Dear Future Wife,
I’m sure you’re out there somewhere, and here is my maybe-romantic-but-hopefully-not-too-creepy-but-who-cares-because-you’re-perfect-and-you’ll-love-it-anyway letter. Before I find you, please note that I have extremely high expectations of you. I’m fairly certain that you will be beautiful beyond compare. Helen of Troy withers before you. Your sweat probably smells like roses and I wouldn’t be surprised if you spontaneously spawn marshmallows and rainbows with your mere presence. I’m pretty sure that you will be perfect in every way! When we cuddle, somehow you’ll be the perfect fit to nestle with in mind-blowing comfort. Magically, your hair will not end up stuck in my mouth leaving me to sputter and inevitably drool into your hair like a grumpy puppy.
But I’ll love you not just on account of your stunning good looks. You’ll know me inside and out. You’ll know that when I smile and say that “I’m fine” that I’m totally torn up inside and that what I really need is for you to wrap your porcelain arms around me and hug me tight. You’ll also know that along with your hug, I’d really like another Karl Strauss Amber Lager, and because you’re perfect, you’ll hug me with one in hand already. All of my internal, emotional and intellectual problems and the crippling self-destruction that I indulge in will be of no consequence. Because you’re perfect, you’ll overlook them and “fix” me. All of my rough edges can be laughed away and you’ll tell your concerned girlfriends that the flaws add character, but that I’m sweet and cuddly when nobody else sees. They’ll look at you with sad smiles that all but say, “oh honey,” with a sympathetic hand on your shoulder. What do they know? You believe what you tell them, because you’re perfect. My god, just typing it out makes me love you more, mostly because of how you make me feel about myself. I feel good about me when I’m around you. I feel like I have worth and a place.
OR maybe I have it all wrong, because you can’t be Mrs. Perfect. You can’t be Mrs. Perfect because I’m not and will never be Mr. Perfect.
I’m not beautiful or handsome by any imagining. I’m glad that you won’t expect me to be, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be okay with the whole future Mrs. Chiu thing. I’m not all that original or romantic or even all that funny. Once I’ve shown you enough Reddit links, you’ll know that I steal all my jokes and funny mannerisms from wittier internet warriors. You will probably know me inside and out. Unfortunately, what you’ll probably experience most firsthand is what a dumbass I can be. You’ll know that I talk too much. You’ll know that once I get started on politics (that I barely understand) or if I start talking about fighting, it’ll be like I’m talking into a recording. Sadly, you’ll know that I have to try really hard to be a good listener because I’m selfish and narcissistic. My penchant for embellishing stories or straight up fabricating them won’t go away. My retelling of our wedding and of our love story will get grander and grander with each rendition. I will undoubtedly look better and better with each telling. Sorry.
When I leave bowls and dirty cups and dirty laundry all over the place, you will give me the stank eye, and I will scamper to “clean” up. We both know that when I “clean,” I’m cleverly rearranging the filth without actually doing much. My sweat smells like how you’d imagine brackish water smelling if it had a smell. I have terrible morning breath. I can’t cook for beans, unless you love my lemon pasta. Everything I plan will be so much better in theory than in practice. Remember when I proposed a keg stand wedding reception in a brewery where we’d have an old school Titanic-esque hoedown? Or our first date which I’m already planning, even knowing that I don’t know you. You’ll call me a creeper when I tell you this. You’ll also laugh because nothing at all went according to plan. Cruelly, you will make me remember every nerve wracking moment of second-guessing that I’m bound to do throughout the whole night. Why couldn’t you have just held my hand so I didn’t have to guess whether or not you were into me? I fumble over my words and I’m not good at knowing what a good boyfriend should do. After all, how the hell am I supposed to know that I’m supposed to plan dates and take you to new and exciting places? I’ll forget your birthday here and there and write you really bad poetry to make it up.
But let’s not forget you. You won’t be perfect either. I wouldn’t be surprised if your farts warrant quarantine zones by the CDC. Maybe your cooking really sucks, or you’re vegetarian, which would be close to the same thing. God forbid, but it could be that your sweat smells like mine. That could be a terrible thing, my love. Maybe you’re not a great listener either, or maybe you’re a staunch and proud Republican who loves Fox News. Sorry babe, I really struggle with that one. You could end up dirtier than me. You could love Korean Pop and hassle me to learn dance moves I have no intention of learning. You’ll be a total nag sometimes, and you’ll be insensitive when I cry during emotional movies like Moulin Rouge (and forget you! There’s plenty to cry about in that movie). I could totally see you over-planning everything and sucking the spontaneity out of me like a dried orange. You could hate poetry or maybe you think the Lord of the Rings is retarded. You might actually enjoy Twilight (which I will judge you for since you don’t like Moulin Rouge). For sure, you will not be down for the keg stand wedding. Party pooper. And to boot, you’ll think my crazy fantasy of actually handcrafting your wedding ring can only end with me accidentally cutting my hand off. Thanks for the vote of confidence.
On a serious note, maybe you’re scared of getting hurt, just like me. Initially, we’ll probably fight like cats and dogs because you’re stubborn and I’m an ass. We’ll butt heads a lot because we’re both strong personalities and because we’re both always right, even when we’re wrong. You will push and I will push back. You’ll never have a qualm about tackling me, even when you know my back is gimpy. For some reason, you always have to win, and I can never let it slide because I’m too competitive. But from the surface all the way to the depths of my heart, I will love you. Your flaws will make you perfect, and I’d marry you flaws and all on the spot, even if you never changed.
But I gotta tell you, Mrs. Perfect, I’m scared. Scared because my passions run too far ahead of my wisdom and I always end up thinking that the next girl I fall in love with is going to be you. And every single time, it’s not. I’m scared because I feel damaged and spent, and I don’t know if I’ll be smart enough to hold onto you and not let go because maybe my insecurities will get the better of me and I’ll end up pushing you too far away. I’m afraid that I’ve given my heart away too many times, and that when I find you, I’ll be too afraid this time to give you my whole heart. It scares me because you deserve all that I can be.
So I’ll tell you what. We can make a pact. With the Lord on my side, I’ll be working on all that garbage in my heart. I’m working hard, dear, to be okay and be content. Little by little, I’m trying to be a godly man. All the scars on my soul are evidence of both my stupidity and my perseverance. I hope you will love me because of the latter and comfort me for the former. I’ll put my heart back together just for you, with a lot of prayer and duct tape, because when I find you — pardon my french — I’m going to love the shit out of you. It will be an odd and clunky thing, but I’m banking on the hope that you’ll find it endearing like a child’s really ugly finger painting. And if not, I will get my adorable nephew to harass you until you agree to date his “2 kao kao.” He will also harass you into marrying me. The rough edges will always be there, my love, but hopefully by the time I meet you, you’ll see that grace and mercy have eroded them into a smoother landscape.
As for your part in this pact? Just exist. I’ll find you, I promise.