Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It Isn’t All Sunshine and Roses, But Mainly It Is


This is the eve of our seventh anniversary. For those keeping track, yes, our wedding anniversary is in October but April 1st is our original anniversary, which we before we were granted an official wedding date. And I insist on celebrating both. I never said it was easy being married to me. It is a little know fact, but seven years is a very important/significant anniversary, right up there with the 10th , 20th and 50th. Seven years happens to be the “diamond and sapphire” year (traditional; notice “and” and not “or”) and the “iPhone year” (modern). OK, so I made that up. A girl can dream. And I can’t get an iPhone anyway until it links with Verizon, dammit.

Our time together might seem like a drop in the bucket compared to others, but we have known each other most of our lives. We actually went to school together, so she was in my orbit since 7th grade. And we had/have mutual friends, so our paths crossed quite a few times through the years after high school. There was never really a time when she wasn’t in my life, through one or two degrees of separation.

But our relationship wasn’t one of those slow-simmering, we-always-knew kind. I remember once years ago Nicole had people over to her apartment to meet up before we all went out. I walked into her apartment and she acted like I was invisible, or perhaps she was being coolly indifferent. Either way, I couldn’t hide my disappointment (I never did have a good poker face, as I have learned again and again and again, sometimes the hard way). Our mutual friend Mike noticed Nicole’s slight and my subsequent disappointment and said “Don’t worry. That’s just Nicole.” Time and motherhood has deleted the exact words he said from my memory but it was along those lines, but I remember what he said was comforting. And it reassured me, his comments, and might very well have saved me from writing her off forever.

Our relationship literally turned a corner one night, when I was very recently separated, and, as the story goes, we were standing on a street corner (how symbolic!) with our mutual friend Molly (Mike’s wife). Molly and Nicole were going back to their respective homes, and I did not think it wise for me to go back to the boat that I temporarily shared with my ex. I was going to drive back to my mother’s home on Long island but both invited me to spend the night at their places instead. Suddenly my life was like that Robert Frost poem, with the two roads diverging in the yellow wood. More like the yellow light of the street corner. I decided to go with Nicole. Was she the less traveled road? Did I know what I was doing? I ended up sharing a bed with Nicole that night. Nothing happened! But notice she didn’t make me sleep on the pull-out couch. The best part is she was still a bit indifferent to me, even though we were in the same bed. Now that takes skill.

A fateful choice, it turns out. About, oh, a week later, she asked me to move in with her, effective immediately. And I did, though I refused drawers or closet space and instead lived out of a giant bag. And gone was the indifference and in came the calm, decisive, strong, patient, slightly mysterious Nicole.

The beginning was blissful. What relationship start isn’t? This is why so many have affairs, trying to recapture that gloriously exhilarating period of time. While I love standing on the precipice of love with the butterflies-in-stomach feeling as much as the next person, I was happy to trade all that for stability, security, surety and routine. And here we are, seven years later, stable, secure, sure and routine-ical. I must say having kids is like dropping a bomb into the middle of your relationship. It is surreal how children change every single aspect of your lives. When you pick up all of the pieces and put your relationship back together it isn’t quite the same as before. Not in a bad way, though. It’s just different. And for someone like me, who LOVES order and consistency and routine and lack of change, it can be hard sometimes to adjust it this new it’s-not-just-about-me-and-us paradigm.

But it is altogether great. It comes down to macro vs. micro. There are some rough patches and adjustments and frustrations, but they usually pass and I don’t think it is fair to judge my life and choices based on the events that happen in a day or a week or even a month. I like to look at years. That seems more accurate. So I ask myself every year on birthdays and anniversaries and eves of anniversaries and Hallmark holidays: “Was this year better than the last?” And consistently, every year with Nicole, the answer has been a resounding yes.

Pictured above, tree power and our wedding day and the day-after the girls’ birth day.

Oh, and before I forget, anyone have a Twitter feed? Leave your Twitter name in the comments so I can follow you. I just signed up yesterday (yes, a little late to the game, again) and I am not sure how often I will be Twittering, since I do, after all, have Facebook, but I would love to follow everyone!

15 comments:

K J and the kids said...

I love that story.
Happy Anniversary.
Our story is a little bit the same, however I was so indifferent and didn't have the kind of skillz that Nicole had that first night :) ha ha

K J and the kids said...

I meant to say I wasn't so indifferent.

We did move in about a week later though. :) What a typical lesbian love story we share ! ha ha

Malea said...

What a great chronical of your life together. I like the fact that Nicole was indifferent in the beginning.lol Sly dog *winks*!

rebecca said...

what a beautiful post.i especially love the photo of you both with the newborns.

CCB said...

I am on twitter... twomomsandababy

Shelli said...

Saderman

nycphoenix said...

i'm on as nycphoenix

Anonymous said...

That is a beautiful story. I really enjoy your blog but I don't think I've commented until now. I like the way you think and I especially can appreciate the BOMB metaphor. My partner and I have a 3 year old. Yep, just one - so I can only imagine. Enjoy your family

Susanica said...

What a great post Jennifer! -Monica

calliope said...

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to two of the most amazing women evah!

I loved this post.

twitter= calliope blogger

(just e-mailed you too)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your blog. It makes me happy when I read it that you have such a happy family. I'd love to hear Nicole's take on the "indifference".

Thanks for sharing this story.

Louise in Canada

Denise said...

Happy anniversary!

psapph0 said...

Twitter: lunasealand

Just signed up. yours?

Helen said...

What a gorgeous, luminous story.

Your photos are brilliant, too.

Congratulations. 7 years is fabulous.

Megan said...

I just found your blog and reading over this post brought tears to my eyes. My wife also moved in a few weeks after we met and kept all her stuff in a garbage bag in her car. She didn't even start with the bag in the house:)