You'd think that now that the semester's over, I'd have a little free time. You'd think that in the summer I decided to take time off for my health, I'd have a little time to rest. Seriously! I'm starting to wonder if I just don't know how to not be busy. Frankly, having absolutely nothing I had to do would probably drive me completely insane within a few weeks.
Two and a half weeks ago, I shlepped out to a gorgeous piece of the middle of nowhere to help prepare for my cousin's wedding. I designed and organized the decorating of the church and reception hall, and helped them get stuff finished. (by this point, the bride and her mother were going nuts, as is the usual state of affairs right before a wedding) My wonderful boyfriend had volunteered to come along and help, so I had an extra strong back to carry things and set things up and move things around. Aren't guys wonderful to have around?
The wedding was wonderful. Everything went off perfectly, the weather was great, and the groom and father of the bride were crying as my cousin came down the aisle. I'll admit, I was crying, too. She and I had always been close. She was born only a few months before me, and until my sister was born almost a decade later, we were each other's only girl cousin. The wedding also drove home that we really were growing up, and that my wedding would probably be the next one in our part of the family.
You can learn a lot about a boyfriend by bringing him to a family wedding. Mine never looked uncomfortable, never tried to escape to run off and get drunk, never changed the subject when people nudged the wedding conversations our way, or did any of the things you'd expect a commitment-shy guy to do. He even sometimes started talking about specifics for our wedding someday, without any prompting. (We'll probably be having the no ice cream cakes argument right up until the moment I order our non-frozen wedding cake!) This is a long, long way from the guy who was so terribly commitment-shy in the beginning that he was afraid to even say "I love you."
I also learned a bit about myself. The week before the wedding, we were staying at my grandparents' house. There weren't enough rooms for my parents, my sister, my boyfriend, and me, so my boyfriend slept on the couch. He got to keep his suitcase in the room my sister and I shared, and he shared my closet. While I always have gotten a strong OCD twitch when I see his stuff strewn across my floor, making a mess and making it impossible for me to find my stuff easily, the closet was different. It was orderly, for one thing, but that wasn't what really got me. Clothes scattered around a suitcase taking up half my floor has a vibe of "I'm just here visiting." Seeing his clothes and mine lined up together in the same closet? I got this big, warm fuzzy feeling of permanence. I liked it. A lot.
There is one thing I need to figure out, though. Every time my boyfriend come with us to visit my family in the lovely mountains in the middle of nowhere, he acts differently. A good kind of differently. He's sweeter, gentler, more forgiving, less touchy, more understanding, more romantic... he's different. I'm not sure if it's because he's less stressed out because we're away from his family/friends/work stress, or if he's less stressed because we're out in the country or something. I'm not sure if he's just on his best behavior because so many of my family are around. I'm not sure if he's trying to butter me up into one of our rare, late-night sneak-some-nookie-without-the-grandparents-hearing escapades.
So that's what's been percolating in the back of my head for the past two weeks while I ran around shadowing doctors at a hospital here in the mountains of the middle of nowhere. That, and the MCATs I'm preparing for. Jeepers, those study books are huge.