So, I just realized that this March will mark 20 years that my wife and I have been a couple. You would think that all the reminders on Facebook about our 20-year high school reunion would have tipped me off since we met senior year of high school, but sometimes I can be oblivious like that. My wife on the other hand, she is the sentimental one in our relationship. She still has every single love note I wrote her in high school, and we wrote each other just about every day.
I was only at the school for junior and senior year, so when I sat next to her in creative writing, which started the 3rd quarter of senior year, it was the first time I’d ever seen her. She always likes to speculate how many times we might have unknowingly crossed paths prior to this, as we grew up in the same town. All I know is that I’m glad that we met when we did. Lots of people like to make rules about when you should date, or at what age you should start looking for “the one.” The truth is that there is no way of knowing, and high school relationships have just as much of a chance of lasting a lifetime as any other age group.
We hit it off instantly. I’m glad that talking on the phone was still a thing in ’99 because we would talk for hours. And unlike some of the awkward dates I had been on during my junior year, every time we talked, it was so effortless. I’m a bona fide ambivert, so sometimes I will talk your head off and other times I don’t feel like talking at all. With her though, no matter how I’m feeling, I know I can be myself and not have to worry about putting on any type of front.
I always tell her that she is my sunshine. She doesn’t believe me, even though I have a sun tattooed on my arm, which I feel represents her despite her reluctance to accept it. She will often times stop total strangers at the mall and throw them a compliment on their hair or dress. I always roll my eyes in the moment, but it really is a sweet and admirable thing to do. People always leave her presence smiling.
I’m so blessed to have found someone that complements me so well, and puts up with all my childish pastimes. I’m very budget conscious, but have been known to spend money on old NES games, vinyl records, and comic books. And yes, it’s totally my fault that our daughter loves listening to They Might Be Giants. But that’s what love is all about. We accept each other not in bits and perfectly picked out pieces, but as a whole, complete with two tickets to next year’s Weird Al concert where he will be accompanied by a full orchestra (hey, I went along to a Britney Spears concert back in the day).
We know many people who have gone through divorce. Whenever I hear the news, I’m always floored, because we mostly get to see other people at their happiest and most compatible. Relationships are like contracts that can be broken by either party at any time. I know that having a solid relationship isn’t always easy. It takes patience, compromise, and oftentimes hard work. Life will throw so many surprises at you, and sometimes you just won’t know what to do. I’ve gotten so many negative phone calls in the past, that if she calls me, and it sounds like something is wrong, but she is beating around the bush, I’ll get angry and tell her to spit it out. I wish I could take away all the pain she’s had to endure. There have been kidney stones, colitis, blood clots, miscarriages, and a broken neck. I would feel selfish to say that we have had to endure a lot, because all of the physical ailments have been burdened by her. But you know how the vows go, and it’s true. No matter what comes our way, we’ll face it together.
Last week she tagged along with me on a business trip to Long Island. I thought she was crazy for wanting to stay cooped up in the hotel all day, while I was in meetings. We had such a fun week though, from going to IKEA for the first time, to taking the train into NYC. That pretty much exemplifies our differences. I’m the structured and responsible half, and she is just plain fun. She’s tagging along right now on a trip to Myrtle Beach with her parents. They just left this morning, and boy is it quiet around here. Seriously, I should put on some music because there is literally no sound in the house. I’m so used to 80’s music blaring in the background, and half-hearted screams from when my daughter says “spider” to her in that awesomely mischievous way that she inherited from me.
People often ask us what our secret is, but there really isn’t that much to it. I knew she was the one for me at 17, and I still know it at 37. I’m always myself around her and vice versa. I love who she is and I know she feels the same way about me. There’s sure to be a few bumps and bruises along the way, but every day I spend with her brings me happiness.
I’ve always had an urge to create things. My passion is writing music, but I’ve also published a book, created a comic, and am currently writing about saving money, family fun, and other interests of mine at bluecollarrising.com. I love living in Buffalo, NY with my wife and kid. New posts are usually published on Monday. Thanks for reading.
Josh, 20 years! That is awesome! I think its great that you have a sun tattoo and it is really about your wife! She sounds like a joy to be with. Just being around other people you don’t know and giving them a compliment is great you never know how you might change someone’s day, and that is a fact! I hope you get to enjoy 20 plus more! Have a great anniversary next month!