Today is your birthday! Do you remember the first birthday gift I ever gave you? It was for your 21st… We weren’t officially together and I was really torn about whether I should give you a gift at all considering our label-less circumstances.
When I finally did decide that I would get you a gift, I knew that I didn’t want to get you anything extravagant because I didn’t want you to think I was more into you than you thought I was. And soooo, I got you a pair of khaki pants. Dickies to be exact.
I’m not quite sure what made me think to get you a pair of pants for your 21st birthday of all birthdays. But when I look back on this moment, I really thought it was the perfect “neutral” gift to give. It was practical, something you could use and didn’t insinuate anything overly romantic what so ever.
At the time, you were working for a recreational center and they required you to wear khaki pants as a part of your uniform… Remember how all your khaki pants had holes in the crotch for some reason I can’t remember? And how you would bring your pants to your mom when you visited home so she could sew the crotch holes shut? Knowing this, a fresh pair of hole-less khaki pants seemed like the perfect idea for a present lol.
That is… Until I went over to your place the day after your birthday and you showed me all the other really nice gifts you had received from your friends, family and yes, (ahem) other girls… Lord, if only you could’ve known how nervous I was when I handed over your present and watched you open the wrapping paper. How would my gift measure up in comparison? But the minute you saw what it was, your eyes lit up, you said, “Thank you” and went in the bathroom to “model” for me. They fit perfectly (of course).
I remember thinking afterwards, “Phew! He’s not onto me and my plan to make him my boyfriend – eventually.”
What’s crazy is that this is the only physical gift I remember giving to you for your birthday. In the 8 years that followed, you preferred low-key no-gift birthday situations, simply wanting to hang at home and/or go out to dinner with family and friends. There were also those 4 years when we loved long distance and had decided we would not spend money on each other for gifts but instead use that money to finance our trips to see each other…
Not quite sure where I’m going with this birthday letter except to say that fast forward today, on your 29th birthday, my plan to make you my boyfriend obviously worked and some haha. As such, I am forever grateful for the role those khaki pants role played in our “slowly getting to know you” friendship/relationship at the time.
^^ Grainy but goody… Us circa 2007 celebrating Charles’s 21st birthday at some club in D.C. that I can’t remember the name of. This was the first photo we ever took together – a good 4 months after we had started “talking” (a.k.a. casually dating w/ no strings attached). Kudos to my girl, Lmya (who’s wedding we’re going to in Mexico in December!) for pushing us together and making us take this pic. We didn’t want people in our circle to know we were talking at the time and would act like we were just friends in public which equated to us standing on opposite sides of the clubroom – oh, the dating games haha. Anyways, I will always cherish this photo because it marked the first of many birthdays we would celebrate together.
Cheers to another year of crazy, beautiful, patient, ride or die love. Cheers to another year of transformation and growth. Happy 29th birthday Charles. I heart you my love. <30