On Sunday, the Carpenter and I will mark our 23rd wedding anniversary; 23 years on October 23rd. That’s good luck (I could be making that whole good luck thing up, but please play along). 

The best lesson? We can always count on each other. 

Best friends. Always. 

We promised from the get-go we’d always be a team. A united front. Us against the world. Two spirits; one love. All those cute phrases. And as such, I’d like to honour my spouse by counting 10 ways we have grown in our love for one another. I’d go with 23 ways, but I only have so much space. And sure, I may be taking some liberties here because his opinion wasn’t sought, but I know the Carpenter so well, I can represent him accurately. Here we go. 

The Carpenter did his part to ensure we had two incredible children, then he stood there and watched me deliver them without drugs, pushing on with a personal power that still, if he was honest, makes him a little afraid of me. It should. Then we raised those unique kids with kind hearts into the remarkable adults they’ve become – both more mature than we are, so that’s something. 

We may be a team, but we’re still individuals. We don’t need to do everything together and we don’t push our interests on each other. I didn’t lose myself in this relationship. I found myself within it. And he found a spouse who doesn’t ask him to do anything during Seattle Seahawk football games. Fair.

The Carpenter eats the fat part of the chicken wings and leaves me the flats. I eat the celery sticks and leave him the carrots. Ying and yang (that might not be what that means). 

He accepts that as soon as the furnace goes on, so do the flannel polar bear sheets on our bed. Polar bears skiing and tobogganing, no less. They are soft sheets. It’s a win-win.

I accept that if household projects like bathrooms and new floors were completed to my satisfaction, it would totally kill our romantic vibe. Best not to jinx it. Wait, what? 

The Carpenter knows the difference between, “I need chips and dip” and “I want chips and dip” and acts accordingly. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.

I am grateful for the way he knows the exact amount of pressure and length of time for the appropriate hug for the appropriate emotion. He knows what I need. He doesn’t even charge.

Saturday nights spent in separate rooms watching movies isn’t a sign of a fractured relationship. It’s individuality: I love intelligent, quirky artsy films and he prefers violent action and predictable plots. We feed our minds differently. Opposites attract. 

He’s Def Leppard. I’m Talking Heads. But we will always have Blue Rodeo. 

We’ve evolved together. We know every scar we carry, be it visible or not, and we honour them, because we know the back story and how we survived. Together. It’s our story.

He knows when to ask and when to listen. I know when to talk and when to leave it alone. A marriage worth fighting for doesn’t need fighting over. That’s key.  

Best friends. Always.

Happy anniversary, Carpenter.

WriteOut of Her Mind