Huh. “Romantic” is not a word I would use to describe us. Not in the traditional sense. I don’t think either one of us wishes we were, either. Sure, he’s brought me flowers and/or chocolates once or twice and I enjoyed getting them, but I don’t need or expect them. I think, if I did need or expect them I’d be disappointed because that’s not his thing, and I knew that. Sure, I bake him cherry pies just because sometimes, and he does seem to appreciate it, but I don’t think he’d notice if I didn’t. We say “I love you” and kiss and hug and hold hands and sometimes sit close to each other and stuff, but nothing like scattering rose petals in the bath we’ve drawn for each other or writing or reading love poems for or to each other. Okay. Sometimes there are chocolate-covered strawberries, but often I buy them for myself and don’t share. Oh hey wait! This actually is romantic because I usually sincerely offer to share and he says “no” so I can have it all to myself. But see? Not traditional (he doesn’t feed me the strawberry). Comfortable.
HG and I have been married for 11 years this month. That's a long time. A friend of mine who knew us way back then commented that it didn't seem like it had been that long to him, but I don't feel that way. It's not that the past 11 years have dragged by or felt like an eternity or anything cranky like that. Just, so much has happened and/or changed since that drizzly spring day in 1998 that it wouldn't make sense for it to have been much less than 11 years ago. Do you know what I mean? It’s harder for me to wrap my head around the fact that I’ve been in The South for 16 years or that next year HG will turn 40.
We have gray hair and wrinkles (just a few). We have a kid who rides the school bus and takes piano lessons and writes in cursive and a kid who now wears panties about 80% of the time and knows what sound Q makes. We've had 4 pets (5 if you count the resilient beta fish someone gave Pete for her 1st birthday - please don't give a child a fish for her 1st birthday without checking with her parents first). We've had a total of 7 different cars, 4 different TVs, 10 different jobs (between us), 3 different computers, 2 different couches, 11,507 pairs of sneakers, and 2 different mortgages (but just 1 house). HG is
The Bradford pear tree in front of our house was held up by stakes when we moved in. Now it barely flinches when the wind gets strong or when Pete and her friends scramble up into its branches. Neighbors have come and gone. Friends, family, and other loved ones have gotten married or divorced (although no one we know did both in the last 11 years). Some have had children. Family members have passed on and are missed.
And I bet that’s not even half of it all.
You’ll get no shock or surprise or disbelief from me when I say out loud that we’ve been married 11 years. It’s a lot, but it’s not out of proportion. And just imagine what that pear tree will look like after another 11 years (maybe we’ll drive by and check it out on the way home to our 3rd mortgage).
*Thanks go to ...45aA for the title inspiration.