Today’s Garrett’s birthday.
I don’t always talk about him on here. Partially because his privacy is his privacy. But more so because I don’t think to. This is my place for unpacking. And there’s not much to unpack there.
My therapist commented once that I only talk about Garrett tangentially—but I do that a lot. And that’s how he knows I’m exceptionally happy. Because Garrett’s a small part of every story. But there’s not anything to talk about with Garrett specifically. We’re happy. It’s easy. End of story.
I wrote years ago about how “love is a sweatpants and TV thing.” Not that I wear sweatpants much at all. But the sentiment is the same. My relationship isn’t incredibly interesting to the outside world. Because it’s a lot of watching TV and cuddling with Roscoe and playing cards and going for walks and laughing about inside jokes.
It’s not terribly interesting for anyone outside the relationship. And, most of the time, I forget to post it on Facebook or talk about it to friends. Because it’s a moment I’m fully in. And it’s complete.
I think that’s why I’m so bad at social media. I always forget to post until either someone prompts me, or the moment has already passed. And then I try to rush a photo.
Garrett and I have hardly any photos together. Honestly, with the exception of the wedding and wedding-related events (which really stocked us up), we had a combined maybe 10 photos of just us two. But somehow that suits us. To keep the most tender moments of our relationship private. A space that only we can enter.
But it’s his birthday. And I want to honor him today. And share this love letter publicly.
I’ve known Garrett for over a third of my life. He’s the kindest person I’ve ever met—bar none. Like almost too kind. Like we’ve actually gotten in fights about how caring he is for every person. Because his heart is the biggest I’ve ever seen.
I never thought I’d care what my partner does for work. But Garrett just happens to do my dream job that I would never do. It’s something I championed in PR long before he did it. Something I always believed would change healthcare. And something few people have the compassion and patience to do. But he does.
For the wedding, my sister, who was the officiant, privately e-mailed us a few questions for her sermon. She asked what drives each of us crazy about the other. She read it verbatim, but I don’t have the words, so I’ll have to summarize from memory.
I said something about Garrett being an absolute psycho about time when we have to be somewhere. He’s always stressed about getting out the door on time. And we never end up being late, anyway.
He said that I am so slow and am never rushed about leaving the house. And it drives him crazy that I take my time, and nothing motivates me to move it.
I laughed—then and now. Of course it was the same thing that drives both of us crazy about each other. And it’s not big or flashy or interesting. But it makes sense.
I remember the time that I knew I loved Garrett. It was years ago. Long before anyone knew we were together. And I was at a holiday party in a very busy part of the city wit notoriously bad parking. He was working until midnight on residency.
And, all of the sudden, I turned around and Garrett was at the party in scrubs. I couldn’t believe he battled a snowstorm and searched for parking. So I asked him why he came. And he told me it was because I’d have to take the T (our subway) home. And that’d be a half hour more he wouldn’t see me.
And he loved to watch me tell stories excitedly to a group of people. As he just sat there and watched. So he had to come to this party.
It was a quiet moment. One that no one at the party even knew about. And something I could never quite capture in a picture. But it epitomizes the relationship for me.
He loves me for being me. Without even trying. And I love him for being himself. Even when—as my sister said—it drives me crazy.
And that’s our relationship.
Last summer, I was at a wedding, and someone was asking me about what it’s like to be in a monogamous relationship with someone you love. And he asked if I’m ever attracted to anyone else. And I said, honestly, “Of course other people are attractive. But, when I look at Garrett, he looks so much more beautiful than anyone else. And, yes, I think he’s objectively beautiful. But it’s also because I’m in love with him. I can’t help but see his love and compassion and intelligence and humor when I look at him.”
I know that I wouldn’t be writing this today if it weren’t for Garrett. And I wouldn’t run this business if it weren’t for Garrett. Or live in this house. Or be even remotely this happy.
Not to say that I haven’t done any of the hard work. On the contrary—I do massive amounts of self-work daily. But it’s Garrett who’s helped me feel safe to step more into myself. It’s Garrett who’s allowed me to see how beautiful and amazing I am. It’s Garrett who believes I can truly do anything I want in the world.
And that kind of love and support can move mountains.
I am who I am today because of Garrett.
Garrett—I love you. And I know you are changing the world. Because you’ve changed mine.