Who I’m Looking For:
…but not just any girl.
Find one who’s idealistic,
generous with her smile and laugh.
A girl who’s adventurous,
and contemplative, and curious.
A girl who knows how to be a lady
and a child and a man, too.
A girl who’s smart and knows about
some of the things I know about and
some of the things I don’t.
A girl who dances, because she needs to.
A girl who remembers how to imagine,
so she can remind me when I forget.
(Do the same for her.)
A girl whose heart explodes to a
One who craves music and movement,
and people to share with.
But also, a girl with gumption.
A girl with self-respect,
A girl who knows when it’s time to be real.
A girl who knows nothing is permanent,
and tries not to take things for granted.
A girl who works hard and for a reason.
A girl who has a reason.
Is that who you’ve found? Is it who you’re looking for?
Those were the questions I asked myself, written years ago, and I remember how urgent and terrifying it felt to believe that this dreamed up person might exist in flesh and time, but also that I was supposed to be — or somehow become — worthy of them. The ideals of the 19-year-old wannabe romantic might not be practical, but I was putting up a fight.
Fast forward through the in-between of false starts, distractions, excuses; and my numbers finally get called…
Here comes Kelly LaLonde with all her energy and affection, authentic and incorruptible, belting out her five favorite songs on loop and smiling from her mouth up into her eyeballs, miraculously in tune with all the same shared prospects and excitement. And she ends up saying yes. I don't deserve it, but you better believe I'll take it, and this party we're having is a promise from me to her to try to earn the privilege daily, from here on out.
Kelly turned what I was starting to call corny back into something intimate, sentimental, and real; who I was looking for is who I found.
Was that dripping sticky sweet enough for you? Good.
I love this lady. I'm going to marry her, and all of you are going to have to put up with me and my gushing for the rest of my time on earth. It's gonna be great.
They met at work, and for years fluttered around each other's lives without ever being in each other's lives.
Kelly spent the days in her gym, playing psychiatrist for yet another client's daily rap; or teaching a high-intensity class, full volume and full personality. At lunch, she was Mean Girl cool and Disney sweet. Adam sat with the nerds.
During the day he would go work out in six-inch neon shorts, dusty salmon-red Crocs (because if you work out in Crocs, you don't have to wash any socks), and a towel stapled to his head by over-sized, over-the-ear headphones. Sitting on the elliptical and sweating an amount best not described, he'd stair-master away, watching a food show like a donkey watches a carrot on a stick; just two asses looking for a little extra motivation.
But between Kelly and Eeyore, not even a 'Hi' or a 'Bye'.
This guy's from another planet, or even worse, so he likes to think.
She's cute, but I don't wanna end up in
the principal's HR's office.
Then finally, serendipity:
A dinner party of a dozen people, and Adam's god-brother Harry is orchestrating everyone in making their own gnocchi. (The two's introduction caught on tape: a brief video.) During a private moment, Harry asked Adam,
"What's going on with you and that girl?"
"Are you sure?"
"Well, I'd be lying If I said I hadn't thought about it…"
(The seed was sowed.)
A little while longer, Kelly's goodbye party, on her way out of the state, en route to Hawaii. Nothing to lose...
The time that followed, a blur of transitions. Vollying between LAX and Denver International, trips to Joshua Tree and Colorado campsites, backyard fire pits fired and veranda tomato gardens planted, I-Love-Yous in the rain, a million workouts, a thousand meals, a hundred rubber ducks, a few rented convertibles, a few friends' weddings, one move together to Hawaii, another back to Colorado, and zero (plus a few) arguments… that's all they wrote. A done deal.
March 24th, 2020, the two went for a walk, both all giggly with anticipation, and at the same spot they snuck a few sun-shower smooches many months prior, Adam asked Kelly if he could be her husband one day and if she might be his wife.
And so here we are.