Tuesday, June 26, 2012

8 years

Today is our 8 year wedding anniversary.  We went out for a casual dinner together on Saturday night to celebrate early.  Every wedding anniversary we celebrate, I mentally add a 1 to the front of the number of years to mark the number of years we've actually been together, married + unmarried.  Which means we've been together for 18 years.  Lived together for 13 of those.

This blows my mind on so many levels.  I mean, it would have been so easy as teenagers to listen to almost everyone around us and break up when Jeff went to college.  But we were so, super duper in love with each other.  Sometimes it feels like Jeff and I spent our entire lives waiting to be in our 30's and rather suddenly, we're halfway through them (some of us slightly more so than others). 

Jeff and I candidly made the observation at dinner this Saturday that our relationship is in a really good place these days. Which is such a RELIEF!  Because being successfully married is pretty hard work.  And being parents is real hard.  And 18 years is long enough to know that things aren't always as good as they are right now.  But it's also long enough to know that even when things get hard, we'll be able to hack it.  And come out the other side stronger for it.  

It often feels like so many blogs celebrate anniversaries by toting that they are 'best friends!' and every day married to each other is like 'living a dream!' and I wonder "Who ARE these people?"  Because seriously guys - every now and then, being married is like living in a living nightmare (in the words of Jack Handy) - like the kind where you have to talk about your feelings, accidentally say asshole-ish things to the person you love, admit that you're wrong and apologize and compromise and you can't eat apples even though they are a healthy alternative to cookies because the sound of you eating apples is like nails on a chalkboard for your partner and whew!  Hard, right?  Don't get me wrong, Jeff totally IS my favorite human. But it's so lovely to have struck the balance that we have at the moment.

And what kind of lame dreams are these people having about loading the dishwasher and daycare drop-offs?  I mean, I'm dreaming that Jeff is carrying me like a princess all the way home in the moonlight after strutting me around the dance floor like a pro and then serenading me to sleep with a super sexy romantic ballad, Moulon-Rouge-style.  But, hey!  At least it's JEFF in my dreams, right??

Lastly, I leave you with this quote from a card Jeff gave me (not an e-card, but an honest to god, paper card) in 1994:

"I bought this card today, because, once again I was doing what I thought I wanted to do, but when I finally got the chance to do it, all I could think about was being apart from you."

I must have inserted a note in the envelope before putting it into the giant trunk I keep of Jeff souvenirs that says this card was left on my doorstep after he'd spent a night in Seattle visiting his aunt and uncle. We'd been together 3 months.  


Tib said...

OMG - I totally relate! Michael and I will have basically been together for 16 years come July 3!!! Just married for 8 though (since May).

These young ladies who talk about all they want is to get married and have babies... I think what you really want is a big party where you gifts (aka. a wedding) and a big party where people play stupid games that involve the size of your belly. Because until you are living it, you have no idea how much work it can be to love someone and wake up everyday next to the same person knowing you are going to have to share the bed with them again that night - NO MATTER what happens inbetween!!!

I love my husband, but it is work.

Congrats! You two have done good~

lindsey. said...

I loved this post very much.

heidio said...

You guys are an inspiration.
I heart Jeff+Jill.

Mary Anne said...

This is great. Love the honesty. Good work you guys! Happy anniversary!