Non-impact aerobics, known at my gym as “Nia.” That’s right. We met in Nia class. Of course, I didn’t know it was a non-impact aerobics class. I thought it was kickboxing. I got my nights screwed up. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. So I walked into this class filled with women in tights and leg warmers (who knew people still wore leg warmers?) and I thought to myself “kickboxing schmickboxing! This is for me.” Within minutes, our instructor had us running around “finding our inner butterflies.” As advertised, I felt very little impact. But as we ran around in a circle, flapping our wings (I was doing the cool version, flapping just my elbows) I saw her. The prettiest little butterfly I had ever seen. She didn’t flap her wings, she fluttered. Floated. She didn’t seem the least bit concerned with me or anyone else – she had some serious butterfly business to take care of.Watching her, I couldn’t help but want to be a better butterfly. She was already improving me and we didn’t even know each other. After class I walked her home – which turned out to be an apartment building three doors down from mine.She laughed a lot (but only at my good jokes) and there was a distinct possibility that she was smarter than me. I liked her instantly. I didn’t ask her out for a year.
After the Nia class, I’d see her around the neighborhood. I would sip coffee and write my screenplay (entitled Cold Feet, no joke) in the same coffee shop every day, and her grad school was near by – so she would often pop in to study. We would glance at each other over our matching I-Books, make small talk, and laugh at the wackier regulars. It was great. But I still didn’t ask her out. You see…there was something about her. Something special. And I wasn’t quite ready for special yet.
About a year later I finally asked for her phone number. And then she proceeded to torture me. Every time I asked her out, she presented me with a varied array of “nos.” I texted her from bars: “Dancing. Essex. Come!” She was always otherwise engaged.I became convinced that she had made up the pursuit of her Master’s as an avoidance technique. Later, she told me she had seen me around with other girls in the neighborhood. She didn’t think I was a serious person. She was right. I hadn’t been. But I wanted to be. I was ready to be.
I broke though. She told me she was “half” dating someone else, so I offered to take her on a half a date. I paid for half of the night and I walked her halfway home. A couple of dates later, I invited her to go on a road trip with me. The plan was to drive from New York to Los Angeles in 5 days. She said she had to study for mid-terms, so I pulled out the big guns. I talked about death bed regrets. I said “When you are an old woman, would you rather turn to you grandkids and say ‘Once, I stayed in my apartment for a whole week and studied,’ or ‘Once, I drove across the country with this guy’?”
You see, I knew. She was the one. And I was ready to meet her. All that was left was waiting for her to be ready.
We have been together for over two years now. We moved in together. I live for her laugh. I learn something from her every day. Simply put, she makes me a better butterfly.
Now, all I need is a ring….
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