Ten Years (or: How I Met Your Father)

We_re_adorable.

This guy and I have been married for the big ten as of August 17th. We’ve reached the point where he’s been in my life longer than not, and in honor of our 17 years together, I thought I’d write about how we met.

In 1999, we went to the same public boarding school – him from the coast and me from the County, mixed with a bunch of wild and too-smart-for-their-own-good teenagers in the middle of northern Maine.

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Tim was incredibly shy and quiet, even more than he is now, and he blended into the background (which is funny, since he’s 6’4″ and built like a football player). I distinctly remember saying “Hi” as we passed in the hall, and the look he gave me reminded me of that scene in Inside Out where alarms are sounding and the kid’s emotions are flailing all over the the place because a girl looked at him.

Anyway, we had a few classes together, but I didn’t notice Tim until we had a night class in our second semester. He was cute, and he usually held the door for me on our way to the dorms after class. It took me the better part of two months to work up the nerve to talk to him.

(And when I say “talk to him”, I mean I pinged him on ICQ with a group message to a bunch of other students on Valentine’s Day with a generic “Happy Valentine’s Day” message. He wasn’t the only shy one.)

Amazingly enough, he took the bait. At the time, he was kinda interested a friend of mine, but the feeling wasn’t mutual. We talked mostly on ICQ, with the occasional “hello” in class, and eventually we started hanging out in person.

We weren’t really a couple, though. There was a lot of back and forth, a lot of working up the courage to ask the right questions. He was hesitant because he’d be going to college in the fall, and it seemed fruitless to start a relationship when we only had a few weeks to get to know each other. At some point, I got tired of the will-we-won’t-we game and decided to move on.

A month or so passed, and then on prom night he messaged me again, to tell me he regretted that he hadn’t asked me to prom, that I’d looked beautiful in my dress, and that he missed me. He was so genuine and sweet, so we started talking again.

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On a Friday night shortly thereafter, he called me on the phone (from the lounge in his dorm wing), and we talked non-stop for six hours (and now you know how I got my internet handle!) Despite his soft-spoken nature, he was easy to talk to, and we never ran out of things to say. When we finally hung up at midnight, it was clear we were smitten.

That was the call that seemed to solidify us as A Couple, and in that short span of time, he went from hesitant about our future to full-on, head-over-heels in love, and I followed him down.

He’d tell me he was going to marry me; I’d tell him he was crazy, and that back-and-forth continued for seven years, until I finally (and happily) relented.

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When I think about all the things that could have broken us up in those first years — a year and a half of long distance, sharing tiny, crummy apartments in college, family tensions, school and work stress — I continue to be amazed that two kids from opposite ends of the state who had no clue what they were doing stuck together and made it.

We’ve faced everything together, and thankfully something in our personalities made us grow together rather than apart. I couldn’t name it (luck? good humor? work? love? a combination?), but I know that since we’ve been together, I’ve always felt at home.

There are a lot of challenges ahead in the next ten years. Teenagers! Middle age! Ongoing mental health drama! But we’ll be in it together, whatever comes.

We_kinda_unintentionally_ditched_the_kids_with_Uncle_J_and_Aunt_Julie._This_warrants_a_selfie.

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Teeny tiny tats

I may be addicted to tiny tattoos.

After my first tattoo last year, I knew I wanted more, and this year’s meetup was as good a time as any. After much deliberation and experimentation, I ended up with two designs, and I couldn’t choose between them.

I knew I wanted a skeleton key of some kind. I love old keys. I also wanted something small behind my ear, but the key idea didn’t fit there.

I also wanted to acknowledge that Tim got his first tattoo this year — a Celtic knot on his wedding ring finger — and finding a way to incorporate that connection into the tattoo, whether directly or indirectly, was important to me.

After much iteration, I decided on a heart-shaped key on my right wrist to balance the tattoo on my left, symbolizing the love part of “amor fati”, and the Celtic knot behind my left ear.

I’m so happy with the new work, and now I’m having all sorts of new ideas for more tattoos. I didn’t believe Tammie when she said tattooing is addictive, but she may be on to something…

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Aside

This is what Saturday morning looks like after 9 years of marriage and two kids.

You know that thing where you wake up on a Saturday and your bed isn’t full of small children and stuffed animals? And your husband is there, and he’s all warm and smells nice and it makes you think, hmm, maybe…and so you kiss him, and you’re thinking, yeah, this is nice…so cozy…

…and suddenly, a flurry of thundering footsteps, a stampede of one. A young child, sensing a disturbance in the force, bursts through the door and flies into the bed, wedging herself directly between the two of you, crushing a few of your more sensitive body parts in the process.

Happy (belated) anniversary to us!

(And yay for bedroom door locks.)

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Gallery

Fifteen

I was going through old photographs after Dad passed with the intention of putting together a photo book, and came across some of my really old stuff.

It reminded me that Tim and I started dating 15 years ago. He was obviously my favorite subject, with a few dramatic selfies (which were not called selfies back then) thrown in for good measure. Man, we were young.

Happy 15 years, love. Let’s make the most of all the years yet to come.

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Seven Lucky Years

While in Portland, I celebrated seven years of wifehood to this guy:

A+++, would marry again

A+++, would marry again

We’re about as fancy with our anniversary as we were about our actual wedding, which is to say, not very. But the weekend wasn’t all about WordCamp; we had a delicious dinner at Petite Jacqueline and I indulged in a 60-minute massage at Akari as an anniversary present.

And yes, there was cake.

And yes, there was cake.

More importantly, I got to spend five days with my best friend, something I’m lucky enough to do every day, but this time without life’s usual interruptions. That was a gift in and of itself.

We’ve been married for as many years as we were together before we made it official, and we’ve had our share of ups and downs, but I have to thank him for his unwavering faith in our ability to grow together (rather than apart), and I have to thank my seventeen-year-old self for having the wherewithal to pick a good one the first time around. 🙂

Happy seven years, love.

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