Nine and a half years ago.
A bistro in Granada.
We'd just finished an argument where he'd told me, "If you were in another country you still wouldn't be far enough away from me," and then, he was interrupting the enjoyment of my ox tail stew while he scrambled around the table.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm looking for something to use as a ring," he said.
Then, he pulled a bit of tin foil (It's in my underwear drawer right now) off a wine bottle, fashioned it into a ring, and said, "Will you marry me?"
"When you get a real ring."
"No, I'm serious. Will You marry me?"
"Sure, when?" Keep in mind, that I had spent the whole week in Spain with my head tipped to the side, gazing at him and giggling like a fool. God, I was smitten.
"Next September. Then, I have time to change my mind if I need to."
"Yes, Yes, I will."
That was in October, six months after we had met, and we got married the next September. Possibly against my better judgement, I took the man forever, and I don't regret a single miserable or good minute of it.
To be honest I'm a terrible wife:
I hate to coddle people.
We have conversations that go like this: Him: Will you take out the trash. Me: (while bursting into tears) I went to college, why would you say that to me.
I've thrown and broken chairs, tables, phones, and other assorted things.
I have mood swings that don't correspond to reality.
The list goes on.
And he stays.
No one has ever made me laugh more. No one has ever made me cry til my eyes hurt or made me wish that my reality were not the one it is more.
But I stay.
Why? Because at the center of all the drama, all the fights, we completely love each other.
And, God, do we fight. We once had a thirty minute screaming match about where the dog should sleep.
We don't have a dog. We're not planning on getting a dog, but we're damn passionate about where this dog is going to sleep, dammit.
More than once, I've wondered if it were a good idea to marry the other person who always wanted to be the last one to leave the party. Yeah, let's leave the club at eight in the morning and find the after club. Let's stay awake til ten in the morning then head to a pub. Let's.... who knows what we did that year we were dating. We were together for a year in London. Then, for the six months before the nuptials, he stayed in London, I went to St Paul, and we met at the alter.
I've said many times that I married him because he was the first person who made me want to wear sexy underwear, and if that's not a foundation for marital success, I don't know what is.
I got pregnant six weeks after wedding, and I'm not sure if being the last people to leave the party, any party is a skill that translates well to marriage and child rearing.
The year that he worked eighty hours a week and I stayed home with two kids under two and a couple day care kids, I said, "that was bad; if we made it through that, we'll stay together."
That year I had another baby, my dad died, we moved across the country, and he lost his job, I said, "that was bad, if we made it through that, we'll stay together."
That next year when he still didn't have a job, I said, "that was bad, if we made it through that, we'll stay together."
And more than once, I've worried that we were staying together because we're both too stubborn to admit that we've made a mistake.
But I've thought about it a lot lately. Somebody advised me to write and process. So I wrote, I processed, and I found that many things led back to the man and how I felt about the man. And I feel like I like the man. Quite a lot, actually.
His partying skills mean that he can take any dull family evening with the five of us and turn it into a spectacular event. Music. Food. Dancing. He knows what to do to make us pull out the best most festive parts of ourselves.
I love a million and ten things about him.
I love how he apologizes by heading to the kitchen to make us both a snack. Who needs words? I've got a giant plate of food.
I love how after I've given the boys a hit on the shoulder and told them that they're okay after an injury, I find them cuddling up to him for real sympathy and first aid.
I love how when he's feeling confident, he can command a room full of people to listen to his tales and laugh at his wit.
I love how I can wave a little hand at him, sit back, and watch him win any political debate.
I love how when I hung up a piece of ripped sheet crookedly over the kitchen window, he said, completely un-ironically, "Oh, honey, how nice, we got new curtains."
And I love a lot how he gave me a little bit of quality cum that I was able to make into three of my favorite people.
He's not easy, I'm not easy, but I believe it's worth the fucking effort.