COLUMN: At last, good love is most definitely worth the wait
I met my soulmate at Central Michigan University a little more than a year ago.
We’ve been together for 15 months. Now she’s my roommate, and we’re talking about kids and marriage. We talk about how we’re going to survive as poverty-stricken writers after graduation with most likely three cats before those aforementioned kids come into the picture.
We never stop talking. It’s a little overwhelming — all of these heavy relationship headaches and arguments at a time when most students relish their freedom to date whomever and however they want — but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Her name is Emmy Rose. Her smile sits tightly folded above her chin like a lotus flower before first bloom. It’s OK, you can puke now. All of our friends do it too.
I’ve been waiting for a love like this for a long time, and like any good love story, this one was worth the wait.
I was a 25-year-old transfer student who had already failed out of college once before getting it together and moving to Mount Pleasant. Dating and finding love was the last thing on my mind. The mission was getting published, and somehow finishing school with a degree.
I didn’t drink or party, so mingling with wild teenaged students was probably out of the question, too. I had just come out of the worst breakup of my life with an estranged fiancé who got married to a different dude two years after we called it quits.
I tried to at least partner up with someone — anyone — who felt as lonely as I did. Three years and three dating website profiles later, I was still alone, sick of the hook-ups and never getting the partner I wanted or deserved.
I’m an impatient man, and we all know that good love is worth the wait. Finally, Cupid punched me in the face. I still have the welt from where his fist hit my head.
The story in a nutshell: An anti-abortion preacher shows up on campus. A girl gets pissed and kicks over his sign. That girl gets famous for the day on Instagram. We follow her on social media to get the latest on her one-woman crusade.
That girl wasn’t Emmy, but she did comment on the girl’s Facebook page. Something about Batman. And Feminism. And she was cute. My cup runneth over.
I added her. She accepted. We sent each other memes. Within a few days, she was a recommended match on OKCupid. I messaged her and she never replied.
After 15 years of weird relationships, you eventually learn to take the hints. I was a 28-year-old man infatuated with a 22-year-old I hadn’t really met. Some weeks later, we connected again through poetry. Emmy had a little weekly meeting of poet friends at Kaya Coffee House.
I finally got an invite. I was there in a heartbeat. She wore a dark green jacket with fake black fur around the hood. She dragged a mentholated cigarette as she sat with her legs crossed against the window sill.
I drove her home. She messaged me the next day. It was November 2015. We planned a date and talked for four hours with cups of Java City coffee between our brittle fingers by the cascading yellow light of the CMU seal.
As we celebrate our second Valentine’s Day together, I’m reminded of how much joy she brings into my life: how I can tell her everything, how we can move from spats about my slovenly behavior to laughing together on the couch with our cat and memories and love.
It took forever and it felt like a lifetime, but as I gear up to graduate in May, the journey makes me humbled. Sometimes heartache is worth the delay. Sometimes finding the perfect thing isn’t easy or convenient.
Sometimes, good love is worth the wait.