This marriage goes to eleven. Years, that is. Married for eleven years and nearly-inseparable as a couple since the late 90’s, when Spice Girls roamed the earth and Linda Tripp brought vicious office gossip to a new terrifying low.
When you meet the love of your life at age 28 and marry him at age 32, you don’t really think of it as “growing up together.” But that’s exactly what it is. You know that line from Annie Hall, about how a relationship is like a shark? It has to constantly move forward or it dies? Moving forward sometimes means leaving things behind.
There are things I miss about the old versions of “us.” And there are things I’m very glad are in the past. But no matter what, they’re worth remembering as we settle into middle-aged contentment. Here are just a few of the things we used to do, in no particular order:
Go grocery shopping together. Every. Single. Time. What’s up with that, new couples?
Carry on a six-month long-distance relationship in the days before Facebook, Skype, or having e-mail accounts on our home computers.
Make mix tapes for each other.
Take red-eye flights. With carry-on luggage only.
Turn simple misunderstandings into epic, multi-day, heartbreaking You Don’t Understand Me fests.
Walk across the Fremont Bridge and up the steepest part of Queen Anne hill together every day after work. For fun.
Follow NBA basketball.
See movies like Coyote Ugly and Six Days and Seven Nights in the theater for Mr. Black’s old film critic gig.
Wash the car with liter bottles full of water that we’d carry down from the apartment.
Think we were going to get married at city hall and have only one child.
Think we wanted to be a lawyer and a graphic designer, making ourselves slightly miserable in the process.
Watch reality dating shows. All of them. Married By America. Mr. Personality. Temptation Island. Joe Millionaire. Proud to say we drew the line at Joe Millionaire 2.
Watch Dr. Phil together. Zod help us, we really, truly used to do that. I think Mr. Black secretly liked feeling superior to the guys on that show who couldn’t husband their way out of a paper bag.
Stay up all night playing “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”
Get jealous of each other’s crushes and distractions. (Honestly, I don’t know if Mr. Black ever did this in the first place, but I did it enough for the both of us.)
Have sex only during particular times of the month with the express intention of spawning, paying close attention to things like basal body temperature and ovulation predictor tests.
Start dinner at 8:30 p.m. Cook together in the same kitchen, sharing counter space and everything.
Watch the WTO riots from the roof of our building.
Spend entire weekends in bed together.
Spend entire weekends watching Twin Peaks episodes on VHS.
Spend entire weekends at Home Depot. Or Bed Bath and Beyond. Or Babies R Us.
Make spectacular fools of ourselves to stop the baby from crying. You never really know a man until you’ve seen his “Mr. Poopy Wipes” puppet show.
Wake each other up in the morning with a rousing chorus of The Daily Show’s Slimmin’ Down With Steve.
Attend all four days of Bumbershoot, dawn ’til dusk, walking there from our Capitol Hill apartment.
Give each other anagrams challenges with the Scrabble tiles. Best one ever: Boutros Boutros-Ghali --> So our tuba is log broth.
Worry that somehow married life would make us lame. Because, you know. We were so cool to begin with.
Happy anniversary, Sweetie!