Friday, May 11, 2012

15 Years

Together at a wedding shower
Today is my 15th wedding anniversary and I'm feeling a little nostalgic.  So let me share a slice of the life I've shared with my husband.

On our first official "date" we did a group hangout thing with a bunch of my friends.  Poor Ben.  He was subjected to bowling, bar-hopping, and after-drinks "breakfast" at IHOP.  I, in my infinite self-destructive wisdom, had not eaten a bite all day and ingested something like half a box of over-the-counter appetite suppressants.  Then we went out, got incredibly physically active, drank large volumes of alcohol, and finished it off with a carb-heavy meal.  At which point, I was shaking and miserable but determined not to ruin my date. After breakfast we retreated to his apartment to talk.  I walked in his front door and puked my chocolate chip pancakes all over his light blue rented carpet.  Let's count my mistakes so far in the evening: 1) dragging an extreme introvert out with a dozen or so noisy strangers to crowded public places 2) the revolutionary "stupid diet" 3) drinking too much 4) ruining his chance of recovering his security deposit.  All things considered, not a great first impression.  Luckily, not only is my husband forgiving, he's also very much a gentleman.  He helped me clean up my mess, soothed me, and settled me onto his sofa since I was in no condition to drive home.

Fire and Ice rose
On our wedding day, Ben presented me with a surprise bridal bouquet.  It was made up primarily of Fire and Ice roses, a favorite of mine.  Fire and Ice roses remain a special flower between us and we each get them for the other occasionally.  The only Valentine's Day he ever got me flowers, they were Fire and Ice roses.

On our first anniversary we ate from the preserved top layer of our wedding cake.  I don't know who the hell came up with that "tradition" but it's stupid.  Iced cake doesn't preserve well for that long.  Ours was freezer burned and awful.   We ponied up the cash for a babysitter that year (we've hired babysitters twice in our kids' lives) and went to see Pleasantville at the dollar theater.

Over the years, most of our anniversary celebrations have been more than a little peculiar to outsiders.  There was the year we happened to be in San Antonio for our anniversary so we took advantage of my sister's willingness to babysit and went out to a restaurant we just couldn't eat at back home: Jack in the Box.  Yes, seriously.  We had "dinner" at Jack in the Box and then hopped over to the multiplex to catch X2.  This year he worked like a dog all day and came home exhausted so I got him Mickey D's for dinner and he's been listening to the Texas Rangers baseball game and unwinding.

Witchblade figure - and no, boobs don't work like that
Ben isn't a romantic in any sense that most people understand.  He's not given to making grand gestures and he's not big on holidays.  He's given me exactly three "romantic" gifts in our 15 years together.  The bridal bouquet, the Valentine's Day flowers, and the pearl cocktail ring he buried in my stocking one year for Christmas.  But the truth is that he's exactly the way I want him to be.  This year when he asked what I wanted for our anniversary I didn't hesitate to answer, "A food dehydrator!"  Yes, I asked for a practical gift and he was happy to give it to me.  It's just one reason we're so good together.

Our idea of "quality time" is me watching him play a video game that I don't have the patience to play myself.  We argued over who got to read the Harry Potter books first when each new one arrived at our door on release day.  Today, just for me, he posted a bunch of pictures of a scantily clad Witchblade figure because I said I wanted more pictures of his figures.  Instead of singing songs or playing License Plate Bingo in the car on vacation, we listened to historical radio documentaries together.  We've half finished a kit model of a Citroen DS 19 together.  And we argue about comic books.

Our idea of a good time
Ben took this inside Carlsbad Caverns
We're both geeky, awkward introverts who would rather spend a quiet evening pursuing our own interests than get together with friends or do "exciting" things together.  But where I'm so flighty I've been told my head would float clean away if it wasn't tethered to my neck, he's reliable and dependable.  When I want to charge on, guns blazing, at every new situation he holds back, reads the wind, and makes a plan before he does anything.  We're good for each other, we moderate one another.  I remind him to have fun and he keeps me from getting goofy enough to be arrested.  He likes baseball, I prefer hockey.  Yet somehow our crazies meld beautifully.


  1. Congratulations, Mari and Ben. I seriously envy your relationship and, having seen it up close and personal, can say with some authority that you two together are awesome.

    Here's to 15 more, damnit.

  2. I am bwahaha'ing at the Witchblade bewbs! ;0)

    Jay is not a romantic either (whatever that means). He gives me awesome practical gifts like vacuum cleaners and sewing machines!

    Happy Anniversary!

  3. Read quite a few bits of this aloud to Shamus. He laughed at how similar your relationship is to ours. :) Except he collects video games instead of figurines, and I collect dragons. :) All in all hooray for practical gifts. And congrats on 15 years (same here).