Anyone who's heard me talk about my boyfriend Santiago knows that he wasn't what I was looking for "on paper". But from the moment we met, the chemistry couldn't be ignored or contained. And although we've had a quarrel or a bickering moment every now and then, this guy honestly inspires me to no end. Yes, he has his idiosyncratic quirks like:
1. He laughs at Baskin Robbins commercials.
2. He walks four blocks for a Chase ATM that charges $1.99 as opposed to going to the ATM below his apartment that charges $2.00.
3. Folds his underwear in little Nazi-like squares.
4. Loses his chapstick every other day so we constantly have to buy packs of them on a weekly basis.
5. And his favorite color is white.
And yet, despite all of the above, he inspires me. He inspires me to stop and breathe. He inspires me to slow down. He inspires me to be me, only better. Santiago has the ability to find the beauty in the little things. You know how I discovered his talent? (Oooh, don't be dirty!) It was in his photography. Hand me a camera and I'll bring you photos of slutty men on the streets of New York City showing off their manly bulges (where ever they may be: arms, pants, etc) or photos of badly-dressed people to make fun of them later. Don't judge.And only after one photo lesson, his passion for photography grew and he returned home with an amazing array of photos that looked like they were taken with passion, patience, and heart.
Out of all his photos, three really stood out which captured his innocent way of seeing life in this hustle and bustle town we call New York City.
1. A colorful butterfly that looked lonely on a tree branch until he came up and discovered it.
2. A tiny ant carrying a piece of watermelon back home.
3. A close-up shot of delicate flower petals near the Brooklyn Bridge.
And so I give all the daters out there Nandoism #68: Even if they don't seem "good on paper" at first, don't discredit them so early on, they might shine their creative sexy powers on you later in the game.
Update: The post above was written May 21. 2010 - Today is June 7th, 2017:
I wrote that post when I first started dating German. Why does it say his name was Santiago? When I was single and dating and blogging -- I never wanted to disrespect any one of my date's privacy so I used to call him Santiago in my blogs. Eventually -- when things got serious, I stopped referring him to his blog name and he was revealed as German, the awesome guy he is today.
Why I felt like an update was needed after all these years? This is one of my most popular blog post and it's gotten so much love with people sharing it and posting it all over their social media accounts and I came across this post not too long ago and read it. Do you know what happened after I read it? It made me realize that in 7 years, he hasn't changed. He still that sweet guy that stops and not only smells the roses, he also takes a picture of them. As I read the blog I stopped and reread the part of the photos he took (a tiny ant carrying a piece of watermelon back home) because that sentence/photo represents who he is in a nutshell-a person who sees the beauty in everything and is curious enough to photography it and make it a moment.
German and I got married in 2014 and to this day, he continues to inspire me. I guess I should change the title to: How My Husband Inspires me. German is my favorite person in the world and I thank God that I had enough sense to not let my deal breaker list becomes my "I'm still single list" because we are told that we should keep ourselves to a certain standard and the people we date should also be at a certain level but sometimes life doesn't work like that. Let's be real, I'm not talking about dating someone who makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, but you're going to turn down a guy because of his height? Because of his income? Because of his job title? really? Well, I hope that deal breaker list keeps you warm at night because that's all you'll continue to embrace as you steadily hold onto your image of what's right for you.
In my deal-breaker list, I had must be a creative or artist. He was a barista as a cafe. And it wasn't even the well-known cafe that's on every corner of New York City ( and cities across the world) it was a tiny place tucked in between a frozen yogurt shop and a locksmith. But when we started dating, I couldn't get enough of his kindness and how he went the extra mile to be sweet. Oh, you want me to have the last french fry? Oh, I can sip the last of the Pepsi? You insist that I eat the left over pie? Yes! I hit the jackpot.
German and I have been together for 7 years now, going on 8 and our love story continues to develop. I'm so lucky that I blogged about our early dating life because it serves as a reminder that love does win and love is out there for us and love is love is love. But I wouldn't be here blogging about an update if I hadn't made myself receptive to receive him as he was, not as how I pictured him. I didn't see the potential in him, I just accepted him for who he was and what he stood for. I didn't try to change him. I didn't even suggest it -- he did it all on his own. He went from barista to business owner and honey, I'm reaping the benefits!
My husband continues to inspire me -- now, in more ways than ever.