Mark and I were out to dinner last Friday night with a couple, the wife in which Mark and I have been friends with for just as long as we have known each other. Note, it took me about 10 minutes to do this calculation on my finger and one check with a friend who was pregnant when I met Mark to verify how old her daughter is now, but I am now sure when I type this that Mark and I met and went out on our first date just over 15 years ago. Anyway, the wife was reminiscing as we were finishing our second bottle of wine and saying that she always knew that Mark and I would end up married because we were so deeply connected. I laughed... as our friends find different ways to deal with the fact that Mark and I dated, broke up, dated, broke up, dated, then got engaged and then got married. There's no shame in admitting that there may have been some doubt that our connection would lead us to the altar.
As I have blogged about before, I think we were a bit like the characters of Sex And The City in that we were a product of our lifestyle. We both worked all the time, in the same field, and when we weren't working, we were out at the same bars with wonderful groups of friends. None of our group had children yet, and few were married (those that were are largely divorced). Mark and I had some great travels, went to New York for work and the Open and other great dinners, wonderful dates with lots of passion and then very sad breakups. Actually planning for the future and settling-down was just not the next thing coming.
Until then, it was.
And then this happily-ever-after girl stood up at the altar. And unlike the Sex And The City movie, my husband stood there with me. Then later he stood up in front of the whole reception and toasted me and with a completely straight face told a fib and announced that he was grateful that I had finally accepted his marriage proposal since he proposed years before and I had turned him down. The look on my mother's face!!! (She believed him!!).
But the look in my husband's eye... his wink, his smile. He told me I was his left wing, that I made him the person that he was. And he was everything that I had ever hoped for in my whole life. I indeed was marrying real love-ridiculous-time-consuming-can't-live-without-each-other-love.
It is nice to be taken back to that feeling. Real life can get in the way. The boulders that we have had to handle recently have been large. The days go quickly at work, short dinners full of five year old chitter chatter, and then family phone calls start coming in until bedtime. Stresses. Things that we expected would be short-lived and have gone on for more than a year. Things that might go on a lot longer. And there is a world of unknowns. Mark's parents are both very ill. Last night I walked the dog after learning that my father drove to John's Hopkins yesterday and ended up having a hole in his retina quickly repaired. What happens when my family needs me? I thought to myself. Who is going to be strong for me?
But today I was back there, almost eight years ago, remembering what it was like to marry my Mr. Big.
Indeed, almost 8 years later, it is ridiculous and inconvenient. And talk about time-consuming. This life is exhausting.