My boyfriend, Alex, is a writer (and his first play is actually being produced right now!) so I thought it would be fun to have him come on as a guest blogger with me. We wrote 10 questions and both separately answered them. Take a few minutes and get to know us a little better!
1. What’s your astrological sign and do you think that’s accurate?
Willa: I’m a Taurus and I think that’s pretty accurate. I’m stubborn and I definitely err on the side of rationality rather than dreams. I’m also far more efficient than I am emotional, which I often get in trouble for in theatre school! I love structure and planning and often worry myself with my own brutal organization, which I’ve heard is common of my sign.
Alex: I am a Capricorn, and from what I’ve read about them, I think I fit the bill pretty well. One way I do fit the Capricorn archetype is in my work ethic. I’m very determined and ambitious, often looking at the big picture and not worrying about the minutia until later. I hate structure with a passion, and will do anything to avoid it. I’ll also work to the point of exhaustion, which is, ironically, something I’m trying to work on. I’m introverted and extremely awkward, so I still don’t know how I managed to win Willa over. However, unlike some of the literature I’ve read regarding my sign, I am an extremely emotional person. I pride myself on my intelligence and logical reasoning, but at the end of the day, nine times out of ten I will listen to my heart. I’m prone to mood swings, and insults or negative feedback will linger with me longer than I would like it to.
2. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three books would you bring with you?
Willa: My all-time favorite book is Crossing California, which is about a community of people growing up in Chicago. I think I love it so much because I felt like all of the characters were real people. I could relate to them. My other two would have to be To Kill A Mockingbird (Atticus has always reminded me of my dad) and Blueprints for Building Better Girls, which is a book of short stories about women that all intertwine.
Alex: This is an especially difficult question for me because I love words more than almost anything else on the planet. They hold such a special place in my heart specifically because books have been my sanctuary for so long. I think my first pick would be The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This books always reminds me of my grandfather, who would read it to me as a baby and toddler. My next pick would probably be Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Martel is one of my favorite authors because he is a master of language, and the story he wove in Life of Pi is truly one of the most beautiful I have ever read. I would round out my picks with Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. As a rebellious teenager for most of my middle/high school years, this book was my bible. Reminding myself that everything is best in moderation and that it’s okay when nothing is okay sometimes are lessons I will never forget. That, and the concept of a place where people just go to hit each other in the middle of the night was a really cool idea in my testosterone-addled mind.
3. What’s your biggest irrational fear?
Willa: Appendicitis. Hands down. That’s one of my constant fears and I’m not even sure why.
Alex: I am terrified of most sea creatures. The idea of happening upon one when wading through the ocean is one of the most unsettling scenarios I can imagine for myself, even though I rarely go into the water past my waist anymore. However, I’m not the least bit afraid of sharks, because sharks are freaking sweet.
4. What was the moment you fell in love?
Willa: Alex and I had this really strange night before we were dating when we were planning on hooking up with each other, but I started sobbing because he was so sweet to me and I told him I couldn’t. He was kind about it and held me till I calmed down and I just knew I was in love with him. I expressed this by saying goodnight, getting into my car, and then yelling “I love you!” back at him before speeding away. Emotions are hard, guys.
Alex: Willa and I had been texting back and forth for a couple of days since we reconnected, and my crush for her was resurfacing big time. The idea that she actually took time out of her day to talk to me always sent my heart racing. I was trying to subtly find a way to meet up with her in person when she suggested that she should come visit the teacher who ran the last period class I was a teaching assistant for. I eagerly (But not too eagerly. She had no idea I was into her. I was totally cool.) agreed. We met in the parking lot, and I walked her in. The hour passed slowly, each minute seeming to stretch on to infinity. Finally, we were released, and Willa and I found a bench outside to chat on. She soon mentioned she was cold, so I suggested we move to my car, a warmer (and more private) locale. After talking for a bit longer, I couldn’t hold it in anymore. In the middle of her sentence, I leaned over and kissed her. Pulling away and seeing the look of shock and pure joy on her face got me. I was in love. And I’ve never looked back.
5. How do you deal with conflict?
Willa: Head on. I’m not a very subtle person and I don’t back down. Compromise isn’t the easiest thing for me to get behind when I fully disagree with the points being made. I love a good argument (sometimes verging on a fight), while Alex prefers the smoother route of calm conversation. He reminds me to be kind when debating and lets me know when I cross the line.
Alex: It honestly depends on the situation. Ideally, I deal with conflict logically. I identify the problem, lay out possible solutions, and pick the one that benefits the most people. However, more often than not, this is not the case, especially when I am embroiled in the conflict being discussed. No matter how hard I try to rely on my mind, my emotions usually get in the way, and I shut myself off. I would rather placate the other person and lick my emotional wounds than make any real progress. However, Willa has done a truly incredible job of bringing me out of my shell and giving me the power to stand my ground, even when we disagree. While I’m far from perfect on the conflict resolution front, I feel I have the tools now to handle most issues life throws at me.
6. What’s the most (adorably) annoying thing your partner does?
Willa: Alex sometimes doesn’t introduce me to people when we go places so I end up standing next to him awkwardly until I can interject and introduce myself. He doesn’t forget to say who I am, he just says he doesn’t know how!
Alex: Part of the reason I fell in love with Willa was because of how stubborn she is. She knows what she wants, and will do nearly anything to get it. Lucky, we agree most of the time, but when we don’t, I never outlast her. I love her tenacity. I wouldn’t necessarily describe it as adorable all of the time because when Willa really cares about something, things get pretty intense. Before we started dating (and even before I developed the biggest high school crush for her), Willa intimidated me. I was scared to go up to her and talk to her because she knew what she wanted, and I was afraid that wouldn’t be me. But as we talked more, I saw past what is often mistaken for assuredness and saw what is truly special about Willa: she never gives up, even if she’s not sure of what is coming next. When she has her heart set on something, regardless of all doubts, she goes to get it. So whether it’s reproductive justice or the last Thin Mint in the sleeve, anyone standing in her way better watch out.
7. What’s your favorite thing about your partner?
Willa: I love how much Alex cares about everything. He genuinely wants the best for everyone he encounters, which makes him extremely likable. I remember before I really knew him, we both attended a gala for a local theatre in Phoenix and multiple people came up to me and said “Have you met Tuchi? He’s the best!” I had not met him, and we didn’t meet that night simply because he was surrounded by so many others. Alex makes other people feel comfortable because he makes sure that they don’t feel threatened by him, which I think is a rare trait in men. Despite how awkward our first date was, he made me feel like things were going to be okay. And clearly, they were!
Alex: One of my favorite things about Willa is something she probably doesn’t even notice she does anymore. When we first started dating, I told Willa a mantra that my mother had repeated to me, “Never go to bed angry with the people you love”. I was so surprised how quickly Willa took this to heart. She told me that one of the differences between me and the men she usually chooses to date is that I am more sensitive (which is putting my emotional fragility, in the kindest way possible, incredibly lightly). She went into this relationship knowing that. So, whenever we fight, even if it’s late at night, she’ll always stay up and check in with me to make sure I’m okay, no matter how angry we are at each other. She never falls asleep before we apologize, and always make sure to tell me that she loves me before she goes to bed. Knowing how important this is to me and enacting it without fail every day is something that amazes me, and is also something that I will never be able to thank her enough for.
8. If money was no object, what would your dream job be?
Willa: I think I would want to not have a real job. I would act in community theatre and independent film projects and I would sit on a ton of boards of different organizations that support women and Asian Americans and reproductive justice. I would volunteer for events and at shelters. And I would have a kickass mom blog, which means I would have a family too.
Alex: This one is easy: I would love to own a dive bar/experimental theatre space to foster new art in all of its forms, all while getting people shitfaced.
9. If you were to give a TED talk, what would it be about?
Willa: I would talk about sex education in America and how important it is to talk about sex and sexuality and de-stigmatize them. We as a nation have a long way to go in that regard.
Alex: I like to make art in many forms, but I feel most comfortable describing myself as a writer. I would probably give a TED talk on the merits of story structure and the hidden parallels within every story we look at. I’m also a huge poetry nerd, so I could also probably give one on its importance and evolution. Due to this, I’m a pretty big, albeit picky, rap fan. Something about the cadence and fluidity calms me down more quickly than slower songs, but I also love diving in and dissecting the meaning of each line. Basically, anything having to do with words I’d be thrilled to talk about.
10. What’s the most important thing your partner/this relationship taught you?
Willa: Trust. Alex has taught me how to fully trust another person. He’s taught me a lot about growing where I’m planted and slowing down, because this life goes by so quickly. Love is so important to a healthy relationship and finding someone that you want to grow up with is rare. I think both of those take a certain level of willingness, which our relationship has.
Alex: The most important thing this relationship taught me is that I am enough. I know, it’s weird to think that another person would somehow convince you of what you’ve been trying to tell yourself for years, but Willa always has and continues to make me feel like I’m deserving of the life I have every day. Anxiety (in many forms) has been a constant struggle in my life, and from that stemmed a deep depression, one that reached its lowest point right before Willa waltzed back into my life. I honestly never thought I would feel happy with myself again. Willa was there for me through it all. Every breakdown, every pity party, Willa stuck with me. And, after a while, I started to realize, “If another human being is crazy enough to want to be with me, even when I’m at my worst, don’t I owe it to myself to do the same?”
Thank you for reading! Wanna know more about us or have something to say about our responses? Let us know in the comments below!
Xo, Willa & Alex