8 years of marriage and 14 years together. That’s what we celebrated last night. By “celebrated” I mean that we cooked dinner at home and my child didn’t get up 45 mins after going to bed and watching his stars to say “I need to go potty. It dark in here. I can’t see.”
We had steaks, potatoes, brussel sprouts, and my fave—blue cheese stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto and grilled. I die. Also, a much better meal than we had on our wedding night… which I can’t remember what we ate at the reception, but I do know that we ordered room service asap in our hotel room. I. Was. Starving. I also had 495 bobby pins in my hair (hello, 2005).
We had a daytime wedding—which I didn’t want. However, when you leave 5 states away from the one you are planning a wedding in, and you’re in grad school you kind of take the date and time available. So 2 pm it was. By 9:30 we were watching Back to the Future and passing out. It was a long week of entertaining. Lots of parties. Lots of drinks. Lots of friends and family. Lots of smiling. Lots of laughter.
Before that—we met on Ben’s 17th birthday. I was a much wiser 18 year old sporting a multitude of overalls. We were on a youth retreat. His best friend was one of my good friends. Our weekend was “magical” and he held my hand. And aol chatted me when we got home. Swoon.
First date was Feb. 14, 1999. I brought him a red heart shaped sucker (because love is a battlefield?). We met at the movies and then got starbucks. His curfew was massive early so I’m sure I left there and went and hung out with friends. Remember, I was much wiser and older.
We dated all through college burning up the roads between Dallas and Houston or flying for $30 each way on Southwest. I moved to the ATL and he followed a year later. We KEPT DATING. I not so casually mentioned that if we dated for 10 years I was calling it quits. We lived in a big and massive house (in sin) together with other people. We had our own rooms. Ask my mom. She would tell everyone once the detail came up. Funny, though, we kept completely different hours and so we really had our separate rooms. He proposed one night after we had driven home over Christmas break. For 13 hours. I felt disgusting for eating 13 hours of gas station food and didn’t want to go. My parents made me. It was a shock. I was surprised. I said all of the wrong things. Ben forgot his drivers license so bought wine using his hunting license (wtf?). He told me he loved me. I told him I loved him too. He got down on one knee and I was like WHAT ARE YOU DOING? I said yes. The ring fit. I still felt nasty and refused dessert (who was I back then?) and they told us to come back some other time. We’ve never been back. December 17, 2004. He whisked me away to a bar in Dallas where friends and fam were waiting to celebrate our VERY LONG journey.
The fun thing about a long journey are all of the shared stories. Most of our friends are “our” friends not really knowing one of us without the other.
I still learn things about him… like that in 5th grade he told some girl his favorite band was Barbara Streisand.
So our night wasn’t very exciting last night. We didn’t split a bottle of wine. We didn’t go out to a fancy restaurant. We may have watched some tv and gotten in bed to read at 10. But he is my husband. And I am his wife. Yesterday we celebrated 8 years of marriage. We celebrated quietly that we’ve moved on from holding hands (for months… leading me to ask if he was going to kiss me or what—I was shy back then?), overalls, calculator watches, distances, arguments, families uniting, lots of firsts, lots of silliness, lots of random nights we can’t remember, lots of stories, lots of growing up, lots of knowing what the other is going to say, lots of surprises, lots of love. Ok… maybe we haven’t moved on from all of that, maybe just the overalls. I’ve done a lot of growing.
I love him. Even if it gets lost in the tiredsness of 1.5 kids and busy schedules. It’s once in a life time love and I wouldn’t have changed the evening in any other way.