Having our anniversary in the midst of the holiday season ensures that it comes and goes pretty quickly in a swirl of activities and family and fun, which is a blessing in itself, but it honestly doesn’t allow the time necessary to really reflect on the first year of our marriage. Not to sound cheeseball, but I am stupid in love, y’all. I’m as drunk in love as ‘yonce, and it gets to the point where he and I make fun of ourselves because it’s downright ridiculous. We dread Wednesdays every week, because he has to leave for work around 1pm, I work at 4:30, we don’t see each other or even have time to text one another in the meantime, we don’t get home until usually around 11pm, and it KILLS us. We sit on the couch and pout all morning beforehand, glued to one another as we drink our coffee and watch ‘Deadly Women’ or ‘Snapped’ or some similar bullshit on Netflix because we won’t see each other for ‘suuuuuuch a looooong tiiiiiiiiime’ which is SO not true. Dudes. It’s 10 hours. When I’m around my mom or Auddy for a whole day, we need a break after a while because we’re all so similar we end up making each other a little nuts, which is the healthy, normal way to conduct a relationship, amiright? All of this wouldn’t be so crazy, first year of marriage ‘honeymoon phase’ and all, if we hadn’t been together for NINE YEARS before our actual wedding. Shouldn’t I be sick of this guy by now?! Well… I’m not. In fact, as the span of time we’re been together lengthens, something about our bond deepens as well. I know, I know, I sound like a Hallmark card, but it’s weirdly true. And even after all of that time, the wedding really upped the ante for both of us, and forced a different perspective on the same relationship we’d been in for so long already in very real ways. I highly recommend it (with the right partner)!
The biggest change I’ve sensed in both of us, but especially me, is the loss of ‘me’ within our partnership. As I type that, I CRINGE and my inner angry gurrrrrrrrl starts screaming and stomping her combat boots, but allow me to explain before you hate me, por favor? Not so much ‘me’ as ‘me me me’. You see, I am by nature a pretty selfish and shitty person. I want the biggest piece, I deserve the first spot in line, I will cut a bitch for whatever it is I think I need, etc, but as I’ve grown older, I have crammed that side of myself down enough to be able to come across as a generally polite and respectful person with the ability to control my inner spoiled brat (except for when it comes to certain things, like girl scout cookies and sample sales). However, Tom has seen plenty of total crap behavior from me (and I from him, to an extent) since we have been together from such a young age, even with my attempts at being ‘nice’. When it came to relationships, I was NOT going to be tied down, I was GOING to move to NYC and be free and experience the Sex and the City lifestyle, I did NOT want another serious relationship, and especially not with THIS guy, with his endless patience and genuine sweetness. Come on, who wants that?!? Not me at 21, that’s for sure, but he persisted, and I get to be with him forever despite myself. Once I realized that this was a forever type situation a year or three into it, I saw through the haze of my ‘I’m-twentysomething-and-therefore-I-act-like-a-shithead-just-because’ goggles that I needed to treat this man with a certain level of care above the average bitch I would elbow out of the way for a pair of 90% off Manolos, and that meant more than just letting him have my goodies and high five-ing him every once in a while. I needed to be more open, kinder, I needed to thank him for the things he did and cheer him on and be his soft place to fall, and I did the best that I could, which is to say I got pretty close to not totally failing. After a while he moved to be with me in NYC, and that made it easier to enjoy the wonderful everyday parts of our relationship as opposed to the previous years of long distance, where our billion phone calls just highlighted his incessant quoting and my endless nagging. We made breakfast, we cleaned together, we went to sleep together and woke up together, and those things in themselves seemed like the best thing ever. But, as you know, burnt eggs and morning breath happen, and dammit, I still wanted the biggest slice of cake! We moved a few times, grew up some more, went through tough times and made more memories, and slowly learned the little things we could do to make one another’s day easier. Planning the wedding, we were getting pretty cocky – “We’ve GOT this,” we thought. “We’ve done it all, been together a long time, lived together for a while, no prooooooblem, even though our respective partners can be BEYOND annoying” – so we signed up for some premarital counseling just to check that box off of our list and SCREECH. The needle fell off of the record and OH SHIT. There was resentment, pain, and plenty of disagreements to start digging through that we didn’t even realize were there. WE’RE NOT READY!!! Not fun, but after lots of sessions, we were really feeling like this was a new level of understanding between us, that we were really there now, ready to rock. With the wedding came plenty of intrapersonal bullshit that we had to deal with, and we came together, Tom and I, got through it, played a pretty baller medley of our favorite love songs (the video is at the bottom of this post, get pumped) and became an official team on December 30th, 2012, with a logo and everything! Maybe should have uniforms made… *ideas forming*
What’s funny is that in the year that has passed, the change I’ve sensed is that I honestly, truly want HIM to have the biggest slice of cake now, even though he’d want coconut and I’d want triple chocolate so it probably wouldn’t even come to that, and even if it did he’d insist on making it even-steven somehow. It’s been a slow, sneaky change, one that’s come about naturally, as opposed to all of those years of consciously stopping my selfishness and meanness as it’s halfway out of my mouth, taking a second to swallow it down, and moving forward with a carefully thought out, different response so as to come across in a more positive light. Nothing is perfect, but I honestly want for him what will make him the best man he can be, and I know that process I’ll be bettered as well. Wanting the best for someone else has a magical way of bringing you the best too – I had no idea! Now, I know what you’re thinking. “I can’t make myself want the best for someone, it’d be a conscious effort, like how it was for you earlier on.” I don’t know if it’s the end product of years of wanting to and attempting to be a better person, finding the right person, or just growing up, but damn, it feels good to love someone that much, and in that way, and if you find it, hold on to it! It’s embarrassing to admit how selfish I really can be, but I can’t be the only woman on earth who grew up thinking I had to fight for everything I wanted. Grab what you can, work your ass off for every opportunity and exploit every leg up you come across, you don’t need a man, just hustle and wear your bitch armor with pride as you claw up the ladder of life, right? In the end, I guess none of that has really changed. The only thing that has changed is that I have realized that I have a partner beside me who will fight for all of it right alongside me. In that sense, we have become one – one team with two members, but a team nonetheless. I don’t have to be tough with him, I don’t have to fight in our family of two. I can let down my guard. I don’t have to fight for what I want or need, because that’s what he wants too. It’s okay to look to him for help and be safe, because there will be just as many times he will do the same with me. He and I are a two-man army who will don the same armor and face the world together, one day at a time, with the same destiny and the same dreams – which is my kind of fairy tale. One in which we are each other’s knight in shining armor, and after battle we go home to our castle in Brooklyn, shed all of that armor, pick up the guitar and the kitties and make music deep into the night, knowing we’ll wake up safe and sound in one another’s arms.
Oh, and the video, as promised: