A few months ago, Andrew gave me a big hug, and sniffed my neck. I’m paranoid about smelling funny, and when I noticed him breathing in so deeply, I asked him what I smelled like.
“Home,” he replied.
Because I’m a girl, tears sprang to my eyes, because I’m pretty sure that’s about the cutest thing anyone has ever said to me.
Visiting someone else at home is always such a window into who they are. I’m lucky, in that I live 10 minutes from the town I grew up in, and we go to my childhood home nearly every weekend. From the inception of our relationship, Andrew’s seen and visited the house I grew up in, seen the schools I attended, met the friends that have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. It’s no big thing to eat at my favorite restaurants, or go to dinner with someone I’ve known for my whole life. Andrew’s been ingratiated into my family and my life as a whole because he’s there. He lives in my world. He knows me that much better because he’s seen and experienced so much of my history.
Being at home with him lets me see him so much better. Now I’ve been to the Yacht Club and the Racquet Club he grew up hanging out in; I’ve been out on the boat on the lake that lives in his backyard. We’ve eaten in restaurants that mean something to him and I’ve sat around the table, shooting the breeze with his family. It’s been fun to hear stories, to see his delight at the little things and places that mean something to him and are part of who he is. I’ve loved it. I feel like I understand him that much more, and it makes me happy.
It’s inevitable that being here has raised the question: could we live here? Could I live in his world, and become ingratiated with his friends and family the way he is with mine? Would I want that? Don’t worry, Mom and Dad, we’re not seriously discussing it; however, it made me wonder what it would be like if the shoe were on the other foot.
As we settled in to bed the other night, I wrapped my arms around him and smelled. He asked me the same question: “What do I smell like?”
“Home,” I answered.