All day I have been thinking. Thinking - I have never loved you more than the moment last night when we were both standing side by side at the kitchen sink, shelling shrimp for our dinner and talking about your day (You started your first IV on a patient and did PERFECT! My heart swelled with pride!). Your arm brushed against mine and even tho you are 8 inches taller than me, it felt like we were equal in height.
You never make me feel small - I know that sounds like an anti-compliment, but it isn't. You make me feel big and full of life and like I can conquer the world with my fondant tools in one hand and yours in the other. You have put up with my endless cake mess - the frosting on the couch, the food coloring on the walls and on my feet, the inordinate amount of space my tools take in our kitchen and other areas of our home, and the constant presence of powered sugar coating every surface within 20 feet of the mixer. You clean up without complaint (mostly) and brag like crazy to your coworkers about me and my cakes. You have no idea how good it makes me feel that you tell everyone about the thing I love doing - and how you literally can NOT wait to show them the newest creation coming out of our kitchen - even when it means that you know you will come home to a mess and a tired, grumpy wife who didn't sleep the night before because she was up doing said cake. You let me quit my full-time job with benefits to take a part-time nanny job that means working opposite hours of you, so that I could have more time to do cake and continue to endure the fact that sometimes, my cake account has more money than our bank account and never ask me to buy anything but more cake tools with the money.
Anyways, back to the shrimp. Why was it that my love was so big just then? I think it was a combination of things. One, I hadn't seen you all day and I miss you when you aren't here. Two, I knew I wouldn't really see you again for a significant period of time not involving cake until Saturday and I was enjoying the nearness of you. Three, you were helping me with dinner, which is something that doesn't happen that often - not from your lack of trying, but from my lack of being able to accept help - and you didn't complain or hesitate when I asked for your help, you just came and started doing what I asked you to do. Which makes me sound like a control freak - that I like it when you do what I ask, but whatever, we all know it is true, so lets just get over it. Anyways. Four, we were cooking something healthy and using some of the mass quantities of protein that fill our freezer from months and months ago, thereby being healthy AND frugal. Five, we were doing this all around 9:30pm, about an hour after you got home and wanted dinner, but I was on the phone, and while I talked, you cleaned up my cake mess and left me (mostly) alone to deal with a situation you knew I needed to work on. This is a big deal, because you hate it when I am on the phone when you are around because you like to have all of me there with you - which I want to do and understand why you want it, but am so awful at doing it is embarrassing to admit out loud. Which is why when you bring it up, I often defer to something stupid about how I need my "me" time and sound like a childish jerkface. Anyways, you didn't even say anything about how late it was and you weren't grumpy that we were eating so late - you simply cleaned, looked up the recipe in the cookbook, and waited till I was done so that I could cook. And then you went and got a bunch of stuff out the garden for me, and shelled the shrimp with me and I just loved you. More than I ever have before.
If someone had told me (actually, I'm sure someone did, but I sure as heck didn't listen, as is the case with most things in my life) that marriage would have been this hard, this draining, this annoying, this full of stupid, petty arguments about things like the name George and how I fold towels and how you fold t-shirts, I would have never believed them. But I always hoped that it would be this amazing, this rewarding and this full of an intense feeling of fulfillment that I am doing exactly what I need to be doing and doing it with exactly who I need to be doing it with. And that hope is why we got married so young - that blindness about how hard it would be to get to this place is the reason that we both threw caution (and our friends and parent's suggestions) to the wind and decided our eternal fate at the (now embarrassingly) young ages of 20 and 21.
And sometimes, it is really difficult and sometimes we struggle and have
to have serious conversations that are uncomfortable and make both of
us have watery eyes. And sometimes we have too much fighting and not
enough sex and we both just are so exausted with each other that we roll
over and go to bed without saying much of anything, let alone talking about our days with the other person doing more than saying "uh-huh" and thinking about something other than what the other is saying. And you know what? I think that is okay. I think that the idea that these things are things that should be swept under the rug and not embraced as a part of marriage is silly - no relationship is perfect and how boring would it be if all we ever did was agree about everything and have polite, predictable sex once a week? It wouldn't be us and I would hate it. And I am so glad that you and I have the right amount of difference that we can keep each other honest and broadminded, but the right amount of sameness that we probably think the same thing more often than we like to admit. I was reading this article about things women should know before 30 and while I don't think there are many things on the list that I will accomplish, "get married to a geek who loves Harry Potter as much as you" is pretty much the only thing that mattered to me that I accomplished before the age of 30, and here we are. I did it. And I feel like the luckiest woman in the world, even if by the world's view I have accomplished nothing I am supposed to.
Five years ago last week, you came home from your mission and we started this crazy thing that we still have going. I knew the first time we hung out again that we would get married, but I had no idea that it would be this good. That I would love you most when we are doing things like shelling shrimp, or driving to wal-mart, or sitting together in church, or going to midnight showings of Disney movies that I know you probably didn't necessarily want to sacrifice 3 hours of sleep in the middle of the night to go see, but you did because you knew how inexplicably excited I got every time I saw the preview and you wanted to indulge that part of me, even if I wouldn't ever admit that I wanted to go see it at midnight unless you had basically dragged me to go.
When I look back at this blog, this chronicle of our married life, I can't help but laugh at all the 5 year plans and the surety with which I talked about future plans. If I have learned nothing else, I have learned that when it comes to you and me, nothing that we plan happens when we plan it. I am trying to embrace this part of our life - and realize that our ever-evolving and constantly changing future has the one and only constant necessary - you and me together. I have no idea where you will work, or exactly in what field, or if/when you will go to grad school or what for, or when we will have kids or how many or how much of the traveling I so desperately want to do will get accomplished before then. I don't know where we will live, or what I will do with my time, or how far these cakes will take me. I haven't the faintest idea as to what our future holds - and for the first time I am learning that it really doesn't matter. I know the who, and with that, I know my future will be awesome no matter what it is.
If I could tell myself anything 5 years ago, it would be that everything would be everything I wanted and nothing I expected, and I would be forever changed, in the best ways possible, and to just enjoy the ride.
I love you, David Philip Allen, and am so glad that 5 years ago, you decided to love me too.