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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Unconventional


Today is my 14th anniversary.

Dr. SmartyPants and I have never had what some would call a conventional relationship. It started unconventionally, it's continued unconventionally to this day.

We met on September 24, 1998, at a drinking eating establishment popular for their pitchers of beer burritos amongst the scholars of The University of Alabama. I was there with a group of likely all-male geology graduate students. He was there with a couple of engineering friends.

A week later, we had our first date, which ended in an awkward kiss and a promise of seeing more of each other. Very few days have passed since then that I've not seen him. If you're doing the math, we got married a few short months later. Three and a half months isn't exactly a conventional courtship-engagement period, apparently.

Our engagement was a bit odd, too. We were actually going over the budget so we could see if we could afford to move in together, and we were all, dude - why don't we just get married?

Crazy. I know.

We got married at the beach - Destin, Florida, to be exact. We had about 25 people there - close friends and family only. The caterer was a notary public, so she performed the ceremony for us. We didn't have any bridesmaids or groomsmen. When we got started, I asked one of my friends to stand with me and be a witness, and he asked one of his. They didn't know they were going to be asked. After the vows, we all ate brunch together and laughed and had a wonderful time. It was kind of a strange wedding, I think. We loved it. But it wasn't exactly conventional.

Our first year together, we got pregnant, started a new job, moved to a new city, and had a baby. So, out of the top five stressors in people's lives, we accomplished three. Within another half a year, we'd bought a house, so that made four. Somehow, we made it work. Somehow we stayed the course.

Another baby, three more houses, unless you count the one we rented in Arlington for two years, but we didn't actually buy that one - I guess we should just count it as two moves.

Homeschooling. Well - that just gets its own subcategory. Because who the heck would do that? And now, we've added competitive tennis training to the mix. Sure - we could have done soccer, baseball, basketball or football, but why be normal?

This year may take the cake as far as unconventional goes, though. He's off working in DC again. The boys and I decided to stay here. He'll come home every other weekend or so. We'll go up and spend a week here and there. It will be, well, unconventional.

And Skype-y. Very, very Skype-y.

But, we'll make it work. How do I know? Because I just do. Because he's the first person I think about when I wake up in the morning, and the last person I think about when I go to bed at night. Because I'm as madly in love with him - no...MORE madly in love with him - as I was when we sat in DePalma's Restaurant in Tuscaloosa and planned out the number of children we would have.

And so we won't be together on this anniversary, no. I've had friends question how we can handle such a stress. And I'll tell you how...

Because this is only one anniversary.

And I plan to have at least 75. Depending on medical technology, I might even push that to 100. Because living to 130 years old seems totally doable, as long as he's in it.

Happy Anniversary, my one true love. Thanks for being so weird with me these last 14 years...