We remember being told a lot those first four or five years, "you guys don't even know if you belong together yet. Until you've been married seven years or more, you have no idea."
We always laughed it off and said to each other we knew. It wasn't always joy and wonderfulness, but it was far more that than anything else. Even at our worst, we're still better together than either of us ever was apart.
So I guess that's where we're at eight years in. We're happy together.
We went to our restaurant today. They're closing this summer at that location and setting up a new place. It felt odd, sitting at that table one last time. Our first date was there, eight years and a few months ago. Our wedding party was there. Many celebratory dates there over the years. This time we went with mom and her husband. We had our picture taken at our table, by the pole where we shared our first evening together. Our waitress joked with us asking, "so, do we owe you money, or do you owe us money?" Truth be told, had someone asked, I'd say we both would have bet against ourselves that night. Uncomfortable, nervous, barely able to hold a conversation. It's a lot different now, obviously.
It felt weird saying goodbye to that place. Every relationship has its tent-poles. That table, that restaurant, was one of ours. Not exactly a cornerstone that we can't live without, but a nice place to visit to remind ourselves how far we've come together. Remembering that night of awkward conversation, uncomfortable silences, smiling at each other now in relaxed memory, thinking back to how unhinged we both felt in those first moments.
Our anniversary was a whirlwind of activity this year. Over the past three days we've done a lot of work, but we did it all together. And as I told her, that's what matters. Some people celebrate an anniversary in suits and dresses, fine meals and expensive hotel rooms. We celebrate with trips to the junkyard, covered in sweat and yard dirt, content with holding hands during the trip, and looking forward to sharing more when we're finished with the day's work.
Eight years. We're barely even getting started.
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