Ten years ago today, Mike and I were married. It was a no-frills civil ceremony that I honestly don’t remember much about because I was too damn nervous. Silly, perhaps. We’d been together since high school and nothing was going to change, not in the day-to-day at least. Yet nervous I was, even managing to stumble over and come in far too early with my “I do”, my only line of the day. “Oh, well I do then, too,” I said, when informed I wasn’t supposed to say it yet. I was a wreck.
Not Mike though. There was nothing for him to be nervous about, he said. This was simply the way he always knew it should be.
A grand total of
eighteen nineteen years we’ve been together now. [Edit: Mike: “You might want to edit that, it’s been nineteen years.” Me: “Oh whatever then.”] It’s been incredibly hard sometimes, but also incredibly rewarding. I look back on the path we’ve walked, and I see the twists and turns and fucking great pot holes that tripped us up, but here we are. His hand is still in mine and can’t imagine my life without him at my side.
Happy anniversary, Mike. You know how difficult it can be for me to express how I feel, but it was either this or go get you donuts, and doing this didn’t require me to put on pants.
Here are ten things I love about you.
1. Not only that you can make me laugh uncontrollably and not only that you can understand what I’m trying to say when the words come out as a jumbled mess of confusion, but that when you do these things you become so incredibly happy.
2. That there is nothing at all you won’t do, nobody you won’t do it in front of, and no level of shame you won’t reach to make me smile.
3. The way you want to share all your knowledge on every disgusting insect, even as you know it’s creeping me the fuck out. (Because it’s creeping me the fuck out? Probably. Bastard.)
4. How important it is to you that we experience things together, even if I sometimes really, really don’t want to wait to watch those new TV episodes.
5. The way your eyes crinkle when you smile. It still makes me melt.
6. How dismissive you are when I wail about finding new grey hairs. And then making up elaborate stories about how we’ll become cyborgs in the future so fuck getting old anyway.
7. Your enthusiasm for every single thing I do. You are my loudest, greatest cheerleader and my biggest fan.
8. The tiny sigh of utter contentment whenever you cuddle up to me, like there’s nowhere else in the world you’d rather be than right here, right now.
9. The passion you have for the things that you enjoy. The game you’re playing, the meal you’re eating, the book you’re reading, the idea you’re sharing, the project you’re doing – you fully live those moments, savouring every second so that none of it is wasted.
10. That you, without thinking, make the world around you a better place. Stopping to help the elderly lady struggling to reach something on the top shelf of the grocery store when everyone else – including me – keeps on walking. The way you rush outside without hesitation when you hear what sounds like a scream, even if it’s always just those kids down the block. That you are, naturally and without any effort beyond simply being yourself, a good man.
I love you.