"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms." -- Joe Fox, You've Got Mail
Joe and I have been together for 5 years and 9 days. No, his name’s not Joe Fox, that’s just an ironic twist in it all. The movie You’ve Got Mail has a very special place in my heart, though, when it comes to our relationship, but I guess I’ll start at the beginning.
I met Joe in 2003. I was in a current relationship that was going no where fast with no great future to be seen for it. At college orientation, I became separated from my best friend (Jamie) and had to find someone else I knew from high school to sit with. Thankfully I found one of the sweetest girls from school that was there, but she was the only one I knew at the table. I was a really shy person then, just coming out of high school and finding my own way. There was this one boy across diagonally from me that was very handsome and seemed a little…geeky, but in a good way. Well, before I got up the courage to talk to him, to even ask him his name, he left the table. Mentally, I kept kicking myself. There went that shot at having a friend of any sort. But, lo and behold, he came back! He sat down, smiled at me, and asked, “Do you want a cookie?” as he offered me an M&M cookie. Needless to say, I said yes, and we hit it off. We talked about the normal freshman jitters, where we went to school, and what we did in our spare time. He and Jamie also got along, which was great since she’s my big sis and all I needed to seek her approval. ;-)
Continuing on…We hung out a bit during the orientation, but because we were in two different fields, didn’t really get to see too much of each other. We did swap full names so that we could e-mail each other on FirstClass. I told him I would send him one as soon as I got home. Sure enough, after I left that second night of orientation, I raced to my computer and got online. I sent him off a quick message just to let him know I didn’t forget. At this point I was still with my current boyfriend, and Joe and I’s relationship was strictly platonic. However, I couldn’t help but feel a little like Kathleen Kelly when she didn’t know whether or not she should stop e-mail NY152.
Speaking of the movie, let me get to that. I had never seen You’ve Got Mail until one night when I was watching TV and constantly checking e-mail looking for a letter from Joe. (At this point my boyfriend and I had broken up and I was really interested in starting a relationship with Joe, but he had been starting to date someone else, but was not completely sure it was going to go anywhere.) Needless to say, the courting over e-mail made me to have a strong connection to the movie. Yes, we did meet in person first, but really: is there any difference between meeting in person or in a chat room for the first time and then slowly building the relationship over e-mail? I really don’t see any. (On that same note, I could be projecting this connection simply because I want to have romantic story to tell and no one understands stories on their own without parallels.) It’s not just I that connect our relationship to the movie. After we got together and Joe saw the movie, he had to agree, there’s just something about it that’s reminiscent of our beginnings.
So why am I thinking about all of this and writing about all of this? Well, we had a bit of an argument yesterday. Actually, that’s an understatement. From the moment he came home, it was one long argument until we fell into each other’s arms. Regardless, we had this argument and all I could think of was that moment in the cafe when Kathleen is meeting NY152 and it’s not NY152, it’s Joe Fox, the big box store tycoon that put her out of business. For the first time in her life, she zings him. She zings someone with the words that she wants to say but normally can’t get out and, like NY152 had warned her the previous night online, regret inevitably follows. Yesterday, I said a lot that I regret and a lot that I feel can’t be rightfully forgiven. At that moment last night, before I closed my eyes to sleep, I realized what Kathleen felt like. It felt good, cathartic even, to say what I wanted to say, but afterwards…wow. I can’t believe I was such a horrible person right then.
Now that we’ve moved, Joe’s working, and I’m job searching, things feel like the restart button has been hit. We’re back to trying to find a rut we can both work in as far as getting stuff done around the house, but the awkwardness of it all is a big stress inducer. Here’s hoping that things will get smoother now that we’ve had our mini world war. I want things to get better. I need them to get better. We need them to get better.
“Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” The best piece of advice ever.