It’s five years since the day we went on our first date, on what I didn’t know would be the last first date of my life.
We still say “I love you” every day, constantly, consistently, punctuating giggles and belly laughs and burps with love. A few years ago, I expressed worry, and maybe a little fear, that maybe us saying it at the rate we did would dilute what it means to say “I love you.”
You were never worried about that. Love for you just was, bubbling out like a spring, flowing endlessly every day.
And it felt safe, mahal ko, to love you like that, too.
Happy fifth anniversary, my love. You are a gift I’m endlessly grateful for, every day we’re together. Thank you for all the hard work you’ve put into us. For all the dates you planned. For leaning into it and enjoying how wild it is that we found each other at 22.
I can’t wait to be old with you, and in the meantime, I absolutely love that we’re growing old together.
Mikaius and I quietly celebrated our third year of being together this February, and what an absolutely fantastic three years it has been! I spent the months leading up to our anniversary racking my brains, wondering what to get him that he would both love and use daily. Since he started reading the Harry Potter series last year (he even wrote a post about The Philosopher’s Stone!), I decided to get a metal bookmark stamped with a personalized message.
I’m so proud of how I managed to sneak an opinion out of him regarding what material he preferred: I pretended that I was getting a gift for a close friend of ours and showed him the sample photos that Anice Jewellery sent me of their bookmarks, asking him which one he would prefer if he were the giftee. He picked the brass-toned one and off-handedly said, “If I was commissioning one for myself, I would add a little brass feather on the end of the cord.” Bingo! The only question left unanswered then was, “What the hell should be stamped on it?”
Very helpfully, and again, unknowingly, Mikaius gave me the answer to that, too. He has been trying to learn Tagalog for about a year now, and so he’s picked up on the basics (pero, alam ko, gutom na ako, hindi, oo). Because he’s trying to keep the words fresh in his memory, he oftentimes speaks to me in a mix of Tagalog and English. He also has a slight tendency to misuse some of the words since (a) he’s still learning, and (b) Tagalog is a very situational language.
One day after we had been talking about Star Wars, the following exchange ensued:
Dani: “Love kita.”
Tagalog speakers will know that sigewas used incorrectly here, but since he had initially learned the word as “okay,” we both cracked up and moved on. That little moment stuck with me, especially since it echoes Han and Leia’s iconic “I love you”/”I know” exchange. I think you know where I’m going with this: that short conversation was what ended up on Mikaius’ bookmark, and you can see it in the header photo for this post. That, and I made sure to include the little brass feather that he wanted.
I am proud to report that the bookmark was both a success and a surprise, but less proud to report that I actually gave it to him three weeks early. Don’t judge me, he was having a bad day, the bookmark was in my bag, and the look on his face was so worth it. Mikaius loves it, and I am the queen of gifts!
On the day of our anniversary, we met up after class to go to St. Lawrence Market. Neither of us had ever been and since we both love adventures, especially ones that involve food and walks, it was the perfect date.
The food was excellent! Between us, we had: (1) a peameal bacon sandwich on crusty bread from Carousel Bakery, one of those things that you just have to try as a Torontonian, (2) spicy Portuguese chicken with corn bread from Churrasco at St. Lawrence, because we’re always in the mood for some chicken, and (3) Apple-Cinnamon Cheesecake from Eve’s Temptations as neither of us can resist a good cheesecake. Oh. Dear. Lord. I begin to drool when I think about that day. I think my favourite thing of what we tried that night was the cheesecake, but oh boy — that peameal bacon was succulent and flavourful, and paired great with the crusty bread, and that chicken, woof. The chicken was moist and tender, and the sauce that comes with it was so goddamned delicious that Mikaius slathered it onto the peameal bacon sandwich as well. The ginger ale we had to wash the food down with was the best palate cleanser ever.
We capped the night with Kung Fu Panda 3 at the Rainbow Cinemas fronting the Market, and it was a nice, quiet note to end our date on. How was the movie, you ask? It was beautiful. I marvelled at how good the animation was in that movie, and was often looking back at Mikaius with this incredulous look on my face going, “Did you see that?”
One of the lines that I really enjoyed came from Mr. Ping, Po’s Dad, as he spoke to Li Shan, Po’s biological Dad: “I was worried you’d steal Po from me. That was crazy. Having you in Po’s life doesn’t mean less for me. It means more for Po.”My heart. I was constantly on the verge of crying, and was enjoying myself so much I didn’t even really care that the lady in front of me was effectively blocking half of the screen with her hair.
Here we are, three years later, still madly in love. I’m going to end this post with this:
It’s been three years since the first date that went from 10AM to 10PM, when we kept suggesting things to do after the museum because neither of us wanted the day to end. Three crazy, wonderful, happy years. I hope we can have all of our years together, adventuring like lovestruck fools, because you’re my happy ending.
To the prettiest man I’ll ever lay eyes on, happy 3rd anniversary, mahal ko. 💕💕