4 Years

Today is my 4-year wedding anniversary. I, of course, share this with the A-Man as I did not marry myself. Although I do talk to myself quite a bit, the A-Man certainly does make a much better conversationalist. Good thing I scooped him up when I did.

So, 4 years is not a whole lot of time in the great scheme of things, however, the A-Man is my longest relationship. Technically, we’ve been together 5 ½ years, well, closer to 6. Some of you are laughing at me right now, thinking, “Oh, little girl, you have no idea what a long relationship is.” Yeah, I know. Others of you are wishing that you could get someone in something committed for more than 2 months. Yeah, I know that one too. So in light of my anniversary, today’s take on is marriage. Word of warning; this one’s going to be a doozy, so grab a drink and a snack, sit back, relax and read on!

Let me give you a little bit of background first. Ha! That was a lie! It will be more than a little. Ready?

A long time ago, in a land called California, lived a sad and lonely girl. It didn’t matter what this girl did, it just seemed that there was no man that she truly wanted to be with, let alone one that wanted to be with her. I just got back from Rome, so with the freshness of Roman history in my mind, the best way to describe her reign of single-dom was that gods lived and died in the time that she was alone. It was a desert out there. However, in all those lonely nights, and all those desperate moments of yearning, somehow, the girl knew that she was destined to some day meet someone. There was still hope.

Fast forward many, many years later. And a few more years after that. Then throw one more on there for good measure.

Ok. That should be good.

The single girl had moved to a strange new land called Texas. It was interesting there because while she at least fit in as a girl beyond her twenties and single in the great La-La-Land, she was quite the odd lady out in this new place. Well, at least in the fact that at her age, she was truly just single. Not divorced, not separated. Single. No kids. Just her. Not even a cat. A rare bird indeed in these here parts. The passage of so much time and her surroundings were starting to wear on her. Before she knew it, she became that girl. You know the one. The one that gives herself fully just because some guy came along and said the right thing at the right moment. It wasn’t that he was looking for anything, but hey- she allowed it, so why not?

Boo! Hiss!

For 9 months, this girl gave her heart to this fellow, dating him faithfully, while he… well, pretty much did anything he wanted. Sure, he opened doors and paid for dates. That was nice. It was probably also nice for all the other girls that may have been swooning for him, too. All the while, the girl had hope. Maybe this was the one. Sadly, she didn’t realize what she was allowing. She did know that her heart was hurting. Maybe with time, it would get better.

Finally, one day, her heart snapped and she made a break. There was a yo-yo moment, but eventually, she let go. It was at this time, the girl finally decided not to worry about it anymore. She was simply going to start having fun. It was time to make friends and go out and have some adventures. She started taking on things she hadn’t done before. Opening up to people she may have never met before and then the weirdest thing happened; guys started asking her out. Well, that was interesting.

Amidst the going out and trying new things, one particular gentleman happened upon this girl. It was clear to everyone from the start that he was certainly keen on her. However, he didn’t ask her out. The girl made it more or less clear that she wasn’t interested in pursuing anything with him, yet they nevertheless started to become the best of friends. They would hang out with a small group of friends and started doing everything together. Without realizing it, the girl started to look forward to every time she would get to see this A-Man. She knew that she would always enjoy the conversations and she would end the night smiling. A beautiful thing was starting to bloom over the course of these few months.

But wait…

Just as the A-Man was starting to feel a sense of hope with this girl, a new guy showed up. A tall, dark and handsome French guy (cue evil villain music here). In one night, the dark stranger worked his charms on the girl, and before she realized it, she was swooning. Also, they took a picture together that happened to look exactly like the photo-shopped picture the girl had made of her with her favorite actor for her vision board. Fate must have finally stepped in! She was gleaming!

The A-Man was pissed.

For 2 weeks, the girl played into the Frenchy’s games. Or, more accurately, the girl stuck it out with Frenchy for 2 weeks as she started to realize that the idea of breaking glass and gouging her eyes out while she was with him sounded much more appealing than their time spent together. She was a bit of a slow learner, but hey- 2 weeks was faster than 9 months. Progress.

In the meanwhile, the A-Man had remained ever-so-faithful to this girl, still hanging on to the declaration he had made to his friend the day he first saw her; he was going to marry this girl. It had been painful to be side-stepped by Frenchy, but the A-Man had a mission and he would not stray. His time spent with the girl was still delightful. And suddenly, Frenchy was gone. It was his chance.

A full month had passed and the girl and the A-Man continued their friendship. One day, the A-Man got an idea. He mentioned to the girl that he had tried to go shopping, but had a hard time finding anything to buy. Well, at the mention of shopping the girl was suckered. Silly A-Man, she thought, buying clothes for guys is easy! A shopping date was set. Off to the stores they went as the girl proceeded to style the A-Man in the type of clothes she liked on him. This A-Man was proving to be a clever one.

That weekend, they hung out with friends, and the fun was abundant. At this point, he had slept over at the girl’s place and even got his own toothbrush, yet absolutely nothing had happened. He was in danger of being permanently placed in every man’s worst nightmare; “the Friend zone”. He made a decision that he would do one last try and after that, if nothing changed, it was time to move on. The pain would be to great to watch this girl move on to anyone else.

It was a Sunday in late September. The girl was going to church and the A-Man had asked to join. He was working that Saturday night, but he would do his best to show up. The girl had another friend joining as well, but was happy to have the A-Man come along. And then he showed up. Wearing the new clothing she had picked out for him. Also, wearing her favorite cologne. Her senses perked up and for some reason, at the end of the service, she didn’t want the A-Man to go. She quickly thought of an excuse to keep him there, how about they get some lunch?

Lunch came and went, the girl kept at it, making up one thing after another for him to stay with her that day. Finally, the evening came and the A-Man had to work that night. He was in some serious need of sleep as he hadn’t gotten any for the last 2 days. The girl stalled. “You can just sleep at my place and then go straight to work from there.” It made perfect sense, right? The A-man agreed with a very strong stipulation that she wake him up with plenty of time to drive the hour and a half to his work from her place. The girl agreed.

As the A-Man slept in her room, the girl took out her journal and began to write. Oh, she was a mixed bag of emotions. What was going on here? Why didn’t she want him to leave? She had honestly tried to be interested in him before, but it just wasn’t there. Or was it? She fretted over the situation as she committed her thoughts to paper. The list began. First, she reminded herself that she had decided to live her life fully this last year. No sitting on the sidelines, she had vowed to take risks. Next, she listed out what it was like to be around the A-Man. She looked forward to seeing him, she enjoyed their conversations, he made her laugh and he treated her like a queen. The girl wrote and wrote. Suddenly, the pen paused. A little afraid to write the next thought, she pushed the tip to the paper and gave the thought a voice anyway. What’s the worst that could happen? She could lose an amazing friend. Then another thought occurred to her. What was really the worst that could happen? She could lose the love of her life.

The girl laid the pen down and shut her journal. It was 9 o’clock. She was supposed to wake him at 9:30, but decisions like this couldn’t wait.

She cautiously opened the bedroom door and saw the A-Man lying awake on her bed. His poor eyes were bloodshot with lack of sleep. She softly crept onto the bed next to him and as he looked down at her, she told him, “I’m sorry I give you mixed messages.”

His kind eyes smiled back as he replied, “It’s ok. You’re female. You’re supposed to.” And in the moment, the A-Man leaned in and softly kissed the girl. It was the sweetest and kindest kiss the girl had every had.

And then the A-Man quickly leaned back and with big eyes and a little bit of fear asked the girl, “Did I get the right message?”

“Yes.”

The A-Man made the hour and a half drive to work in 27 minutes that night. And for those of you that went there, no, nothing happened. The evening had remained a PG night. Come on, now!

But it doesn’t end there. A week later, the A-Man couldn’t hold it in any longer. He finally told the girl that he loved her.

The girl hesitated. “Thank you,” she tried to say as nicely as she could. She was certainly enjoying this new part of their relationship, but she still wasn’t totally certain. The last thing she wanted to do was to promise more than she could deliver.

The A-Man smiled and reassured her. “It’s ok. I know you love me. And when you feel safe, you’ll let me know.” There was not a doubt in his mind. His calm confidence put the girl at ease. This time, the A-Man didn’t have to wait as long.

A week later, at a friend’s house for dinner, the girl was enjoying the conversation and good times. She glanced over at the A-Man sitting beside her when suddenly she felt like a tunnel had just fallen over her and scooped her up. In that moment she realized that she completely loved this man beside her. She wasn’t in need for him. She wasn’t pining for him. She wasn’t having hope that she could be enough for him. She simply knew she loved him. It was as if they had been together forever.

It was a year and a half later that the A-Man and the girl said I Do. It was a beautiful sunny day that turned into a downpour as they said their vows. It didn’t upset either of them. In fact, it seemed perfect and fitting for their playful natures. Also, as someone told the girl that day, rain on your wedding day is a good sign! She could work with that.

Four years later, and here we are. What has it been like to be married? Amazing. Challenging. Fun. Boring. All of it with my best friend. I love telling our story. I love the lessons that come from it. I love the joy I see on people’s faces when they hear it.

Let’s just say that we’re all adults here and we realize that even happily ever after doesn’t mean that every day is perfect from there on out. There are days when I get frustrated with the A-Man and there are days when he gets annoyed with me. There are days when his shoes in the living room drive me nuts and there are days he wishes that our bathroom and bedroom were houses apart as things go inside of me to die.

Here is the best part though; we are each other’s greatest fans. No matter what, we remember that even when we may be grumpy or in disagreement, we’ll think of the other’s side and come to an understanding. There is never a thought to attack each other. Why would we? We make sure to nurture that spark that burst onto the scene to make sure that we never lose it. We take consistent actions every day to make sure that we each know that we love each other.

I have been fortunate enough to have others tell me that our relationship is one they use to model what they want in theirs. It makes me smile and it makes me happy. I know what our secret is; we became friends first. We trust in each other and instead of letting anything fester, we acknowledge issues head on and immediately. We laugh and we play and we scheme with each other. This man is my partner. And he is the most beautiful person to me inside and out, even on his worst day. Good thing there aren’t many of those!

Taking on marriage and winning is a choice. It is a daily commitment to make what you have great. It is not always getting your way, it is not always being your best, it is high’s and low’s and it is deciding that no matter what, you work it out, learn more and strive for better. It is flirting and laughing and putting your relationship first. Also, slapping his booty every now and then is key. It is this and so much more and that is why I believe we have created the greatest love story!

And the beautiful thing is, there are so many greatest love stories all over the place. And if the story has happened once, that means the story can happen again. I love to hear about love. When I come across 2 people that have found each other and continue smiling when they share their story, no matter how long they have been on their journey, I celebrate with them. Cheer with them, don’t envy them. There is always room for more.

I can’t wait to hear your beautiful story! Make sure to share how you met or what has kept you strong! And thank you for the lessons. And most importantly- thank you to the greatest love of my life- my heart sings with joy every moment I get to share with him. Here’s to the A-Man and to a continued extraordinary journey together! xo