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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Twenty-Five to Life

A quarter of a century has passed since Mark and I got married. 
October 27, 1990

Wow, that sure sounds like a long time.

When I was a kid I used to think "old people" (people younger than I am now) were crazy when they kept saying how fast time goes by. "You're getting so big!" Grandma Thelma would exclaim, "Seems like just yesterday I was rocking you to sleep."

At the time I thought Grandma was nuts. Did she know how long it took for Christmas to come? Did she know how excruciating it was to wait for the last day of school before summer vacation? It took forever! Longer than forever!

That lasted up until the end of high school. Suddenly, there didn't seem to be enough time. The first day of college turned into finals much faster than I could study. Graduating was a shock. What do you mean I have to get a job? That's when things really started speeding up.

Pre-marriage: 1988. (Those are safety glasses on Mark not a fashion misstep.
We worked in a laboratory; not sure why I wasn't wearing mine.)

No one can say we had a whirlwind romance. We were friends, we dated, we got engaged, we got married in the space of 3 years. Our first year we spent crammed into a one bedroom duplex with two big dogs, all our wedding gifts still in boxes stacked in the hallway (occasionally knocked over by one of the big dogs). When we moved to a rental house we stacked the boxes in the spare room and lived in the rest of the house. It was eight years until we bought a house and unpacked the gifts, finally serving holiday dinners on the china we received.

Tahoe 1999, pre-camper days.

We've now known each other longer than we haven't. We met when we were both 23, and we've been together for 28 years. Sounds impressive, but like Grandma used to say, it feels like just yesterday.

I look in the mirror now and am shocked by what I see. When did this happen? I still feel the same, and as long as I don't look at that reflection, I can believe it's true (that might explain the state of my hair on occasion). I'm still waiting for the day Mark and I start to look alike; they say that happens you know. God I hope not. Mark's got a pretty good beard going these days.

Backpack trip to North Dome (Half Dome in the background), 2001

I don't have any advice about how to make a marriage last; I seriously think we got lucky when we found each other. Neither of us have strong opinions that we don't agree on; that saves us from serious arguments. We both enjoy the same hobbies, and the few we don't share we've found others to share them with. We've learned how to deal with the other's grumpy days without taking offense and how to sense when to shut up and listen. We don't have kids, so either we've been living the empty nest syndrome this whole time, or we've enjoyed it so much we didn't notice.

Death Valley 2004

When our now-eighteen year old niece was five, we were teasing her, pretending to take away her favorite toy. When Mark ran off with it and I pretended to be in distress, telling her he wasn't going to come back, she just rolled her eyes at me. "He'll come back. He wouldn't leave without you because you match." At that point in her life, she had never seen us apart; she couldn't imagine it any other way.

Frankly, I can't imagine that either.
Hawaii 2005

Like a lot of couples we spent our honeymoon in Hawaii. We went back for our anniversary, this time  spending it hiking in the national park there trying to catch the volcano erupting (there's a metaphor in there somewhere, I'm sure) and snorkeling around the reefs with an eye out for sharks (another fitting metaphor I suppose).

Hawaii 2015

We had a lot of fun, because hey, how can you not have fun in Hawaii? Now that we're home we immediately started planning our next adventure.

Because that's what we do. We match.