Nine years. I can’t believe it. It feels like just yesterday we were saying ‘I do’. It also feels like a lifetime ago. We were two babies about to embark on a pretty intense journey. Everyone said we were crazy for getting married so young. We thought so too. We knew we were taking a risk. We also couldn’t continue down the path we were on: living in separate countries, flying back and forth 3 or 4 times a year. Calling once a week, emailing every day. We were friends first. The rest came later. Too late to still be living in the same town, so we “dated” from a distance. It was hard. Very hard. And we knew we were at a crossroads. Break up? Stay in purgatory? Get married? We chose to try.
We decided together to get married in September 2005. Ross got on a plane and went back to England to start his fall term at uni. I enlisted my mom, sister, and wonderful aunts, and we planned a wedding scheduled for December 22, 2005. It was fast. But it felt right. We knew if we waited until December, Ross would be 21 by then and legally allowed to toast champagne at his own wedding. I was 22 and already sure I was grown up (ha.).
Neither Ross nor I have any faith to speak of (actually, now we are atheists, but then more agnostics). For us, marriage is not a religious institution, it’s a legal one (as Ross says “the happiest administrative procedure of our lives”). We chose to marry knowing full well we could (and would) divorce if it didn’t work. But we wanted to try. We couldn’t wash our hands of each other and be done, so we did what any young and optimistic people do- we committed our lives to each other.
I think we’ve worked really hard to be happy. Not that it’s been hard work, per se, but Ross works really hard to be a good husband. I work really hard to be a good wife. He’s never been afraid to ask me “are you happy” and he’s let me say no a few times.
I’ve had the most amazing 9 years. They’ve not been perfect years. They’ve been real years. Real years of degrees earned, jobs won and lost, money earned and lost, moving country, a furry baby, many terrible apartments, a house. But I’ve had my husband with me. Nine years ago I didn’t really know how much that would mean to me. Now I can’t imagine my life without it. Without him. Our marriage. Our partnership. All of it.
This year for nine years, we went out for dinner (surprise surprise, we are food hounds). It was simple, delicious, and we talked (as we always do) about the past, and the future, and what we hope we are doing another 9 years from now.
If I’ve learned one thing from marriage it’s that life isn’t perfect. It isn’t a fairy tale. But if you have a partner, a best friend, a love at your side, life can be rewarding. And joyous. And full. I adore my husband. Now more than ever. Here’s to the next 9 years. The next 90.
Now and then. Did we look like babies or what?
The restaurant of choice was Restaurant Tallent. Our dinner from top L: Poutine, Mussels in a Creole BBQ jus with Garlic Butter Toast, “Nashville Hot” Chicken Wings (or what was left of them, I forgot to take a picture) with pickles and Warm Apple Doughnuts – Bourbon Pastry Cream, Indiana Apple Cider Caramel. Everything was perfection. The food was mostly from their new bar food menu, and it was absolutely delicious. We’ll be back for that Poutine ASAP.