Saturday, December 18, 2010


Right before Eric and I started dating, we were brought together by our mutual friend's birthday celebration. There's much to be told about that weekend, but let me start with this tidbit. There was construction happening on Leah's road, and when I arrived in the afternoon, I had to drive directly toward a huge pile of dirt. It looked like I was going to meet a dead end, but I found her road, and all was well.

Later that evening, Eric was driving a couple of us drunk ladies back to Leah's place. He saw the pile of dirt and panicked, wondering which way he should go instead. I assured him that he should, in fact, drive directly toward the huge pile of dirt, where he would find the road, and all would be well. It turns out, though, that construction changes throughout the course of a day, and the pile of dirt was in fact an obstacle.

While we dated, this little incident came up often. I'd tell him a piece of misinformation, or assure him I was right about something, and he'd just scoff and say, "Sure, drive right into the dirt. Trust me." This morphed into Rule Number Two of our relationship: Trust me always.

For the last twelve days, I have avoided the elevator in Eric's building. I have gone into the apartment, I have laid in his bed and cried, I have sorted through papers and cleaned out the fridge; but I have not gone into the elevator.

Until today. Today we moved furniture, we took out many loads of garbage, we emptied the fridge, we made sure every cabinet and closet was empty. Today I had to go into the elevator, because I just can't carry a bed down three stories, can't move most of an apartment's worth of stuff with only stairs. So I faced the elevator. And it was fine. But it did remind me of our Rule Number Three: Always kiss in the elevator.

When we first started dating, Eric still lived in Duluth. Our schedules happened to be such that we both had Thursdays and Fridays off. Given our living situations and the fact that I drove a fuel-efficient hybrid, I made the trek to and from every weekend so we could see each other. At the end of the visit, as we said goodbye, he'd tell me to drive safe, he'd kiss me, he'd nod awkwardly and say "yup," and he'd say two words that quickly become our Rule Number One: Don't die.


  1. This post broke my heart. Me and my husband have "rules," too, and every one is based on some tidbit of our relationship; some moment of our life together. When somebody passes away, I think it's a natural response to go for the tangible items. But the books could have been anybody's books. The clothes could have been anybody's clothes. The dishes, the CDs, the jewelry, etc. It's the memories like these that are truly YOURS. Thank you for writing about your memories. -A Friend

  2. This was a heartbreaking, yet beautifully written story. Thank you for sharing.