Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 52 Chez and Bill

Chez and Bill went on their first date eight years ago this week. They had met two years earlier in Illinois Wesleyan College in Bloomington. They had mutual friends and would occasionally hang out in college, but didn’t date then because Bill always seemed to be in a relationship.

After graduating from college, they both moved back in to their respective parents’ homes which both happened to be in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. They continued to hang out with their mutual friends, and this time Bill was single. When they were together in a group, Chez and Bill would tease one another and be sarcastic, but would have intimate, on-line chats on instant messenger well into the night. Chez would come home and look forward to signing on instant messenger, hoping Bill would also be signed on. One night, he made an off-hand comment that if Chez knew how to throw a Frisbee forehand, Bill would have to marry her. Bill took Frisbee seriously.

Their on-line conversations got longer and more frequent. Bill confessed to Chez that he normally messes things up when he likes a woman, which could be a problem because he was getting to like her. That set the tone for their communication, open and honest. They went out on a date and things between them got pretty serious pretty quickly.

Chez remembers telling him that her favourite book was Catcher in the Rye. By the time she had gotten home from work the next day, Bill had gone out, bought Catcher in the Rye and had read the whole book.

Although things were going well, Chez didn’t trust it would last. She thought the first six months was the inevitable honeymoon period and after that it would all go to crap. It didn’t all go to crap and over time, things started to feel solid. Two and half years into their relationship, Chez found herself lost and uncertain about everything in her life except Bill. She was working in a domestic violence shelter and it was wearing her down, she was thinking of going back to school, but wasn’t sure what to study. Bill was the only thing that felt stable to Chez, and that’s when things between them started to feel solid.

For Chez, it was important to be with someone who understood the kind of pressure she was under working in a domestic violence shelter. When a car would cut into her way in the street and she’d get angry and shout, ‘The way white men drive is representative of the hierarchies in our society’, Bill would understand.

It was also important that there was very little drama in their relationship. It doesn’t mean there wasn’t sadness or difficult moments, but there wasn’t any drama. When Chez’s little sister, who was 14 years old at the time, crashed Bill’s new car into a dumpster Bill’s reaction was to laugh.

Chez and Bill were married in 2007. Chez has Bill’s initials ‘WJF’ tattooed on her ring finger, and Bill has ‘Chez’ tattooed on his ring finger. Bill taught Chez how to throw a Frisbee forehand and Chez has complete trust that their relationship will last.

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