Sunday was Chris and my fifth anniversary.
Yesterday, we celebrated with our first date in over a year. We ate an amazing dinner at American Seasons, which was utter perfection from atmosphere to service to food.
Then we headed over to watch the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket put on Noises Off. The play was wonderfully done — we had a stitch in our sides from laughing by the time we left — and it was especially fun for me to see, since I had done it with my high school theatre.
My friend Becky was kind enough to watch Nora for the evening, and despite a little bit of a rough separation, it sounded like Nora had a great time out too. I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve gone out to dinner without Nora, and this was the first time we’ve done anything in addition to dinner since she was born. Chris has so little time off that he’s not willing to sacrifice his Nora time for a “date night,” and it’s not really our thing or in the budget anyway…but we do make a point of going out for our anniversary every year. Of course, Nora is never far from mind or conversation (especially since our parent brains can only think of Sesame Street when certain songs played over the restaurant’s stereo system).
This year’s anniversary date was much needed. It gave us a chance to talk about where we want to be in the next five years and how things have been going so far.
We’ve been together for more than eight years and married for five, and in that time:
We’ve lived in three different states and four different houses. We’ve spent months living apart because of work and we’ve spent months living together on schedules so opposite we might as well have been living apart. With the exception of six short months, we have always been a mostly single income family, first while I supported Chris through culinary school and now while he makes it possible for me to stay home with our amazing daughter (I do make some money, but it’s not much). We’ve had three dogs and one cat, although currently we have just one crazy Pip(squeak). We changed our family plan from five years to two and couldn’t have been happier with the outcome. We’ve faced bumps in the road and have had lots of tough discussions about budgeting and negotiating in-laws and making scary career changes, but mostly our marriage has been a fairy tale.
I meant to share this post earlier, on our actual anniversary, but it’s been a whirlwind week for us, not all of which was good. We had much to celebrate this year and so we actually decided to get one another presents (which is also something we don’t generally do). We thought it would be fun to give the traditional five year wooden gift, and I was super excited to get Chris a handmade, engraved cutting board off of Etsy. Chris was equally excited about his gift to me, which he bought from a local artisan through a work connection for a fraction of the price, but still a great deal more than I ever expected him to spend. Without getting too much into it, I was shocked to open the package and when I asked him how much he spent (several hundred dollars) I was livid.
One of the things that I most appreciate about our marriage is that we don’t fight; we sometimes have disagreements, though they are very rare, but we are always able to talk through them. This was no exception, though I don’t think I have ever been so mad at Chris before (and how crazy that it was all because of a gift he gave me!). Luckily, knowing his heart was in the right place made it was a little easier to cool off, and winning a CSA from Bartlett’s Farm yesterday(!) took a little sting out of the lost money. The gift isn’t returnable, but it may get sold at some point in the future if that money is needed. For now, it’s going to stay protected in its packaging and I think we both just have to chalk this one up to lessons learned and as something that will only make our marriage stronger. What’s a good marriage without something to harass your partner about for years to come?
Chris, even if, that one time, you did spend way too much money without asking me, I love you so very, very much. Everyday, I am grateful for what a wonderful husband and father you are, and for how good our life together is. I can’t wait to experience the next year, the next five years, and many more years after that with you. But… you never get to buy me a present again! (So maybe, really, you just won the argument.)
P.S. In case you’re wondering: I realize I don’t write much about my marriage since I generally consider it to be off-limits to the blog. In this instance it has been 100% Chris approved.