Monday, September 6, 2010
Vince and I just returned home from our first anniversary celebratory dinner. We went to Carrabba’s, which is where we had our first date in April of 2008. It was a lovely meal to celebrate one year of wedded bliss. Plus, neither of us had to do the dishes afterwards, so we considered it a major bonus. (And by “we” I mean “I” – Vince doesn’t complain about doing the dishes nearly as much as I do!)
It’s amazing how much has changed in the nearly 2-1/2 years since that first date. Like the fact that I actually walked down the aisle last September 6th. No one in my life ever said so out loud (or to me, personally), but I suspect that some may have predicted that the devil would be wearing a parka before they saw me traipsing down the aisle in a white wedding gown.
But whatever. It was just right. The right time. The right man. The right circumstances. See? It was just right.
Not that our life is perfect. Believe me, we aren’t living the high life jetting from one exotic locale to the next or living in a McMansion with hired hands to do stuff like wash the dishes. And Vince and I can annoy each other just as much as the next couple. We even call ourselves the other’s favorite pain in the patootie. But instead of letting anything fester, we bring up issues that bother us. It could be something trivial or something serious. Nothing is off-limits between us.
Maybe it’s the connection between us – or maybe it’s just that neither of us is 25 years old anymore and we realize that we aren’t perfect and neither is life. We’ve finally reached the understanding that it’s not meant to be. And we can deal with the ups and downs – particularly the downs, or the challenges – if we face them together.
We both have some mileage on us and our trade-in value ain’t quite what it used to be. Fortunately, neither of us is thinking of trading in the other for a newer, shinier model. We know ourselves pretty well so it’s easier to let the other see our flaws. Thank goodness I don’t have to try to hide that weird, ever-growing line between my eyebrows. And I can’t even pretend that some “parts” are still where they used to be 25 years ago. Vince accepts those signs of aging – and still calls me beautiful.
Instead of a card, he wrote me a love letter, which is far more heartfelt and valuable to me than anything Hallmark could ever come up with. (I, on the other hand – the writer – gave him a Hallmark card. Oops. My bad.)
After we toasted each other and I read my letter and dried a tear or two, we talked about the things that have happened in the past year that were the highlights. There have been many. But mostly, we realize how blessed we were to find each other at this stage in our lives.
I used to say that I wanted to be married because it seems that the world is filled with couples. Through many years of research, I concluded that singles aren’t as welcome at dinner parties – unless there is another single to round out the numbers. And I got really tired of checking off “1” on the RSVP card for the many weddings I’ve attended over the decades.
But then a few years ago I finally came to terms with my singleness. Married friends who were perhaps a little tired of being married assured me that I should be grateful to be single and not have to worry about making someone else happy.
That seemed wrong to me somehow. And then it occurred to me that nobody out there could make me happy – I had to make myself happy. So I did. I made some changes in my life and didn’t sit around waiting for the phone to ring. And I realized that I had a pretty good life. I had a great family and lots of good friends, some of whom I could even call at 3 o’clock in the morning if I truly needed to – and they would only curse me out for a minute before asking me what was wrong.
Once I stopped thinking that I needed a man in my life to make my life complete – lo and behold – Vince showed up. I used to scoff at women’s magazines who printed articles stating that very notion. Yeah, right. Like I do nothing and Mr. Wonderful magically appears on my doorstep? Please.
But it wasn’t so much that I didn’t have to do anything…I did, after all, contact Vince first on one of the social media sites. But it was the realization that if he didn’t write back to me that I’d still be okay.
But he did. And we celebrated our first wedding anniversary today.
Life is good.