Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Man, Revealed

The handsome man in this photo is known in this space as "Kirk", which is not his real name. He has been my boyfriend, partner, best friend, spirit guide, roommate and head cheerleader (a term he might reject as "un-manly") for nearly four years now. This post (written with his express permission) is to celebrate his amazingness but first, let me explain the two big reasons why I use a fake name and why I rarely mention him online.

Kirk and I, working at Grant Farms.
Reason #1:
Kirk works in an industry that requires the utmost discretion. Not only does his position demand that he respect the privacy of his employers but it also requires him to keep a low profile, both online and in Real Life. In the world of Google searches and SEO tag words, it's best that his cyber footprint be kept to a bare minimum. This could be a problem is your gal is a mouthy blogger who puts your name in print without much thought.

Let's put it this way, when one of his employers found out he was dating a blogger, the man's face went white. Despite Kirk's assurances that there were no risks, he could tell the very idea made his boss nervous. Truth is, when his current (or future) employers Google Kirk's real name, very little should surface.

Thanksgiving at Mama Iva's.
Reason #2: 
As some may recall, my landing here in Colorado was fraught with romantic turbulence. I had no local friends yet and no real outlet for venting (I was too embarrassed to call most of my friends), so I let it all hang out on my blog. Sure, I felt better but after the dust had settled, I realized that it would likely be one of the last times I would publicly write about my love life online, especially the dramatic parts. 

I've been to enough blogging conferences and seminars to know that oversharing this part of one's life is an unhealthy policy. My personal life is more important to me than the urge to share it; it is something better left to real world margaritas, old friends and phone calls with Mama Iva. Out of respect for the person I am dating, I choose to keep the relationship mostly private. Of course, if there are big headlines, such as an impending marriage, I would certainly celebrate that here but anything other than that, is kept backstage.

But back to Kirk. Although it means I am not going to be in his day-to-day life (and may not see him until fall), his endless love and support for my organic farming project is blowing my mind. I am slowly starting to understand what true love really is because I am seeing it in action when he helps me pack up my stuff, when he goes with me to rent the U-Haul, when he offers up his own new address knowing that I have yet to get a NoDak PO Box.

He truly gets what I am trying to do in North Dakota and fully understands why it is somewhat urgent. Kirk is the only non-Clisby person in my life to have seen our family's land in North Dakota, so he knows everything about this vision for SCRANCH. In fact, it was he who thought up the project name, a shortened acronym for Second Chance Ranch. Sheer genius!

When I first met him at My Brother's Bar, Kirk was having tough times - end of a job, end of a marriage, a new President he didn't like. When I first asked him how things were going, he responded, "Shitty!" The raw honesty made me laugh. 'This man,' I thought to myself, 'will never lie to me.'

With Murry, my canine boyfriend.
I'd overheard him talk about a Mile-Hi Church, a place I was quite curious about. He said he'd just started going and he could pick me up next week, if I didn't want to go alone.

And that was that.

Together, we'd listen to the weekly message of spiritual awareness and self-improvement and then we'd get some coffee and tea and discuss the teachings. In this way, we became spiritual partners, a place to check in and monitor our own progress.

Along the way we became a couple and it was he who got a hilarious front row seat to my house-wifey domestication makeover when we moved into Hearthstone, our beloved co-housing community. (Before Kirk, I had never lived with a beau before - true story.)

Other than sharing a home and experiencing co-housing together, our domestic goal was an exchange of important life skills: He was going to teach me about sharing my daily life and being more emotionally connected to another person while I was going to teach Kirk - a man much too used to being on alert and serving others - to become a selfish motherfucker and chill the fuck out. While I had to be herbally medicated to buy new curtains at JC Penney, he only needed more vintage bowling shirts and porkpie hats to get the drift.

Kirk certainly accomplished his goal because he has taught me more than I can ever say about the amazing depths of selfless love and unconditional friendship. I think I finally understand what "we" means in the truest sense. And I have to confess to (ultimately) really digging the domestic thing, especially the cooking part. I really got into making dinner every night and once, I even brought him a beer while he was watching football and I was wearing an apron. The most amazing part? I LOVED IT!

Meanwhile, I have only been half successful. He tucks his shirts in less and less and is more apt to just relax and read on the couch then when I first found him. He tells me stories about his legendary anger and rage but I have only seen the guy that smiles all the time, laughs easily and is nice to everyone. The only Kirk I know is the one that is kind to animals, buys champagne for anything ("It's Conan's first night on TBS!") and is the father of two beautiful people who love him, J and M.

I love these people.
But Kirk will never be a selfish person who only thinks of himself, it's just not his nature. He is the guy that can fix anything and is happy to do so. He's the guy who will offer you the bigger piece first, the one that offers to lend money, the one that will help you move. There was that one time that Kirk attempted asshole behavior - his strategy? He willfully opted to NOT come home with fresh cut flowers. (I failed to notice, rendering his attempt unsuccessful.)

With my godson, Jack.
I must also point out how much laughter we shared. There was a tremendous amount of giggling that went on and I appreciated what a grateful audience he was, not only for my random life stories (that I'm sure I repeated) but also when I insisted that his life was incomplete without a viewing of, for example, all nine episodes of the live action version of The Tick. What a trooper.

I wanted to write this post because all too often, the nice guys of this world are not celebrated. I wanted to make it very clear - and deliberately public - how very lucky I am to have my life intersect with such a quality person. Kirk created a fertile atmosphere where my dreams could grow and for that, I am eternally grateful.


Lisa said...

That was a wonderful tribute Heather. I'm so happy I got to meet him and I love him for loving and supporting you. He was also so sweet to Skyler. A fast runner too!!
Give him a hug for me!

Camille said...

Wow. and Yes.

Well done Heather!

Anonymous said...

I love that you are making Scranch happen. I've always wanted you move up there and see what happens! So excited for you! It's just the right thing.

Btw, I co-sign on Kirk. He seems caring and nice.

Kath said...

Kirk is awesome, perfect-for-you, the bee's knees and everything in between.

So glad you found true love in Dtown!


Sugar Titz, Esq said...

Oh, how did I miss this post until now? You know, I truly ADORE me some Kirk. I am so very happy you have found someone who treats you right and gives you giggles and helps you pack and brings you good things for your time in ND (see: Wall Street Journal and Mental Floss) to good things for your heart. Love you both like a fat kid loves the cake.