Seven years ago today, (long before our silly country got it together to give us 'permission'); I stood across from L. (in my hussy-red dress), and we said our marriage vows to each other, had an amazing party, surrounded by swaying trees, a lake, and all of our closest friends and family. We danced and ate loads of dessert and got fantastically drunk and watched the sun go down... and then watched it come up again. It was easily one of the best nights of my life. But even though I treasure our wedding, for me, the wedding wasn't our beginning, but rather a natural continuation of our lives together, five years into our relationship.
Our beginning, real beginning was probably around thirteen-ish years ago. We'd been work friends for a month or two when we made that first coffee date. And when coffee became lunch, which became after-lunch-coffee, and then that coffee became dinner, and dinner became dessert until finally (and very reluctantly) we headed home, wondering where the day had gone. I remember walking home that day, so dissapointed that the time together had to come to an end. So intense was our connection that we would later both speak about our realization that we wouldn't, that we couldn't, ever go out alone together again. And we didn't. For almost a year. Until, of course, we did.
It seemed safe enough at the time - a group trip to the local skidgy pub with coworkers one night after the evening shift. But one by one the coworkers dropped off (literally and figuratively). And we collided, inevitably. There was no alternate route. There was no path to take except straight to each other. Just me and L., filled with an honesty borne out of too many pitchers of cheap Biltmore draft and the night's wildly weird events - being kicked out of a cab at the top of a busy Vancouver bridge at 2 a.m., and that long stumble, back to a friend's apartment.
I walked home the next morning, knowing that something in my world had shifted irrevocably. Even though nothing of our future together was yet spoken out loud, even though I knew L. was headed home to her girlfriend and I to my boyfriend (yes, yes, I am aware that we are bad, bad people), even though the path we had veered off on was new and terrifying, on that long walk home, I had this moment that was filled with a remarkable calm and certainty that things would work out for us (in amongst the many moments of panic at the new, though not entirely unwelcome, upsidedownness taking over my life). Neither calm nor certain are my usual modus operandi, as L. would surely corroborate.
And it turns out that that small moment of calm and certainty, in amongst those many moments of panic, was actually a spot of clarity. How 'bout that?! Here we are, just shy of twelve years later, celebrating our seventh (seventh!) wedding anniversary. We aren't getting kicked out of cabs anymore, or silly drunk in pubs. And I'm more likely to fall asleep on L.'s lap by 9:30 p.m. than I am to stay out drinking 'til 2 a.m. But there's no one else's lap I'd rather crash on before the evening news than hers. We made these two astoundingly beautiful kids together. We made this beautiful life together. And we're still here to quibble about who exactly got who drunk that fateful night, 12 years ago. As if it really mattered. (Though clearly, L., it was you who got me drunk. Anyhoo...).
Though I'm still not known for my calm and certainty - about us, I am.
Happy anniversary, love.