how I thought
We were each hoping to learn everything about one another.
We were both terribly serious people, so we felt that getting to know each other in this way was the way that love happened.
Knowing nothing, we would never be able to hold hands. Not knowing your parents’ names I would have doubts about taking your arm in mine. Only once we knew everything about each other—shoe size, clothing size, how many months old we were when we first learned to walk, how many seconds we could hold our breath underwater—only then could love rise to the next step.
In wanting to learn more about each other, we were showing that we wanted the other to know us as we were. It may seem like a peculiar way of thinking, but this was the path we chose, to approach each other slowly.
Therefore, conversation was important. We talked for five hours without so much as touching each other’s pinkie fingers. How many words would we have to exchange before we got married? I was eighteen years old, and you were the first girl I ever really dated, but already I was thinking of marriage. I thought that was what dating meant.
I was dimly aware it would take a long time before we built up to a kiss. I was not particularly anxious—I thought that since we were looking for a partner to share a whole life together, we would have plenty of time. At the very least, we had already taken three years from the time we first exchanged words until we had our first date. I was sure that within three more years we would exchange a first kiss.
That was how I thought.