For us, it was anything but love at first sight. I first met Nick on the school bus after we moved to Consecon when I was in the eighth grade. He was the boy who kicked pop cans under the bus seats at me, and I was the girl in the hideous green winter coat that resembled a garbage bag. I didn’t know Nick by name. I never saw him anywhere but the bus and that was that. I was friends with basically everyone he knew, and yet, I never ever spoke to him. It wasn’t until I told his younger brother that I thought he was “hot” that I even learned his name. It didn’t take long for him to start driving me to school, and then to one day park the car and say “so, does this mean we’re dating?” When I said yes, he said “OK, you should probably kiss me now.” After that, we were inseparable. We dated through the rest of high school, even after I moved again. When I just shy of turning 18, he proposed to me. I will never forget that December 2nd. We were watching Sleepless in Seattle. I was exhausted from work, and nodding in and out of sleep. It wasn’t romantic-comedy worthy material at all, but it was so very us. A few years later, we got married.
When I was a little girl, I thought my life would be just like the Disney movies. Even on the day I got married, I still believed that we’d just get married, and that was it. Happily ever after. Just like that. What I’ve learned in 10 years, is that “I do” is no guarantee of a happily ever after. That there is no fairy tale ending, because marriage isn’t an ending at all. It’s a beginning. It is the beginning of a lot of good times and bad times, a lot of happiness and a fair share of sadness. It’s a lot of work. It’s not all about romance or the pink-fluff that the movies sell us. I know that it was a shock for both of us. We got married as two kids really, and in 10 years we’ve grown up together. Just as we have grown and evolved, so has our marriage. It has become the sturdy base on which we are building our life together. In 10 years we’ve accomplished a lot together. We have been on the brink of financial disaster, marital disaster, and had a few total meltdowns. We’ve also created 3 beautiful little human beings who have given us a reason to keep pushing through together. We’ve shared so many smiles and bouts of uncontrollable laughter. We’ve been busy making memories together that will keep us forever young (at least in each other’s eyes).
Our marriage has never been perfect, and it never will be. I think the 10+ years we’ve put into this relationship has taught us to accept and appreciate that fact. We will never be perfect, and we don’t want to be. I was told that every ten years a husband and wife face what is called “the contract year.” Now is time to reflect on the last ten years and decide whether or not to renew the contract. This made me laugh. Really hard. I wouldn’t change a thing… except maybe the snoring thing. But that aside, I’d do it all over again. Here’s to 10 more years!!
So, for our anniversary, Nick and I went to NYC. We had a great time. We saw shows, and played tourist. Everything was perfect until we were ready to fly home. As per usual, we faced a delayed and finally cancelled flight (flash flood warnings). Doing what we do best, we rented a car, and drove home through the middle of the night. A perfectly “us” way to end our 10 year anniversary celebration!
Before we got married…
Finally, years later… we made it to the top of the Empire State Building for our own Sleepless In Seattle moment.