Thursday, August 10, 2006

Eight down, eighty to go...

Eight years and two days ago I married Willy the Groundskeeper. (Our respective families are still waiting for photo evidence, so I'm sorry but no, I have no wedding pictures to share.) Yes, he's really a groundskeeper, but that's just his day job, in his secret life he's a soon to be famous artist and puppeteer. The image I use for my photo is one of his. One of these days I'll put up a few more for your viewing pleasure.

For you numerology buffs, that's 8/8/98. I'm not sure if that means anything but if it rings any bells for anyone, please let me know.

If any of you are astrologists you might be interested in knowing that we were married on the full moon, which happened to be in Aquarius at that time; a location that encourages independent activity. It would seem that I need to stop fighting that. When we try to work together we generally have very different ideas about how things should be done so we tend to bicker instead of actually doing anything. I’m a very stubborn jackass so that’s probably why it’s taken me 8 years to figure this out.

One good thing I can honestly say is that it gets better every year. It took us awhile to learn how to live together, hammer out the rules of engagement and so on. But eventually we decided that we are in this for the long haul and failure is not an option. We still fight, oh yes, in fact we even decided to have a fight on our anniversary. It sucked but we made up for it the next day. I'll spare you the details, suffice to say it involved candles and copious amounts of lube.

We don't usually give each other anniversary gifts because (I'm too cheap, we don't need anything, it's fraught with peril, I'm full of excuses!) we don't usually have any extra money lying around to do anything other then go out to dinner and buy a carrot cake. But the groundskeeper is a romantic so he bought me 8 long stemmed red roses. Typically, I kind of wish he'd spent the money on landscape edging. Ironically too, because there was a discussion at Tertia's recently about the 5 Love Languages and I commented about how much we had learned from it! HA! Even after 8 years we still have days when we have no clue how to communicate with each other.

For our wedding we had carrot cake, so we buy a carrot cake from a local restaurant every year to help celebrate our anniversary. This cake is undescribably delicious, a rich, spicy cake with actual bits of grated carrots and chunks of walnut topped with thick, decadent cream cheese frosting. It is pure evil. It is so evil we gave it a nickname. We call it The Cake of The Devil. I think it has a thousand calories per slice but they don't really count because I always try to make sure I'm standing up when I eat it. That should work, right?

Here's one of my favorite stories to tell about how we got together: Around the time of our second date I was finishing up some dishes while Yo sat on the floor and played legos with Ebo, then 5. Ebo has always been a very nurturing child, quick with the love and the hugs. So I was slightly horrified but not entirely surprised when I overheard him telling Yo that he loved him.

Desperately searching for anything to say that could deflect Ebo's (obviously premature and inappropriate!) emotional declaration, I started to walk over in that direction to say something. But I had to duck back into the kitchen and clap my hand over my mouth to prevent myself from screaming when I heard the rest of that sentence, "...and I want you to marry my Mom and be my Dad."

Wow. I was floored. Here I was, trying to make a good impression, trying not to move too fast, TRYING NOT TO SCARE THIS ONE AWAY, and in one fell swooop, my sweet darling son put all the cards on the table face up. I stayed in the kitchen for a time, mortified, considering my options.

A few minutes later, Yo came in for a drink so I cornered him in a frantic display of backpedaling by proxy. Not to worry, he assured me. He had sensed it coming and although he hadn't known how he would respond he didn't think it would be polite not to say "I love you" back and then after he said it, he told me, he realized it was already true. He said, "How could I not love him? He's such a wonderful child!"

At that point, I knew. This one might be a keeper.


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Marriage is love.