Dear Violet,

3 years ago today, in a few hours exactly, I met you. And the only reason we met is because your friends dragged you out to a bar while you were in town for the weekend and I was there, randomly, from out of town too. I saw you walk in. Without the ability to avoid clichés or mush here, all of a sudden all of the space in between us felt empty. I had to meet you. Had. To. You were the prettiest girl in the room.

Eventually, I found my nerve at the bottom of a beer bottle and asked you to dance. And we danced. Twice. I caught your name, touched your tummy briefly (score!) and then your grumpy, grouchy, scowl-faced, party pooper friend made you leave. I (very seriously) considered locking my arms around your ankles to make you stay, but the floor was sticky and that grossed me out. Also, that would have been creepy and not cute (there is such a fine line between romantic and totally creepy sometimes, but not here).

I asked for your number and you gave me a funny look. You had never done that before. With a bit of reluctance you scratched around on an empty matchbook. You gave it back with some stuff scratched out and some numbers scratched in. I dialed the numbers the next day and it turned out to be a real phone number. I wanted to hang out with you before you left town. You didn’t want to. Whatever.

I called you again a few weeks later on your birthday and we talked. You called me the next day and we talked some more. I called you the day after that and we talked. All of a sudden we were talking every evening, usually for hours, a few states apart, until one of our phone batteries died or one or both of us fell asleep.

It quickly came to be that talking to you was what I looked forward to most in my days. Somewhere in most of our conversations you’d to insist that we wouldn’t know each other for very long. You’d say, “jesse, let’s just be real about this for a second. We’re not even going to know each other a month from now.” I continued to insist that I felt differently but regardless, “I’ll’ take the time we have now and never complain.” And then we’d move on. Again and again… and again.

3 months later you came to visit me. We spent a few weeks together and it was kind of like a two week long first date. It was magic. The whole thing. The whole time. You were, again without the possibility to avoid mush, the single most unbelievably amazing human being I had ever run into… ever. The fact that I was falling in love with you was unstoppable, undeniable and it was something I tried really hard to keep down while you were around. Full knowing that after our two week date ended you’d be catching a flight to France – for a year… at least. And you did.

You called me when you got to Paris and told me that the hickey I had left on your neck was not cool. This is true. Hickies can be pretty gross. Sorry about that. Good that it was cold and that you love to wear scarves. I called you the next day. And the next. And all of a sudden we were tens of thousands of miles apart and I was still spending more time with you than with anyone else. We emailed, wrote letters and talked on the phone – a lot.

I came to visit you a few months later. And when I very awkwardly asked you, late one night, in that tiny little French kitchen, if you wanted to be my girlfriend you giggled and said, ‘ok.’ Just like that. Ok then.

After I got back I spent my summer running around trying to get a scholarship to study in your little French town. I got the scholarship and then I got sick. It was a devastating roadblock, but that’s all it was, a block.

I flew to see you again 4 months later for a few weeks. We overbooked and overextended ourselves into a foggy exhaustion – and then I flew home. It was a whirlwind trip and it tested our relationship immensely. And we passed. Beautifully.

Two Novembers ago you flew into Seattle to maybe possibly live here, maybe. We agreed that we would have our own places but that you would stay with me until you settled in. You settled in alright. Eventually we found a place for all of your stuff in my place and that place became our place.

This winter we found a little bigger place to move into, together, and we did. And now you, the Seal, Fraidy, (sometimes Marcus) and I have a home. Together. And I know you think we don’t have a very good shot of getting into the New York Times Wedding Page, but it’s not a bad story, Violet. And this is only year three. Today. Right now. That’s not bad, baby. Not bad at all.

Happy anniversary. And thanks… for, you know, everything.