Of course, not that I already have one in mind. But I hope to, at least.
This will be the man I never expected to be attracted to. But sometime in the middle of our three-hour coffee chats — in those cafes we consider just noisy, cramped and European enough but that others think are too unbearably loud — sometime in the middle of this deep conversation with my best friend about philosophy and anthropology and genetics and medieval history and old mathematics and things I don’t even know I don’t know, sometime then it will occur to me that what’s charmed me wasn’t just his formidable mind but also his crow’s feet creeping up the corners of his eyes, his lips now frothed by his cappuccino, the way he observes everything about me without seeming prying, his love for his parents, his understanding of himself, his passion, his arms, his curiosity, his hair, his voice, his presence.
He’ll understand that, yes, I claim to be a tea drinker out loud because it makes me look nice and composed and serene — “And,” he’ll add, “because it’s what you grew up on” — but he’ll also know that I secretly enjoy a strong black coffee now and then, and that really it’s less about what’s inside my mug than the fact that it radiates something warm and soothing enough to spread through every vein in my body, to fire me up until people witness my tender, vivacious side.
I want that person to be my husband because, really, when they think about it, my friends will realize he was the most ideal choice all along. They’d already known “my type” — and so does he, for that matter — but the physical attraction would have been hard to measure back then, when all the evidence they had were our ever-deepening conversations.
Yeah, this man would be my intellectual sparring partner, but he’d also know that I went through that phase through freshman and sophomore years when I watched seven seasons of How I Met Your Mother, and that I dream of having a heart-to-heart with my fiance’s best man — the Ted to my Marshall, the Sirius Black to my James Potter — minutes before my wedding, and that that’s why this Ted/Sirius figure will arrange for Greek yogurt and blueberries and classic chocolate chip cookies and sangria for the after-party because God knows his best friend would be on his case if he didn’t include my favorite eats from our college years at the wedding.
And years later, when we have our own house and get into the habit of waking each other up on weekends, this best friend will know to fill my favorite mug with the tea my mom always made. But one morning, just when I wonder to myself, “Oh, it’s been a while since I’ve —” he’ll fill it with some strong coffee instead.