The Risks of Taking My Quarantine Romance from DM to IRL
He was more than just a fun distraction, but was it worth the leap?
A thing they don’t tell you about starting a relationship — of any caliber — in quarantine is that there is absolutely nowhere to put your feelings. They stay contained, like yourself, in a 500-square-foot studio apartment, until you reach a breaking point and decide it’s worth the risk to set them free. And putting your heart on the line during a pandemic? Well, that’s like taking a thousand risks at once. You ought to be prepared to protect all the vulnerable parts.
I met J in the most iconic of destinations: my Instagram DMs. I knew he existed long before he took the leap, however, because he’d been following me for years on Twitter, after reading a few of my McSweeney’s pieces. He was the best kind of follower — a “fan” who didn’t push boundaries, one who just quietly liked the wild, witty, weird words I posted on the internet, and nothing more.
Until, of course, he finally decided to say hello.
For most of my online life, I have openly shared anecdotes from my dating experiences — particularly on platforms with limited character counts (and in longer form, when merited). But being single during quarantine was an interesting new dynamic. No longer able to do whatever with whomever, whenever, gave creativity to the moment — ripe with fresh, fascinating content.
Some of my tweets through this lens were making their way around the internet in rapid-fire bouts that skyrocketed my Instagram account (dedicated solely to screenshots of my tweets) to over 15,000 followers in less than a few months. My Insta DMs were comically overcrowded with interested men, most of whom, per usual, couldn’t leave a lasting impression. But I was thankful to give Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge a tiny break and instead sift through the prospects who were shooting their shot on my new favorite dating app.
As I was busy running my own personal dating reality show in confinement, J and I began a playful dialogue, filled mostly with punny banter and heart-eyed Instagram Story reactions. I wouldn’t have engaged initially without doing my detective due diligence, of course, and brief research revealed a man who was handsome, smart, internet savvy, and seemingly very real. I was relieved to find no glaring digital red flags, and it gave our fateful introduction even more fuel to propel it forward in any direction.
In late February, after weeks of doing a standard DM dance, I told him I wanted to get to know him better. “Is that wild?” I asked, knowing it was; knowing we were 3,000 miles apart in Seattle and New York; knowing we were on lockdown without a deadline; knowing there were other men to dance with. But I couldn’t ignore whatever was pulling me toward him. He was invested in me long before I knew he even existed, so he was elated at the thought of spending more time in each other’s orbit, smitten from the get-go.
“I adore you,” he texted. “And your confidence, sass, smarts, etc.”
I smiled at my phone and told him I appreciated the sentiment, but the “etc.” wasn’t really doing it for me.
“You deserve all the specifics,” he replied.
There were three important things he did not hesitate to tell me, in the spirit of honesty from the very beginning: He was on the cusp of 54 (18 years older than me), separated from a wife of 20 years, and a Canadian, here on a Visa that had to be regularly renewed.
While even one of those circumstances might’ve prompted a hard left swipe on a dating app, he had somehow managed to stand out among a crowd of hopeful bachelors, so I trusted my gut to see it through, to learn more about this stranger with whom I shared an attraction and a number of writerly interests, despite being worlds apart. Perhaps I was looking for something that felt a little outside of the norm, following in the footsteps and the precedence of a year that was shaping up to be anything but.
“Even if you think I’m too old or too weird or too complicated or whatever, I just want the best for you,” he texted at one point, likely sensing any concerns.
“Age doesn’t matter, weird makes it interesting, and life is complicated,” I replied, convincing myself as I typed.
We continued our flirtatious and furious text exchanges for weeks and weeks, and in late March, we decided to take it to the next level of “quarantine dating” with a phone call. To hear each other’s voices, to know our texts translated to conversation, was a relief. We talked for hours about everything and nothing, and I wanted to stay on with him for as long as he would let me.
After we hung up, he texted that he couldn’t stop smiling. I joked that I needed a Yelp review for our “first date,” and he delivered.
“Can’t stop smiling. Fast delivery. Worth surviving a pandemic for. Pairs well with bourbon. Can’t wait to enjoy the full experience.”
To which I replied:
“A message from the business: Sorry, we are not offering the full experience at this time.”
In early April, I was interviewed by NBC News about pandemic dating. I spoke to the reporter for almost an hour about my experiences, never holding anything back, and when the piece came out, there were a few iconic highlights they decided to immortalize. Particularly:
“You’re kind of talking to all these men online and you’re like, ‘I have a million online boyfriends’ — knowing you’re not going to meet up anytime soon.”
Thankfully, the piece ended with a heartfelt sentiment about hope and finding love during this bizarre era, however short or ongoing it might be, with a small shoutout to J.
“[Runnels has] already seen how expanding her location preferences has opened her up to new possibilities like a first-date phone call with someone in New York City.”
There it was, our beginning written into history.
In just a few short months, my opposite-coast, tech-based relationship with J had exceeded far beyond adorable banter and content for relatable tweets, and unexpectedly so. We became a part of each other’s routines, and we looked forward to check-ins throughout the day and longer video chats on weekends. We also made a collaborative playlist on Spotify that served as a constant and romantic background soundtrack for both of us. For my birthday, he sent me a thoughtful gift, and for his, I wrote a handwritten letter and sent him a book on fonts called You’re Just My Type.
By May, it felt like we were fully invested. I stopped swiping through apps completely, ignored my DMs, and somewhat disconnected from other men I’d chatted with at the beginning stages of quarantine. One evening, while on FaceTime, simultaneously watching my debut in an online film festival, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed he was looking at me instead of his computer screen, the sweetest smile on his face. And I realized I was long gone, well out of the silly “quarantine boyfriend” phase.
We needed to see each other — soon, and safely. My mom had undergone cancer surgery two months prior, and she was my first priority when it was safe enough for necessary travel. So we tentatively planned after visiting her on the East Coast for two weeks, I would jet up to New York mid-June and meet J.
It was a sense of relief — having something to look forward to, but I wondered if I had all the facts straight, if I had thought through all the possibilities of this looming, anticipated encounter. During a time when everyone was second-guessing their every move, I did a “feelings check” with J often — just to soothe my own anxiety about taking such a grand leap, to get constant reassurance that this was necessary, important, and brimming with impossible-to-ignore potential. There were times when I wondered if we had simply fallen into a quarantine twilight zone of mutual adoration, both thrilled to have someone we found attractive, like-minded, and a welcomed distraction from the world burning around us. Were we just invested in each other because of circumstances, because we were lonely, because there were no rules anymore?
My close friends were supportive of this unexpected connection, but often argued he was so far outside my realm of typical love interests that I should be cautious of the investment. To ease my qualms — or potentially heighten them — he wrote me an incredibly long letter, detailing the complications of his separation, his citizenship, the home he owned in Brooklyn, and his job uncertainty, on top of reassuring me that he wanted to keep moving forward. It was a lot to digest; the fundamentals of which I already knew, but it was still a stark reminder there were major roadblocks ahead, as there might be in any relationship. I was grateful for his prolific honesty, and his vulnerability, and I was hopeful that whatever the future held, we would tackle it together. This, again, was shocking to my friends, who often joked if a man wasn’t a bearded creative type who read directly from the script I wrote for them in my head, I wouldn’t give them the time of day.
His letter ended:
I wasn’t looking for anyone. Wasn’t on dating apps. Just getting by day to day and swallowing my loneliness. And then, miracle of miracles, I met you, whose words enthralled me and whose outlook and humor delighted me. And I saw your picture and fell off my chair. And I just had to DM you, how could I not? And now I’m actually talking with you, long-distance dating you, and we have feelings for each other… It’s insane, and wonderful, and feels so right. The “blissful, familiar rushes” you mentioned in your letter. I love our conversations. And I think I would love just being present with you, and everything that could ensue from that beautiful basic thing. I dream about a future with you. And that dream gives me hope.
My life, on the other hand, was blissfully unburdened — no ex-husbands, no property investments, no job uncertainties. But I warned J early on, that while I didn’t have a complicated backstory like he did, my baggage came in the form of a tendency to sabotage anything resembling a hopeful, promising relationship. My most fatal flaw is that I need to know the ending. I obsess over having a clear vision of how something might turn out, or, instead, I create that ending myself. Please, ruin me with spoilers. At the very least, paint me a picture of how it might look as we barrel toward the future. As a writer, and an anxious one at that, it makes sense I am eager to write the endings, and as such, it has been my downfall in countless relationships, when I refused to let it play out slowly and organically and necessarily. The scenario between J and I had all the makings for me to end it before it even truly began, but I made a promise to myself to reframe my thinking — to simply enjoy our time together, to give clarity to this potential love, to absorb the eloquent beginnings and the mighty middles, too.
In late May, after testing negative for Covid, I spent two weeks of much-needed quiet time with my mom in North Carolina, and on June 11, I flew to New York, a city where I had spent 13 years of my life, to meet a man I’d thought about daily for months.
One of my good friends was spending the summer in Connecticut with her family, and she offered her precious Park Slope apartment to me as a home base for my visit. She lived exactly three blocks from J, and I was endlessly grateful to give an ounce of normalcy to our encounter — the luxury of having breathing room if we needed it.
Our real first date would be anything but traditional; we weren’t meeting in one of my dark, go-to first-date bars, where I felt most comfortable rooted on a barstool. It was drizzling that afternoon in Brooklyn, so sitting outside wasn’t an option either, but I trusted this man enough to show up at his home for our long-anticipated introduction.
As I walked down his tree-lined, brownstone block, I couldn’t process one single coherent thought — they all ran together, trampling each other, leaving only the safety of long, deep, meditative breaths, and last-minute texts to those who were in this with me. He buzzed me in. I tip-toed up the stairs, possibly in slow motion, to the third floor, and took one last deep breath just before he opened the door.
I think about that first embrace often, even though it is diluted from blinding nerves. As two people who were living alone, quarantined for months and months during a pandemic, we were both severely touch-starved. We embraced cautiously, but passionately, and I held on, my head to his chest, listening to his hummingbird heart and the faint sound of our joint playlist in the background.
After the rain — and our anxious small-talk — subsided, we took our rosé up to his private rooftop deck to grin at each other for hours, nestled in matching papasan chairs, joyfully exclaiming that, after countless days of long-distance longing, this was really happening. Being together was easy, seemingly so, and as the early evening gave way to a spectacular and romantic summer sunset, we stood at the deck’s edge to soak it all in, watching lower Manhattan swallow the sun and the sky paint itself in neon pinks and purples. We looked at each other for a brief moment, as if to say, “Are we sure this is real?” and before I could speak, he kissed me, long and hard and soft all at once; we fell into one another, precisely the way we’d imagined it.
When you’ve come this far, you’re elated that someone is, at the very least, a good kisser. From then on, it was all we wanted to do. The rest of our evening is a fuzzy dream sequence, in part from the wine glasses that somehow stayed full, but mostly from the haze and the rush and the bliss that spiraled into minute after minute of how this was all, in fact, supposed to be.
In theory, I intended to stay in Brooklyn for a long weekend, maybe a week, max, depending on our chemistry and the potential — and what made sense logistically and emotionally. But, as I am one for spoilers: I left 25 days after our first night together.
My mini-summer in Park Slope was a welcomed change of scenery and routine, even amidst the backdrop of quiet pandemic chaos. J and I floated through the first few days together — lounging in Prospect Park, trying new to-go spots around the neighborhood, taking long, aimless walks, getting to know each other, just existing together in a fucked-up world — all very carefully, cautiously.
J was a truly beautiful man. Tall, fit, put-together, with the perfect grayish stubble, which he grew on account of my unquiet affinity for bearded men. I felt a swarm of butterflies every time he looked too long, too gently, too lustfully into my eyes — although it’s possible after months of deprivation, any handsome man could have set my insides aflutter. I loved walking through the city with him, listening to him point out his favorite hidden architectural gems in the neighborhood, and holding his hand, letting it go every few minutes to wipe the sweat from the swampy summer sun. It was the closest I’d felt to being a couple in some time, and all of my impulses felt justified with every stolen kiss, every unexpected and expected touch, every interaction where we learned something new about one another, every time he laughed authentically at almost anything I said. Every minute of it felt like a scenario that could possibly last forever — a wild thought to have in the middle of such an ambiguous timeline.
In the first week, he met three of my closest friends in the park, each of whom hadn’t met a love interest of mine in far too long. He was mostly quiet around them, chiming in here and there, observing later how it was a joy to watch me beam around my most-cherished pals, knowing how happy they made me. He was that particular type of introvert — friendly, warm, comfortable around others, but spoke mostly when he had something important to say — not filling the blank space the way my friends and I could do for days on end. I appreciated this about him; it was a nice balance between us. Our silences were never uncomfortable, but at times, I did wonder if he wasn’t saying enough. I have always said too much — drank too much, done too much, been too much — and the men that have come in and out of my life have never even rivaled these traits, so it didn’t feel entirely unfamiliar. But I found myself wondering if he was having important conversations in his head without me.
I wanted him to feel like I was his, that he felt a level of protection over me, like he didn’t want my followers to think I was still fiercely available.
During the weekdays, J would wake up and bring me coffee in bed before doing yoga on the roof, and I would lie there, doing my own favorite morning workout: scrolling through Twitter and texting friends that I was on my best behavior and making the effort to be present. I’d usually sneak out while he was mid-sun-salutation, do a classic walk of shame in my mask and sunglasses and messy bun, a New Yorker tote full of overnight essentials, and pick up a bagel at the deli down the block before heading back to my friend’s apartment to work for the day.
J’s two-story place was spacious enough for us to both work, but I thought the eight hours apart helped us maintain a precedent for the getting-to-know-you stage. My friend left for Connecticut before New York began its brutal summer heat wave, and they hadn’t installed their AC units yet, so I bought them a fan and stayed by it for most of the day to keep cool. In the early evening, J would walk over to scoop me up, and we’d stroll around the avenues, eventually picking up dinner or grabbing cocktails and enjoying them on a stoop or back at his place. Then we’d settle in on his sprawling white leather couch in the upstairs deck-adjacent TV room to play Scrabble or watch a movie, or I’d introduce him to any number of my personal favorites: 90 Day Fiancé, Beyonce’s Homecoming, You, Dating Around, until we were both tired, or ready to be intertwined for the night.
I loved J’s sweet, soft, subtle touch, and I know he loved mine — and not just because we’d waited so long for one another’s. When we were in bed, and even when we weren’t, our lustful, seemingly choreographed make-outs were lengthy and dreamy, and generally led to J buried between my thighs. He said this part of my body, much like my mouth, was drug-like, and it was precisely where I found him in bouts of desire, fiending for more. I am particularly fond of an evening on the roof deck, shortly after dusk and a second glass of wine — the two of us tangled together on a chaise, him sheltered underneath my dress while the thick summer air clung to us both. I rooted myself so deeply in that moment that I didn’t care if all of Brooklyn shared it with us, and I imagined this life with him, again, in long-form, long-term — no longer long-distance longing. But I’m smart enough to know that no good can ever come from grand, romantic notions when your body is reaching, realizing, recovering from euphoria.
For the first two-ish weeks together, I’d done a bang-up job of living in the moment, of just existing in this world with him — off my phone when possible, absorbing the mesmeric minutiae of being in a burgeoning relationship. But, knowing how well it was going, I became anxious again, wondering what was next for us — what our path to an ending might be, knowing I couldn’t float through Brooklyn like this indefinitely. And so one day after work, as we sipped happy-hour drinks on the deck, I asked a perfectly reasonable question.
“Do my tweets ever bother you?”
I’ll admit, despite its innocuous sentiment, it was a calculated ask. I needed to know if my very honest, specific, “thirsty” content ever gave him pause. Even though I wasn’t religiously swiping through dating apps or texting with half a dozen men, I was still tweeting like a very single woman — staying “on brand,” if you will. That very day, in fact, I’d tweeted a funny conversation with a friend about men who had too much checked baggage, which largely nodded at his own.
He looked at me, and smirked, as if I’d asked something painfully silly.
“No, it doesn’t bother me at all. Should it?”
He was always a champion of my personal brand and the spinster one-liners and dating diatribes I put on the internet — it is, after all, how we met. But for some reason, I wanted the answer to be: “It bothers me a little.” I wanted him to feel like I was his, that he felt a level of protection over me, like he didn’t want my followers to think I was still fiercely available. Instead, I felt foolish for even asking.
I opened my mouth to reply, wanting to ask what would happen when I go back to Seattle and tweet about meeting another man or going on a socially distant date or publishing literally anything that implied I was still seeing other people. But I stopped myself. I held it in. I knew it would take us out of the moments we’d been thriving in. I knew it was too soon for a determine-the-relationship conversation. I knew it was me looking for some sort of ending.
Was this just us taking a huge risk for nothing more than momentary bliss?
We went inside to watch a movie, but I couldn’t focus. I was stewing on this question I’d held in. I was angry I couldn’t just blurt out: What are we? What is this? Where is this going? Why don’t you care more? So I sat in silence until Knives Out was over, annoyed I couldn’t even enjoy the film. He knew I was in my own head — deep, deep, deep within, and so after saying nothing was wrong like the world’s worst broken record, I let it free, with nothing to lose, except the last four months. I explained his situation — our situation — was too uncertain. Was I a fool for getting involved with a man who wasn’t yet officially divorced? Was I a moron for spending so much time with someone who couldn’t tell me what was next? Was this just us taking a huge risk for nothing more than momentary bliss?
Beyond repeating how he felt about me, over and over again, in this very moment, he couldn’t shine adequate light on our future. And like he said in the very beginning, I deserved all the specifics.
We went to bed, emotionally scathed, physically untouched.
I left early the next morning, worked for the day, and then met a friend at an outdoor bar. I told her it felt like this was over. It was too hard and too complicated, and he couldn’t give me what I needed right now. Despite the fact that we’d been talking for months, she insisted I was giving up too quickly, reminding me it had only been a measly two weeks since first meeting in person.
Full of tequila and tension, I went over to his place to talk through our frustrations on the roof deck, the backdrop for so many poignant moments. I cried, he cried — neither of us knew how to make this ideal, but he was adamant in making it work. Then, without warning, he punctuated his last thought with: I’m falling in love with you.
I was stunned. But also I thought: Finally. The feeling was familiar. And I knew it existed between us in this very moment, and long before. Every time he touched me, or said all the right things, or looked at me a certain way, in my head, I would say, I love you! Followed by: I think. Maybe. Do I love you? Or do I love this feeling? Instinctually, I didn’t reciprocate the sentiment out loud, still unable to fully decipher the origins of my affectivity. Hearing him say he was mid-fall would sustain me for now, briefly quieting my overworked and restless brain, and we held each other and promised to be in this together.
Our recovery from that night solidified our movement forward, and the rest of my Brooklyn mini-summer days were filled with the quarantine routine we’d settled into, dotted with memorable adventures like bike rides to Industry City Park, a boardwalk stroll at Brighton Beach, a Black Lives Matter protest, and a few more socially distant park meet-and-greets with friends and family.
July 4th was our second-to-last night together, and we sat on the deck, wide-eyed, enveloped in 360° views of fireworks rising from faraway rooftops — somewhat making up for the disruptive bursts we’d heard all month long. On our last night, we picked up tacos and cocktails from my favorite neighborhood spot, and lived in the moment for one final evening. We ranked our highlights and laughed about a month’s worth of memories, and he made it clear he wanted to come to Seattle as soon as possible. But nothing was definite beyond the plan of simply missing each other. That would have to be enough for now. But I wanted more. I wanted certainties. I wanted purpose for this relationship. I wanted the promise of an eventual happy ending together, whatever the hell that meant.
Saying goodbye to him, and to Brooklyn, after that extended visit was bittersweet, but I was happy to be back in Seattle. I missed the 65-degree sunny summer days and the seagulls singing outside of my apartment and the smell of the Sound. We kept up the “I miss you” and “Thinking of you” texts steadily, but communication soon faltered. It felt like we were stumbling back into the purgatory we existed in before ever meeting. I know everything feels inadequate when you are trying to mimic real life thousands of miles apart, but he wasn’t giving me, or our relationship, the attention it needed. And I don’t mean that in a millennial-only-child-creative-type way, I mean that in a healthy, means-of-survival kind of way.
We hadn’t brought up titles during our time together, but days after being home, he called himself my boyfriend in a text, and I playfully told him he’d been approved for the position. Huge, considering I’ve gone out of my way for the last eight years or so to not give that title to just anyone. I had a boyfriend, and yet, it didn’t feel like it. I asked for more. More FaceTime. More texts. More reassurance. More anything, really. And he’d try, and then he wouldn’t.
Maybe the fact I needed convincing was already the answer I so desperately sought.
Before I let my insecurities get the best of me, and before we gave up, simply because it was a logistical nightmare, I wanted him to come to Seattle and live in my world for a brief time, to solidify our in-person chemistry and watch it evolve in a different time zone. I needed him to visit, more than anything, to make sure what I felt in New York was real, and not just the romantic, blinding quarantine haze I kept alluding to, as if to give myself an out at any moment. Maybe the fact I needed convincing was already the answer I so desperately sought.
Three weeks to the day after I left Brooklyn, I told him over the phone I didn’t feel like we were in a relationship, like those 25 days were just a spectacular fever-dream. He told me he was stressed about his citizenship status and job status and the status of his ill father — all things you usually get to share in real time with the person you’re falling in love with. Not once did he mention our relationship status in his list of frets. There was so much silence on the phone, and I waited for him to scream: I want to be with you, I want to make this work, I want us to go through this together, I want you, I want you, I want you. And yet.
He stayed silent. Making me question every single detail, desire, decision from the last five months. But in that moment of reticence, everything clicked, too. This was a man who had never — and would never — put up a fight. He would never go into battle for me, or with me. He was merely the man who would quietly nod at my every move and swear things didn’t bother him and let me always, always say too much. Ironically, and conveniently, these are things you can’t fully see when you’re just… living in the moment.
“I’ll make this easy for you,” I said. “I’ll take something off your plate.”
Again, nothing. No fight. The deafening silence of a recreant man I fooled myself into thinking would become so much more than just the quiet guy who faithfully liked all my tweets and finally decided to say hello. I would’ve respected an honest conversation about the brutal reality of being in a long-distance relationship, or an explanation as to why he wasn’t including me in his life behind-the-scenes, or whatever it might’ve been that took him from a place of falling in love with me, to letting this quickly fall to pieces.
But at the very least, I had an ending.
A few days after that conversation, I went on a socially distant first date at Gasworks Park. (I have mastered the ability to compartmentalize heartache and re-channel that energy into new pursuits.) The guy was cute and sweet and worthy of meeting in real life, but as we set up our blankets six feet apart, I knew almost instantly we were not a match. We still had a couple of drinks together, and after establishing a friend vibe, I sent him away and stayed in the park to finish my fifth or sixth White Claw, staring out at Lake Union, wondering if it would always be this way — a romantic life filled with almosts.
I genuinely loved being single and dating and getting to share my endless anecdotes with those who could relate. But I loved the feeling of what J and I had, too — however brief it might’ve been, whatever circumstantial reasons we ended up in each other’s lives, teetering on a love story. Despite always reveling in the freedom of being unattached, I still valued the relationships I’d had over the years with men who could keep my attention for longer than anticipated. It was rare, but not impossible, which made every plunge all the more extraordinary and worthwhile.
My expectations for men have always been immutably high, and I haven’t bent them much, if at all. But I bent them for J, and his complicated life, because I saw the beauty in the potential. I know now this man wasn’t meant to be my forever — most of them aren’t — but the possibility propelled me into an arena that always managed to boast both familiarity and the great unknown. I could be angry at him for showing up in my life at a time when nothing made sense, for bowing out mid-fall, for making me believe this was a hefty new chapter instead of just a few thousand words, but instead, I vowed to turn that discontentment into gratitude for letting myself feel so hopeful, so cherished, so connected to someone amidst a monstrous year.
Tears began to crawl down my cheeks from behind oversized sunglasses, and I was annoyed at painting such a sad-girl picture in the park. And worse, I knew what was coming next. After zero communication since our break-up, the potent combination of canned vodka, faint heartache, and expected curiosity compelled me to text him.
“Here’s what I can’t get over,” I typed. “How easily you let me go.”
I packed up my blanket, and headed to meet my Uber, empty cans clanging in my tote. In the car, I tried not to think of every possible reply scenario, and instead, thought about my ramblings from the NBC News article, and the way in which it ended.
“I’m hopeful that, at a bare minimum, if this doesn’t end in a grandiose love story, that it makes me more open to anything,” [Runnels] said. “We all have, give or take, the time right now to invest a little more in somebody you wouldn’t normally. I think that’s maybe the best part of it.”
I had unknowingly written my own quarantine-romance ending, long before it began.
My phone lit up. His name, also once something that lit up my day, sat there on my home screen, with a succinct reply:
“It wasn’t easy and I’m sad about it.”
It’s strange how eight words, all at once, can feel like not enough, and also exactly what you need to hear.
Maybe these men will never say enough — or be enough, or do enough. But what matters is knowing you are enough. And, without a doubt, you always deserve the specifics.