Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Three years ago today ...

Three years! Complete craziness.  Why is it that the 13 month engagement felt really long, but the first three years feels like three weeks?

Every anniversary has been a great anniversary, but I think that my favorite anniversary is still our first anniversary.

2001--he gave me the silver heart earrings as an anniversary gift.

On July 27, 2001, we had officially been together a year.  Ron and I hopped on the train—it was a beautiful day—and we went to the Phila. Art Museum.  We almost missed the train: We ran for it and made it (good practice for grad school four years later), and the nice ticket lady even waived our surcharge for buying tickets on the train. (This probably never happened before, and I can tell you that it’s never happened since.)

I wouldn't be shocked if that scaffolding is still there.

We got off at Suburban and walked down the Parkway which is bookended by LOVE Park on the east end and the museum on the west end.  Most importantly, we trekked up “the Rocky steps” when we got there.  I had lived here my whole life, and I had never seen the Rocky steps in person.  Totally pathetic.  *Note* the best view of the Philly skyline is seen here at the top of the steps.  If you’re lucky, you’ll see a bridal party taking pictures at the top.

I LOVE this picture for two reasons: the woman looking at the fountain with one hand on her hip and the runner in the red shirt at the top of the steps jumping around like Rocky.

We took our time in the museum—Ron’s favorite was the Arms and Armor room.  I think I was big on Impressionism at the time.

When I think about it, I’m hazy about the details following the Museum.  We must have walked to Society Hill and walked around there because we got back on the train at Market East.

Oh no, now that I think about it … I think we had dinner at the Hard Rock Café in Center City. And I think it was my idea.  Pathetic.  Oh well.

Sorry I made you stand next to a trash can--I wanted the sign above your head in the picture.

I think this must be my favorite anniversary because it marked the end of one era and the beginning of another.  Life had been really good, and we weren’t paying too much time dwelling on the changes ahead. A month later, Ron left for college two hours away, and we went from seeing each other everyday to seeing each other two weekends per month.  That was awful.  It lasted five years since Ron signed on for a grad degree while he was there. 

A lot of people in my profession question me—sometimes criticize me outright—for not eagerly moving away and taking a job anywhere one is available: Everyone else in our field does this. Why am I avoiding this and putting it off?  It’s inevitable if I want to be super-duper crazy successful.

In response, I think the same thing every time: because Ron and I already did our time.  I’m not moving anywhere without him, and we’re not moving anywhere without our families because we waited FIVE freakin years for Ron to come back so we could establish our own household here with our families.  You know what? Five years was five years. It was a long time.  And there are some days that I think to myself that we’re just getting settled into doing all of this together. Under one roof.  Our roof.  In the same city.  Our city. We’re not uprooting anything or anyone anytime soon.

When Ron and I were engaged in June 2007, I knew right away that I wanted our eighth anniversary to be our wedding day.  But, I got screwed with the leap year and what should have been Saturday, July 27, 2008 turned out to be Saturday, July 26.  I raged for about two minutes until I realized that it didn’t really matter and that we could simply celebrate our anniversary for two days each year, rather than just one.

I’m sure our wedding wasn’t a big deal to some people: We had a Mass, followed by what my mom and I came to call “a large celebratory dinner” afterward.  Everyone who came were (are!) people who we see and talk to all the time—many childhood friends, friends of our parents who we’ve known since birth, aunts and uncles who we see every Christmas and Easter (and all the birthdays and barbecues in between) … I thought it was lovely.

We didn’t have dancing, simply because we just didn’t feel like it.  We wanted to talk to everyone.  It’s what we do best.  The reason why I married Ron is because he talked me under the table on our second date.  It was a sight to behold: No person in the history of the universe had done that to me before.  Amalie, my bestest friend since first grade and barista at the café we were in, was witness to it that night.  When the music “begins” at a wedding, it becomes so loud you can’t talk anymore.  We wanted to talk.  And talk we did.

I wonder what song we would’ve danced to if we had had a first dance?  I would’ve nominated either “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?” or “God Only Knows,” both by the Beach Boys.  But there are ten or twenty U2 songs that would work too.

Happy ELEVENTH Anniversary Ron!!  I love you to death.  At the end of the day, only Bono says it best:

Did I know you?
Did I know you even then?
Before the clocks kept time?
Before the world was made?
From the cruel sun,
You are my shelter:
You are my shelter and my shade.
- "Wild Honey"

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