My Husband’s Gray Hair

My husband turned 30 last week and he just found a gray hair in his beard. He was distinctly unimpressed (possibly closer to depressed) but I was excited because I’m all about that salt-and-pepper look–even if he’s currently all pepper (minus 1), or more like paprika because his beard is weirdly red (weird considering how dark his head-hair is). Another thing I don’t complain about.

Basically, I like looking at my husband.

So I missed posting on his birthday about his birthday. He’s the big 3-0, and it’s a little crazy to think he’s been alive for three whole decades. I remember when thirty was so old but now it feels like thirty is when life just starts to really begin. I’m sure I’ll have a lot more philosophical thoughts surrounding turning the dirty thirty when my birthday rolls around near the end of the year, but for now, I just wanted to publicly say a belated happiest of birthdays to my handsome, barely gray-haired man. I’m super proud of all you’ve accomplished this year, and really looking forward to what your thirties will entail!

The Best Thing My Husband Gave Me

I want to say off the bat that I’m sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I also want to apologize for the content of this post as my first one in a while. It’s a ramble that came to me on my drive home, and is likely not everyone’s cup of tea, so if you’re not into reading about dogs pooping (yup, we’re headed somewhere weird) and want to stop reading right now, I will not hold it against you.

There’s something called the Pooping Dog Phenomena. Don’t Google it because I just made it up, and you’ll just get lots of articles related to dog pooping but not what I’m about to discuss. As far as I know, this is the only source for this information, so buckle up buttercup.

That’s where our story begins: riding down the road in my husband’s MangoTango Jeep Wrangler with the doors off (because he was a badass/showoff/too lazy to put them back on before a first date and I was a badass/good sport/trying to impress him with how carefree I could be *ha*). It was a very early date — possibly the first — certainly before we’d labeled each other boyfriend/girlfriend. I’d developed a habit in those days of pointing and yelling “puppy!” whenever I saw a dog (okay, I still sometimes do this), and so without thinking that this was a guy I hardly new and wanted to impress, I spotted a dog  walking with his human and shouted “puppy!” and then settled back into my seat to wait for my then-not-even-boyfriend to pull over and politely ask me to get out and never contact him again.

Instead, he looked where I was pointing, and I was mortified to realized the dog had squatted and begun to do his business. I insisted he hadn’t been doing that a second ago, but my husband just laughed and said “dogs are always pooping when I see them.” I was sure he was just being nice.

Until a few days later when it happened again. I noticed a dog and by the time my husband looked, she was dropping a deuce and glowering at us. He was like “I told you! It happens every time.”

Surely not every time? Yes, every time. To this day, my husband induces more doggy-dumps than laxatives. It could be mere coincidence, but I’ve (only slightly) objectively observed this phenomena for six years now, and vastly more often than not, dogs decide it is doody-time when he’s around.

He’s passed the PDP on to me. Remember the carefree youth who would yell “puppy!” with such delight whenever she saw a frolicking dog of any age? Now she still gets that happy flutter in her chest, but approximately fifty-percent of the time, it’s tempered by said puppy’s sudden urge to go.

However, because of my husband’s simple acceptance of the Pooping Dog Phenomena, his easy laugh and shrug and “that’s just how it goes I guess” attitude, I can’t help but smile when it happens to me. So if you’re ever out for a jaunt with your furry friend and notice a girl grinning when he takes a dump, it’s me and I’m sorry. It just makes me think of my husband. In the best way.

You are the Best Thing

This weekend, my husband and I will celebrate our first year of married life. It’s insane to me that a full year has passed since the “I do”s and the big dress.

Recently, someone asked how being a newlywed was going. I surprised myself by responding immediately with “it’s really wonderful.” That’s not to say it’s surprising that being married is wonderful — of course it is; why else would people do it? It’s just also hard sometimes, and annoying sometimes, and honestly, a little bit terrifying. But when faced with the question — asked in a way that was meant to illicit a deep, well-thought-out response — my first associated feeling was warmth and light and safety. My lips lifted. And then the words tumbled out. “Really wonderful.”

Trust me, this wasn’t some platitude to change the subject. It wasn’t naivety or boasting or sugar-coating reality. Sharing a living space with someone is annoying. Especially when one is introverted and has grown used to living alone. Suddenly having another person eating my food and using my bathroom and watching my TV 24/7 was uncomfortable (note: I should say that it is “our” food now, and “our” bathroom, and –if anything– “his” TV). I like coming home from work and writing or watching a good, detailed show on the DVR (like GoT) or reading a book or whatever it is that is silent and solitary and not peppered with questions. I’ve had to get used to there being someone who wants to hear about my day and tell me about his (and eventually ask for the umpteenth time “why does she have dragons?”) — literally every single day.

My husband is neurotic about very particular things. We all have our quirks. I’m seriously blown away he loves me so freaking much considering all of my own little weirdo-things.

We are also different people. This should go without saying, but being different people, we have different thoughts and ideas and different things are important or not important or done differently and this leads to fights.

This year has not been a walk in the park, though we’ve taken many. We’ve experienced loss, and learned how difficult comfort can be to find when he grieves differently than I. There have been eye-rolls and firmly-shut-doors (okay, I might have slammed one or two). There have been tears (in my defense, he knew going into this I’m a mess of emotions) and there has been heavy silence. I’ve learned (read: still learning) that sharing a life can be as windy and rocky as it is smooth.

But I’ve also learned that if I’m not feeling well, my husband knows without my saying which mug to serve my favorite soup in. I know he’ll go to three different stores to track down one ingredient for dinner if I say it’s important (and sometimes, even if I say it’s not). He always cleans up after dinner — he’ll say it’s because I cooked, but even if he makes his specialty rice-and-avocado-burritos, he cleans up.

When a funny movie makes him belly-laugh, he reaches for my knee. It’s a subconscious tick — he just likes to be physically connected to me while we’re doubling over with laughter. Sometimes he holds my hand as he’s falling asleep. He tells me he loves my singing (no matter how loudly, stupidly, or off-key I make it), and insists he’s not lying when I scoff.

He thinks I’m strong, and beautiful, and that I see the world with childlike wonder. He can be utterly selfless, my modern-day hero. He epitomizes one of my favorite lines from my favorite movie about my favorite fictional crush: “That boy would stand on his head if I asked him to!” (okay, so the original quote said “Gilbert Blythe” but I’ve thought it so often of my husband that it’s forever warped in my heart to “that boy”).

So despite the challenges that go along with all of life, despite the discomfort of fitting my life with another human being, when asked to dish about all the anxiety marriage can bring, the word that came to mind was “wonderful.” Really wonderful.

There were points during the past year where I questioned everything. I had panic attacks and really low periods and felt really lonely. There were also times I couldn’t fall asleep because my husband wasn’t home yet, and now I’m used to his arms around me at night. It’s all a beautiful, painful, wonderful journey to weave my life with someone else, the best someone else. It’s a journey we’ll continue on for a lifetime of years.