Thursday, July 13, 2006

Seventeen

We nearly ran into each other for years. Literally. And beginning young too: his mother and her best friend worked in a shop that my mom and I frequented when I was a child. The first time I lived in town, I ate at all the same places he did (like the Soup Kitchen which was a great place, and Real Food) and the bars we drank in (O’Malley’s & the Waterin’ Hole) were at opposite ends of the bowling alley -- we were almost certainly in that parking lot at the same time! Later on, I was a cashier at a grocery he stopped at almost daily on his walking commute from his place of work.

We have wondered what we would have thought of each other had we met at any of those times.

But even before that, our grandfathers almost surely knew one another but we'd lost both of them before we came to be and so couldn't ask. But they were on opposite sides of the political fence and may have spit at each other if they had been able to come to the wedding.

After finally having made each other’s acquaintance, the to be husband finally made a gesture that caused me to feel those butterflies. But he'd meant it mostly as a gesture of pity, or so he says, and had I known that, I would have been offended instead of enchanted. Then I showed up at his house and didn't leave. That showed him the consequences of enchanting someone!

When we decided to get married, our preacher said to us, "You can stand on your head and chant your mantras if you want to," when asked about order of service. And so we did. No prayers, but a funny long reading from The Little Prince and a thunderstorm. My father wanting to walk me down the isle and me declaring that I did not belong to anyone to give me away, and I wouldn't belong to anyone after the ceremony either.

Seventeen years. It can't be really because I still only feel about 18 years old. I've been trying to work on that, feeling older, trying to remember not to feel pretty but handsome.

And this life on the farm could not have been built alone by either one of us. And these kids, wow. And that easy banter we have with each other, and the way we've worked out getting everything talked out eventually so that there are not compromises but mutual agreement. The way one can be cooking and the other finish it. The way he makes my coffee and I make his tea.

We didn't vow to love and obey, we vowed to support each others' dreams. And mostly, we've lived up to it.

Thank you sweetie.

11 comments:

madcapmum said...

Congratulations! Yup, that'll learn him to go around enchanting goddesses.

I think my relaxed, easy-going marriage, both of us pulling in the same direction, is the best thing that ever could have come to pass. I didn't let myself be "given away" either. We walked together.

WonderSoul said...

Congrats! I never knew this was your anniversary - or did I? We celebrated our 15th the day before.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Congrats Mr. & Ms. Wonder on 15!

Around our house we call it "wa", the relaxed, easygoing thing. Don't disturb the "wa". I think it is a Japanese term. I do not get the drama monarchs who have to have it going on all the time.

Laura said...

Congrats! We'll be seventeen at the end of this month. Maybe someday we'll grow into something like you've got. I think we're slowly getting past believing in the institution, and beginning to believe in one another. It sure feels better.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Well, we must have had a headstart, never believing in the institution at at all. Anyone who thinks marriage, or any relationship, is all goodness and light is nuts though. It is all over the map and it is the firm commitment that I think pulls one through to making the specific choices that nurture and sustain the family system and the individual family members.

clairesgarden said...

good choices you've made. pleased for you.

Deb said...

Happy anniversary! I'm coming up on 15 here with my spouse, and I'm enjoying how things have grown and matured in that time, especially since we began our retreat from society.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Thanks all. But sometimes I still think the only reason for us being here is be pure stubbornness.

Jim said...

Happy Anniversary!

You have a built a beautiful life for yourselves and my hat's off to you...

Laura said...

Oops - blush - it's only sixteen for us. It just feels like so-o-o lo-o-ong! ;) Garth got a good laugh when he caught me thinking this is 2007.

Ren said...

Wow! I just read this tonight....our 17th anniversary was on the 15th, just two days after yours.

"Well, we must have had a headstart, never believing in the institution at at all. "

I think you hit the nail on the head here! We went the long way around to this...but we've ended up (after much struggle and harsh lessons) coming to this same pov. The marriage thing became secondary and the partnership became primary. You're lucky to have had a more balanced view going in...I was more naive at the time.

Belated congratulations!