Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Three Years

On one hand it’s hard to believe: we’ve been married for three years now. It feels more like one year, with two trips to France, one to Oregon, and weekends at the family cottage in there, some time living in Toronto and Hamilton, and a lot of walks together. Surely Lola hasn’t done three years worth of anything, aside from biting us, although she has had a disproportionate amount of attention focused on her. It does feel, though, like I’ve been in grad school for a decade.

It feels like we were married from the time that I first came up to Toronto on the bus. Claire and I met on a music list; at least, that’s how we always phrase it; the list is dedicated to bisexual fans of various forms of indie rock, particularly Britpop. But that makes for a longer story. Anyway, we chatted on the list about music, and then off-list about music and everything else, and then on the phone, and finally on the phone every night until about 1 am. Eventually, we decided that there might be an attraction there and we should look into it.

The joke with everyone was that I would meet Claire and she would turn out to be an older man. The first time I went up on Greyhound, I brought my driver’s license and discovered it was not enough to get over the border. Sixteen hours on a bus for nothing. The next time, and I guess I already loved her because there was a next time; she picked me up at the Toronto Greyhound station in sweats and bowled me over. All I could say was “Wow” for most of the car ride to her apartment. This trip was during the SARS crisis in Toronto and I remember that everything was really cheap. But we didn’t really leave the apartment that much.

We visited each other in Toronto and Williamsburg until I graduated from William & Mary. By this point, the “dude online” joke had been replaced by the “girlfriend in Canada” joke in reference to the Breakfast Club. Everyone liked Claire, which was good. I’ve had girlfriends who didn’t get along with my friends and I had no interest in having another one. She is extroverted and immediately likeable; I am shy and a bit weird.

After college, I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. I had no interest in moving back to Northern Virginia, which sucks your soul out. I’ve seen too many friends wind up living there, miserably, for years. So, I figured, why not move in with Claire? And since I was quite willing to move to Canada to be with her, why not get married?

Everyone thought we were nuts.

Her parents sat us down and told us to wait. They warned me about what I was getting into: Claire’s condition, the fact that Canada is less religious than the US- I was okay with that. Also they wanted me to understand that the average Canadian is more liberal than the average American; again, not what you would call a “deal breaker”. Most of all, they wanted to get to know me.

So, I moved in the next January- during an ice storm that fit the stereotype of Canadian weather- and we had Sunday dinner with the family every week. A year and a half later, we were married in Toronto. We still lived in the city and we had the cat by this point- she ate a tremendous amount of wedding cake while we weren’t looking. My idea to have her side of the family sing O Canada at the wedding, while mine sung the Star Spangled Banner was nixed. As was the moon bounce, and the wedding rings engraved with “Drop it like it’s Hot”. Oh well. Marriages require the occasional compromise.

When you get married, lots of people want to warn you about how difficult marriage can be. I suppose they worry that you’ll rush in and be gob smacked when there are problems. But, I tell my friends, who are considering it, that it’s also a great deal of fun to be married. You get to hang out with your best friend all the time and also have sex. I don’t think it’s for everyone, but for us, it was right. And, three years on, it’s still better than anything else

6 comments:

narrator said...

great story. beautifully told.

Rufus said...

Thank you very much.

clairev said...

i echo narrator's statements...

oh my darling man, i am willing now to bend on that "drop it like it's hot" thing if you're still into it. it would be pretty funny when we're 80.

happy anniversary. i celebrated by re-watching our wedding vid, and our little picture thing that we did twice, cause i'm sentimental and nerdy. and maybe i got teary cause i saw you, which was nice. can't wait till you get home. lola did a lot of hissing at my parents who came over and did stuff and i'm sure regretted that there was no wedding cake to devour.

talk to you soon :)

Hiromi said...

You get to hang out with your best friend all the time and also have sex.

That pretty much captures it. Happy Anniversary!

Holly said...

Happy Anniversary! Congratulations to you both!

Some of my imaginary friends (people I only know online) got married last month, and had agreed that each could have ANYTHING THEY WANTED engraved into the other's wedding band.

I forget what she had engraved in his ring (something traditional), but he had QAPLA engraved in hers.

Rufus said...

Thank you everyone!

Claire, I wish I was home too. I'd like to hire someone to finish up in the archives and fly back. When will we have telepods, people?