Friday, June 12, 2009

3653 days

We had only been married a year when we moved into our first home and I made some new friends. One night, the ladies went out to dinner and I got to know them better as well as introduce myself. I remember Maureen and Kelli saying they had been married for 6 or 8 years and thinking, "Whooooaaaa. That's like, forever. What do you still talk about at that point?" I had no idea the monumental disservice I was doing to just about everyone I know who has been married for more than, say, 5 years.

Because here we are, ten years later. TEN YEARS. That's almost a third of my lifetime. And while I definitely feel like I have a good handle on who Joel is (ya think?), I wouldn't say that it has FELT like 10 years. Except that we have a 7 year old, so...that kind of dispels the seeming magic.

We must have been crazy to think we could get married. Or brilliant. Probably a combination. Because when you're young, you have absolutely no concept of what a serious long-term commitment demands. You have no idea what obstacles life will throw at you, or how you may react on any given day. And yet...suddenly you're looking back over 11 years, wondering where the time went, and considering taking your chances on Wall Street because, come ON, I'm crazy BRILLIANT.

When I was about 12, I remember my Grandma telling me that she never told another boy she loved him until she met my Grandpa. She said it just didn't feel right and, in fact, had broken up with boys after they tried to use it (even after her WARNING them not to) on her. I thought my Grandma was pretty smart (afterall, my Grandpa was probably the greatest man out there, and that is NOT an exaggeration as my extended family would probably back-up), so I decided then and there to implement Grandma's tactic in my life. (sidenote: I dropped a couple guys who tried to use it on me - LAME-O's! - what part of, "We can go out, but let's get one thing straight - I don't do the love word. If you use it, I'm out" is so hard to understand?) So here I was, firmly anti-loveword, and after knowing/dating Joel for only a month, I suddenly found myself choking it back.

That was when I first fell in love with Joel. Since then, I wouldn't say I've fallen in love with him over and over (that implies falling out - maybe falling more? ugh, that sounds so cliche) - but I've definitely had moments where I have been exceedingly proud of myself for marrying him. When we bought our first house, when we had each of our children, when he would stay up rocking said children while I slept, when we bought our current home, etc. All of these are obvious "I'm so glad I married you" moments. So let me share one that isn't. In fact, after this I will never speak of it again, and neither will you. Right after having Ainsleigh, they had to do some stitching up down there. Y'know. So the nurse comes in and says, "You should take a mirror and look down there so you can see what it looks like healthy. That way, if it bothers you later, you can look and see if it's infected," and then walked out. The horror of the prospect must have showed clearly as I turned to Joel and silently, wide-eyed, barely shook my head in the negative. "I can't," I whispered. "I'm afraid. I don't want to see it because then maybe I'll never have children again." (I mean REALLY - are you going to return a victim to a crime scene so soon after incident? Isn't that begging for PTSD?) Joel, wisely assessing all that statement entailed, said, "I'll look. And then if it bugs you later, I'll look again." Seriously - THAT right there? Made my overwhelming love for him outweigh any modesty or self-consciousness or anything.

So here we are. Ten years. I wonder what the next ten years will hold for us. More good times, probably a few tough spots, but lots and lots of new and different things to talk about. That's the cool thing about knowing someone this well - you not only find new things to talk about, but this is the person you most want to tell. But you can also just BE with each other and feel safe and happy. Talking, and not talking. Afterall, we've been married for, like, forever.


wanda said...

Happy Anniversary!

NancyO said...

The first time I met Joel, he was gamely struggling through a caesar salad while his appendix was bursting. At the time, he struck me as nice, although a little on the quiet side. Ten years later, all I can say is, what a guy! I think you're both brilliant for marrying each other. Congratulations and many, many, many happy returns!

Allison said...

Happy anniversary, poopsies! 10 years...that's like, a long time.

Anne said...

happy anniversary---you old farts! very sweet post.

Margo said...

I loved your post. You two are perfect for each other. what a blessing to have such an amazing marriage. love ya.

Katie Ross said...

I've only been married five years... ten must be, like, forever. Congratulations and Happy Anniversary.