I once worked with a brilliant lawyer who challenged me to write a brief in which I called attention to important dates in our case by referencing other historical events with similar significance that occurred on the same day. He was convinced that I could find something important for any given date in history. (Like all brilliant people, he also suffers from a
little bit whole lot of crazy.) Of course, he was right, and the brief ended up having just the right balance of levity and gravity.
Today is an important date in my little world. Feeling a bit nostalgic, I set out on a mission to come up with other historic events that have occurred on May 17th so that I could write a witty little blog post. Alas, I was sorely disappointed. By my account, no truly “significant” historical events happened on May 17th — unless you consider Congress changing “Porto Rico” to “Puerto Rico,” Mick Jagger punching a restaurant window and getting 20 stitches, or random sports trivia to be earth-shattering news . . . in which case, you should probably be reading something else. 🙂
What does this mean? It means that I don’t have to share this special day with anything or anyone else. Except my dear husband, Brad, of course.
On this day … in 2003 … I married my best friend.
I’ve heard plenty of wedding stories that involved crazy nerves, missing grooms, missing brides, confused ministers, family feuds, and budget-busting parties. Our day had none of these. I used to wonder whether we did it wrong or missed out on something. But, looking back, I think it was perfect.
We were married in the church where I grew up. My choir director and voice instructor of 10+ years provided the music. My sister sang. We never broke eye contact.
We had our reception at a little-known restaurant tucked behind a cluster of office buildings. Who knew such beauty existed in the telecom corridor?
It was small, just our closest friends and family were there, about 65 people in all. (Some of whom faced a fear of flying to make it happen!) I remember having real, meaningful conversations with everyone there. It was a celebration of family — not a spectacle.
And there were no nerves in sight. We were completely at ease. Against all tradition (a.k.a. true-to-form for us) we woke up together, ate breakfast together, loaded up the car together, rode to the church together, and arrived right on time. Sure, people thought we were crazy, but that’s how we wanted to spend our day.
On this day … in 2012 … we celebrated nine years of marriage.
We woke up together, drove into the ‘big city’ together, ate breakfast together, went to work, met for lunch, and then went back to work to count the hours until our anniversary dinner at one of our favorite ‘special occasion’ places, followed by packing for our traditional anniversary trip. (This year, it’s a combined anniversary/babymoon trip to Boulder, Colorado. If I never return, you’ll know where to find me!)
As young girls and even boys, fairy tales – whether Grimm or Hollywood – lead us to believe that marriage is all about romance and living happily ever after. But, to be successful, it takes so much more.
You must be comfortable with being ordinary together. You must accept that fights will happen. You must respect each other and fight fair when they do. You must be prepared for your spouse to change over the course of several decades. You must be present for those changes and accept them when they do. You must keep your promise to be there for the worst, not just the best.
But you also can’t get so caught up in the ordinary that you forget to keep up the romance. You must make time for each other. You must keep doing the small stuff that you did when you were courting. You must not get so lulled into complacency that you take your spouse for granted.
I’m not saying we always get it right. Far from it.
But we both know that’s what it takes, and we’re prepared to do the work. We want to do the work. Because, at the end of the day, there’s no one else whose arms I can fall into and, without saying a word, instantly feel like all is right in the world.
For that — and so much more
On this day … and every day … I am thankful.