When I think of meeting my husband, I think of the details: hot peppers, a pink t-shirt, Linkin Park, cigars, Frangelico. Each of these tiny things played its part in bringing us together.
We met over eight years ago, in the wake of tragedy, introduced by a mutual friend. We fell for each other on the second Saturday in November. Our love began right then, I like to think. Although it wasn’t until three months had passed that I felt myself looking at him as more than just someone fun to kiss.
We’ve gotten to know each other pretty well over the better part of this decade. I know how he likes his under shirts folded (although I still can’t quite get it “right”; don’t worry, he’s not a tyrant about it). I know that he’ll fall asleep at about 8:30 every night, if I let him. That it takes about 30 minutes of continuous poking and prodding to fully wake him up. I know that he makes friends easily and with almost anyone – but that, inside, he’s just as shy as I am. I know that he likes his pickles sliced in rounds rather than spears. I know that he’d rather stay in and watch a movie than go out to the bars. I know that he’s smarter than 99% of the people I know, yet he sometimes feels a little insecure. I know that he can’t stand it when my shoes prevent me from walking long distances or long durations of time. That he takes skim milk with his cereal and half-and-half in his coffee. I know that he hates talking on the phone – unless he’s talking to me. I know that he’s listening to the rhythms and melodies and harmonies of a song – but not really to the words.
I can’t believe we have been married for a year.
What surprises me is how different marriage felt/feels when compared to our life together before marriage. Not much has changed, really. I mean, we lived together for five years before we tied the knot. But I feel different. About money (I feel the need to ask him if routine purchases are okay – not because he cares, but because it’s now OUR money instead of MINE). About how much I know about him (so little, really… I marvel sometimes at how little I understand what’s going on inside his brain). About complaining. About arguments (which are simultaneously less important, because I feel secure that he’s not going to dump my bitchy ass… and yet more critical, because ohmygod are we really going to spend the next 50 years arguing over how to load the fricking dishwasher?).
Mostly, I feel different about time.
When we were living together, I wanted to fast forward to the time when we’d be engaged. When we were engaged, I couldn’t wait to be married. I wished for the earth to spin faster, for us to be at that next step immediately, hurry hurry now.
Now that we’re married, a whole year in, I try to will the sun to slow its trek across the sky. I wish the minutes would stretch out beyond sixty seconds. That the days wouldn’t pass at such lightning speed.
I want to hold onto these moments – especially those when we’re laughing together, or holding each other as we drift off to sleep, but even those when he’s sleeping next to me on the couch, even those when we’re arguing – hold them tightly, until I’m ready to let them go. But even as I reach for them, they’re gone.
In an instant, we’ll be seventy years old – I can see it so clearly. I just hope – as our fiftieth anniversary approaches – that we still hold each other as we drift off to sleep, that we still make each other laugh, that he still makes my heart swell with a love so sharp it frightens me.