For the win: I want to love your face off.

To my one day, some day husband–

We are bound to look absolutely homeless for that first glorious year of marriage. In the skinny of February and the bulk of April, we’ll parade proudly in half-ironed clothing in search of sushi palaces on the days when frying pans just won’t do. And we’ll learn the art of waking up to one another. And morning sounds. And food that spreads beyond pancakes and grilled cheeses (because yes, that is all I can offer you right now).

And we’ll learn & relearn & rerelearn what it means to love one another unconditionally, even when we break each other.

I come with that promise:

that I will never try to, nor will I mean to, but I promise that I will break you at some point. Without planning. Without intention. Because that is what human beings do. As solidly as we eat & pray & worry & swallow, we break each other with things we don’t mean to do. It comes with flesh. It comes with humanness. We hurt feelings. We get real snarky. We find just how the guts seep out when we tell the whole truth to the someone who holds us for all the fragile we are beneath thicker skin.

But back to us… and that glorious stage of homeless chic.

Post me saying I will never get out of my wedding dress. Post you telling me that I am going to get cluttered in the Crazy Pile for traipsing around town in white & lace & cowboy boots. Post me yelling, I DON’T CARE. Post you telling me that you refuse to have our very first “married” fight over whether I will or will not turn my wedding dress into a school uniform.

All to say this: I’ve never been so good at ironing.

My clothes tend to clump instead of fold. I live in a world where Tide To Go pens are as essential as ice scrapers in the grey of a New England Winter. And not a single one of these things–the ironing, the folding, the bleaching or lack of it— will make me any ounce better for you. Not so much, not even close, to the ways in which I am training my heart to devour you whole when you come.

Plain truth. Square point. For the win: I want to love your face off.

I want to love you so hard that your eyes & your nose & your mouth wonder what it will be like when they fall on the floor and break from exhaustion. I want no boundaries when it comes to loving you. I want your choices from me for the morning to be a) a lot of love b) a ton of love c) so much love you barely stinking stand it d) all of the above. I promise to stick to those options– even on the days when my pants don’t fit right & I am feeling quite like Lindsay Lohan when she stands in McDonald’s lines and harasses the workers with the big yellow arches on their visors.

And I expect the same out of you.

Yes, I come with expectations.

That you will honor me. That you will cherish me. That you will understand my worth. That you will challenge me. That you won’t treat me as the lesser of you. Because it has taken me a slew of Longer Years to learn all this for myself– that I am worthy , that I am cherished, that I am not the lesser of anyone– and I am never getting back together with the parts of me who once thought I didn’t deserve these things. Never, ever, ever.

& as long as you love me, we could be starving, we could be homeless, we could be broke. As long as you love me, I’ll be your platinum, I’ll be your silver, I’ll be your gold (actually… Justin Bieber wrote that line but I got his permission to borrow it for the sake of this letter… If you play that chorus backwards it actually translates as Dear Hannah’s Husband, you got a good one. A great one.)

I’ve put away the map.

I’ve stopped charting the destinations where you & I might meet. I don’t stalk the coffee shops. I don’t pray for your lattes. & every day without you is another day to practice. Practice & practice & practice. So that when you meet me your heart will speak the truth, “She is a good human being.  She honors people. She values life. She is the companion you’ve looked for all this while.” 

Every day until you is another day to learn patience. Kindness. Goodness. Grace when I am feeling graceless. Compassion when I am feeling torn. Giving when I want to take & loving when I only ache. Because I think that is what you really need, what we all really need before finding the “good woman” or the “good man”: The exceptional human being. The partner to us. The better part on our worst days, the one who demands & deserves the brightness out of us on their weaker days. 

The one who understands that when they get you, they get all the parts of you.

And when you get me, you get all the parts of me:

The girl with the heart the size of Czechoslovakia before the tumultuous split.

The girl who has been purged of fairy tales & whim that was never real, knowing that her time with you won’t be easy, nor honeymoonish all the time, but it will be entirely worth it.

The girl who is a recovering, raging Marxist Feminist who once boycotted engagements in protest of blood diamonds. (We’ll chat that one over someday. I promise.)

The girl who can barely bake cookies, never mind a Thanksgiving feast, but she is willing to buy a cookbook if it means you’ll feel more full than yesterday.

The girl who is learning to love the snot out of this world so that when you come & find her she’ll be absolutely ready for a sweet face like yours.

24 thoughts on “For the win: I want to love your face off.

  1. Seriously made me cry. It’s like you wrote everything I’ve been feeling about my fabulous boyfriend and the potential of us getting married sometime in the next couple of years. You are a wonderful writer. Thank you for this.

  2. I want to bless you with some words of wisedom from my wonderful Grams. “Pray and Pray hard, Pray for anything and everything you want need an diserve. Because God is listening and if you leave anything out you might not like the missing part’s. But know this those missing part’s are what make’s you love them when they leave and hate them when they come back. Start praying now, for when the time come’s your husband with thank you, Kiss you and even love you more for taking the time out of your day for loving him enough to Pray.” My grandparents where married 63 years last year, and even though my grandfather passed away this summer. We will still be celibrating the love they shared and the life they built this December 24th and every December 24th from now till forever. Love never comes when you want it and it certanly never comes in the package you asked for. But I want to give you hope, for even after my love’s and lost and pain that came with all of them. I have a wonderful husband who is the center of my life and yes he playes the guitar and piano by ear and he is a wonderful father. And many things I asked God for many years ago, He deliverd in my husband. And for those things not prayed for or forgotten to pray for. We may have our ruff time’s and we may say things we come to regret, we love each other and would never want anyone else but Us.

  3. I love this. I hope your husband (when he finds you) knows what a treasure he has. Not everyone wants to share that kind of love, because it makes them vulnerable. But it’s beautiful that you do — and I’m sure you will.

  4. he always appears when you least expect it. you’re so full of happiness, life and love, he’ll be overwhelmed with trying to love you, of that i am sure. he’ll never go a day without feeling like he’s the luckiest guy in the world. and you’ll never go a day without wanting to touch his face just to reassure yourself that someone so wonderful is in your life and loves you for exactly the wonderful person you are.

    the love between a husband and wife is so unbelievably hard to describe. it’s friendship on steroids, it hurts in the pit of your stomach, it makes you want to vent and hug at the same time, it’s so powerful that some days you’re scared of how entwined you are with this person. but those same things that make it scary, are the things that make it so great. you become yourself but a thousand times better because you have this person by your side, through every disagreement, delight and milestone. a person who in one breath can tell you that you might be nuts, but that they’re crazy about you being nuts.

    there are no words for this kind of love. and i pray that when you find it, you find it as perfect as mine is 🙂

  5. The exceptional human being. The partner to us. The better part on our worst days, the one who demands & deserves the brightness out of us on their weaker days.

    One of my favorite Hannah-isms because it’s beautiful, and because it’s what YOU are to everyone who reads your work. Skype date soon so I can tell that to your face?! 🙂

  6. As if I didn’t love you already. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words, I will be passing them onto my daughter because you have put it so eloquently when I have not been able to.

  7. I love that you’ve “put away the map”. That is always my biggest advice to single girls; don’t be so anxious to rush into the arms of the next good-looking guy at the coffee shop. You have to “let go and let God” when it comes to finding your man. After all, he has written the day in stone and refuses to change the date, so patience is key. You are so enthusiastic and understanding when it comes to that, it’s beautiful.

  8. I love the idea that every day we don’t meet Him, that man whose hair will gray alongside ours’, is a day to practice. A day to mold ourselves into the best versions of ourselves, the versions we hope to be when we meet Mr. Right…

  9. I love the use of the map. The picture it paints in my mind nearly sums up what direction I am, and want to go in. As a man who feels like a boy I feel wholly unprepared for the extreme emptiness nature has given me inside my chest. It’s very hard to walk down the street and not see the obvious joy others get when together with their partners.

    I just have to remember to calm down, relax. You have barely left the womb. Have some fun and make some mistakes.

  10. This is truly one of my favorite posts of yours, which is saying something. On a personal level, it gave me the push I needed to deal with some of my own issues and struggles with waiting for the man God has for me. I wanted to share the link with you, specifically because you gave me the seed of inspiration, and generally because your wordpress is what gave me the bravery to start my own several months ago. Thank you for your bravery and all-around awesomeness, Hannah! 🙂

  11. You’re writing is my downtime, I choose your blog over fictional books, in my college life which is filled with an over abundance of reading.

  12. Commenting so you know to share this with your sweet Lane. Share all your letters to him, with him. I did with my husband the night before we were married. We sat on our future bed together and read a few together before the “crazy” got started. But don’t share them for Instagram or for the wedding photographer. Do it for you. Do it for him. And cherish the moment you do. Celebrate it. Celebrate you giving him a piece of your heart because if you’re even 1% human, that’s not always an easy task. My husband’s face when I gave him that and when I walked down the aisle were quite close the same.

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