Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Tomorrow, Jeremy and I will have been married nine years. Nine years. In some ways, it feels like it’s been no time at all. And sometimes I wonder “Oh my god, how can nine years seem so impossibly long??” It’s about a third of my lifetime. I realized yesterday that the times I’ve written on our anniversaries have been in threes: our 3 year, our 6 year, and so now it seems that I must write on our 9 year, although I’m rather stumped as to what to add to my previous writings. Those kind of said it all. So, here are some little quirks about our not so average relationship:

Jeremy and I bicker. A lot. He gets under my skin like no one else on earth could, and more efficiently, too. All it takes is one word, a look, a flick of his wrist, and I’m set off. He knows this. He likes to tease me, and I hate to be teased. He knows that too. But in a perverse way, it makes me love him more (I’ll regret saying that whenever he reads this). He’s brave enough to not be worried about pissing me off. We never walk on eggshells around each other. He makes me braver, too. I”m not scared to speak my mind to him, in all of its ugliness or insanity.

He has a sixth sense about where I am. Whenever I’m out and about for a few hours, it never fails- and I really mean NEVER. It’s scary- that he calls me when I’m about 2 blocks from our house, asking when I’ll be home. I’ve gotten to where I tell him if he has the urge to call and ask me, he should probably assume that I’m 30 seconds away.

When he’s out late, I spend the last hour of expecting him home listening for the screen door to creak. It’s the most welcome sound I hear all night. Then, even though he has a key to get in, he’ll drum on the door with his fingertips, peering through the glass at the top with wide open eyes, sometimes making faces, until I get up and let him in. I tell him, “It’d be faster for you to just unlock the door.” He’ll respond with, “But you were already halfway off the couch. I didn’t want you to get up for nothing.”

When we sleep, I have to be touching him. We’re not cuddlers. He outweighs me by about 100 pounds, so if he even tosses his arm over me in his sleep, I can’t breathe. But all I have to do is lay my leg against his, touch my hand to his back, and I’m fine. He doesn’t necessarily like the leg touching thing, because my feet are generally about 15 degrees colder than the rest of my body, but he’s learned to cope with that, as well as my relentless restless leg syndrome.

He gets irrationally irritated by me leaving stuff out on the kitchen counters. Well, I say irrationally, he would probably say reasonably. I can hear him grumbling in the kitchen, twisting the ties back onto the bread, screwing the cap back on the peanut butter: "It's the Rothwell curse. Such a Rothwell." I'll always holler back, "I was going to-", and he interrupts in a high, squeaky voice (which sounds NOTHING like me. I hope) with, "Going to put it all back, I just wasn't sure if I was finished with it yet!"

He spends almost as much time on his hair as I spend on mine. I can't fault him. The man has a gorgeous head of hair. But still. We wriggle around each other in the bathroom, elbowing, inching toward the middle of the mirror, trying to regain some ground. One of these days someone is going to wind up with a hair dryer head injury, but it hasn't happened yet.

Our song is the Muppet Show Theme song. When we were first married, we would lie in bed at night and tap rhythms out on each other’s arms while the other one had to guess which song it was. For whatever reason, over time The Muppet Show song became the only one we ever tapped. Even now, we’ll sit next to each other on the couch, and almost subconsciously, one of us will start tapping- “It’s time to put on make up...” Whenever I hear his ringtone on my phone, I smile.

He’s learned to always let me proofread any document, text, Facebook status update, etc., before he sends it out. And I’ve learned to wait for him to ask me to do it before I jump in with the corrections.

We almost never call each other by our first names. It’s always “Babe”. In text messages, in phone conversations. Even in the middle of a fight, it’s “BABE! You have got to be kidding me!” “BABE!!! I swear if you don’t drop this right now...” I don’t know when it started, or which one of us started it. But it’s stuck.

I tell people all the time that Jeremy is a better person than I am. I wish it was just me playing the good wife and building my husband up, but unfortunately, it’s the complete truth. Jeremy is kind and forgiving where I am not. He’s humble and teachable. He’s not quick to take offense. People are drawn to him in ways I could only dream of. The truth is, he’s everything I’m not. I’d like to think I balance him out, too, but so far, the proofreading is probably the only thing I bring balance to.

There are more things I could say. But I can’t lay bare all our secrets. Maybe in another three years.

Until then, happy anniversary, Babe. Even though I’m sure all we’ll do tomorrow is sleep way too late, haggle about where we’re going to go, what we’re going to do, what we’ll eat for dinner, how much money we should or shouldn’t spend, and end up driving in silence while we glower over the radio station, I’ll still be happy it's you.


(Below are my blogs from our 3 and 6 year anniversaries. To read about our adventures from last year’s anniversary, click here, here, and here. And as usual, to see my life -the good, bad, and the ugly- in pictures, you can follow me on Instragram: @mbsmoot)


3 years,

a watch in the night,

a breath,

a blink,

a lifetime;

3 years,

and 60 more to go;

3 years,

of learning who i am

and who you are

and who we make together;

3 years,

of learning which buttons to push

and when not to push them;

3 years,

of feeling your heartbeat beneath my ear,

you hair beneath my fingertips

your lips on mine;

3 years,

of learning how to say "i love you"

without words,

of learning to say "i love you",

whether you feel like it or not;

3 years,

of knowing that you choose me,

and i choose you,

for better, and always getting better,

not for worse;

3 years,

of starting over everyday,

saying goodnight,

good morning,

good riddance,

and i forgive you;

3 years,

of knowing that we have a lifetime,

of wrinkles and rocking chairs,

and grandchildren;

3 years,

a drop in the bucket,

a grain of sand,

a moment in eternity;

3 years,

and we've made it this far...

i love you.


Today is my sixth anniversary. In lieu of the traditional gift of a wooden writing desk, I have opted to write Jeremy a Facebook note. He doesn't like to write anyway, so a writing desk would be of no use to him.

I've known Jeremy for ten years, and have gone from outright annoyance at his presence to... well, sometimes his presence still annoys me, actually.

There are many things I don't like about Jeremy, some things I hate, but all of those are outweighed by the things I love about him. You can't live with a person for six years and not discover things about them that they try to hide from others, whether they be good things or bad.

I have seen him heartbroken, and I have seen him headstrong. I've held him when he cried, and rubbed his back when he threw up. I've tickled him and punched him and pushed him away. I've laughed at his jokes when they're funny and rolled my eyes when they're not. I've been proud of him when no one else would, and I've loved him when he didn't always deserve it.
I've made my biggest mistakes with him, but also my biggest triumphs.
I've said hateful things I shouldn't have, and haven't said I love you when I needed to.
I've broken the cardinal rule of marriage by going to bed angry, and yet miraculously he is still there when I wake up in the middle of the night to say I'm sorry. There have been times when the chasm between us has felt miles wide, only to find out that although it may be wide, it is always shallow, and one only need suffer the humiliation of getting their feet wet when crossing it.

In the past I've told friends that at first glance, Jeremy may seem immature. His sense of humor is certainly grade school, centering mostly around bodily functions... but although his personality may seem immature, his character is not. He has one of the strongest, most beautiful characters I've ever come in contact with. He is humble. He is teachable. He is passionate. He always apologizes to me first, even when I've been the one in the wrong; even when I tell him point blank that I won't forgive him because I want to stay mad. He always gives me a second chance. Or a third, or a fourth. He has a sense of purpose that I can't begin to fathom, a strength in the face of adversity, and a willingness to forgive and forget that I admit I don't possess, and if I were totally honest, have no desire to possess.
He's fought for me, and sometimes refused to fight for himself. He's always honest with me. He gets up every morning and goes to an unfulfilling job that he hates, and rarely complains. He hungers after God, seeks Him, most importantly, listens to Him. He admits when he's missed it and tries again.

We've spent the past six years forging a network of memories, of inside jokes and laughter, of deep pain and tears, of love and hatred and all the emotions in between. We've written songs and taken pictures, punched holes in walls and patched up hurts caused by harsh words. I've watched him morph from a boy searching for his calling, for someone to be proud of him, to a man sure of his passion and his gift, changing the lives of those around him. I've seen him persevere even though he feels futile, a mouse on a wheel.

I say all this so that you can see some of the facets or our relationship. We started out friends, and stayed friends. We skipped the infatuated, head over heels phase, and are stronger for it: there is no blindness in our relationship. We love because we choose to, not because we always feel like it. We love in spite of the extra 20 pounds, in spite of toe nails that grow too long (always his, not mine), in spite of morning breath.

Because of all that, I can say with all honesty: Happy anniversary, jerk. Thanks for leaving me alone all weekend with all three kids so you could go have the time of your life in Nashville with your band buddies. I love you.

No comments:

Post a Comment