Today marks the day that Dave and I have been on this amazing, slightly schizophrenic and truly unpredictable journey together for Six Years. Six Years ago today we decided we’d become a ‘we’ instead of just a you and I, and beautiful chaos has reigned ever since. Some of you might be thinking, “Who can really remember their ‘dating’ anniversary anymore? We’re not in middle school! We don’t count by months!” To this my answer is two-fold:
1) As many of my fellow expats can attest, when you embark on a long-distance relationship with someone from another country, you can’t just casually fall into the habit of dating. You have to have a discussion, come to a conclusion and make a decision. Those deliberations are often heart wrenching and simultaneously liberating, so you tend to make a note of the date.
2) We do count the months! Maybe not to the exact day, but every month one of us usually makes a joke or a gives an ass-slap to indicate the passage of our time together. We’re just that cheesy and I don’t care.
And so, you so thoughtfully ask, what will we do to commemorate this day? We’ll wake up in the morning and spend those first lazy moments before the snooze alarm goes off grinning like fools and cracking wise about another year come and gone. We’ll be more thoughtful than normal, offering the other the last of the milk, arguing over who will give who the honor of using the comfortable pillow (yes, there is just one), letting the little annoyances slip by unnoticed. Our day will be borderline normal, but in between the little gestures and the daily humdrum, we’ll both make sure the other knows how big we really think these small landmarks are. We’ll sigh and shake our heads when we remember some of the stupid things we’ve done, the darkest moments we got through, and the unknown awesomeness that lies ahead of us. Our dinner will be unceremonious, although we may share a special dessert (ie: an entire Ritter Sport Pfefferminz chocolate bar or some of our dwindling Oreo supply) and a glass of wine. And when we go to bed we’ll spend the last few moments of waking laughing and talking and remembering and hoping. Because we’re just that cheesy, and I don’t care.
The simplicity of this non-ceremonious celebration is a perfect example of why I love Dave and why we’ve made it through some stormy seas to the stable ground we now stand on. I’ve never been one for huge, romantic gestures. I appreciate their value to others, but for me they are often masking the simple sentiment I need. I once stopped seeing someone when on our second or third meeting he brought me flowers. Cold, right? Wrong. I just knew that the flowers were there because the conversation was bound to dry up soon and he knew he needed filler. I’m not one for filler.
Dave is my best friend, in the annoying Dr. Phil way and in the cheesy Hallmark way and in the genuine let’s have a beer/let’s paint my toenails kind of way. And he is such a good friend that he doesn’t dare or even dream to impose on the best friend I have in Alley, Jess, Scotti or Raquel. He’s such a good friend that he knows I’m never going to be easy to live with and he lives with me anyway. He thinks my morning-hair is cute, he thinks my jokes are hilarious, he let’s me pick out his clothes for special occasions. He knows I would do anything for him, and he recognizes the sacrifices I make to follow his dreams. I want to make him happy because seeing him happy makes me elated, and I don’t have to do anything besides be my quirky, singing, moody, dancing, emotionally high maintenance self to accomplish this. Making me happy makes him happy, and he uses improvisational rhymes, hugs, smiles and massive burps to accomplish this goal. A hidden camera in our house would reveal a symbiotic madness that has never before been known to man.
To the ups, the downs, swirling all around. Cheers!