Season, Dean Martin, Etta James, Iron and Wine, Lenny Kravitz, Peter Salett, Otis Wedding, Weezer, the Muppets, Nina Simone, The Ramones, The Shins, and so on. A truly great assortment of amazing artists and songs. I still love listening to it... which sometimes feels odd, listening to a romantic "mix tape" from an ex, but if it's great music and it does't make me sad, then why not?
Peter and I were together for three months after that, and it was the best three months of dating in my life. He voluntarily gave me foot rubs, left love notes in my purse when he left in the morning that I'd find once I got to work, reminded me regularly that I was beautiful, routinely brought me small, thoughtful gifts (burned movies, a book, a Fozzie Bear figurine). We definitely had our problems, thus the termination of the relationship at the three month mark, but I am still grateful to Peter for showing me what a functional, affectionate relationship feels like. I held on to him longer than I should have because it felt amazing to have a boyfriend who appreciated me and treated me well. It was not enough to sustain us, and so I returned to the horrible world of dating where I'm constantly treated like crap. But despite all of the horrible dating experiences I've endured and the number of times I've nursed my poor, broken heart back to health... I hold on to the hope that there is someone out there for me that will treat me as well as Peter did, and with whom I will not have irreconcilable differences. Someone that I will actually be in love with, not just think I'm in love with because the attention is so nice. And of course, that someone will snuggle close to me as we watch fireworks and even as they fizzle and burn out, we will not.