I grew up in New England. I am used to snow, and cold, and freezing rain and all that comes with a New England winter. I don't miss it much. The only reason I ever feel any sort of nostalgia about winter is because winter weather is forever linked to the beginning of my relationship with Sam.
Last night I was lying in bed thinking about our first kiss. I can't recall now why I was thinking about it....maybe I read something or saw something that triggered this memory, who knows. I can only be grateful of the reminder, grateful for the details that came flooding back.
Our first winter together was spent virtually snow bound. From the very beginning, before we were a couple and while we were still at the awkward "We're just friends but everyone knows it's going to lead to something but no one knows what and it could be cool or it could be really really bad either way this is going to be fun to watch" stage, everything that happened was affected by massive amounts of snow. The first time I ever spent the night (fully clothed, thankyouverymuch) at Sam's, there was a crazy howling nor'easter outside that prevented me from getting back to Boston safely.
Poor Sam spent another few weeks being held at arms length, while I carefully assessed the situation - no romantic snowbound evening by the fire for ME. No sir, I was not going to fall for that. Eventually, arms length would become holding hands which became cuddling on the sofa which led to spending the night not-so-fully-clothed. But not right away. Oh no. I was going to make him wait. I needed to be sure. And more importantly, I wanted him to be sure. It didn't take too long. When we finally began officially dating, it was right in the middle of a cold and snowy February in Boston. In fact, our first kiss was during a snowstorm.
It was nighttime, probably around 10 or 11pm. Walking with a group of friends through Boston's North End, heading toward Cafe Vittoria for cappucinos and cannoli, the snow swirling around our legs, glowing in the gas lamps lining the narrow, cobblestone streets. It was not too cold - just cold enough for snow. As we walked along, the snow was accumulating and our path was trailed by ever deepening footprints. Sami and I lagged behind, having a conversation about dating. I was just ending a serious relationship. Sami had sworn off women entirely. We were wary, and yet something strange was happening. A few nights before, we had a heated exchange in a bar about the nature of our relationship, and the conversation was continuing on this snowy evening. Neither one of us was going to give it up - something was there, something worth exploring and considering.......but we needed clarity. We both wanted to know exactly what was expected, needed, wanted from a relationship. And in the middle of what can only be described as a very intense conversation that covered topics as far reaching as having children and changing the toilet paper roll, we stopped walking.
After discovering to our surprise that we agreed on yet another fundamental issue (the roll should be on the holder with the loose end hanging IN FRONT of the roll) Sami said something like "Well, listen. We won't know if this is going to work until we try." I agreed. "Maybe we should start with a kiss." he suggested. I agreed.
And just like that, we leaned in. There under the gas lamp, in the swirling pools of snow, with a group of friends calling us from a distance (or maybe they just seemed far away at the time) we kissed.
And tonight, 12 years later, we are in bed, and the rain is falling outside, and the kids are sleeping and the dogs are snoring and Sami is dozing next to me and I can still smell that old herringbone wool overcoat he had on, that was damp from the fat wet flakes that were drifting down so thickly. I can picture the blue plaid scarf wrapped around his neck, and the snow in his hair. I can still see the golden light that is so particular to gas lamps in the snow. And oh, how I miss that snow.
3 hours ago