Well, well, well. I never thought it’d come but here it finally is. At the end of this month, my husband and I will be celebrating our ninth wedding anniversary!
Yeah. I know. Not that exciting.
I mean, ten years, yeah, of course. That’s a huge deal. You made it an entire decade. It’s the…copper anniversary? Bronze, maybe?
Holy crap. I just looked it up. It’s the tin or aluminum anniversary. Also, I stole a glance at the ninth year gift. It’s willow or pottery. I mean…what? Who made these rules? (Because my guess is it was either an extremely practical woman or an extremely clever man).
“Thanks for putting up with my farts for ten years, honey. Here’s some tuna.”
“Aw, the dolphin-safe kind. Just what I always wanted. Thanks, darling!”
Anyway, where was I? Ah, yes…
But nine years? Eh. At nine years your anniversary plans are likely squished in-between giving your kids lice treatment because there was another outbreak at preschool and a meeting with Todd, your semi-dodgy accountant but he’s the only one you can afford.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for marriage and am personally very happy my husband and I are still going strong. (I don’t want to brag or anything, but I am not the easiest person to live with).
It’s just that after nine years of building a life together, the building part is mostly done and now it’s just a whole lot of maintenance. Maintenance that sucks up all your time and energy and money. Especially when you throw children and careers and pets into the mix.
Take, for example, this very moment right here. I am attempting to type this sentence with a two-year-old squirming on my lap while my husband texts me about his crazy morning at work and I text back “Crap! We need band-aids and juice boxes. Can you get them after work?” And then my 2-year-old almost breaks my laptop and I yell at her and she starts crying and the dog starts barking and my husband texts me back he has a late meeting but will as soon as it is done.
That is what nine years looks like.
Nine years is spending 27 minutes trying to figure out who can take which kid to their dentist appointment.
Nine years is silently and mutually agreeing to ignore the awful noise the dishwasher makes every time it’s turned on because there is no money in the budget currently to fix it.
Nine years is yelling at each other in strained voices about the ridiculously high vet bill and then 30 seconds later, in a perfectly calm voice, bringing up which cake you should get for your son’s birthday as though nothing had happened. Because sulking is only for couples with the luxury of free time.
Nine years is “hey, come look at this…should I go to the doctor?”
Nine years is constantly forgetting to kiss each other goodbye but always remembering to get extra pickles for them when ordering take out.
Nine years is a horror movie and two bottles of wine on Valentine’s Day.
Nine years is mostly communicating via memes when apart.
Nine years is a truly impressive Tupperware collection.
Nine years is “I did your laundry. It’s in a giant pile on the bed.”
Nine years is a truly comfortable silence. Interrupted by a truly impressive fart.
Nine years is realizing all that sugary sweet marriage advice you got at your wedding was useless. Never go to bed angry (um, then we’d never sleep). Never keep secrets from each other (those secret stashes of fancy chocolate are the reason my family is still alive some days). Would you rather be right or married? (I’m never wrong so it’s a moot point, Aunt Carol).
And, if you’re very lucky, nine years is wanting to do all this god-awful mundane business of living– the bills, the cleaning, the obligations, the never-ending youth soccer games, the grocery shopping, the novella-length kindergarten registration packets– with no one else but them.
I love you, Ryan. And I can’t wait to clean out the kids’ closets this weekend with you.
Which reminds me…
Get some wine at the store too.