In August of 1997 a bleach-blonde haired boy in fingerless gloves wheeled his bike into my Art/Design Basics class at UofA. He was cute in a sort of alternative, sporty way, so when I walked into class the next time and he had a seat open next to him, I grabbed it. (To this day he swears he came to class early, secured an empty table, and stashed his bag on the open seat so it would look saved until I walked in the door. Then he moved it over so the seat would look empty and I would sit next to him. I think that’s revisionist history to make him feel more in charge.) We discussed the movie Mallrats. I’m pretty sure I made fun of him. Eventually, even though he never asked for it, I wrote my phone number in green crayon on a sheet of graph paper and gave it to him (clearly he was playing hard to get and I liked it). He didn’t call me until a week or so later and then it was only to ask me if I knew of any good parties going on that weekend because his friend was in town.
I almost gave up on that boy. It’s possible I like a good chase, but I’m never one to stick around where I’m not wanted. Luckily, he was adorable enough I decided to give it one more shot and kissed him one night after class when he walked my out toward the direction of my car. And now 12+ years later, he’s pretty much the only person on the planet who can put up with me on a daily basis.
Sometimes I think about how that could have all gone so differently and I wouldn’t have him in my life at all. What an epic disaster that would be. But then I remember that movie Sliding Doors and I decide it probably would have worked out the same anyway. Just maybe with a different haircut or something.
Today is that boy’s birthday. He’s 34 and although he’s the less verbal member of our family, don’t let that fool you. He’s the best part. He’s the white stuff in the oreo that you tolerate the exterior cookies to get to. He’s the part of the rainstorm where it’s so loud and crashing and insistent for just a few minutes that you can do nothing but stand at the window and watch. He’s that outfit you love more than any other because it makes you look skinny, attractive AND is comfortable.
I want to share my 10 favorite things about him, but I have to tell you, I’m a little afraid some hot chick will read this and decide she wants him for herself. So know this Bitches, I will cut you if you try anything.
10 Things You May Not Know About Jason Newlin:
1. He addressed our wedding invites. He has MUCH nicer handwriting than I do.
2. He LOVES babies. He zeros in on any baby in the room and is compelled to say hi and make them giggle.
3. There aren’t many things in this world he loves more than the Yankees.
4. He loves to shop. (I mean it, Ladies, BACK OFF.)
5. He has the best hair. It’s dark and curly and shiny. And his beard is red. LOVE it.
6. He’s a better hugger than I am. And he never forces me to hug back.
7. His eye for detail and perfection in design occasionally paralyzes him. He just wants things to look so perfect; it’s hard for him to actually do it knowing it will probably have a flaw.
8. He’s ridiculously loyal. His friends are his friends for life.
9. He likes to figure out how things work. In high school he ran cable up to his bedroom without telling his parents.
10. He enjoys a really excellent meal so heartily it’s sometimes more fun just to watch him eat than to take a bite myself.
Happy Birthday, Jason. I honestly do not know what I’d do without you.