David just ran out to McDonald’s to get me a cheeseburger. I know, I know. I stepped on the scale this morning and realized that I hadn’t gained any pregnancy weight this week. This is not normal for me. I go from dinghy to Titanic size when pregnant. It’s just how I roll (literally, at the end). So the craving hit, I caved, my husband is awesome, and yes, my reputation as an Eating Beast shall remain intact. And once that cheeseburger (with my husband, of course) comes home, life will be very happy, indeed.
We celebrated our ninth anniversary last week, David and I. We had wanted to go away for the night, to a gorgeous resort within driving distance of our house, until we looked at the price of a room at said resort and thought better of it (“For that price,” David said,”I bet they tuck you in, too!”). So instead we went to dinner at this resort, a lovely dinner, a meal that took two hours to complete, and involved more forks than I knew what to do with and bread with butter made with actual chocolate, and a couple of “on the house” items from the chef. Well, then. Maybe the rooms at this place DO offer tuck-in service.
We said we wouldn’t give each other gifts, or even cards. But I got flowers, and yes, a card. It was a sweet card, in which he wrote lovely and funny and kind thoughts. I didn’t really do anything for him. And I feel badly about that. Because I should’ve. I mean, how anniversaries do you get? How many chances do I have that are full openings to tell the guy how I feel?
I’m not good at that, telling him. I mean, I can, when I don’t have to (i.e., anniversaries). I love the guy like crazy. But I feel sometimes like he’s a confident guy, he’s self-assured, he doesn’t need me to gush, which is good, because, gushy, I am not. Maybe I have power issues, and don’t want to appear weaker, like, “Oh, you’re so AWESOME, breadwinner of our family!” But yeah, I don’t tell him a lot how great he is. I’m at home all day with two kids and one on the way. A lot of my time is spent tearing my hair out over how he drives me crazy. You know how it is–you notice stuff more when you’re around it all day. Like these, for example:
Silly stuff, right? You know, though, that this is the stuff that could wreck some marriages, especially in the beginning: “WHY did you leave that shoe on the floor?! Don’t you understand me at all?? Gad, have you ALWAYS been this insensitive?!” You know how it could roll. We’ve made it nine years, which is so crazy to me. We have chosen to be with each other. We don’t have to. No one forced us to walk down the aisle and have children and start a life together. We chose each other. By choice, like.
Thank goodness I chose well.
My friends are sick of this story, I’m sure, but I’m telling you anyway. David and I got married quickly. Too quickly, if you’d ask most financial advisors, sceptics, and that one paralegal I worked with when we got engaged. We met, had our first date three days later, and were engaged in less than four months. We celebrated the first anniversary of our first date on our honeymoon, sailing around in a catamaran in Barbados. That’s crazy, right? Who does that? We’ve had to work out a lot of our big issues after we’d already sealed the marriage deal, said the vows, exchanged the rings. It wasn’t easy at first, but it’s funny how, when times goes on, when it’s the right person and you’ve already decided that breaking up will never, ever, be an option, those big issues often work themselves out. What was a huge point of contention eight years ago doesn’t blip across the radar now. I’ve even forgiven him for the Linkin Park. And as time goes on, I realize how much I genuinely like this guy who shows up in my kitchen every morning, making my decaf coffee. I realize how much we have in common, how in step we are, and I’m like wait a minute. How did this happen? When did this happen? But look at this guy:
We have nine years down, and who knows how many to go. Every anniversary card that David has ever given me has included some sort of “Well, we made it over that hump–whew!” sort of sentiment in there. I said something about it last week–“Hey, why you gotta always remind me of the tough times?”–and he just smiled. Said that that’s what makes this whole thing awesome. Marriage is hard. It’s really hard. But look at what we can accomplish–look at what we overcome–when we just make sure we keep jumping over the speed bumps together. Okay, I said. I get your point.
We’re beginning our 10th year of marriage, David and I. He was only 23 when we got married, that crazy kid. We’re in our thirties now, and our family is en route to getting even bigger. And here’s what I’ve realized about our future together:
Marriage is hard. It’s often so much easier to focus on what the other person’s doing wrong rather than concentrate on what you need to do right. I didn’t get David a card this year. We went out for dinner. We spent the day together. We had a lovely, lovely anniversary. But I didn’t get him a card. Next year, I will.
He deserves at least that.