Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

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The Last of the Birthday Trip

February 7, 2012

First, the trip almost didn’t happen, then we had a meal that we will always remember, now – I think I can resort mostly to photos, and lay off all the blah blah. ¬†We’ll see ūüôā

On our one full day, we got up early and had breakfast at the B&B. ¬†Then we grabbed coats (that we didn’t need, because it was 55 or so, despite being December) and hopped in the car for our day exploring the entire island, rather than just the towns.

We started out in Menemsha, which is where Mouse spent her time when she vacationed with friends, and where at least some of Jaws was filmed:

There was a fish market there that was known for its clam chowder, and I really wanted some, but we were there too early.  So we had to move on and go around the island to the Aquinnah area.  We enjoyed some overlook views and then went for a very long and very rocky walk on the beach.  I was not wearing the right shoes:

 

One of the things about the beach there is the natural clay, to wit:

Here is the cliff’s worth:

And here’s a shot of a funky little crevice in the clay:

It was tough, but we avoided applying the clay to our bodies.  (heh)

Then, because he loves me and it was my birthday, David drove me back to Menemsha for my clam chowder.

Some sites along the road:

The chowder was delicious. It was worth the zigzag. After the chowder, we drove to South Beach, not far from Edgartown. ¬†This was my favorite beach, and if I one day win that lottery, I will buy me a house near THIS beach. ¬†Even though I’m told it looks nothing like this during the summer, but is instead wall-to-wall people. ¬†I don’t care:

And then, finally, we started to get chilly. ¬†After the entire day of walking on beaches and hanging out outside, we didn’t need a sweater or a coat until 4 p.m. ¬†First time ever for my birthday to be that warm, I’m sure.

And then our funny story of the day:

We to Edgartown for a little bit, because we’d missed a couple of shops¬†before they closed the day before, due to early off-season closing times. We were alone in one of the shops, looking at some wallets, one of which I knew that Mouse wanted, when the door went ding-ding-ding. ¬†An older couple walked in – a polo-clad 60-something man and his fur-drenched wife. ¬†I did a double take and said, “Judge ______?!??!!” ¬†It was the judge I’d worked with during my first summer of law school and his wife. ¬†Very surreal and odd (especially when you think that my true FIRST visit to the Vineyard was the time that I flew there in this judge’s prop plane — I even got to fly for most of the trip. ¬†It was a lot of fun).

He of course was asking me about work and practice and the Big/Old Firm, and I was just about a week out from the lay off news. ¬†I pretended that it hadn’t happened. We just caught up in general. Still, who would have thought?

That night, David went to a more casual restaurant. ¬†I had some oysters, and we had – other food. ¬†I think burgers. ¬†I know it was good, but it wasn’t like the night before.

For our last morning, we got up and did some shell-combing on the beach across the street from our hotel . . .

. . . and headed back to the ferry, relaxed and ready to delve back into our school play. ¬†(Which I plan to be the topic of my next post, but we’ll see. ¬†This series has been exhausting!)

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Birthday Trip Angst (2 months later)

February 7, 2012

I find that while essentially between jobs, my life is dull. ¬†My brain is dull. ¬†I don’t have tons going on. ¬†The girls are doing fine. David is having a more-frustrating job search, but still, that’s fine. Everything is just fine. So I’m a boring blogger.

But there are at least a few things that happened in the past few months that I never had a chance to blog about. I had every intention, but didn’t find the time, and then it felt too far away. ¬†But I’m going to go back anyway.

Back in December, in the aftermath of the lay off news, I was seriously wrestling with whether or not to cancel a planned surprise birthday trip for David.

I’m sure he won’t mind me saying (ha!), but on December 5th, David turned 50. ¬†(Right after I turned 39 on December 4th.) ¬† Of course, we knew this milestone year was coming for quite some time. ¬†I have been saying at least since I was 37 that I want a party for my 40th. ¬†I want us to rent a space and have a BIG party. ¬†Not hundreds big, but 50-big (and that won’t fit in our apartment). ¬†David it’s a “have a party to celebrate ME!” kind of person, but he is a “I want to travel the world!” kind of person, so we always said, a trip for his 50th, a party for my 40th.

As the year/fall came together, I knew I couldn’t pull off the ideal trip (Europe) for his actual birthday. ¬†Not only is it in the middle of an intense time of the school year, but it’s also the weekend before the 7th/8th grade musical at Mouse’s school. ¬†The musical that I produce and for which he runs the lights. We couldn’t go away for much more than a weekend.

I considered doing a Europe trip around Christmas-time, but wasn’t sure I could swing it, financially. ¬†Then the Ex swapped Christmas for Thanksgiving, so we had the girls for Christmas, and we definitely couldn’t afford 4 to Europe. Then the job got shaky, so any of hope of swinging it was dashed.

But I wanted to do something.

He’d been talking for some time about how it would be really cool to be on Martha’s Vineyard during a storm. ¬†We are more wintry weather people than summer weather people, and I thought this could be something that would be a good get-away without breaking the bank. ¬†I checked in with my co-producer back in September, got the okay to disappear for the final weekend of the show, and started making quiet plans.

I checked out the ferry (I wanted to take our car over – the last and only time we’d been to the Vineyard, we went for the day, without the car, and I didn’t think it worked to be there without a car), I checked out off-season hotels. ¬†Prices were great ($100/night, instead of $400/night during peak). ¬†I did enough research to know that we wouldn’t be without any amenities in the winter. ¬†Getting the kids taken care of was tougher – I had talked to my mom, and while she wanted to come and help, she was a little stuck because she was taking time off to come see Mouse’s play the very next weekend. ¬†And my plans REQUIRED us to be gone into Monday, because his birthday was Monday. ¬†If we came home on Sunday – my birthday – then it would feel like I got the trip for his 50th birthday. ¬†Probably weird, but the truth. ¬†It was fine, though, because I instantly had 3 friends raising hands and offering to take the girls. ¬†(As it turns out, my co-producer not only shouldered the play for the weekend, but she also took Mouse in!)

I had fun thinking about how I would surprise him. ¬†Would I tell him the night before “I have plans for us tomorrow, we’re getting up early – no questions asked.” ¬†If anyone did that to me, I’d be pissed, and would never sleep the night before. ¬†I HATE surprises. ¬†But he’s not me. ¬†He loves surprises. ¬†And how would I get him to have his stuff? ¬†I could pack him a bag, but again, if anyone did that for me, I’d be pissed (and my laundry wouldn’t be done, so they wouldn’t be able to get my favorite clothes, and it would suck). ¬†I could tell him we’re going away for the weekend, and not tell him where, but that would be less fun.

In the end, I got laid off, instead. ¬†We were facing a huge unknown about whether we’d end up with no income at the end of February, or if I’d end up taking a 75% pay cut, or what was going to happen. ¬†The trip felt . . . wrong. ¬†But I also couldn’t let go of it. ¬†I couldn’t think of a single thing that I could do for his 50th that wouldn’t (a) suck, or (b) rival the cost of the weekend. ¬†And I got kind of upset about it.

Because of our situation, I felt that I couldn’t just up & go with the plan without involving David in the financial decision-making. ¬†And at some point in the lay off aftermath, I came clean with my plans. ¬†He liked the idea, but didn’t think we could afford it, and that it wouldn’t be wise.

Over the long Thanksgiving weekend, we started some Christmas shopping for the girlios. ¬†We had a fun day out on Small Business Saturday, and ended up at one of our favorite restaurants in town. ¬†The gift-buying had me thinking about and stressing about his birthday. ¬†I’d ask him what he wanted, and he’d say something like, “Oh, I’d really like a striped hat.” ¬†Or, “I do need a new winter coat.” And I was so frustrated. ¬†It was his 50th. ¬†It was a big deal. ¬†He wasn’t getting a fucking hat.

By the time we were at the restaurant, I was all worked up. ¬†I brought up the weekend again. ¬†He again pushed back. ¬†And then, really not in Suzie-style, I started to cry. ¬†In the¬†restaurant. ¬†I just cried and cried. ¬†His eyes bugged out of his head, and we started to talk about a one-night trip, instead. ¬†The ferry and the hotel together would cost about the same as a nice dinner out in Boston – we can swing that. ¬†No problem. ¬†My mom had even offered to give us a night at the Inn as David’s birthday present, so we could do it. ¬†And we’ll both get jobs, and we do have savings, and okay okay okay.

So we pulled the trigger on a Sunday – Monday trip. ¬†It didn’t take long after that for us to say “oh what the hell” and put Saturday night back into the equation.

[Then, after making the decision, I got an unexpected $500 profit sharing sort of payment thing from my firm, and it definitely helped make this more reasonable.]

And I guess I’ll have to blog about the actual trip in a separate post, since this is already a novel. ¬†Preview: ¬†It Was Awesome.

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Happiness and Headaches

February 1, 2012

Happiness

  • I’ve accepted the offer from the new job. ¬†Man, does it feel good to know that I have landed without a gap in employment. ¬†Hooray!
  • The new job agreed to my starting AFTER February vacation week, so I don’t have to be in stress-mode while Mouse is home from school and her friends are all away. Lemon will be traveling with her crew team, and we are not traveling without her. ¬†We thought about it last February, when it was freaking cold out we didn’t yet know that I’d have this transition forced upon me. ¬†But since today – February 1 – it was 60 degrees outside – we aren’t feeling too bummed about the change in plans.
  • The old job owes me 3 weeks’ vacation pay. ¬†I didn’t know that until yesterday. ¬†That will be a nice chunk o’ change. I am seriously considering a late-June re-do of last year’s vacation. ¬†The house itself is very affordable, we will drive rather than fly, and we will all be happy with cooking in the house. ¬†It could be great. It could be perfect. ¬†Just what we need.
  • I’m home a lot. I don’t have much work left, and most of what I do have can be done at home.
  • When I’m home, I get to hang out with my kids. ¬†And I like them. ¬†And I have fun with them. ¬†I love how much they make me laugh, I love how much they find what room I’m in, and hang out with me. ¬†I love that Lemon came home today and laughed from the door way, yelling (to me), “Honey, I’m hooo-ooooome!” And that she then met me at her sister’s basketball game, and we went out for a sushi “snack” afterwards, chatting all the while. ¬†Where are the nasty teen years?? (Don’t answer that.)
  • Mouse had a doctor’s appointment (annual physical) yesterday. ¬†I picked her up early, we went and grabbed some burritos, and then went to talk about how damned healthy, tall, athletic and smart she is.
  • My girls are really enjoying each other lately. I may enjoy that more than them enjoying me.
  • Tomorrow is mine and David’s 5th wedding anniversary. ¬†When we went away for our birthdays this year, we realized that it was also our 10 year “dating” anniversary. ¬†He got a haircut today, and he looks super-cute. ¬†Also, he probably noticed today at the basketball game that I raided his sock drawer, but he didn’t complain. ¬†He’s a great guy.

 

Headaches

  • I had a 3 day headache. ¬†For real. ¬†Like, my head hurt. ¬†An Advil fixed it, but I had to complain, because it just fits here so well.
  • While I had posted previously that the Ex “was less resistant” to the idea of kicking things back to the level they should have been at all along, I was being overly optimistic. We are going back and forth with proposals. ¬†He’s dragged the sharing of travel costs and tax deductions into our discussion, and he pisses me off. ¬†Then he throws in his usual condescending¬†asinine¬†comments (i.e., “I am very sympathetic to the financial and professional difficulties you face at the moment . . . “), and I want to rip his face off. ¬†For reals. ¬†I still think we can reach an agreement, but dealing with his bullshit in the meantime drives me bonkers.
    • I wanted to retort that while I am facing a paycut, it was something I always knew was coming, AND! ¬†Another thing!! ¬†This is not a “professional difficulty,” at all! ¬†This is a very logical and typical move at this stage of my career, and is resulting in increased experience! ¬†You dummy! ¬†Instead, I ignored his blah-blah, and responded only about the issues at hand. ¬†So, ha! ¬†You cannot rattle me! ¬†[except that, really, he did. ¬†because he’s a jerk.]
  • Also, the Ex just canceled the girls’ summer visit again. ¬†So now David and I will both be working, and I think that the girls will be home. ¬†Without much to do. ¬†Last year, with me making gobs of money, we filled the time with crazy-costly camps (no, really — the girls were in camp with the grand-daughter of the owner of the Patriots, and with the daughter of the owner of Newbury Comics … we paid dearly). ¬†This year, Lemon will likely be looking for someone to pay HER, and Mouse will be, uh . . . .
  • Just after I came to terms with my reduced salary, I called the H.R. person at the New Job to find out about health insurance details. ¬†They were bad. ¬†Very bad. ¬†I almost cried. ¬†I didn’t know what to do – I was totally unprepared for the costs. ¬†I know I’ve been spoiled and spoiled and spoiled, but this was a blow. ¬†I have since spoken¬†with¬†some people that tell me that while the number was double what I pay currently, on a salary that’s half of what I currently have, it’s “normal” and “fair.” ¬†Fortunately, they told me that AFTER I decided to negotiate this point with New Firm. ¬†So, this maybe should be up there in “happiness,” because it looks like there will be movement on the issue.

So, thanks for reading!

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Flashbacks – vol. 1

May 25, 2011

Mouse’s birthday yesterday combined with a lull in work brought me to some huge photo-organizing and cataloging efforts. I scanned hundreds of photos, and uploaded thousands onto flickr. Today, I am going through Flickr and purging/consolidating, in the way I imagine most people do as they go. For now, though, I’m just grateful that we have as much photographic evidence as we do. Of the girls’ entire childhoods, of trips taken, of homes lived in.

I do not have a good memory. I really don’t know why, but either do my siblings. I remember snapshots here and there of every phase of my life, but not an entire narrative. So looking at these old, old photos is very rewarding. It brings it all back, in a way my brain doesn’t do on its own.

Some of the photos jut make me smile – oh, remember when Lemon used to make that face? Oh, there is Mouse’s favorite pillow – the one she loved so much, so intently, so constantly, that it literally disintegrated as the years went on. We* had to cut it down twice, and eventually removed all the stuffing, and she slept with a scrap of material from the pillow cover. She fell in love with the pillow when she was an infant, and it was finally retired when she was 6. So it had a good run.

Here she is, sitting on it when it was still full size. She was about 3 here. It was with her (in the house) at all times. (also pictured, my nephew.)

It’s fun to have a picture bring so much rushing back.

Here’s another:

That’s me. Years & years ago (we think summer of 2004, but 2003 is possible). A couple (ha ha ha) pounds thinner, and with henna in my long, hippie hair.

WD and I had been camping a good bit at this point. Some with the girls, but mostly without, while they were with the Ex. California was good for that – camping was always an option, and in such fantastic settings.

Once we got all set with car camping gear, we decided to try backpacking. We purchased a 2 man tent, a couple of backpacking sleeping bags, and set out to find a destination.

We didn’t want to go too far, because I’d never done it before. So we looked around the bay area, and settled on Angel Island. A very small island in the middle of the bay.

But, see, I remembered that. What this picture reminds me of is a whole phase of WD and my relationship.

I am sitting on that wall, sipping a Starbucks cup. That Starbucks coffee was a very hard-fought battle.

WD does not drink coffee. When we first started dating, he used to give me a very hard time about drinking coffee. At the time, I think I was drinking 2 cups a day. Morning and afternoon.

And he thought it was unhealthy and inconvenient. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I think he mostly thought it was unhealthy. But that day, he was pretty pissy that I was insisting on stopping before we got on the ferry (no, Angel Island does not have a Starbucks).

Seeing this photo, and me with my coffee, I do not dwell on the pissyness. I think about how it’s changed. How that was a “thing” for us (and truly a minor thing, of course).

Probably soon after that, he got over it. Instead of being frustrated that I had to stop for coffee (or suffer the headache later), he just accounts for the time. He no longer offers caffeine as the reason for every ailment I may come across (weight gain? Give up caffeine. Insomnia? Caffeine. Trouble waking up in the morning? Caffeine. Menstrual cramps? It’s the caffeine!!). He found drinks he enjoys while I sip my coffee. He’s bought me coffee pots (2; most recently my adored Keurig).

Of course, I am sure to point out to him every. single. study. that comes out touting the benefits of coffee/caffeine.

That trip to Angel Island was awesome. Take a peek:

*At this stage of my life, “we” always refers to my sister and I. ¬†We had both recently become single mothers, me of 2, and she of 1, and we essentially combined our households for a year or two. ¬†I went to work, she stayed home and took care of the kids. ¬†If Mouse got sick at school, my sister would go and pick her up. ¬†When we needed to mend clothes or make some curtains – her job. ¬†When we had to cut pillows down so the torn covering would actually enclose the foam stuffing – her job. Over and over again. ¬†I think it was late 2003 or early 2004 when she moved into her own apartment (across the street), and then soon after, I returned to the East Coast. ¬†But that partnership is definitely one of my favorite pieces of my past.

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My Valentine’s Day Resolution

February 15, 2011

One thing I have always loved about my beloved Writer Dude – going back to the days that we were only friends and dating wasn’t on the table – is his self-sufficiency. ¬†Especially in the kitchen, but also with most household tasks. ¬†Laundry, repairing broken items, building items, interior design …. you name it. ¬†Couple that with his complete lack of sexism (COMPLETE lack), and it you have one very equal partner. ¬†But then, if you couple that with a wife who maybe – just maybe – drops her part of the bargain, and you have an unequal partnership. ¬†Which is bad. ¬†Hence my Valentine’s Day Resolution.

My first marriage was to someone who was raised in a very conservative Christian home. ¬†The wife’s job was to respect and honor her husband. ¬†His mother used to wake up at 5 a.m. to make her husband (my ex’s step-father) a full breakfast before he went off to work. ¬†His church (and mine) preached the importance of a submissive wife, and both cultures supported the wife taking care of the children and the home while the man … I don’t know. ¬†Did manly things.

That did not work for me.

The first reason it didn’t work for me is because — cleaning. ¬†Ick. ¬†Cooking. ¬†Bleh. ¬†I’m really not very good at those things. ¬†As I’ve made very clear.

The second reason it didn’t work is because – well – it’s unfair. ¬†It’s disrespectful. ¬†It’s WRONG. ¬†Also, because the ex was in grad school the whole time we were married, I had no choice but to work so that we could do things like … eat. ¬†And buy diapers. ¬†Stuff like that. ¬† But the fact that I was doing this “manly thing” such as “bringing home the bacon” didn’t change the fact that cooking, cleaning and tending to children’s needs was beneath him.

When WD and I were dating, I was thrilled to be sharing recipes, talking about cooking ideas, etc. ¬†There were times¬†that¬†I would make pizza dough, and then he’d come over with the toppings and we’d cook and eat the pizzas. ¬†That was fun.

Then we became a family, and I started law school.  We started out taking turns cooking, and taking turns shopping.  But school was intense, and even though WD was working full-time and battling the train and commute hours, etc., he slowly started taking on more and more of the cooking.  He would get up early before work and prep a marinade, or fill the crock pot, rush home to finish up and get dinner on the table.  [Yes, he is, in fact, Prince Charming.]

Our rule back then was what I think is a typical one – one person cooks, the other cleans. ¬†And I did a really shitty job, and he’d get irritated with me when he woke up the next morning to prep the night’s dinner, but the things he needed were still “soaking” from the night before.

And at the same time, as he took over lion’s share of the cooking, it stopped making sense for me to do the shopping. ¬†I would get the wrong things. ¬†Make substitutions that didn’t work. ¬†It wasn’t the smoothest thing in the world.

So the shopping became “his.”

I recognized, at that point, the inequity, and in an attempt to balance things out, I said, “okay, I will do your laundry.” Because up until that point, I did my laundry and the girls’ laundry, and he did his own. ¬†He squirmed at the thought of having me do his chores, but I convinced him that because of the way things evolved in the¬†kitchen, it was ¬†– actually – fair.

But somewhere along the way, I stopped cleaning the kitchen after dinner entirely. ¬†It just stopped being my job. ¬†I think he declared it in a huff, and I’m sure there was resentment behind it. ¬†But by that point, I’d started working, and my hours were long, and we’d shifted the work/home balance so that he was not working outside the home, and it seemed relatively fair.

It also seemed relatively fair because this husband of mine … he is picky. ¬†He has a way that he likes things done, and to him, it is the right way. ¬†It is not ‘a good way.’ ¬†It is the way. ¬†The only way. ¬†So even when I was putting forth a solid effort, he was less than thrilled with the way that I loaded the dishwasher, or dried the bowls, or put soap on something that he didn’t think should ever be touched by soap, or put a wooden spoon in the dishwasher, or¬†whatever else he had an idea about.

Then ¬†– ¬†yes, more little stepping-stones of imbalance – I stopped doing his laundry. ¬†Again, work, and the hours and oh my! ¬†His laundry kept getting put off and he’d run out of underwear, and after a few months of giving me very sweet and respectful hints (that was not sarcasm), he just started doing it himself.

Somewhere around the end of 2010, start of 2011, WD has been expressing some frustration at how much people leave for him to take care of. ¬†Initially, I didn’t take it too seriously. ¬†I even made jokes with friends that I was like a bad husband from the 1950s.

But this frustration wasn’t just about ME. ¬†It was also about the girls. ¬†When they were younger and had less activities and less¬†homework – they had regular chores. ¬†Put away the dishes, load the dishwasher, clean the bathroom, etc. ¬†That system has broken down since they have gotten older. ¬†They set the table for dinner, and they are responsible for taking their own dishes from the table and into the dishwasher. ¬†If I ask them to clean the bathroom when guests are expected, they do (with little complaint). ¬†They do their own laundry, and are supposed to clean their own rooms. ¬†But there are no regular chores that benefit the household at large. ¬†(Well, except for the cat litter … )

They have been dwindling in their consistency with putting their things in the dishwasher, and WD is stuck with the mess to deal with.  And he was expressing frustration.

I didn’t blame him, and I helped to reinforce with the girls that they need to do better. ¬†But it was impossible to ignore that I was telling them to do things I was not doing myself.

I took a closer look at what was going on. ¬†I saw how many evenings I’d head to bed with a book while WD headed to the kitchen for 45 minutes or more of clean up. ¬†How my dishes would sit in the sink because “the dishwasher is full!” ¬†Like I was one of the whiny teens in the house. ¬† There are also many times where the mess is huge – whether because it was a big dinner or for whatever reason. ¬†Even though there are some things he is particular about – there is nothing preventing me from picking up part of a large task. ¬†Nothing preventing me from saying, “hey, let me help.”

And that is what I’m trying to do. ¬†I am deciding to be a better partner. ¬†I am deciding that just because WD can take on the cooking and the shopping does not mean that he is my servant. ¬†Because he is so willing to be an equal partner does not mean I should take advantage and become the unequal partner. ¬†Even if something is officially “his job,” it does not mean that I cannot be there to support him in it.

It is true that since we now have people cleaning the house that I feel more able and available to be work on these things. ¬†The stuff taken on by the housecleaners are mostly (but not entirely) things I used to be responsible for (even if they didn’t actually get done). ¬†But in general, the house is a lot cleaner now, and because it is a lot cleaner, I feel like it’s easier to get it to perfectly clean. ¬†And I’m not resentful about the mounds of dust in every corner, or the bathroom that isn’t touched unless I touch it, or the many other corners and issues that used to cause me great stress.

Maybe next year’s Valentine’s Resolution will be to take back his laundry …. but baby steps, baby steps.

 

 

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Happy Anniversary to Us.

February 3, 2011

Last night, WD and I went out to celebrate our anniversary. ¬†It was our 4th wedding anniversary. ¬†We went to a fabulous restaurant and had a thoroughly enjoyable meal. ¬†I swear, I would go back there today, if I could afford to (I can’t).

When we went to New Orleans, we ate in restaurants as good as this one, maybe better. ¬†They were all definitely more famous. ¬†One of Emeril’s restaurants, another that is – I don’t know – 500 years old or something? ¬†In the Garden District. ¬† And because we were in the south, all of those meals were almost a full $100 less than last night’s.

But, it was our anniversary, and we budgeted for it, and we deserved it.

[We had steak.  It was delicious.]

[I had oysters.  Again, delicious.]

[I also had a fantastic cocktail with my oysters.]

[and two fantastic glasses of wine with my steak & salad.]

[and while we chose not to have dessert, WD hadn’t yet finished nursing his drink, so I ordered myself some Grand Marnier. ¬†I love that stuff. ¬†It is so amazing.]

________________________

For the past few years, I’ve been irritated when people ask how long WD and I have been married. ¬†Not irritated with people for asking, but¬†irritated¬†with what I have to answer.

This was our 4th wedding anniversary.  We got married in 2007, on Groundhog Day, in Provincetown, MA, in front of a Justice of the Peace, and no one other than Mouse and Lemon in attendance.

We weren’t going to get married. ¬†When we first started dating, we both talked about our disapproval of the institution. ¬† We both had failures in our past (his more distant than mine), and weren’t really all that convinced that “marriage” was so important. ¬† Our relationship progressed, and our minds didn’t change.

We aren’t members of a church – or even of a faith. ¬†So that wasn’t pushing us toward marriage. ¬†We lived in Berkeley, CA, and several of our peers were in long-standing relationships, children & all, that did not have a marriage certificate to go along with. Looked good to us.

But when we moved to New England, it felt different.

Now, if we believed in marriage at the time – if we thought “marriage is the final expression of our love for one another, proof of the commitment we are making to each other” – I believe we would have done it before moving to New England together. ¬†Because of the girls, that step was not taken lightly. ¬†It was the first time WD lived with the girls, that he became a part of the family. ¬†We wouldn’t have done that on a whim, and without having taken many smaller, building steps before hand.

But we didn’t.

So as we acclimated to our new town, our new community, I found myself struggling. ¬†“How do I introduce him?” ¬†I started with “this is my partner,” which was fine, but seemed overly formal (and led more than a few people to assume that my “partner” was a woman … not sure why, come to think of it. ¬†I live in one of those awesome states where gay and straight people are allowed to marry …)

And “Boyfriend” sounded so … unclassy. ¬† I *hated* to hear the girls say, “well, my mom’s boyfriend lives with us.” ¬†It just didn’t adequately represent how we felt.

The girls both expressed their desire that we get married.

And so, after many conversations and discussions, we did it.

We made it low-key, and we didn’t really feel like it was the start of anything. ¬†It was just the formalization of something that had been in place for years.

But still, this was my fourth wedding anniversary. ¬†Even though we’ve been a family for 6 1/2 years.

And that was bothering me.  I was almost resentful of it.

For some reason, starting this year, it doesn’t bother me anymore. ¬†I’m okay with it. ¬†We’ve been married for 4 years. ¬†We’ve been a family for 7. ¬†He and I have been together for 9.

And that’s fine.

 

h1

Update on my Christmas Gift!

January 5, 2011

See?  I told you it was cool:

 

 

44″ x 96″ — fills a wall nicely, I’d say!