Chris and I celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary this week. (Not to be confused with our first-date anniversary, which we also celebrate, mainly because it’s easy to remember: April 1, and kind of funny: April Fools!) We met running on a relay team a mutual friend put together for Brew-to-Brew, a race that begins at Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City and ends 40-some miles later at Freestate Brewery in Lawrence. (“Because without beer, things do not seem to go as well.”) That first year, I ran leg 2 and he ran leg 3. After the baton hand-off, he did a cartwheel and promptly sprained his ankle. I was in love.
The day of our anniversary, I was reading an interview with Gwyneth Paltrow (for whom, like many women, I have rotating admiration and contempt.) She was asked for her thoughts on having successful relationships: “I focus more on understanding than being understood.”
I thought this was good and something I don’t do nearly enough of. I want to try harder at that.
Unfortunately for Chris, he’s kind of a private guy, which means it’s probably tough for him, being married to a blogger and writer and an all-round Chatty Cathy. So, instead of listing all the great things about him (of which there are many), I’ll try to respect some boundaries and list some reasons he’s a champ for being married to me.
Some Things Chris Puts Up With:
1) When he asks me to use the stud-finder (insert your own stud-finder joke here) to hang pictures, I comply. I find the stud and then ignore its location if it isn’t where I want to hang the picture. Then, when my picture falls off the wall a few weeks later, I ask him to fix it with a dry-wall screw.
2) Instead of switching on one, bright overhead light in a room, which would be his preference, he has to turn on half-a-dozen lamps, low-watt overheads, and twinkly lights, and even then, wear a headlamp in the living room if he wants to read.
3) He periodically goes through the trash and/or donation boxes to make sure I’m not throwing/giving his or the kids things away if I’m on a de-cluttering kick.
4) I shave my legs maybe once every two weeks, and when I do, I use his razor. (Though I recently promised to replace the blade when I do this, and I intend to keep this promise.)
5) I drive the car down to “empty” and then ride my bike until he fills the tank again. (I think this is why he splurged for a Prius.)
6) I make up my own rules regarding when a man should be a gentleman and when I find it insulting.
7) No matter what, when, or why he’s watching something, I ask him to turn it down.
8) Uh, I’m kind of moody. (Mwa-ha-ha..)
I offer my admiration to anyone out there who celebrates an anniversary year-after-year. This life-partnership-stuff isn’t easy. I don’t know why, culturally, we spend so much money on the wedding, at the beginning. The big party should be for those couples who’ve made it fifty years. In only eight together, we’ve celebrated the birth of three children, mourned the loss of loved ones, danced with others at their own unions, and offered support when some of those unions were over. We’ve lived in four different houses, two different states, and somehow encouraged one another to pursue our own passions without losing our individuality. I can only hope that in the next eight years, and the eight after that, and so on and so forth, we’ll continue to learn and grow and love.