Tomorrow marks the day Peter and I got married.
Our wedding weekend marked the anniversary of Kristallnacht and Veteran’s Day. In the eloquent words of our Rabbi (who forgot to bring the Ketubah) “A total bummer”. It rained all day. Our wedding planner was ordered (by me) to stay twenty feet away from me at all times because she was a total nightmare. Peter stepped on and ripped my dress on the way into the reception, and we only served beer and wine (total oversight because every family event calls for liquor, and lots of it). Some bright spots: It was a Sunday and the Jets won, my dress was gorgeous (I will never look prettier) the food was delicious and best of all, I married my best friend and biggest fan. Overall it was an absolutely beautiful day, filled with love, laughter, mess, wins, and losses. It was the perfect metaphor for our married life.
In one of our more recent intimate moments Peter gazed deeply into my eyes, cradled my face and said “There is no one I would rather clean diarrhea and vomit with. I am the luckiest guy in the world” And then he kissed me deeply and told me that I look beautiful. This moment came on the heels of our family’s most recent 24 hour saga with a stomach bug. I did not look beautiful. I looked like a woman who had been scrubbing bile off the floors for twenty four hours, but Peter is blind and loves me unconditionally, no matter how sick, smelly, lazy or cranky I get or how tough things get at home.
We have no illusions that our married life now resembles the life we had before. The life where we could go out for Sushi on a whim, the life that included seeing movies in a movie theater, the life where I could say things like “I am going for a run and then I’m going to get my nails done. Want to go out to dinner at 8:30?” And he would respond with “Ok, I am going to watch the game at a bar with some friends. Want to meet us there before dinner?” Any one of those once simple activities now requires hours of planning, coordinating, consulting calendars and inevitably compromising. I don’t necessarily long for the freedom we once had, but I often feel foolish for not holding onto it for a little bit longer.
The day I met Peter I knew I was going to marry him. The school I was about to begin teaching in was hosting an end of the year training, and they invited both new and old staff members to attend. Peter had just completed his first year as an English teacher there. I saw him walk into the room and my heart stopped for a second. He was surrounded in light and everything slowed down. He saw me and sat down next to me. and I knew that my life was forever changed. At that moment I knew what it felt like to be home, and I have never once wanted to leave that place. We began talking, and eleven years later we have not stopped.
On our anniversary we don’t do gifts, and we don’t make grand gestures. If we remember, we might buy the other a card. We always do take out sushi, a silly reminder of our courting days. Our wedding was a ridiculous day in the life of our marriage and each anniversary is the same. We don’t get sentimental about these moments because what really matters to us is that we live each day with respect for one another, show gratitude for the gifts our life has provided - happy, healthy, adorable and wildly entertaining children, a beautiful home, friendship, and a large, loud and loving family to share it all with.
Peter does my laundry, he cleans my dishes, he rubs my feet, he loves our children passionately, he tells me I am beautiful and thinks I am sexy and talented and smart. He seeks my opinion and wants my attention and tells me that he loves me every single day. I can only hope that he feels cared for in the way that he cares for me.
Guess I am putting out tomorrow, huh?