Your knees didn’t properly go weak there, so let me explain. If there is one unerring truth in the universe, it’s this: Grace loves unsweetened black iced tea. When your ancestors move to the South, then don’t leave for four-hundred years, this is the result. It can be below-freezing outside and I’d still like ice in my leaf water, thanks. Professor McGregor has picked up on this.
Monday afternoon, I’m sitting in his backyard, playing with his new puppy and waiting for him to get home for lunch. The plan was thus: he’d pick up sandwiches, we’d eat them, then I’d leave for Austin. In my overly complicated ordering instructions (Ham & Swiss, with lettuce, on wheat, plus olive oil & any salad vinegar…unless they don’t have any, then just meat, cheese, and the tiniest bit of mustard on white. Yes, I am that ridiculous, kittens.), never did I mention a beverage. Yet, when the screen door opened, my delightful boyfriend held a gigantic cup of iced tea. If the Great Lakes were to suddenly dry up, this cup could have refilled them. The man not only quizzed the sandwich maker about types of vinegar, but remembered my love for vast quantities of tea!
Y’all, my insular cortex swooned. I know that women are socially conditioned to want flowers, chocolate, and unreasonably sized teddy bears, but they don’t really do it for me. Flowers and chocolate are lovely, but I regularly buy those for myself, and I’ve always been vaguely nervous about cuddling with bears. If I were a witch, out to seek revenge on mankind for a great wrong done to my sisters, my opening volley would be turning all stuffed animals into actual animals. (Not that I believe in witches, but I still only sleep with small, easily subdued stuffed creatures. ONE CAN NEVER BE TOO CAREFUL.) Never having had a boyfriend who strayed outside these socially accepted displays of affection, I didn’t realize how happy legitimate gestures of love would make me. My heart, it pittered and pattered.
Professor McGregor, it turns out, does these things all the time. If he’s not bringing home iced tea, he’s grabbing me bottles of water at a football game or insisting I take his sweatshirt, because I’m the human version of permafrost. Kittens, a couple of weekends ago, he even put up a door for me. Friends were staying with him for the weekend, which meant my usual use-the-guest-bathroom routine was disrupted. Because he lives in an old house, full of both charm and a weird lack of three-hole plug outlets, the door to his bathroom has been missing since he bought the place. Knowing I would be sharing with him all weekend, he bought and hung a door, before I came in town. A man who is both handy and considerate? I don’t even know how to handle that!
I’m not really sure what the point of this blog post is, except that, sometimes, iced tea is more romantic than roses. Sometimes, the man you’re dating in real life is better than Ryan Gosling’s latest character. Sometimes, you just have to write a blog post talking about how awesome your boyfriend is, because if you tell him you “think he’s neat” one more time, he might realize how poorly you process emotion in real life.