Right after BWB and I started dating, I went away on a trip.

Six months or so before I met BWB, my friends and I had decided we would go on a cruise for Thanksgiving. It happened in the most backwards way, with all of us sitting around bemoaning the horrifically bad spring we’d had that year, and someone said we all deserved a vacation. Yeah, someone else said, we should all go on a cruise or something. And then someone else said, hey, we SHOULD go on a cruise! And we all looked at each other and realized we were brilliant, and it was done.

A few months later, I was in the middle of falling madly in love with this crazy boy I just met, and the idea of spending an entire week without seeing him was bothering me more than I liked to admit. I tried to play it off, I really did, but at dinner one night the 6 other people on the boat with me all groaned and threw me out of dinner to go call him already! For pity’s sake, call him, put us all out of our misery! Apparently, I was not doing as well at covering up the missing-my-new-boyfriend as I thought I was.

In any case, while I was missing him on this cruise, I was looking for just the right present to bring him back. Something unique, more than a t-shirt or a keyring, but not so expensive as to be awkward for our 2-month-old relationship. Finally, on our last port day, I found it. There amidst a pile of knick-knacks in a junk shop in the Bahamas was a tiny little ship inside a tiny glass globe. It was nothing big, but it was perfect, and I wrapped it in socks and underpants and stuffed it inside a shoe (because that’s what everyone does with tiny glass globes containing ships, right?) and brought it home to him.

He loved it. I glowed. A month later, we said “I love you” for the first time, and about 6 months after that, we were engaged. I’m pretty sure the ship had something to do with it.

Last year when we were moving, the tiny glass globe got caught in a cord and was thrown off the counter while I tried to unpack. I cried and cried, and BWB came to find out why. He looked at the broken glass, and at me, and smiled. Picking up the still-intact sailing ship, he held it out for me to see.

“You didn’t break it. You set it free!”

This, my friends, is love.