Baby Daddy and I celebrated our 13th anniversary yesterday. Why yes, I did get married at 15. How sweet of you to notice how young I am! Actually, I was 21. Still a baby in life, but not technically by law, so I got to make my own decisions. I actually remember thinking if I was old enough to drink, I was old enough to do whatever I wanted, so I would get married. This, children, is not good logic, and has been the downfall of entire civilizations. I made a fair number of stupid decisions around that time, but marrying him was a good one.
I won’t say every moment of the past 13 years has been bliss. I think people who say things like that are obvious liars. We’ve both been guilty of selfishness, stubbornness and ugliness. We’ve tried hard not to say things you can’t take back, but we’re guilty of that too. There are times that I’ve been a really shitty wife and he’s been a total jackass to live with. But we’ve also been able to be kind to each other despite terrible stuff around us and made each other laugh when it felt like things were going to cave in on our heads. And we’re both still here. We’ve survived my cooking, infertility, adoption, job changes, and if we survive the current house sale and move, we may just make it to 14 years.
A few years ago a friend was trying to decide if she should marry the fella she was dating and she asked me what I thought. I asked her if she cared what kind of peanut butter he liked. She looked at me like I was a crazy. I told her that was marriage. It would be nice if it was like the movies with fireworks and roses and bubble baths and candle lit dinners, and those things have certainly been part of my marriage. But the day to day practice of being married is standing in the grocery store and remembering that he likes creamy peanut butter, even though you like crunchy, and you’re out and to be sure and pick some up.
I make no claim to be an expert on happiness. But after 13 years, this is what I know about marriage: Get up in the morning and try not to do anything fatal. Care about what kind of peanut butter the other person likes. Be kind more often than you think you should have to be. Pay attention when the other person does something nice and say thank you. When you mess up, say you’re sorry. Get up tomorrow morning and do it again.
I’m glad I married him. I’m glad he’s my Baby Daddy. I’m glad he’s still around despite my faults. I think he’s glad I’m here despite his. For 13 years, I think that’s pretty lucky.