Today is my 15th wedding anniversary, and I really wish there were something extravagant I could do to show everyone that I have the best husband since somebody invented them. But I don’t have access to a major newspaper, a Jumbotron, a biplane, or a parade permit. We’ve been so stressed out about money and everything, I didn’t even get him a card (I suppose I could’ve made him one with my ninja paper skills, but that takes time, which I’m currently using all of to work for more moneys).
But I do have a blog, so for the three of you who read it, please bear with me while I try to make up for the dorky, no-presents, no-cards, falls-on-a-Wednesday anniversary we’re having.
The 15 Most Amazing Things About Our Kick-Ass Marriage (in no particular order):
1) We laugh all the time. Lots of people say this, but anyone who’s spent time with us knows that we make most couples look like Sad Clowns. We generally find each other hilarious, plus we’ve got almost two decades of inside jokes that make regular appearances in our conversations. When we first got married, I couldn’t even fold laundry in a normal amount of time, because he’d keep me paralyzed by laughter with his sock puppet theater. And even in the days leading up to my hospitalization for severe depression last summer, he could still make me laugh. People say that communication, or honesty, or some other thing is the key to a long, healthy marriage. I say, laughter tops them all.
2) We have almost exactly the same taste in music and TV. Our Venn diagram of tastes is virtually concentric. I cannot overstate how much this makes life better, in a million little ways: radio on car trips, DVR management, where to spend our limited entertainment resources. Millions of little fights are averted. Peace reigns across the land. And for the stuff one likes and the other doesn’t, he goes to sleep later than I do, and I have occasional stretches of insomnia.
3) We are equally matched for geekiness. It’s not the same geekiness, though we have many happy overlaps. And, like most geeks, we’re genuinely happy for the joy each of us finds in our geek wallows, and impressed at the skills the other displays in those territories.
4) We really like each others’ families. Much like #2, it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it sure does make life better in a lot of little ways, and we never take it for granted how lucky we are that we picked up good people for family by marriage. We hear about people who have to suffer through holidays and vacations and visits for the sake of grandkids, and just shudder and thank our stars. The only thing we’d change if we could is how often we see them. Florida is too far, and the distance to New Zealand is downright intolerable.
5) We still find each other attractive. This is totally not a given. I can’t fit in my wedding dress, not by a long shot, and he’s neurotic about going white. He doesn’t get that I’m surprisingly enjoying the whole Reed Richards thing he’s got going, and I’m completely freaking mystified by his tolerance for the extra volume of wife he’s acquired over the years. Now, if we could just find the time to do something about it, we’d be golden.
6) He weathers my crazy with amazing aplomb. And there ought to be a constantly changing meteorological map showing the patterns of freak rising and falling in my brain posted somewhere to give the guy a fighting change. But no. He just rolls with it, and makes the crooked places straight, the rough places smooth.
7) We are each other’s best advocate. Neither of us has any skill for personal horn-tooting, but we are perfectly excellent at bragging on the other one. In fact, I find it to be great fun to go around and tell people at game conventions how outstanding he is, and why they should be paying attention to every word that drops from his lips. He can be mortified later when I tell him the names of people I talked to; I don’t know them from Adam, but he does, and now they know he’s awesome.
8) We don’t fight. I’m sure there are therapists out there who would have a field day with this and #7 put together, but there it is: we just don’t fight. Neither of us like conflict, we’d rather put the other one first, and it’s really easy to make the other one happy. I hear some people like the making-up part, but I rather like the not-needing-to part, myself.
9) We are an awesome parenting team. Heavens know, there’s absolutely no way either of us could survive it solo for very long. We tag in and out of the parenting cage match like we’ve been doing this for a million years — it’s honestly the one thing I think we’re best at. He’s patient when I’m bombastic, he talks things through with them after I have to lay down the hard line, he lets me take the lead on the skills that I feel like I’ve got to offer our kids.
10) He fixes my messes. I’m a goob about computer things, and I run out of energy at weird times, and there are chores that are hard for me with my non-cooperative body. He saves me, routinely and without complaint, even when I get whiny about it.
11) He would rather be at home. Guys say, “Oh, I’m such a homebody. I love my family. Blah blah blah,” but if work gives them an excuse to fly out to a different time zone and play games and drink and BS with friends, most of them are really glad to be there. Not Cam. He’s talking about home, thinking about home, wishing he were home. It’s kind of pathetic, really. But when the boys are crying and screaming, “We hate you! We miss Daddy!” and I’m crying and screaming, “I hate you too! I miss Daddy too!” at least we know he wishes he were with us as much as we do.
12) We’re adventurous together. It’s a function of trust, I guess — we know we’re not out to screw each other over. If I ask him to try some weird new ethnic food, he’ll give it a go. If he thinks I’ll like a book or movie, I’ll try it out, even if I end up throwing it across the room. Sometimes I have to drag him places, and he always sounds so surprised when he has a good time, but he lets me drag him, and that’s the point.
13) We value the same things: love, friendship, creativity, knowledge, justice, honesty, compassion, kindness, humor, perseverance, hard work, steadfastness. That’s guided almost all the decisions we’ve made together, and it’s how we can be happy together, even though our income isn’t commensurate with the work we put in.
14) We are living our vows, every single day. You know that “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health” in every wedding service? I didn’t expect that to go into effect quite so literally, quite so immediately for the poor guy. 10 days before our wedding, I got hit by a woman who ran a red light. Nothing major, we thought, but it’s likely that the soft tissue damage from that accident precipitated the fibromyalgia with which I was diagnosed in 1999. So many times, I’ve told him that, if he wanted out because I wasn’t the person he’d signed on with, I couldn’t possibly blame him. But he says he’s in it for the long haul, more fool him. And I’m so very grateful.
15) We are meant to be. Hang on a sec, I just threw up a little. But seriously, what are the odds? Boy in New Zealand meets girl in Kansas on the Internet through an online roleplaying game that each just happened to hear about through some convoluted channel or other. They fall in love. Just a few years earlier, the whole astronomically unlikely story becomes impossible. Just a few years later, the technology’s so different, who knows how it works out.
I don’t buy lottery tickets, or pray on airplanes, or rush for cover in bad weather. I’ve already had my one in a billion. He put a ring on my finger, 15 years ago today.
And this is just the start.