Relationships are strange. Most interactions with other human beings are strange. Romance, by far, happens to be the strangest phenomenon to occur to someone. Romance is strange in the sense that we find another human who makes us feel a little more alive and we go “I’m going to buy you things, learn all your strange nuances, and then maybe someday we’ll go see another human who will write our names on a piece of paper and then our relatives will interrogate us about making more humans for the next thirty years!”
The first marriage was recorded 4,300 years ago; the first wedding ring was discovered in Egypt and dated back to 2,800 BCE. Marriage has been around for centuries to guarantee the survival of our species and encourage economic strength. In essence, we’ve been picking each other since the start of humanity because our great-great-great-great-great grandparents knew that there was something exceedingly intricate and monumental about sticking with someone until you died.
I did not ever plan on picking Jason. He was so far out of my league – he was a knight in shining armor and I was more like Maleficent. He was one of my best friends, I could ask him for anything and he would have it on my doorstep within an hour. But… he had no tattoos, did not drive a motorcycle, stayed far away from illegal substances, and he was so disgustingly wholesome. I said yes when he asked me to be his girlfriend because I thought “Meh, it won’t last long and at least I can write ‘I dated the Golden Boy’ in my resume”
Four (almost five) years and my grandmother’s engagement ring later, it turns out he was my other half this whole time. America’s olive-skinned, lifeguard-turned-EMT by day, gamer geek with a fierce love of anime and Pokemon by night. It’s like Superman too off the outfit and was secretly a hybrid of Peter Parker and Legolas.
I get a lot of shit for getting married at the ripe old age of twenty-two (and for persistently saying “no kids, thanks” but that’s a bitch fit for another day). I’m surprised that someone has yet to tear down my door whilst hysterically yelling “How dare you ruin the sanctity of marriage, you millennial tyrant?! Don’t you know the requirements of holy matrimony in the 21st century are a broken home, a 12.5 ex lovers, and a soul-crushing need for self-assurance?” Jay and I both had our fair share of exes; he talks to approximately none of his and I’m on okay (tentative) terms with one of mine. We are both the kind of individuals who love and love and love until we make ourselves sick. I learned several years ago that I can’t let other people decide my interests or activities for me. To be healthy and happy, I have to be myself. Jay had to learn that people are sometimes so careless with others, they’ll destroy you to save themselves.
Not to be that person, but we’re kind of over being treated like doormats so we band together in mutual understanding of the word “hurt” and protect each other like guard dogs.
Jay has seen me at my worst – during bouts of addiction, helplessness, and grief. Grief was the worst. Grieving is not as simple as sticking your toe in the water and saying “too cold”. Grief is a miserable, frigid river; it ebbs through daily life and floods when you least expect it. It has rip currents at every damn turn and will drag you under before you even know the tears are running down your cheeks. People who say that grief is temporary have never lost a parent or a soulmate or a best friend so don’t listen to them. Jason introduced me to Lord of the Rings, Zelda, and Sword Art Online. I can be an absolute nightmare, a walking storm of hormones and exhaustion, and he will still be my mountain with a cup of tea in one hand and a grilled cheese in the other. He’s the string on my kite; he accepts me, not some grand romantic notion of me but overly-sensitive-I-hate-everyone-where’s-my-coffee-now-I’m-crying me. He takes videos of my tirades to make me laugh later, tolerates trips to Grassroots Books, and holds my hand when I need to pee in the middle of the night but “I told you not to watch that scary movie before bed, babe. C’mon it’s okay”
The greatest thing about getting married young is the aspect of growth. Jay and I are completely different human beings than when we met. We let our roots grow together. At times, it felt like we were going to have to uproot the whole arboretum but he has helped me mature from a quiet rainstorm to an entire ocean. On the flip side, I’d like to think I helped him grow from a single hillside to a marvelous canyon. I get to be proud of my best friend every day.
The first gift he got me for an anniversary was a custom bookshelf. This last year, he found me a glass case of eighteen perfectly preserved butterflies. To me, those feel a hell of a lot more like a promise than “finding myself” ever would.
Unfortunately, many of my friends do not understand my position. With the commitment of a shared life, there comes a lot more nights at home, with pizza, and my man-child – and less nights of random drives to the lake or Virginia City. This is culmination of several factors, such as four A.M at work or piles of laundry that need some attention. I still have extraordinary adventures, but they’re usually Sunday morning breakfast in our PJ’s or seeing the new Batman movie together. My adventures are less about blowing off steam and more about making memories with my best friend. You win some, you lose some. I’ve learned that the friends worth keeping are going to understand my need for quiet and mundane activities.
Stay tuned – I’ll be posting a book review and some ghost stories, soon!
The Book Witch
Currently reading: Three Dark Crowns: Kendare Blake & Scrappy Little Nobody: Anna Kendrick