Monday, August 24, 2009

On Year Seventeen

[Him & Me and baby makes 3, taken August 1992]

This picture was taken while I was vacationing in Hawaii 17 years ago. The boyfriend was stationed there and I had been dying to come visit. A couple of days later I would miss my flight back home, and let my THEN boyfriend/baby daddy talk me into getting married RIGHT NOW, instead of waiting for a big fancy wedding. Instead, He & I got married at Waimea Falls Park, with 2 people we randomly asked to tape our vows because the couple who were going to be our witnesses ended up having to go to the emergency room.

So it ended up being just me and him. Because the minister's husband took the boy off to look at the boats because he was pitching a major fit because he was hot and it was past his naptime and the screaming OMG the screaming...MOMMY-DADDY I JUST WANNA GO TO THE off they went before I knocked him into next week with a bunch of strangers watching because I was getting ready to marry this 21 year old Marine who've I been *in love* with since I was 15 years old, and I was nervous and completely freaked out about the whole "til death do us part" thing, because holy hell is THAT a long time, and even though I was pretty sure I wanted to do it thats a pretty large commitment from somebody who couldn't even buy a drink.

Anyways, back to what I was saying. Being in love is a funny thing. People always say that when you are as young as I was, that you don't really *know* what love is. It feels like love to YOU, but maybe it was just the orgasms. 'Cause let's face it, when you're young and fairly innocent, that's probably the best feeling in the world. Sorry. Digressing again. I was a senior in High School when I got pregnant with The Boy. Not young enough to think I had to get married RIGHT NOW because I was too stupid to realize antibiotics + birth control pills + fucking like rabbits = pregnancy.

After I had The Boy, The Man & I had a falling out of sorts. But in the way of teenagers who just can't get enough of each other, we went from not speaking to friends again (although, I won't lie. I'm a bitch who can hold a mean grudge if I'm so inclined. And I was). It wasn't easy, but I kind of figured I was going to have to deal with him anyways because he had anytime access to The Boy since he was stationed in San Diego and only home for the weekends. But somewhere between the letters and phone calls -you know, to check on us- he fooled me with trickery (and frequent trips to Knotts Berry Farm for roller coaster riding and funnel cake) into falling back in love. And I was all starry-eyed and thinking of Happily Ever After...which, of course, it wasn't.

There were fights, Lawd.Have.Mercy...the fighting. There were deployments, and another kid...there was moving, tears, re-enlistments, late night talks, pancakes, hospital visits, and death. There was drinking, because you can't be a Marine wife if you can't drink. Tattoos, fighting over the remote control and water balloon fights. Field ops, tummy rubs and playing darts. And sometimes, there was just lying in bed holding hands falling asleep while watching TV.

I dunno. The love I had 17 years ago seems so pale in comparison to what we have now. Love that we've held on to, and fought for, and MADE last though everything that we've been through. It's the difference between the first time you have sex and the best sex you ever had. You know, that OMG, I'VE NEVER EVEN KNEW I COULD FEEL THIS WAY feeling. The same and TOTALLY different at the same time.

Maybe that's what it is. Different, because this is definitely not the puffy heart and rainbow love of a girl of 19. This love is solid and real (although there are SOME puffy hearts & rainbows...usually after sex, but sometimes when HE fixes breakfast and I get to sleep in). This love has kept us together through all kinds of bullshit, it's kept ME from murdering him in his sleep and probably kept him from punching me in the eye. I know. All this true love and romance is sickening.

I'm sure that we've done lots of things wrong in our relationship, but I guess since we ended up in the right place, I won't complain (much).

So. Happy Anniversary to Us.


Kori said...

THAT? Is what it is really all about, I think. The good stuff, the real stuff, the ugly and beautiful that make up a love story; thanks for sharing that with us, and congratulations.

Aimeepalooza said...

Loved this as it is so true. You describe lasting love perfectly! PS Happy Anniversary!

Shania said...

What a lovely tribute. Happy 17th!

wendy said...

Happy 17th! That is what marriage is REALLY like. Here's to another 17 more, and then 17 more after that.....

jennster said...

this is such a great post!!! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!! :)

Sharon McPherson: AUTHOR / ARTIST said...

Happy Anniversary! Great post! Great Blog! Your 'digressing' made me laugh. :)

Kristin said...

Great post!

Happiest anniversary this year and many more in the future :)

JustMiss said...

I've always held on the the fact that military wives have the hardest jobs and that it takes a really special kind of woman to be one.

You define what a military wife is, in my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing this love with us.

Happy Anniversary!

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary! This is such a great post—and a great story. I wish you both many, many more years of love!

Laura said...

Meant to comment on this a few days ago and totally forgot (yeah I get a little scatter-brained, sorry)....but Happy 17th!!! :)

My husband and I have been married 17 years this year too. Long road, not easy by any means but you described it oh so well.