One of the tragedies of 2006 is that my two year wedding anniversary came and went without nary an acknowledgment from me on this blog, which was scarcely more than I gave it in real life. It falls on the 21st of December, and if you’re keeping up, you know that this year that fell within the Dead Zone, or as we like to call it, ‘The Great Crochet Marathon of Twelve Ought Six.’
When I was freshly back from Seattle in 2002, I met Joe at a networking meeting. I didn’t like him and I didn’t not like him. Sure, he was very nice but I was recently divorced and very concentrated on getting my shit together. I sure as hell wasn’t about to start dating anyone, especially someone that was a Catholic, had no kid experience and was still technically married to his first wife. So, of course, we started dating right away and became exclusive within the first two weeks.
Something you might not know about me: when I know something, I know it and there isn’t much that anyone can tell me that will change my mind. I feel stuff in my gut and that is the end of it. My gut has been my only constant companion and seen me through all kinds of trouble. So, my gut and I stick together. Imagine my surprise when my gut let me know that Joe was not only the really great guy he seemed to be but that also, I would love him, he would love me and we’d be together. Immediately following that message I spent many months pretending it had never happened. However, I did seem to think it was a splendid idea to invite him to meet most of my family a scant 7 weeks after we met. Huh.
Joe has been to Utah eight times in the past few years. The first time he met most of my brothers and sisters and the next time he met my parents. They all, of course, like him and love him. He’s a likable guy. But, they love him no matter how much money he earns or what he looks like or what kind of car he drives. Frankly, the only thing they take into account is if I’m happy. And here it must be clarified that my family looks at the word ‘happy’ in the way that God might: if you are learning, then you are happy because it’s the people God doesn’t bless that much that don’t have the opportunity for learning. Joe and I are so blessed. In fact, these past two years of marriage, we have been blessed beyond what I thought possible. That seems to be always the way.
I think one of the reasons that Joe feels so comfortable visiting my family is because they accepted him so completely. Even before we were married, my parents had us sleeping in the same room. My very Mormon mom. The one that didn’t alert me of my private parts until I was married to my first husband, well after the point of her grandson being implanted in my uterus. I hope my mom doesn’t mind me telling the entire world that, but I just thought it was so great the way she trusted my gut on Joe and I being together. However, my mom still sends my ex-husband Christmas and Birthday cards (with the usual $5 included!) as well as his new wife.* My parents might just rock in that Love the Entire World kind of way. And the World can always use more love.
But, back to Joe. These past two years or so have been rough but great. We moved a few times. We tried, somewhat successfully, to get my daughter to quit glaring at Joe. We started a business together, which ultimately failed. We went to therapy to figure out why we were still married. Joe started a few different jobs and figured out what he likes and doesn’t like in a work environment. I got physically mostly better most of the time. We were pregnant (again) and lost the baby (again) but kept it for the longest amount of time yet. And I learned that I could listen to Joe at least as much as I listen to my gut because Dude is smart! I also learned that if I get out of his way, Joe will figure out a way to do anything he wants, his own way. Man, that sounds a lot like me. But most of all, we got a start on figuring out how to be a couple and take care of each other in a kind and loving way.
Life is always hard. It’s always going to be hard. It doesn’t matter who you are married to or how much money you have or where you live. And really, the only defense you have against the world is your family, those people who love you and who you love and with whom you create a buffeting wall against the hard knocks of the world. The people that will laugh with you, not at you, when you ruined the fancy dinner you made for everyone. And not be embarrassed when you can’t stop going up to strangers and asking them personal questions because you find them so fascinating. And stand by you when you take huge risks and decide to do something that could be a large potential mistake and don’t care how it ends up as long as you are ok, because that is what is important. I’m so happy to have Joe be my family and that we are in this thing together.
Here’s to many more years of being blessed, Baby. Thanks for being on my team.
*My son asked me the other day why Grandma sends his Dad and Step-Mom birthday cards because isn’t that weird when usually people hate each other after divorce? I asked him if he wished she wouldn’t and he said, ‘Nope. I like that about Grandma. And you’d do the same thing, huh. You’re all ….. squishy like her.’ I’m not sure I have ever been so proud to be called squishy.