Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Someone of the opposite sex with whom one can talk to on even terms

She found for the first time in her life, as also did Jack, someone of the opposite sex with whom she could have a conversation on even terms... — Douglas Gresham, step-son of C.S. Lewis

This particular quote I found after some time of surfing around the web, immediately after my wife and I chatted online (I found it here). He, Douglas Gresham, was talking about how his mother, Joy Davidman Gresham, found somebody with whom she could really relate to. Who happens to be my favorite author, C.S. Lewis. A movie, called "Shadowlands", beautifully portrays the love story of this lady and probably the most well-known of all Christian apologists of the last century (that's the 20th Century, by the way; we are already in the 21st, after all). I watched that version with Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger, not the supposedly more accurate one with Joss Ackland and Clair Bloom. I don't intend to tell the entire story of Joy and Jack Lewis in this post (if you want to find out, click the links, or borrow the movie and watch it, or, better yet, read a good biography of C.S. Lewis or Joy Gresham), but to relate something about that quote up there.

As I said, I had just finished e-chatting with my wife online. Growing up, I thought I would be lucky if someone would consent to marry me. I hadn't been the most attractive guy in school and (unlike a lot of other men, I'm quite sure) I never had any school romance. Most who only know me now would think it may be due to my corpulence; no, not really. Up until my 2nd year in college, I was the proper body/weight proportion, a CAT officer, and reasonably fit, inspite of my asthma. To cut a long story short, I am much more unattractive now than I was; yet for some reason this girl, Ærynn, fell in love with me for some reason. But I don't mind, for even before we fell in love, she had become a better friend than I thought was possible, from even a person of the same sex. She was of the opposite sex, lovely and voluptuous, but more importantly we can talk. And share stuff.

Oh, we have our differences. Choice of music, most especially. And a lot of other things... which doesn't matter. We hang out, we do stuff, and we even quarrel sometimes... as I do with others, to be sure. But never on such equal terms. I can be completely honest with her, tell her of things which I would normally be ashamed to tell anybody else, even my twin, and I know she will still love me, at first as a friend, then as my fiancee, now as my wife. It is like another me, and that, in itself, is remarkable as I am a twin—if there should have been another "me" it should have been E-, right? Nobody completes me more (yes, I know! Jerry McGuire... but the Bible was first, you know) than anyone I have ever met, or had hoped to meet. I had been attracted to my own share of girls growing up, each with distinct attractiveness, but my wildest hopes never would have come up with an Ærynn. I never thought it was possible. It's like I created her for myself, with all the lovely virtues and yet the proper number of flaws to prevent her from becoming a Mary Sue; yet, not quite, for she has other qualities I never thought I wanted in a woman which she has since shown me I had desired all along.

What can I say? I am irretrievably in-love with this woman, and she has shown the hallmarks of having the same feelings for me (hard to believe, yes). I have found for the first time in my life someone of the opposite sex with whom I could have a conversation on even terms, true intercourse, where I truly know my wife—mind, body and soul. Such happiness amidst such bitterness than I thought was possible, or what I rightly deserve. Praise God, He gave me at least one great gift if He never gave me anything else (though, of course, He has). Especially for one like who had thought that I would spend the rest of my life alone, as this very bitter poem shows, written just months before she first said she loved me.

I wrote this poem years ago, this time just months after she first said that she loved me.