On Wednesday, it’ll be eight years since I put on a delicate white dress with a gorgeous train, slipped on my blinged-out flip-flops, and tripped down a grass aisle to my groom, who was crying before we even got started and who held out to me a tiny red rose he had picked from our yard that morning, as a reminder of our first date two years before, when he had brought me a miniature rose bush.
We were sappy and silly that day, which was in stark contrast to my usual no-nonsense self. In fact, I’m usually so completely unromantic that my sister actually makes fun of me for it, and Chris once made some comment to the effect of, “Well, I love you anyway, you jaded old battle-ax!”
In eight years, though, I have brought him over to the Dark Side. The other day he announced, “I haven’t had a kiss in a while.”
“Hold on a sec,” I replied. “I have a hair in my mouth.”
“I think that’s called a mustache, dear,” he said…and then cracked up as I smacked him and announced that he was getting no kiss that day.
And yesterday, I suddenly realized our anniversary was approaching and I hadn’t even thought about what I might get him as a gift. Frantically, I sent him a text and we had the following decidedly romantic conversation:
But you know what? It works for us. Laughter is our romance. I burst out laughing at his mustache comment, as well as his reply to my frantic text message. Sometimes life is unavoidably serious, so I like to laugh whenever possible. I’ll take laughter over a sappy love poem any day.
So here I am, a wise old married woman with a tenure of eight years. That’s nothing. It’s a tiny speck of time in a vast universe. I am well aware that I know pretty much nothing about marriage, given that we’re still reasonably new at it. But here’s what I know so far.
I know that laughter makes me happy. And Chris makes me laugh. Thus, Chris makes me happy. There is not a day that we don’t laugh about something—even on the hard days. And with him, I can laugh so hard that we have to stop what we’re doing so I can wipe the tears from my eyes.
I know that with Chris, marriage is not hard. Not at all, actually. Everyone told me marriage was hard, but it hasn’t been. Maybe it will be someday, but so far it’s not. Don’t get me wrong: Life is hard sometimes. Life is very hard sometimes, in fact. But my marriage has been the consistently easy part of things. Sure, we bicker sometimes, and we each have habits that drive the other one nuts, but the marriage? The being a team? The working together? The supporting each other? That part has always been easy.
You know what else is easy? Loving him. He’s sweet and kind and funny and smart and devoted and honest and hardworking…and I could go on. There’s a lot there to love. There are bits and pieces I don’t necessarily love—like the fact that he apparently can’t locate a clothes hamper that is right in front of him and thus I find socks on the floor all the time. But what’s inside? What counts? That part is easy to love.
I also know that the grass isn’t greener anywhere else. My grass is plenty green right here, and I’m not interested in checking out any other fields. I’m human—every once in a while, I see a beautiful lawn and think, “Wow! That’s pretty amazing!” But I’m never tempted to trade in my own little patch of grass for anything else. Why would I? Mine is steady and lovely and home.
I know that eight years is but a tiny part of my life so far, and hopefully a tiny part of what’s to come. But I know it’s been the best eight years of my life, without a doubt.