In most stories, the wedding is the end. “And they lived happily ever after” is the finale – and it’s a cop-out at that. A lot goes on under that innocuous verb, “live.” Living is cooking, driving, kissing, shopping, walking, surprising, writing, reading, singing, playing, and eating. Sometimes living is the less satisfying stuff like working, paying bills, and cleaning. Sometimes it’s the really lousy stuff like getting in arguments.
Our second anniversary was last week. I remember my mom asking me after our first anniversary if it felt like it had been a year, and even after two years, I haven’t been able to come up with a good answer. If I think about everything that happened that summer (the process of planning the wedding, the mad scramble of our move, the thank-you notes, the wedding itself) and everything that’s happened since (“Thankschristmas” with his family, Thanksgiving with my dad, Christmas with my mom, our honeymoon, getting new jobs, finding a new church, making new friends, buying a house, getting a dog), then yeah, it feels like it’s been a couple years. Sometimes it feels like we’ve been here, and married, and in this particular stage of our lives for eons – in good ways and bad.
In terms of our actual relationship, though, all it takes is one good kiss to make it feel as new and wonderful and joyful as that very first month when we first started dating. (That was back when Pluto was a planet!)
In the grand scheme of things, ordinary people making it to two years of marriage is not such a huge accomplishment. We’ve known each other for nearly eight years now (what), which again is not huge in the scheme of things, but for us, it’s enough to get us into little ruts of complacency. Come on, we’ve known each other for nearly a third of our lives! That’s nuts!
But lest we think we’ve already learned all there is to know about each other in eight measly years, here are some things we discovered in the last two years:
- We both like curry, pho, and hummus.
- I’m kind of more okay with spicy food than I used to be!
- Neither of us really gets the big appeal of shave ice. (It’s just syrup by the end!)
- We both occasionally go crazy needing a break in routine – the problem is our moments of craziness don’t coincide.
- There will never be a shortage of stupid inside jokes.
- I’m way more likely to geek out and send emails in all-caps about something trivial, but I don’t think that annoys Kevin…too much.
- I’ve picked up on some of his thriftiness (bordering on money anxiety), while he’s picked up on my tendencies to go out and spend and have fun.
- I am way more likely to make dirty puns than he is. This is probably because he has a better filter than I do.
- Leaving a car out of the garage if you get home but are planning to leave again very soon is a thing that only makes sense to me, apparently. (Those garage-door openers aren’t going to last forever, you know!)
- We have, uh, different standards as to what’s considered recyclable.
- Kevin is one of the most helpful, patient, and responsible people I know. This isn’t so much of a new discovery as a confirmation of something I (and his friends) knew about him.
So our lives get a little routine and our everyday “goodbye” and “welcome home” kisses feel a little perfunctory at times. That’s part of being in a long-term relationship. What matters is taking every opportunity you get to refresh yourselves, recommit, and remind each other why they’re so unbelievably fantastic that there’s no way anyone could take their place in your life.