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A Decade of Domestic Life and Love

Every time someone asks Andy or me how long we've been married we tack, "but it feels like forever" to the number of years. We just celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary but we've been together since the fall of 2001- ten years.

I find it a tad disturbing that I'm now old enough to reference activities in decades including being a professional, my years out of school, having a license, being able to drink legally, running for fun and exercise, and maintaining friendships. Oh yeah, and being involved in a domestic partnership.

We all remember, and may think, that it's so much fun to be in the beginning of a relationship. It's thrilling to learn something new about your romantic buddy on a daily basis, like his favorite food or song, whether or not he snores in his sleep and the way he takes his coffee. You know you've hit a new level of intimacy when you hear the sob stories of past breakups or learn the true story behind that scar over his eye. The love grows stronger with every discovery. He uses a Sonicare, too-oh, it's love, it's meant to be! He does his laundry on Sunday nights also. I knew he was a keeper! You can't imagine how you'll ever grow tired of learning everything there is to possibly know about the love of your life.

Fast forward a decade. Ten years of discovery. Ten years of snoring, of wondering what he's doing in the bathroom for 20 minutes at a time. Ten years of refolding the laundry after him and remaking the beds he's made. A decade of farting in front of one another and not being grossed out about it. A decade of knowing one another's favorite foods and drinks (Andy hates coffee. He drinks Diet Coke every morning. And then has one for lunch and maybe one for dinner. That is unless he wants a beer instead.) 3,650 days of telling one another the best and worst parts of our day, and saying I love you. And sometimes saying I hate you, but then saying sorry, I really do love you even if I did think what you just said or did sucked. We've spent the last ten years sharing our joys and sorrows, fears and hopes.

Being big-time extroverts, there's barely anything that we don't share with each other from what we ate for lunch or how many times we went to the bathroom at work. We just love to share, share, overshare. I wouldn't want it any other way. (Ask Andy and he may disagree; you could label much of what comes out of my mouth as TMI).

We're also creatures of habit and we can pretty much guess what the other one is going to do in any given situation. For example, I know, for a fact, and I'll put money on it, that Andy is going to be 10-40 minutes late for everything that he does. I know that when the temperature gets below 40 degrees he will wear shorts and wool socks. I know that he will never iron his pants. I can guarantee that he'll eat at McDonald's if he is on the road. I have no doubt that he has spent at least 50 bucks last month on toy soldiers. If he eats out, he'll order chicken tenders or some chicken dish. He'll use a minimum of 3 tissues when he blows his nose. He'll never,ever buy me a gift that I don't absolutely love.

Andy just informed me that I will always, always leave my dental floss on the counter. He'll put money on the fact that I'll reprimand him about throwing his dirty clothes around right before he finds my dirty exercise pants on the bathroom floor. He's positive that if he stands behind me, chewing, I'll become enraged and threaten to slap him. And he always knows those times when I'm being super bitchy and it's all because I don't feel good but I haven't mentioned any of my ailments to him.

I love using the phrase, "you know me" with someone because it denotes a level of intimacy and friendship. A decade of friendship and intimacy is just as sweet as the honeymoon phase.

Andy's predictability is what I love most about him, particularly in relation to his love of Halloween. If you know Andy then you know that Halloween is his favorite holiday of the year. He elaborately decorates our house with goblins, witches, bones and blinking lights. During the month of October you can see our house a mile down the road. He's obsessed with scary movies and will rave about My Bloody Valentine and ask you to watch Dead Dudes in the House with him. He wants to turn our garage into a Haunted House.

We live on a highway and we have never welcomed one trick-or-treater to our home yet every year Andy will buy candy in preparation for just one visitor. A few years ago he sat by the door for 2 hours, and around 9pm, he stood up and asked me to "watch the door in case someone comes" so he could use the bathroom. His love of Halloween and wish for a trick-or-treater makes this hard-on-the-outside guy show, if only once a year, the soft, sweet side of his personality.

This year we did not have plans to be at home during the height of trick-or-treating as we needed to be supervising the girls in their candy hording endeavors. Andy took the day off (remember- bestest holiday of the year for him) and picked Caroline up at school. Charlotte and I were to meet them in town when I got home from work. Before meeting up, however, I needed to stop at home to grab the girls' costumes. I pulled into our driveway at 3pm. Although the sun was still shining brightly, the porch light to our home had already been turned on and a big bowl of candy had been placed on the steps. I smiled and I laughed to myself because I knew that he would leave candy for the kids who would never come to our house and because it's these little acts that remind me why I love him so much.

I left the candy right where I'd found it. When we got home Caroline was ecstatic that the candy fairy has visited our house while we were out and though we now have way more candy that we know what to do with, I'm sure that bowl will be sitting out there next year under the blinking pumpkin lights and next to the motion activated spooky noise machine.


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