{living in sin} Words, Words, Words

by Rachel on June 28, 2012

Today is Eric’s and my anniversary. (Fact: I almost didn’t share this because trying to determine the punctuation for that first sentence left me exhausted.) If you had told me two years ago that today Eric and I would be engaged and about to close on a house…well, I would have believed you, because it was love at first video chat! After two whirlwind years together, today I’m looking back and thinking, Wow…we’ve…done a lot of talking and I’m actually not sure what else.

That first video chat lasted four hours. It was honestly a little unsettling for both of us — this feeling of “WHO ARE YOU AND WHY AM I IN LOVE WITH YOU?” — and the more we talked, the more it was apparent that we were never going to stop. I don’t know if most couples feel this way, but I know that as someone who tends to exhaust certain people with her desire to talk all the time, finding someone who never tires of talking in the way I like to talk is such a big deal to me, and I know Eric feels similarly.

Both of our moms have separately described us as speaking our “own private language” when we’re together, and I think that’s pretty accurate. I really don’t notice it until we’re around other people, when I see how they look sort of bemused as we talk to each other in the way we do. When we finally pause to take a breath, I feel like we’ll look around expecting everyone to still be with us…and everyone else is like, “Wait…what in the actual fuck are you guys talking about?” We thought they were listening and following the conversation, but we clearly lost them several minutes ago, probably around the time we sort of gave each other that one-word clue and/or nose tap that allowed us to skip over about 20 pages of backstory that is relevant to the conversation. To be honest, the main reason I don’t write about our relationship very often is because I struggle to translate how we talk into something that make sense to anyone else (and even then, I can’t imagine they’d see why I find it as funny or interesting as I do). But since today is a special day, I thought I’d share some of the things I really love about the way Eric and I communicate, because to me, that’s really the heart of why we’re together.

Most of things we enjoy doing together we enjoy simply because they provide jumping-off points for new conversations. We watch “The Today Show” together every morning because it’s filled with stuff to talk about (and we’re constantly pausing the show to talk about what we’re seeing). I don’t even like “Today” that much, but I love this morning ritual. I also love talking over dinner. I hang out on the Internet all day and he hangs out with a bunch of engineers all day, so by the time we get home, we’re both in the mood to talk — him because he can’t really talk about random crap all day, and me because I’ve been reading random crap all day. On Sunday we went to the Space Center, and it was just such a perfect day because we had the drives there and back for conversation, plus tons of history (plus people watching!) to inspire new conversations. There have been many nights where we’ve stayed up until 2 AM and beyond just talking and talking and talking. Hypothetical questions, current events, family, race, sex, education, money, viral videos, past experiences, future plans…we never run out of things to talk about.

I feel like there is an unofficial “No judgments” policy when it comes to new conversation topics and/or questions. Sometimes I feel like people (myself included) pretend to know what someone is talking about when that person references something totally unknown to the listener. But with Eric and me, that’s not the case. If of us references something the other one knows nothing about, the other isn’t going to be like, “WHAT? YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF THIS?!” We are really comfortable saying we don’t know and informing the other when they are asking. (The one exception to this rule was the day I made a comment about someone having “the wingspan of a velociraptor” and Eric wouldn’t let me live it down. “Velociraptors don’t have wings,” he said. “Haven’t you seen ‘Jurassic Park’?!” To which I said, “First of all, YOU KNOW I HAVEN’T SEEN LIKE ANY MOVIES. And also, are you judging me for not knowing what a dinosaur looks like because I HAVEN’T SEEN ‘JURASSIC PARK’?! That’s like judging me for not knowing what ‘Ancient Alien’ theorists believe about velociraptors. And also, how is a RAPTOR not a HUGE BIRD to you!? A raptor is totally a kind of bird!!!” This debate went on for some time until we went to the new Hall of Paleontology at the HMNS last month — which is fucking amazing by the way — and there was this WHOLE thing on how velociraptors were basically the perfect blend of bird and dinosaur and the ancestor to all modern-day birds.)

We’re good at e-mail. I know some people see e-mail as impersonal or a communication disaster waiting to happen, but both e-mail and texting work great for Eric and me because we just really understand each other when it comes to the written word. We write like we talk, with a lot of asides and random references, and our e-mails get super wordy. Also, sometimes when we’re upset with each other, it really helps if we work things out via e-mail the next day. As you might imagine, our arguments tend to get really convoluted and interrupty, so making our points in an e-mail is actually super effective. I love our e-mails; if I felt like it wouldn’t break my printer — because I’m 99 percent sure every printer is just one longish PDF away from death — I would print them all out to preserve for our future offspring, or just our future selves. To me, they are the modern-day equivalent of the stacks of love letters that separated lovers wrote each other before technology came along: a glimpse of exactly who we are and how we feel about our lives and each other every single day. I love receiving and writing new ones each day; I consider myself particularly skilled at subject lines, and I really appreciate Eric’s sign-offs. The other day, after we’d confirmed some thing we were going to do together, he signed off with, “And you can always count on me. A gruesome twosome we will be. Together. Yay yay yay.” It was the highlight of my day…I’m actually still laughing about it.

Speaking of song lyrics, we really enjoy working song lyrics into everyday conversations. Sometimes we take this too far, like the night we were up until 2 AM talking in only in 90s song lyrics. Actually, spoken 90s song lyrics are a really common occurrence, but that night was just excessive, even for us.

Our conversations are peppered with bits of some really weird version of French and intentionally poor English. Both of us took French in high school; while Eric’s French is much better than mine, we still remember enough to feel like slipping French words into our conversation periodically. And then — and I honestly have no idea why — we enjoy pronouncing the random French words in this weird, offbeat way. It’s not an overly-French accent, nor is it pronouncing them like they are regular American English words…it’s just something else entirely. And then there are the obnoxious uses of “irregardless” and “literally” when we’re trying to be heard over each other and “lawl” or “lolwut?” when we’re texting. (…see why I never write about this stuff?)

Eric almost always refers to me as “Zsas.” As I’ve mentioned before, when my little brother Preston was first learning to talk, he started calling me “Zsa Zsa.” He’d make the sound every time I entered the room and make a funny waving motion near his head; I eventually figured out, based on the sound and the funny waving motion he’d make near his head, that he was imitating the sound/action of my blow drying my hair, something he often sat on the floor and watched me do. After a couple years, he shortened it to “Zsas.” Eric started calling me this as kind of a joke not long after we met, but eventually the nickname stuck and now that’s how he refers to me almost all of the time. The only time he calls me by my real name is if he’s mad at me. The nickname is just so familial and sweet and every time he says it, I get a little happy feeling. I think some may refer to this as “butterflies.”

TL;DR: We are in love because there will never be such a thing as TL;DR with us.

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 julie @ peanut butter fingers June 28, 2012 at 8:41 pm

i read every word of this post (TL;DR what!?) and loved it. one thing you guys do that my husband and i do as well is get out and explore, knowing that these experiences and the conversations that arise because of them create great memories and discussions. the dinosaur story had me cracking up!

and if you could call me so i can participate in your ’90s lyrics discussions, that’d be grrreat.


2 Rachel June 28, 2012 at 9:32 pm

OMG clearly we need a Fagan/Miller/Wilkerson road trip because this is when the best 90s music discussions take place! (Though the five-night VH1 countdown “Toop 100 Songs of the 90s” was pretty epic over here.) We set the radio to a 90s station and then go head to head on songs/bands on who we think we’ll hear first. Like Goo Goo Dolls vs. Matchbox 20 or Green Day vs. Red Hot Chili Peppers. Then we pick a few “wild card” songs that were kinda one-hit wonders like “Baby Got Back” or “She’s So High” or something and whichever one we hear first on the trip wins. It never gets old. Also, it leads to so many fun conversations about our teen years, pop culture, etc.


3 julie @ peanut butter fingers June 29, 2012 at 7:31 am

here’s a road trip game you guys might also enjoy: the music game. one person says the name of a band/singer and the next person must think of the name of a band/singer whose name starts with the last letter of the previous band/singer’s name. so, if you say “ace of base,” i’d holla back with “alanis morissette.” both ’90s classics, obviously.


4 Rachel June 29, 2012 at 10:12 am

Love it.


5 Rachel @ Healthy Chicks June 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Congrats, very exciting. I love looking back on the moment you meet until now. Crazy how fast it goes by, huh?


6 Angie June 28, 2012 at 8:46 pm



7 [SMASH] June 28, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Aww Rach, happy anniversary to you and Eric! I love reading about your relationship and I’m glad someone else uses LOLWHUT commonly like I do. :)


8 Paul (@minutrition) McConaughy June 28, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Happy Aniversary. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. I hope you keep talking for the next hundred years. Paul


9 nancy June 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm

cute!! i totally relate to the “I feel like there is an unofficial “No judgments” policy when it comes to new conversation topics and/or questions.” i hate pretending to know something, and i never have to with my husband. :) happy anniversary!!


10 Whitney June 28, 2012 at 9:26 pm

You guys are adorable. We have so many similarities! I WISH my husband and I talked in song lyrics, but that might be kind of difficult: he basically only listens to movie and games scores! Lame-o.


11 Tara June 28, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Wow, that sounds amazing! Happy anniversary!

I’m really bad at finishing my sentences or questions and usually leave off the last half of it, especially when I get excited about something, which is insanely confusing to pretty much every other person I know. Maybe I’ll meet someone who gets that :)


12 Rachel's Mom June 28, 2012 at 10:10 pm

I had to look up TL;DR with the little link you posted….lol!

I still remember the night I “met” Eric for the first time….on one of your video chats. I am so happy that you are happy!

I love it when he calls you “Zsas.” It makes me laugh.


13 Rachel June 28, 2012 at 10:57 pm

I included the link just for you! :)


14 kate June 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm

I needed the link too!


15 Jess-ThatJessGal June 28, 2012 at 11:02 pm

TL;DR- No Such THING. I love ya’lls love. (talk about grammar issues.) I’m so glad you found “the one” and it only makes me glad to know that there are guys out there who like to TALK. I’ve been around too many broody men as of late. Lame.

Keep on being you. Please and thank you.


16 Alyssa @ Don't Look Down June 28, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Congrats! I really love this post! It’s great that you share the same “quirks”. One of the things I really like about my relationship is my boyfriend and I both enjoy going to museums and reading like every single display!


17 Amanda S June 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm

We do that too!


18 Mel June 29, 2012 at 2:41 am

Naturally I’m obsessed with your relationship and loved every second of this post. Happy 2 years!!


19 Dori June 29, 2012 at 6:35 am

I LOVE this — because I am so happy for you and also because I can 100% relate. I’ve had two long term boyfriends before Andy, and I didn’t have *this* with either until now. So, I get what makes this so special. I never thought I’d have a relationship where the other person is so much like me in all the key ways that makes people just belong together. We also have our own language that developed and I actually worry that when we one day have a child, he or she will grow up speaking like us thinking that is normal and then get teased by other kids! We’ll have to reel it in when then happens I guess. But it is amazing when you are just so compatible with someone else that everything you do individually and as a couple fits seamlessly into your relationship.


20 Rachel June 29, 2012 at 6:52 am

I literally laughed out loud at the thought of children speaking like we do…I never even thought of that! Yikes!! Haha.


21 Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie June 29, 2012 at 8:32 am

Congratulations!!! This is such a sweet post, it’s really nice to hear how happy and in sync (lyrics? anyone?) you guys are. Good luck with the house and I hope the next two years are just as great! :)


22 Emily @ Relishments June 29, 2012 at 8:35 am

Love this! Can’t believe it’s been 2 years for you guys already and I’m so happy that you’re still going strong. I hope the trend continues forever!


23 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat June 29, 2012 at 9:01 am

Such a sweet post. Glad you get the butterfly feeling! :)


24 deva by definition June 29, 2012 at 9:07 am

I love this – so much! When The Boy and I were first dating, we spent our first six-months long-distance, which spawned many email discussions – we still have many adorable emailed discussions. My favorite one has been immortalized on my Facebook quotes wall.

Additionally – I love the 90s song lyrics discussions. We do that a lot. Also with Futurama quotes and quotes from the Simpsons and South Park.

And the movies thing? I thought I was the only one who hadn’t seen All The Movies. I have seen Jurassic Park. A lot. but there are other movies where he is like “wait, you HAVEN’T SEEN THAT??” and I’m like ‘um. no. you should know this by now.’

you and eric have a very sweet relationship – and I totally can’t wait to hear more about your house.


25 Erin June 29, 2012 at 10:40 am

i love this, it made me happy.
but please, take those sunglasses in the top picture away from eric. just kidding (my boyfriend has the same ones…unfortunatley he doesnt get that they are athletic glasses, not to be worn for social events, haha)


26 Rachel June 29, 2012 at 10:50 am

HA, you think I haven’t had that argument? Haha. “Why don’t you ever wear your Ray-Bans? I love how they look on you…” (which is true). He is unmoved by this and continues to be That Guy.


27 nikkiana June 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Awwwww! Happy anniversary!


28 Monica June 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Happy Anniversary. You two sound perfect for each other.


29 kate June 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm

made it through. love hearing about your relationship. congrats!


30 Nicki June 29, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I LOVE THIS! Never had a boyfriend where it’s like this – so excited that this really exists and I can’t wait to find him :)


31 Bess June 29, 2012 at 8:41 pm

LOVE the Parent Trap reference! That song will probably be in my head for the next 3 days.


32 Rain July 2, 2012 at 8:34 am

I think you did a really good job of explaining something that is almost impossible to explain.
I think this sounds really special….sounds like you are very in tune with each other!


33 francine July 2, 2012 at 11:20 pm

this is adorable. congratulations on finding a guy who compliments you so well!! :)


34 Aj July 2, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Aw aw aw!

I HAVE seen Jurassic Park and velociraptors totally 100% have wings. I even have an imitation walk of one that I do that is wing-dependent. (why do I have a velociraptor imitation walk? some questions are better left unanswered)

I totally get the talking thing…R and I are in the same field, until next Monday we work in the same office, and we carpool to and from work…and we still have stuff to discuss. And with her ADHD we usually have 3-4 conversations going on simultaneously.

I just realized you used TL;DR in an email and I just thought it was a typo! Yikes!

Finally, is your post title a reference to My Fair Lady? Please say yes!


35 Rachel July 3, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Ha…it’s actually a reference to Hamlet! But YAY for some literature love here!!


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: