Crazy Little Thing Called Love

It was a steamy day in July 2005 and as usual I was running late to work.  Work in this case was producing a short film called Detroit Unleaded, the directorial debut of a great friend I went to film school with.  Driving through an intersection I was t-boned by a jerk who ran a VERY red light.  Good news? I wasn’t hurt.  Bad news? My car was never the same and the jerk didn’t have insurance and he gave me false information so I couldn’t claim in on my insurance…but I digress.  I got a ride to set and was only an hour or so late.  Later that day I was trying to figure out a way to get home when the cute sound guy offered me a ride.

The truth is I had been crushing on him since we were introduced.  Every day for a week I had been telling the director, my girl Rola, that I had a secret on-set crush.  That’s what happens.  It’s inevitable.  You get a bunch of passionate, driven and young-ish folks working together in close quarters for 20 hours a day for 2 weeks straight and drama is bound to occur.  In fact there were several hook-ups happening during the filming of this short, but I’ll let them tell their own stories…

So the cute sound guy is named Michael.  I climb into his car and he’s bumping the newest Erykah Badu CD.  What?!  Forget “you had me at hello”.  He had me at Badu.  I didn’t know anyone that was really digging that CD like I was, let alone a man.  So we started driving and we started talking.  Turns out he’s from Lansing, not so far from Detroit, but far enough to have a whole different outlook on the D (and no idea where the hell he was going).  Turns out we both lived in Chicago at the same time, and both worked within blocks of one another on Halsted Street for a few months, and miraculously never met.  By the time we found my house the sun was coming up and my dog Kira really needed to be let out.  We sat on my porch and talked for a few more hours, enjoying the sunrise and each other.  I finally invited him to come in since we both had to be back to work in a few hours.  In a way, he never left.

By September the film had wrapped and we were seeing each other almost every weekend.  Usually Michael came and stayed with me and worked on the music and sound editing of the film while I was at work.  We were so inseparable that when one of my oldest and dearest girlfriends was getting married, I asked him to be my date.  It was kind of a big deal.  I remember asking if I should bring him and most of the girls thought since I’d just met him it would be awkward to subject him to what would essentially be a high school reunion.  But I knew.  Don’t get me wrong, this was not love at first sight.  But I knew after two months that he was someone that was going to be in my life for a long time.  We just fit.  He was the shoe I never knew was missing from my foot.  Once he was there he changed the way I walked through life.

  At my friend Susie’s wedding.  Our first picture together.

The next two years were not entirely blissful, but we did manage to get awfully close rather quickly.  We went from insisting is was ‘casual’ to being ‘exclusive’ to Michael moving in with me in Hamtramck.  And while our love was catching fire, so was Michael’s passion for Kira and the city of Hamtramck (someone remind me to blog about Hamtramck one of these days).  We built a sweet little life together, cooking for each other, traveling to Spain, road tripping across the South and working on films and music.

Yet with all the love there was still a part of each of us that had one foot out the door.  There was a major deal breaker: I wanted to get married and have tons of kids and Michael NEVER wanted to get married or have kids.  He was exhaustingly adamant about it.  If I said something like “I wonder what you’re going to look like when you’re old” he would reply “Don’t think I’m gonna get old” and to that “That’s ok, you won’t know me when you’re old since you don’t want to get married”.  Or maybe it went “I can’t wait to take our kids to India”, “Huh?  We’re not having any kids.”  “Oh, right, then I can’t wait to take my future husband’s kids to India”.  There was no compromise.  We both knew it.  One day, probably whenever my biological clock started to tick like Marisa Tomei on a southern porch I would have to break both of our hearts and say goodbye.  The problem was…I knew he was the one.

Michael always told me the reason he never wanted to get married is because he had watched his parents marriage implode when he was a kid and that was all he knew about marriage.  He rationalized that the patterns and models he had to go off were too screwed up and that he would end up an angry abusive husband and father.  He couldn’t see anything different.  He couldn’t see the kindness and patience that he had with me and my dog.  He didn’t take into account his own passion for peace and mindfulness.  He was incapable of recognizing the changes he had made in his life that make him the man he is today.

I’m not sure when he changed his mind.  I just knew that I wasn’t willing to give up so easily.  The more we talked about the future, the more we dreamed about what we could have, what we could do together, the more he understood that as partners we could conquer any obstacle.  Then on New Year’s Eve 2007 he stood up in the middle of a crowded restaurant, surrounded by our friends and asked me to be his wife.

And tomorrow we celebrate the one year anniversary of our marriage.  A marriage made of mutual love and respect, one of shared goals and values.  A marriage that despite its challenges hasn’t had a dull moment…

More on that tomorrow!


  1. Eliza says:

    Aw, congrats!

  2. Eliza says:

    PS…I read your book club book! It's great! Hope you enjoy it!

  3. metta1313 says:

    How sweet! I love hearing love stories.

  4. Alexia says:

    Thanks ladies! Love stories are a bit of a weakness of mine too!

  5. Jess K says:

    Very nice, Ali! You guys have such a sweet story. It is hard to imagine Michael as anything other than your partner. Happy anniversary!!!

  6. Teresha@Marlie and Me says:

    I am in tears…you have beautiful story of how mommy and daddy fell in love to tell Cedella! I love the line, "he had me at Badu." classic! I'm glad you didn't give up on him. Happy Anniversary lovebirds!

  7. MountainWave says:

    Happy anniversary you two. Big love from both of us.

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