Although I honestly didn’t feel ready for a relationship, I began dating Michael as a single mom when my baby girl was only a year and a half. We dated off and on for a couple of years and I finally (yet confidently) said a “Maybe-Yes” to Michael’s (second) marriage proposal on February 13, 1999. Six months later, we were Husband and Wife. In sickness and in health. ‘Til death do us part.
August 15, 1999. That day, Michael, Deja, and I became MDM. I will be forever grateful for the loving family he made us. I love and miss Michael so much. I miss “Deja, Michael and Me” even more. I know we’re incredibly fortunate for what we had. But, I still miss it. Immensely.
All the same, I realize that Michael really didn’t leave me “empty-handed.” He’s blessed me with so much. His “voice” truly surrounds me. Whenever I need him, I open one of his books… Or, I search “Michael Louis Calvillo Raps” on YouTube… Or, I let the answering machine pick up to hear his greeting. Or…if I’m really brave, I dig around for one of the many beautiful love letters he wrote me. I always felt that one of the perks of being married to a writer was being bestowed with the occasional well-written love letter. And, of course without fail, my Michael wrote me an exquisite love letter every Anniversary. It was something I always expected and adored getting. Today, Michael’s Loyal Readers, I have decided to share with you one of my favorite Anniversary letters Michael wrote me. This particular letter was for our 10th Anniversary. He must have been feeling nostalgic and dreamy because he detailed our Early Years, Growth, and a Future Perfect…
How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as (true) love?
The Early Years
So then, the first time we officially met (in Speech class, where thank God we were forced to talk and work together – if we had any other subject we may have sat apart, or maybe said a kind word here or a polite word there and then that might have been that), I felt swimmy and dizzy. You were a pretty girl (the prettiest), and you were talking to me, and I felt that requisite fear bubble up, that geeky loss for words, and my systems thrummed uber-nervous, crazy-nervous, stupid-nervous.
I think (but can’t be sure) that I managed to keep it together and act like everything was fine, but on the inside…I was a mess.
Anyway, out of politeness (of which you exude in excess), you asked me if I needed a ride home. I did. The walk wasn’t a big deal, but I didn’t have a ride so when you asked me if I needed one I should have said yes, but I was casually standing around, hoping you’d talk to me about something, never in a million years thinking you would, and then when you did, I internally panicked and in effort to avoid stammering and geeking out too hard I said, no, that I was okay, but thanks any way or something dumb and insincere like that.
After you left, I walked home, kicking myself the entire way for trying to be too cool. Fantasy played through my head and I envisioned inviting you in and making out and…and…and…well…never mind.
From that moment on, I was hooked. I told my friends (at the time the three other members of BURN – the Jeffs and Timon) and resolved to work up the courage to get you to go out on a date with me.
The next time we had Speech class I asked you if the Ride Offer still stood. You smiled that incredible smile and well, here we are.
I have so many beautiful memories from those early days.
Thrift shopping in Victorville and Hollywood.
Art movies in Hollywood.
Late nights on the golf course or a park.
Three hour phone calls.
Hastily putting on ski boots with the intention of taking you home (you stayed the night with me), but your dad was awake when we got there and you didn’t want to go in until your parents left for work so we went to have breakfast (still in ski boots) to kill time.
I remember hanging with you and wild Stacy.
Talking in the morning and afternoon and going out at night.
Kicking the Earth Science door.
Rolling in duck poop.
Marilyn Manson and Smashing Pumpkins and beer and pizza.
Trying to get you out of my car and to your front door.
And though you weren’t big on saying it (you had Deja to consider), I was ecstatic to have you as my girlfriend.
I was ready to continue forever, but things got rocky – you grew distant, but still, I hung on and promised you I’d be there forever, that we’d be together forever. I think you half believed me but…
That year apart was rough. I missed you and dreamt about you and spent restless nights CENSORED to the images seared in my mind.
I couldn’t forget your smile, your hair, your eyes, shoulders, style, voice, etc…
I hung out with Fraternity idiots and wannabe filmmaking idiots and kept thinking I have to get my shit together and find someone to make me forget about you. But it didn’t work back in VV and it didn’t feel like it was going to be any different in Northridge, so I waited and pined and went about life single and despondent and trying to enjoy hanging with friends (I did / I didn’t).
I received your correspondence on August 9th, 1998. My mom and dad came to the little apartment I shared with Ronnie to take me to dinner for my birthday. My mom gave me a letter that arrived at the SVL address sometime earlier.
My heart flipped.
Futile effort enclosed.
That’s what it said.
I went from all mushy to faux-strong and brave and thought, you know what, I’m going to get her back, but I have to be cool. I have to play this super cool. I have to make sure you understood what I wanted and how things had to be. I wasn’t going to allow you to corral me into the friend zone. I tried to pretend to be your friend when we fell apart in VV, but I was only pretending so I could get you back. This time, I had to make sure you got that I was interested in a serious relationship or nothing at all.
So I wrote you back and gave you my pager number and I waited.
You blew me up a few weeks later and everything began to fall into place.
Not that it was all wine and roses. We had our fights, our scares, our jealousies (my jealousies). But after only six months of dating and rekindling, I scrabbled what I could together and got a ring, and on Feb. 13th 1999, I took a knee.
Your answer: Maybe.
But I learned (and am still learning) that sometimes what you say with your lips isn’t always what you mean with your heart (sometimes) and vice versa. This is a peculiar art form and (ten years in) I am still learning to differentiate the real NOs from the maybe NOs from the NO YESes.
I think I’m getting better and plan to master it one of these days. Until then, I am going to work at it and relish every moment – good or bad. Rest assured, one day I will get it right.
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!