Sometimes love presents itself unexpectedly, but unmistakably.
I love music, and I love listening to music, most of all in its truest form, on vinyl. Anyone who knows me even slightly more than superficially knows this.
I have always prided myself on my record collection, and on my ever-evolving turntable setup which over the years has gone through many variations of quality and quirkiness—from silly 70’s conversation pieces to sleek and sexy modern jobs.
But, sadly, during a chaotic move after a messy breakup, heartbroken and discombobulated, I tragically lost my turntable, left it behind in enemy territory. And I remained without one for an unprecedented amount of time. Somehow, I just couldn’t bring myself to get another one.
Fast forward two years. It’s New Year’s Eve 2010, and I meet a funny drunk guy who convinces me to give him my phone number at closing time, and who actually calls me three days later. He is everything I always despised in other guys: he’s responsible, he has a steady, good paying job, he wears shiny shoes to work. The guys I have traditionally gone for have worn boots, dirty ones, to work or just whatever they felt like. And he had a schedule. He had routine. He went to the gym three times a week and had ‘guy’s night’ regularly, but not too regularly. This guy was different.
We started dating in January so when February 14 rolled around, we were still pretty fresh. The dew was still on our relationship, you could say. I was expecting chocolates and a date, and maybe if he was really keen a piece of jewelry that I would pretend to love and never wear. I’m pretty picky with jewelry.
Valentine’s morning. No pressure. I’m in bed at his place, and I hear him rummaging around downstairs. I assume he’s making me breakfast so I settle in and pretend to be asleep. The rummaging continues, rustling and a few bangs. Then he’s in the room, saying “Stacy, come downstairs,” and he looks pretty pleased with himself. He makes me shut my eyes, walk downstairs, and put my hand out. ‘Okay, here comes the bracelet, here come the earrings,’ I’m thinking, but he puts my hand down on something metallic, and I open my eyes, and I’m putting the needle down on a record; there’s a Technics record player, amp and speakers set up on his dining room table. I look down, and the record I’m about to play is Roxy Music’s Siren, one of my all-time favourites, (which I already had in my collection, but that’s beside the point), and I am knocked off my feet.
“You had all these great records, and nothing to play them on,” Dennis says in retrospect, “and I wanted you to have something of your own at my place.”
The record player was better than a ring. It was literally the perfect thing to give me. And it was important. It signified an interest in who I was, a thoughtfulness I’d never encountered before. He paid attention; he knew I was half a person without my music, and he had even picked up on my weird fascination with Roxy Music. Dennis impressed me, and this gift turned out to be the first in a long string of presents that proved he was listening. Which after all, is all a girl really wants.