Yesterday was our 8-month wedding anniversary. Don’t worry, I won’t do this forever. This whole thing is just new to me and I find myself marveling at the time passage.
I realize that our first year (or three) of marriage won’t be typical. The expat life adds a whole layer of different issues, but it also takes away issues (such as mortgage and a need for double-incomes).
I had made some notes on our 6-week anniversary (I told you I’ve been marveling) which I can share -- keep in mind it was when we were living in the small 2-bedroom apartment in Silver Spring:
So, we're at about the six-week mark in our new marriage. First and foremost, I love it! I love having him there every night, even if we do nothing other than watch TV or do laundry. The biggest stressor now is our limited space in the apartment. I have moments of panicked breathing when I try to stagger over some of the piles. I know he could live like this forever, but I CAN'T. So we compromise... I wait a few days, then gently task him with putting away one pile. Can't ask for too much too soon. We make periodic trips (we call them storage-dates) to the storage unit which is embarrassingly full.
Our apartment has become a life-size "square game" in that if we want to move forward, we often need to clear a human or feline out of the square we want to be in. It's a very organic lifestyle – constantly moving. Sometimes the key is to move backwards or sideways, to let the other person get to their desired square. We're newlyweds and in love so currently this is fun and cute, but I have a feeling it will wear thin soon enough. I did manage to clear enough floor to put up our Christmas tree (determination is an amazing motivator). And we just keep reminding ourselves that we will most likely never live in such tight quarters again. Along with cleared floor space, and not just paths, I covet my own bathroom. Oh, the luxury of having my own sink and/or bathroom. But I’m not moany about it. Just another goal.
So apparently all my concerns, floor space, own bathroom, came true! (Maybe I should write about my goals of fluency in Arabic, a 22” waist, and a $10 million windfall? Now we wait…)
At the 8-month mark, my thoughts on marriage are very much the same. I still love it, I still enjoy just hanging out (though I can be a little more “needy” in my desire to go OUT and do or see something), and I still try to keep the Ronlandias (piles of Ron-stuff that he claims just materialize on their own) at bay – can’t let them get too unwieldy or a coup may ensue.
As a little girl, particularly when on vacation with my parents in England, I’d wander off on my own in places like Westminster Abbey and would imagine exploring everything with my husband at my side. Sometimes he'd be a lion, but we'd converse just the same. Now, when I think of my life even 10 years ago, it’s difficult to imagine that Ron wasn’t there. There’s a nice feeling of certainty in that. We’re still getting our feet wet in this marriage thing, but so far I think we’re both very happy where things are. And it's nice being able to talk to my real husband, and not the imaginary sometimes-lion one.
Having no connection to this post, I thought I’d share a recent photo of Chuckles and Ricky. It wasn’t so much a “cuddle” moment as a both-wanting-the-blanket moment, and it didn’t last long. Ricky is the one on the left, with the full white nose and mildly annoyed look. And don't be fooled by Chuckles' "cute" look, it's a method of distraction he employs before biting, chasing, or pouncing Ricky.