What I’ve Learned #3: Boyfriend

I took a picture of him one day, with his backwards hat and one hand out of the window and the other on the wheel and muscles carved into his stomach like they weren’t really real. I took it with my legs across his lap and my hair blowing out behind me in the wind. It was June 5th and Josh Turner was blaring as loud as he possibly could through the radio speakers and I really couldn’t believe my legs were across his lap and he wanted them to be there.

These are the lessons I’ve learned since that June 5th truck ride and even before, when we sat across from each other while eating frozen yogurt and trying to spark conversation on our very first date, acting as if we’d known each other for a long time even though we only really had seen the person passing by in the hallway or in his case, driving away in a car that was never not apart of anyone’s conversation.

  1. Put your phone down.
  2. Make it a point to sit across from your parent at the dinner table as often as you can.
  3. Compliment their food a lot, because it makes them proud.
  4. How to Train Your Dragon really is the best freakin’ movie.
  5. Don’t fall asleep while watching How to Train Your Dragon, because you’ll miss the best freakin’ movie.
  6. Tell your mom that she looks beautiful
  7. and hug her tight.
  8. Not matching clothes is totally okay.
  9. In fact, it adds character.
  10. Is pizza really pizza without a side of ranch dressing?
  11. An extra large side of ranch dressing?
  12. Speaking of food, don’t waste it.
  13. Nothing will ever feel as good as hugging the person you want to be with for a really long time after you haven’t been able to hug them for a really long time.
  14. Nothing will ever feel as good as catching the person you want to be with for a really long time watching you with a stupid smile,
  15. and try your hardest to keep that stupid smile spread from one ear to the other for as long as you can.
  16. There is beauty in simplicity – in climbing into bed with clean sheets; in standing in front of a big window, watching the sun say good night; in feeling the air move quickly, quickly through your fingers while fields of corn and soy beans whisk across your own personal lens; in smiling after you’ve been crying, your head clear and body fresh; in making somebody laugh; in making somebody feel loved.
  17. There is beauty in chaos, too – amongst the swarm of students bustling and hustling to class on a big white sidewalk; amongst a group of friends gathered at a wood table in a barely furnished living room, music as loud as you can make it and memories being made as fast as you can breathe; amongst a huge family, with children big and small pushing their elbows in the dinner line to get to the mashed potatoes, or children only in someone’s eyes fighting to get the seat at the kitchen bar with a plate full of pumpkin pancakes, or younger but wiser cousins grabbing cookies and bowls for ice cream as fast as your mom can put them out.
  18. There are lots of ways to show love, the love that everyone craves and everyone daydreams about: “Put your seatbelt on,” or “You’re the biggest loser I’ve ever met,” or “What do you want to me to make for breakfast?” or “You pick first,” or “You’re beautiful,” even when makeup hasn’t seen these cheeks or these eyelashes in more days than I can count on two hands.
  19. Hunting actually isn’t that bad.
  20. Neither is fishing.
  21. Distance sucks, no matter how near or far, because distance is distance and at the end of the day, we all just want somebody to come home to.
  22. And at the end of the day, there’s some things to be sad about, but so much to be happy about, and we shouldn’t take what we are happy about for granted at all, even for a split second.
  23. Honesty is the best policy.
  24. When you make promises, keep them.
  25. There’s a moment where you stop and take a look around and you’re surrounded by all of your friends, whether it’s in a booth at the best pizza place in town or a barn where you grew up, with a dog at your feet and a drink in your hand, and all of those friends faces have smiles on them, and all of their eyes are bright, and when you are in this kind of moment, soak it up and replay it in your head every single day.
  26. Communication is oh so important.
  27. So is a good music playlist
  28. and a full gas tank.
  29. If there’s a person you like a lot, hold their hand and kiss their cheek and study their face. Tell them that you like them a lot as much as you can.
  30. Ash Beckham said in a talk today, “If the person you’re kissing doesn’t make your stomach drop, you should find someone else to kiss.” Well, my sweet boy: my stomach is at its bottom and my heart is full and these lessons are ones I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to learn from anyone else but you.

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5 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned #3: Boyfriend

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