Dream girl

I first saw her in a bar, The Monkey Wrench to be exact. She was sitting with a group of friends and I was trying not to be creepy. I noticed her hair first, then her eyes. She had a great laugh. Dennie said something to me, but I wasn’t listening. I leaned over to him and motioned across the room. “You see that girl? I could marry her right now.”

We had a mutual friend and, with a little back and forth, decided to meet up at a Ben Kweller show. Little did I know know how much “Penny On A Train Track” and “Wasted & Ready” would come to mean to me. I was a wreck though. I couldn’t talk. When I tried to think of something, anything to say to her, it was a complete blank, inaudible noise. We grabbed some food, and I could only stare at it. How in the world could I eat at a time like this? The most beautiful girl was sitting next to me and possibly interested in me, as long as I could pull it together. Luckily, we had music. That’s what it all comes back to. She spent most of her free time going to shows, which was really just like hitting the jackpot for me. She held her loyalty to Dave Matthews Band, me to Pearl Jam. It was easy to make fun of each other.

But it didn’t work out. The timing was wrong. And so, after a few weeks, we went our separate ways. She fell back in with an old boyfriend and would go on to get engaged. I spent the next couple years dating around, but nearly every girl I met was unfairly compared to her, so it was no surprise that nothing ever came of any of those flings. It was honestly just like every rom-com movie I had ever seen, and we were entering the halfway point of the film.

Enter: Father John Misty.

He was playing a show at Headliners, and it had crossed my mind that she might be there. It had also occurred to me that her engagement had been rather long, and she still wasn’t married. Maybe I had one more chance. Do or die trying. So I went, and there she was. I could see her smile from across the room as she laughed with her friends. When she went to order a drink, a guy took the opportunity to hit on her, and she grew quickly uncomfortable. So I walked up, put my arm around her and pretended to be her boyfriend. Just like in the movies. A few moments later, after some small talk, I came out with it. “Don’t marry him.” She was taken aback. I told her that I would reenact the scene from “The Graduate,” pounding on the glass windows if I had to.

We talked more throughout the evening, watched Josh Tillman gyrate and contort on stage and continued to hang out after. At one point she said, “Why can’t we just be European about this?” What does that mean? “I know that you like me, and you know that I like you. Why can’t it just be left at that?” Wait, I wasn’t sure that she did still like me? So no. No, I cannot be cool about this. I am not a cool person. I was at once quoting lines from “Almost Famous,” while imagining the speech at the end of “When Harry Met Sally.” I had decided on what the rest of my life could be, and I wanted it to begin immediately.

The next morning, I started my show with Dave Matthews’ “Crush,” hoping that she was listening, and thank god she was. It turned out to be my “Say Anything” moment, except my boom box was a 6,800-watt radio station. This was me, shouting it from the mountains.

There’s much more to the story, more than I can fit here. Absurd, nonsensical pillow talk, endless “Anchorman” references, tons of concerts together. One night in our kitchen, with Jim James’ “A New Life” playing, I asked her to marry me. And we did. Our first year married had floods, sickness and other craziness, but we pushed through, and we’ve never stopped laughing. And the music has never stopped playing. And I know I’m a day late, but happy Valentine’s, Jenn. I love you. You’ll always be my dream girl.