...and at the end of the day
Three months after we laid eyes on each other for the first time, my husband and I got engaged.
Three months. Gah! I honestly can't think of any decision I've made in my life as quickly as the one I made when I agreed to marry this man. Seriously. It takes me longer to choose between boxes of cereal at the grocery store (especially if I have a coupon and there's additional math involved). This clearly says a couple things about us. First, my husband is way freakin' hotter than a box of Kellogg's Frosted Miniwheats (even those brown sugar ones, which are kind of sexy). Second, sometimes when you know you're making the right decision, you don't have to stand there blindly, glancing from box to box or person to person, while the world pushes their half-filled shopping carts around you and others try to tempt you with their "buy one, get one free" promotions.
You just know.
We knew it even before we hit that twelve-week mark. Shortly after meeting in a Barnes and Noble (I know! It's sickeningly sweet, isn't it!?), we began talking about marriage and ducking into jewelery stores to glance at rings. Many of our conversations were peppered with the prelude "Well, when we're married..."
We just knew.
Well, I knew once I convinced him to get rid of that sad attempt at a mustache he was rocking when we met. I'm pretty sure I was stellar in his mind from the start (And not just because he's a breast man. Well, and an ass man. It depends on the day, really).
Today we're 13 years into knowing. On the afternoon we were married, I honestly never gave a thought to the days that were ahead of us, let alone how those days would morph into years. Thirteen years! When I pass by our wedding picture every day and give it a glance, I'm stunned at how young we look. Baby faces, really. We were two people who hadn't even known each other a year. We didn't have a clue what we were doing, but we figured it was going to be OK, because we were so caught up in each other. We're vastly different people now, yet still pretty much caught up in the other, and that's a very good thing.
The first few years we were married, we revolved around each other. We did things on a whim, took pleasant vacations, and had meals in restaurants where our food didn't come in a bag that included a lame incentive to eat it. We called in sick to stay in bed. Had sex in the middle of the living room floor at 2 in the afternoon. On a Wednesday! We watched movies with real people rather than cartoon characters telling fart jokes. We'd go to bed early, where we would fall asleep holding hands, and wake up late the next morning.
Thirteen years in, we still do some of those things, but it requires a bit more planning. And we're certainly not the baby faced innocents clad in white, black and autumnal colors who look out from our wedding photo and see what we've become, though I hope those two people would be proud of us. Even though we're by no means financially solvent, we've amassed quite a personal fortune. We've gone through one apartment, two houses, two towns, three cars, one minivan, three pregnancies, two amazing children, one neurotic dog, eight jobs, one go at counseling, countless opportunities to bolster the other, and zero arguments. Zero. In 13 years. Yes, there have been discussions (like "Can we wait until Thursday to have sex in the middle of the living room rug at 2 in the afternoon?" and things more serious), but that we've come this far and filled up that blank canvas we were on October 15, 1994, so utterly unscathed and still together confirms that feeling I had just after I met him (that feeling that was cemented when the mustache became history, though we've also gone through approximately four goatees - him, not me).
You just know. Even when you tell people you met at a Barnes and Noble. Even when you can see yourself sitting on the couch with this person 30 years down the road. Even when you wish sometimes you did argue because it would be faster. Even when the little things you adored about them can sometimes make your skin crawl. Even though you sometimes wonder how this person can still love you after some of what you've been through.
You just know. And how lucky is that?
It's lucky 13, that's how lucky it is.