Friday, July 27, 2012

On the first email exchange with my wife

Today, July 27, 2012, is exactly 2696 days (accounting for 2 leap years) from the day that my wife and I first emailed each other. 757 days after that first email, we were married. And 681 days after we were married, Addison was born. So, 1438 days from the day of our first email, Lindsay and I (mostly Lindsay) brought a little squalling creature into this world. The time between our first email and Addison’s birth is still slightly greater than the time from Addison’s birth until now. But in a matter of months, the “Addison” phase of our lives together will have eclipsed the “just the two of us” phase of our lives. To put it another way, it won’t be long before the “changing diapers” phase of our experience together has surpassed the “spontaneous road trip” phase. That’s a little wild to think about.
There’s nothing special about today that made me start crunching these numbers. It’s just that Lindsay and Addison are away for a few days, and I got bored and started going through my old emails. Apparently I have 2310 unread emails. I don’t care.

I realize that the only time I’ve really written something that was really focused on my wife or our relationship was when I won a reader-arbitrated cage-fight with Lindsay regarding bedtime hugs. So here’s something a little different. Because I’ve been missing her. 

Why mark the days from our first email exchange? We met months before the first email, but there was something about exchanging emails that made things click. Neither of us had cell phones, and while I think we may have spoken on the communal landline phone once or twice before exchanging emails, things really picked up once we started sending little bundles of prose back and forth to each other. Over the course of a couple of weeks, the missives we exchanged probably amounted to a year’s worth of letters in an earlier era. It's like we were doing old-timey courting, but using the fast-forwardness of near-instantaneous email replies.

(excerpted from the very first email that Lindsay sent me on 3/10/05)

...good morning.  so i was doing a little investigative work on this saturday's cinematic adventure, trying to check out the price, because as you may have noticed i don't make as much money as you do, richie rich (incidentally, i hope you don't mind that i now think of you totally differently since you told me how much money you make.  before i thought of you as a delightfully quirky, starving artist type, now you're more in the eccentric millionaire category).  anyway, the website told me that there were no tickets available for you have some insider knowledge?  or just piles of money that get you on "the list"?
okay, have a great day!  linds
p.s. i probably should have told you that giving me your email was a huge mistake because my emails are always 85-95% longer than they need to be. (see exhibit a above.)
And excerpts from my reply, sent back the same day:

...i am sadsadsad.  (triple sad).  apparently that showing of the banff mountain film festival has been sold out for several weeks.  However, i'm still going to show up and hope for standby slots.  The man at the ticket office indicated that 6:00 would be a good time to get in line (they'll have 20 fold-out seats available and also the seats of anyone who doesn't show).  I may not quite get there at 6:00. but i'll head over there as soon as i get out of work, hopefully about 6:15.  I understand that you have a prior engagement, so the waiting will probably not be a part of your evening, but i would gladly wait for you.  To the ends of time.  [sappy love song trying to be born] In any event, i am also going to go on friday.  it is true that i am quite wealthy, but unfortunately i am compulsively miserly.  I skimp on food (needlessly) and clothes (maybe a little needfully), and i live in a cave so that i can balance my budget out with multiple trips to the banff mountain film festival.   it is that good.  Been told that there should be enough tickets for friday to just pick them up at the door.
To put some of this in context, here are a few pertinent notes:

1. I made pretty good money working for a tutoring service in Washington D.C. I was able to work merely ten hours per week to pay for my living expenses, and even save a little. It helped that I was living in a tiny little hobbit hole.

2. I ended up going to the Banff Mountain Film Festival with a different girl, a friend of Lindsay's. Having seen it several times before, I paraded the greatness of the festival to everyone I came across. Despite my hammy reference to love songs, I was really just making a joke, not trying to hit on her.

3. We have tried to go to the Banff Mountain Film Festival together almost every year since 2005, but have been foiled every time. Most notable, perhaps, was when I was going to include a date to the Festival as part of an extended proposal in 2007. Lindsay ended up feeling sick, and I ended up proposing to her in the car before taking her home and making soup for her. Someday we'll get there.

Lindsay totally busted me on not being able to do math, and pointed out that most of the numbers I cited above were wrong, except for the biggest one (it's been 2696 days since those e-mails were sent). So I spent like two hours doing some very rudimentary addition and subtraction and came up with this chart to make things a little more transparent. The sentiment expressed above is still accurate, however.