During the summer, when I was away from Geoff for 5 weeks, I thought about writing down some things that I loved about Geoff that even our friends may or may not know. Since we recently got engaged, it seems like an appropriate occasion for such a post! So, here we go. :)
I love Geoff because he is authentic. The first time I stayed over at his apartment, in the morning he put on a pair of circular, coke-can glasses. I politely pointed out that it's fairly unusual for someone to be so not self-conscious so early on in dating someone else. He shrugged and replied that people are either going to like you for who you are, or not. For that I liked him more.
I love Geoff because he has traits of a real gentleman. I know it's old-school, but he opens doors, carries my stuff, and plans a helluva good date. I also love that he is romantic and that we still hold hands everywhere we go. :)
I love Geoff because he is fiercely loyal. I see it in the way he treats his family and his friends. Even if things happen that show him that other people aren't as good to him as they maybe ought to be, he continues to give them 120% of his loyalty and goes out of his way to take care of them. I know that he does the same with me, and that sometimes I'm not as considerate as I ought to be. Geoff forgives because he is generous.
I love Geoff because he's hilarious. When you talk to Geoff, you never know when something phallic will seep into the conversation. (Usually within the first 30 minutes, if he really hits it off with a dude.) When we met my cousins for the first time (who are older than me and whom I had always looked up to as a kid), he was rubbing his nipples and sticking his tongue out at the lunch table. When he came back from Israel for the birthright trip, he told me that he had right away figured out the circumcision status of everybody in his birthright group. It's just the kind of thing he shares, and then people reciprocate; he's very disarming in a strange sort of way.
I love Geoff because when you talk to him, you feel like his attention zooms in on you and nothing else in the world matters for the moment. He's genuinely interested in what you have to say, and it's evident that people love talking to him.
I love Geoff because he's the only person I know who tries to make people underestimate him. Everyone else I know is out to prove themselves to the world -- how smart they are, how much money they make, how talented they are at XYZ. Geoff? You'd never hear him talk himself up at anything, even if he might be better than you at XYZ.
I love Geoff because he's the most methodical and disciplined person I know. He has so many checklists, that he has built entire software systems to keep track of the things he needs to do and his systems yell at him when things fall through the cracks or run behind schedule. Before he buys anything, he looks at hundreds of options, reads books, and creates entire spreadsheets and software systems to track things. Because of it, he makes superb life decisions and achieves big goals efficiently (even though only a few people know about these things).
I love Geoff because he has a creative soul. He's not the best guitar player, but every time he plays, he's writing and discarding new tunes. He thinks of our experiences in metaphors and sings about simple stories that have beautiful messages that are opaque unless you talk to him about them. I love that when Geoff sings, he sweats up a storm and you can picture a little Geoff singing out of a garage rock band.
I love Geoff because he is fearless. I've jumped off a cliff with him. I've slid down a steep volcano with him. I've climbed 7 floors of ladder-stairs with him. I've seen him stick his hand into a pot of hissing roaches. I've eaten live crickets with him. I don't think I would have done those things myself. He pushes me to always go a little bit beyond my comfort zone.
I love Geoff because he balances his wander-lust with his career ambitions. We've had numerous conversations about this, where we think it's quite amazing that neither of our careers suffers from our lifestyle, and that we have each other to share it with.
I love Geoff because he is a true optimist. He's so damned positive that I call him Positive Pedro (or just Pedro) most of the time, and he calls me (Negative) Nancy. He thinks everything is do-able, and doesn't stress out about anything. When Geoff's around, he sucks out all of the negative energy in the room and replaces it with the human equivalence of sunshine. :)
I love Geoff because he believes that what I do makes a difference in the world. At the end of a hard day, it's so good to come home to someone who believes you to be better than you are.
I love Geoff because even if I travel all the world, I may not find another person like him. We could never predict what things may come, but I am happy that we have decided that we will be in it together for the long haul.