2013 was certainly an eventful year for me. I started things out with a bang. Sabre and I started dating on January 1st and I couldn't imagine a better way to start the new year. I never thought I would stand a chance with a woman like Sabre. Our first date was one of the most memorable nights of my life. I remember being so incredibly nervous all day. We had been texting pretty much the entire day. We took a few hours off to sleep and recover from the night before. In the wee hours of the morning, I had finally gotten the guts to ask if Sabre would want to go out with me. It was the first time I'd gotten a date since I started transitioning. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to pull it off!
I'm pretty sure I changed my outfit about three times before I actually decided on one. I wanted everything to be just perfect. My hands were sweating when I pulled into the driveway. I showed up at Sabre's house right on time (gotta make a good impression!) with flowers in hand. I shook her dad's hand and greeted her mom. Then Sabre came around the corner. She looked incredible! I said hello and presented her with the flowers. I don't even remember what we talked about before we left. All I remember is thinking, "Don't say anything stupid!" I hadn't told Sabre where we were going that night because I wanted to surprise her. Originally, we were going to eat at Legend's. But I had forgotten that most restaurants were closed for the holiday. So we went to Olive Garden instead.
As we got seated, Sabre asked me if I had cheated. I wasn't exactly sure what she meant so I asked her. "How did you know Italian is my favorite? Did you ask Christina? Because that's cheating!" I assured her I hadn't asked her best friend for tips on how to impress her (although the thought HAD crossed my mind). This night was all of my own making. We talked all through dinner. I had anticipated that awkward silence that normally accompanies first dates. Nothing felt awkward about this night, though. It all felt very right. I knew before the end of dinner that I wanted to marry this woman. I knew I didn't want to rush it, but I knew it would happen some day. The beautiful woman sitting across from me would one day be my wife. Never did I think, "What if she doesn't WANT to be my wife?" Somehow, deep in my soul, I knew she was the one.
After dinner, we went to Family Video. We both really love movies, so we made a rule for the night. We had to rent movies that neither of us had seen. Let me tell ya, THAT was a challenge!! I feel like we spent almost an hour in the store trying to find movies that were new to both of us. Eventually, we settled on some and went back to Sabre's place. We popped in the first movie and laid together on the couch. something about this movie just wasn't quite right. The menu was in Spanish! Huh? Yeah, I picked the movie and it was in Spanish. To this day, when we see The Odd Life of Timothy Green, we both just burst out laughing! After that we watched Rock of Ages. We talked through most of the movie. We had to skip back to re-watch a few of the scenes. After we finally finished watching that movie, we put in Brave. We talked through the entire movie. By this point, though, we didn't even bother skipping back to see the scenes we missed. We were just enjoying the conversation. After we had watched all the movies (or at least played them through), we flipped to the late night TV shows. What kind of first date includes cartoons? Well, that would be ours. I was awesome. It was wonderful to sit there with Sabre's head in my lap, me playing with her hair, just talking about our lives. We have so much in common.
We didn't really realize how late it was until Sabre's mom came into the living room the next morning at about 6:00 ready to go to work. I'm pretty sure I scared the shit out of her. She wasn't expecting me to still be there! After a good laugh, her mom went to work and I got ready to face the day. That's right, I still had to work. I was an opening kitchen captain at Cane's and had to report to work at 8:00 each morning. Under normal circumstances, that would make for a LONG day. But these weren't normal circumstances. I had just spent the entire night with the most beautiful woman I'd ever met. And she acted like she enjoyed my company!! I was on cloud nine all day long. I couldn't wipe that goofy-lookin' grin off my face. And after I had gotten home, taken a shower, and had a little snack, I went back over to Sabre's house for dinner. Her mom is a fabulous cook!!
From that day to this, Sabre and I have never spent a night apart. It hasn't been all butterflies and rainbows, but it has been the single most important relationship in my life. She has taught me how to be a better man. She taught me that it really is okay to stand up for myself. She reminded me how to have fun. We have laughed so much since we've been together, I feel like we should both be sporting six-packs! I never thought I could be in love with anyone the way I am completely in love with Sabre. She has my entire heart and will keep it for as long as she will have me. One day, I will marry this woman. This beautiful, strong, funny, smart, and sometimes infuriating woman will be my wife. We laugh, we love, we fight, we get on each other's nerves and I am confident Sabre is tempted to kill me some days. But, we have made it longer than anyone thought we would have lasted.
No one thought we would make it out of the "cupcake phase" but we are here. More than a year later, we are stronger than either of us ever imagined. We've been through a lot together. In many ways, we act just like an old, married couple. We go to bed early and sometimes creak when we wake up. More than one night a week, our bed smells like IcyHot because our joints feel older than our years. But we also love like an old, married couple. We know when to leave each other alone for a while. We hold each other when we have nightmares. We divide all the household chores evenly. We have to work our budget together. We make up after every single fight, mostly because we know that it didn't have to lead to a fight. We are learning from each other and learning how to help each other. There are things that I never would have been able to do without Sabre's support. I'd like to think there are things that Sabre wouldn't have been able to do without me.
It is beautiful and complicated, this thing called life. But having someone to stand by your side makes things much more bearable. And honestly, much more beautiful. I've come to admire Sabre and her family. They are some of the strongest and most loving people I've met. From day one, they welcomed me into the family. I'm honored to be a part of this wacky, fun-loving, loud-as-hell family. And you know what, I think that maybe, just maybe, Sabre might get the opportunity to be a part of my family, too. But more on that later. For now, I'm going to put my computer away and just enjoy an evening together with my girlfriend. Thanks for listening tonight, friends.