Tim and I celebrated our tenth anniversary on Friday. In many ways our wedding day feels like only yesterday, but when I really think about everything we’ve done in the past decade — bought two houses (and sold one), figured out our career paths (which included grad school and a Master’s degree for Tim), had two children, explored a lot of great new places — then, yeah, ten years seems about right.
Before we got married, the priest who married us had us meet with him for a few sessions of pre-marital counseling. As part of the first session, he put us in separate rooms and had us take a compatibility-type test. It covered a wide range of topics, ranging from whether we’d discussed how many kids we wanted and parenting strategies, to how we handled arguments and apologies, to what we might do if we discovered our spouse had a drug problem. The questions were structured to gauge how much we’d discussed these issues, not to see if we could get the “right” answer. It was designed, I think, to see whether we were on the same page about things that would ultimately be important factors in our relationship.
When we were finished and back together in one room, the priest came in with our scores. He asked us, with only the smallest hint of suspicion, “Did you guys compare answers while you were taking this?” Now, remember, this was 10 years ago, before smart phones and texting were commonplace; if we’d wanted to cheat off each other’s tests while we were in separate rooms, it would have involved some covert T-9 texting that would have been a major pain in the ass. We assured him we had done no such thing. “It’s just that I’ve never seen a couple get such a high percentage of the same answers before,” the priest explained. My inner competitor did a big fist-bump of victory: we’d aced the test!
In all seriousness, all it meant was that we’d already discussed the Big Issues before coming to counseling. The test just helped confirm for the priest what Tim and I already knew: we were ready to take on the commitment of marriage.
We completed the rest of our counseling sessions and continued to have valuable discussions. By the end of it, the idea that we’d cheated on the test had become a shared joke, and all three of us–Tim, me, and the priest–were confident that this would be a strong marriage. At our wedding, the priest’s wife signed our guest book, “Congratulations to the Most Compatible Couple!”
Ten years later, as we sat on our deck enjoying a glass of wine, the cool summer evening air, and the simple joy of a conversation uninterrupted by kiddos who had since gone to bed, Tim asked me how I feel I’m different now than I was ten years ago. A few answers came to mind. I’m more laid back now than I used to be. Tim’s calm attitude has rubbed off on me, which has been helpful in navigating the world of parenting in which very little remains within my control. He and I both agreed that today, compared to ten years ago, we feel a lot more settled. We’re not biding our time in a just-for-now house, but instead own the home we plan to stay in until our kids force us into a nursing home; we’re not waiting to have kids, or more kids, but rather feel that our family is complete; and we’re happy, oh, so happy.
At our wedding, Tim’s best man said in his toast that he hoped our wedding day was not the happiest day of our lives, but rather that our years together would be filled with happier and happier days to come. And that’s exactly what’s happened. Our wedding day was the happiest day of my life–at the time. As happy as I was that day, I’m even happier now, ten years later.
That compatibility test was right: Tim and I are a great team. We’ve come a long way together in the last decade, and we’ve come out even better than we started. I look forward to finding even more happiness together in the coming decades.
It’s been a wonderful nine years.
Three years ago today:
Happy Anniversary, my love!
(Title: Ani DiFranco)
Do you guys know Lindsey? If not, you should, because she’s totally one of the coolest chicas out there. And it just so happens that she’s getting married this coming Saturday! That’s FOUR SHORT DAYS from now OMG.
Last week, Julie sent out an email those of us who love Lindsey with all our blogging hearts suggesting that we put a little something together to virtually celebrate her impending nuptuals (hee. nuptuals. that word sounds so much dirtier than it is.), and we all jumped on the idea. So, Lindsey, today’s post is all for you. (Check out the full list of participants at Julie’s place.)
When Lindsey and Edgar were deciding where to spend their first days of marital bliss, she and I spent some time weighing the pros and cons of various honeymoon destinations over IM. The future Mr. and Mrs. Edgar eventually decided to go to the Dominican Republic, which sounds to me like a completely fabulous decision.
Since I was so instrumental in helping Lindsey decide on her honeymoon, I thought I’d help out some more by offering up some basic honeymoon advice to ensure that their week in paradise is everything they dreamed it would be and more. Even though the D.R. (I just decided that that’s how the cool people refer to the Dominican Republic) is probably pretty different from the Bahamas (where Tim and I honeymooned), I think some of the same general principles still apply. So without further ado, I give you . . .
Audrey’s Tips for a Fabulous Honeymoon
- If you didn’t already have enough to do this week, it might be a good idea to double-check the status of your flights. Or, better yet, have someone do this for you — delegate! Tim and I didn’t think to do this. Normally this wouldn’t matter, because one would think that if there were a major change in your itinerary, the airline would attempt to notify you of said change. But one would think wrong, as Tim and I found out when we went to the Freeport Airport on the last day of our honeymoon, ready to go home. Turns out, our flight home had been canceled. Two months prior. And nobody had thought to let us know. Way to go, airline. While it would have been nice to avoid making international phone calls home to notify family that we would be a day late and make sure Tim’s sister could keep Ben a little longer, an extra night in the Bahamas courtesy of our incompetent airline was nothing to complain about.
- Okay, airline schmairline. Let’s get to the good stuff: Booze. I know you and Edgar will have a lot to celebrate, and I’m sure there will be few times when you don’t have a delicious umbrella drink in your hand. However, it’s important to know that if you have any requests about the contents of your drinks you need to be very specific. One beautiful day in the Bahamas, we decided to enjoy the swim-up bar at our resort. As you probably know, the vast majority of tropical drinks are made with rum. However, Tim and rum do not always get along so well, so he tries to avoid it as much as possible. When the bartender came to take our order, I ordered some delicious rum-filled concoction and Tim asked for “any drink without rum in it,” thinking he’d get something along the lines of a margarita. Apparently, though, “rum” is Bahamian for “all alcohol.” We found this out when the bartender brought Tim his virgin piÃ±a colada. Two of them, actually, since it was happy hour. I enjoyed my two delicious rum-filled concoctions and laughed at Tim as he sipped at his two coconut milkshakes. I hope the bartenders in the D.R. are more generous with the booze than this guy was.
- Rent a jet ski. I know I’ve told you this before, but I just can’t emphasize it enough. Funnest. Thing. Ever. Especially if when it’s your turn to drive you take a turn too fast and flip Edgar and yourself off the jet ski and into the ocean. Seriously, it’s so much fun.
- If your new husband suggests you take a nice morning walk to a different part of the island because it doesn’t look that far away on the not-to-scale map in the hotel room, consider suggesting that you take a cab instead. Otherwise you might find yourself on the longest walk of your life through the scary island ghetto wondering if you’re ever going to make it to your destination. When you finally do arrive at your destination, it may be a good idea to find out what time it is before sitting down at a cafe and ordering a couple of beers. Because even though it will have felt like you were walking for four hours and surely it must be noon, when the waitress gives you an odd look and tells you that the beer truck just arrived a few minutes ago, you will realize that it’s really only 10 am. Which would not be so bad (vacation = drinking early and often, right?) except for the fact that the beer is not yet cold.
- When you come home, be prepared for people to give you a hard time about not having much of a tan to show for your week on the beach. This is one side effect of not spending much time outside of your hotel room, if you know what I mean. And I think you do.
Lindsey, I am so incredibly happy for you and Edgar. I know you will have an absolute blast at your wedding and a completely fabulous honeymoon. I can’t wait to hear all about it when you come back from the D.R.!
As many of you already know, Jen of Operation Pink Herring recently got engaged! (In Barcelona!) She also recently told a little white lie about a fake engagement party “scheduled” for tomorrow so that she could get her ring resized in a reasonable amount of time. In honor of Jen, her gorgeous ring, and that adorable fiancÃ© of hers, RA and I decided to go ahead and throw Jen an actual (virtual) engagement party. Since nobody pays any attention to the Internet on Saturdays (I know I don’t anyway), today is the big day!
The goal of this surprise party (that’s right, Jen has no idea we sent out a mass email invitation — Surprise, Jen!) is to fill Jen’s feed reader with as many congratulatory and wedding/engagement-themed posts as possible. A bunch of people have already joined the party, but if you want to be “fashionably late” and join the fun, by all means, do! Just shoot RA or me an email or leave a comment to let us know your post is up, and we’ll add your blog to the list of party-goers!
And now for my contribution to the party:
Jen! Congratulations on your spectacular Barcelona engagement! I know you are already having a great time figuring out ideas for your wedding, but I have yet to see you talk about yet the one thing that has the potential to make friends of brides-to-be quiver in fear: Bridesmaids’ Dresses.
Now, friends of a Good Bride (which I have no doubt you will be) should have nothing to worry about; the Good Bride will consider her bridesmaids’ fashion preferences, budgets, and desires to get maximum wearability out of a dress. The Good Bride will consult with her bridesmaids when deciding on bridesmaid dresses and will vow not to force her friends to don some hideous prom-ish nightmare with the sole purpose of making the bride look better in comparison.
When I got married, I tried my best to be a Good Bride. I went shopping with my bridesmaids and looked for dresses that would flatter each and every one of them. I repeatedly asked their opinions and let them choose their own shoes. In hindsight, I realize that my girls’ dresses may not have had the most get-more-than-one-day’s-use potential (sorry, girls!); however, the girls all liked the dresses, and they all looked damn good walking down that aisle and shaking their booties on the dance floor.
Oh, you know I can’t ever pass up an opportunity to post wedding photos!
I like to think I was successful in my attempts to be a Good Bride, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a little fun with my bridesmaids, too. After one memorable shopping trip with my mom, I simply couldn’t resist the temptation to email my girls and tell them how excited I was to have found The Perfect Bridesmaid Dress! I went on and on about how I couldn’t wait to see them in their dresses, and I hoped they really liked what I’d chosen, because I knew it was going to be absolutely perfect. Of course, I was courteous enough to attach a picture of the dress:
Needless to say, I did not end up purchasing any dress from this shop.
Two of my bridesmaids — my sisters-in-law to-be — had a good laugh over the email. My maid of honor — ever the diplomat — very politely emailed me back asking if I was serious; she was clearly distressed but not wanting to offend me on the off chance that I was, indeed, in love with this dress. (That, my friends, is a Good Maid of Honor!) I assured her that there was no way in hell I would consider doing anything with that dress besides mocking it, and even via email her relief was palpable as the two of us verbally ripped the dress to hideous rainbow tie-died shreds.
Of course, my bridesmaids wouldn’t have been good enough friends to be my bridesmaids if they didn’t share my sense of humor. Shortly after I asked her to be in my wedding, Tim’s younger sister Aleisha made me a very thoughtful card letting me know a little bit about her dress style preferences.
The card reads: “I will let you put me in any dress you want as long as it doesn’t look like these.”
And, yes, you are seeing that correctly. It is a woman’s pregnant belly sticking through a hole in a dress.
When I was in Barcelona, she sent me a set of postcards explaining that she knew I didn’t want her to wear her newly-purchased bridesmaid dress until the wedding day, but she just hadn’t been able to resist.
She wore that dress all the way to the pyramids, Mt. Rushmore, the Taj Mahal, Russia, and Holland. And she didn’t even stop to see me in Spain!
I may have been a Good Bride, but I had some Damn Good Bridesmaids.
Jen, I know that you will be a Great Bride, and I hope that you and your bridesmaids have just as much fun as we did.
Once again, congratulations! I am so incredibly happy for you and Joel, and I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures in bridesmaid dress shopping!
. . .
The party doesn’t stop here! Be sure to check out the other party-goers’ posts, too! (List to be updated throughout the day):
- Everyday Reading
- Nancy Pearl Wannabe
- Made in Richmond
- On 2nd Thought
- Not-So Newlywed
- Marriage 101
- Bridehood Revisited
- Not Perfect
- Tomorrow Is Another Day
- All or Nothing
- WTF Have I Done