8 years

Eight years ago today, on a bright warm morning in Lake Placid, I married a guy. Bob. It was actually the afternoon, because we didn’t want a long wait between the ceremony and dinner. And because we had to have a late ceremony so that none of the Catholics present would have to go to mass again in the morning. So, it was a bright warm afternoon, in August, obviously. It had poured the day before, but while it was a bit drippy during the morning, it was clear and lovely in the afternoon. Bob had climbed a mountain the night before with a friend of his, which I am assured was not actually a desperate bid at freedom, but just something men do sometimes.

We had the best wedding and reception. I do not exaggerate. It was actually the best. I feel sorry for royals, who can never have a wedding such as I had. There were 75 people there, not including our priest, a retired drunk named Bob. Fr. Bob showed up for awhile at the reception, but he mostly had to go somewhere and put his feet up, I think. My godfather, Lester, came, which was fantastic, because we hadn’t seen him in forever. Like since I was a child. All our closest friends were there – people who made our lives better. Some people couldn’t make it, but we remembered them in our hearts.

We ate, drank, and danced into the night. We spent the following week in Lake Placid, in a tiny, beautiful alpine cabin. Looking back, it’s all very fairytale-like. Fairytales always have a villian, a reversal of fortune, and an eventual right of some epic wrong, though. While the wedding and honeymoon isn’t our entire story, it also isn’t the beginning of our story. Our story is a conversation we started in The Village Green, a bar in Olean, and that we continue to this day. We haven’t dealt with a villian or a reversal of fortune, so I guess this is actually real life, for which I’m grateful. There’s so much more freedom in real life.

I don’t know, off-hand, where all my photos are, but here are some favorites:

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Champagne in the church
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My best gal, Angela
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My new sisters
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My in-laws, cutting a rug
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We’d had some drinks

We’ve had a fun, maddening, complex 8 years since. Our story has continued, with ups and downs, lulls in the conversation, spirited give-and-take, and companionable silence.

This year our schedules are so busy, we were only able to have lunch together, but it’s enough. We’ve found ourselves getting closer and closer in the past few years, and growing together in a way that the fresh faced drunk young bride really couldn’t fathom. For one thing, children change everything. You don’t have to deal with the worst parts of yourself until you have kids, and when you have kids with someone, it’s ten times worse, because you’re stripped bare with no where and no way to hide. And it either destroys you or it doesn’t. Maybe that’s just having twins, but I think it’s all kids. Kids are the best, but it’s easy to underestimate what gamechangers they are.

I wouldn’t trade the experiences we’ve had, the life we’ve built, and the way we’ve grown for the world. I’m looking forward to the next one hundred and fifty-leven together, too. I could talk forever.

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Lunch at Beyu Caffe

4 thoughts on “8 years

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  1. I don’t know you at all but I enjoyed the sharing of your life. I’ve been married 17 years-3rd time. Our middle aged children were had with other people. He turned 70 this year and me 63. I look at him now and see how age has creeped so unforgivingly into our lives. It’s hard to understand the changes we will go through as we age and how we will handle it. Will we be on the same page? Will we give up being curious about the future and so taking on challenges? Who will get old – in the mind. 8 years puts you at the start (usually but not always) of questioning if that is all there is as you get so used to being with someone it’s hard to have any surprises. It’s why many couples don’t make it past 8-10 years. You look so happy in your pictures. I hope you’ll be one of the lucky ones who can keep hold of the big picture and make it through all the life changes and crisis. My second marriage made it ten years. I couldn’t handle the ways he wanted to change our relationship as he went through his mid life crisis. But 17 years this time – we’ll make it but I’m the only one looking forward to any future. Dreams or goals – he gave up. He’s done. No more love for living. It can make life lonely. Well, this got depressing, didn’t it?

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