I’d like to tell you a story. It’s a story of passion and love, of heartache and sorrow. There are laughs and smiles, as well as some tears. It all started 4 years ago, in September of 2007. At the time, I was just enjoying a summer of all sorts of activities, vacations, friends, and family. It was a glorious time in my life and a summer I will never forget. However, I was missing something. At the time, I didn’t realize it, but looking back I can definitely say I was not 100% complete.

I remember like it was just yesterday. Labor Day had passed, I had just returned from a trip to Mexico with friends. I was fit and had my summer tan and I was feeling energetic and excited to start my new job at gap intelligence. It was September 3, 2007 and it was the day I fell in love.

Now I had seen my love and even had spent some brief time with him in the past, but it wasn’t until gap intelligence that I really fell head over heels. What I thought I knew about him previously, turned out I barely knew him at all. There was so much more to him than I ever thought possible and I can still say that I am discovering more and more about him every day. Who? Who is this knight in shining armor that stole my heart? Some of you may have guessed…and yes, it is Mr. Excel.

The first day that I got to know Mr. Excel I knew that I was in love because that night he appeared in my dreams. I was living with him on a spreadsheet, we had 200 cells of land, and our closest neighbors were a tab away. We went on an adventure that day, making our way through strange formatting and ctrl alt entering our way through the {}s. We enjoyed a picnic in Sheet3 while watching the sunset over the conditionally formatted blue ocean. It was wondrous and amazing. And a great start to our relationship. When I woke, I knew Mr. Excel was the man for me and that he would be a part of my life forever.

Mr. Excel and I have been together for a little over four years now, and it’s been some of the best years of my life. He knows me. He knows that I enjoy challenges and so he pushes me to become a better person, although many times I don’t realize at the time that those are his intentions. But little arguments have to be expected when you spend so much time with each other. Let me give you a few examples. A few years back I was formulizing with Mr. Excel and following a few mistrials, I thought I had it. I entered the equals sign, wrote my badass formula and pushed enter only to be told by Mr. Excel that there was far too much nesting and that formula wasn’t going to work. This immediately annoyed me of course. How could he tell me that I was wrong!? As my love, isn’t he supposed to be sensitive and caring and accepting? I ditched him for lunch that day and ate outside with a few coworkers. Following lunch I returned to make amends with Mr. Excel and realized that there indeed was a more efficient way to write the formula. I realized that Mr. Excel wasn’t outwardly trying to upset me, he was pushing me to think smarter, better, and more efficiently.

Our biggest argument though occurred this past year. Mr. Excel’s timing is frustratingly impeccable sometimes. We had been together for about three years and I thought I really understood him and he really understood me. I knew his shortcuts, menus, and options. We worked together like we’d known each other our whole lives. And then one day, Mr. Excel did a complete 180. He cut his hair, changed his layout, and didn’t like my shortcuts anymore. This threw me for a tizzy. What had I done?? What happened? Why the sudden change? I immediately decided that perhaps my relationship with Mr. Excel wasn’t what I thought it was. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to last forever. How could I trust someone that could just change everything I knew to be familiar, without even consulting me?! We were in this together! I tried to avoid the changes, tried to live in the past where I felt comfortable with the Mr. Excel that I knew, or thought I knew. But I couldn’t live with his 2003 version forever. If I wanted this relationship to work, I had to accept that it was now 2010 and with the new decade, came a new Mr. Excel. And ya know, once I looked past the physical changes and new exterior, I realized that deep down, Mr. Excel was the same. I learned his new shortcuts, his likes and dislikes. That now I can highlight 32,767 cells per worksheet. I have become familiar with his new measurements of 1,048,576 rows by 16,384 columns. And my favorite, when I want to get really intimate, I can now zoom up to 400 percent.

I can say that my love for Mr. Excel has once again blossomed and I have fallen in love all over again. He keeps me on my toes, and I appreciate that. I can’t say for sure what the future will bring, but for the time being, Mr. Excel and I are one and living happily ever after.