We didn’t celebrate on any of our “big” Firstiversaries. As one year together passed, we were at my grandmother’s funeral. At the five year mark, we were still trying to figure out what we wanted from each other and from life. At 10 years, my dad was in the hospital just a few days from his departure of this world. Here, now, at 15, it finally feels like we’re passing a big number together.
The plan was to head back out to Palm Springs today, to come back on Friday. Between Southern California still fighting big Covid numbers and- quite frankly- our vacation funds being re-directed to our renovation here at home, there’s no big celebration planned, and still without a fully functioning kitchen at home (though there’s a light at the end of that tunnel!), we aren’t planning a dinner in either. It seems like 15 will just roll by as the others have, on a day that we wake up and snuggle an extra few minutes before tackling the day.
I asked Bryan last night what 15 years together have taught him. After quite a few completely ridiculous and goofy responses (that I refuse to disclose here, haha), he said that there’s nothing profound he can offer. He mentioned knowing when to let the other person lead. He mentioned being sure to laugh. He said something about being sure to both mention love and physically show it. Compromise. Shared secrets.
I’m not sure what it is that keeps couples together, and I’m not sure what it is- if anything- that makes us so special. We do laugh a lot, and there has been a big learning curve on my part when it comes to admitting that I was wrong, or didn’t have the better idea (more to come on this with the kitchen reveal).
I remember hearing years ago that love is a choice. You pick your person and stick with them. I don’t know if that’s any more true than the feeling of soul mates or love at first sight. I’m sure that there’s a mix of both- a choice in some ways because some days are hard. Some days you wake up cranky and all the little nuances you partner has are just annoying as heck. Sometimes life gets difficult and throws curveballs, or as you grow, opinions and life wants change. To keep moving forward together isn’t some divine urge- it’s a deep breath and an apology or a hug or a therapy session. Still, there are times that being together just seems natural because they’re funny and cute and that spot in between their chest and armpit is a pillow where you just perfectly fit.
I’m not a relationship expert. There are days that we want to strangle each other (Saturday, I slapped him about the shoulders with my wallet in the driveway. I can’t remember why), and there are days when things are pretty darn perfect (also Saturday, he cracked a line while in the shower that took me to my knees because I was laughing so hard). We disagree on a lot of things, and we have several of the same wants.
I think that the mark of a healthy relationship is that the members of it acknowledge that they’re in it together. Somedays, one has to be stronger for the other. Somedays, they’ll disagree and head to separate rooms to steam. The days that feel normal, though, are the days that start and end with smiles and inside sayings, nicknames and calm. Those are the majority of days for us, at least.
Happy 15 to the man. I’m glad you’re moving forward with me.