In the summer of 1999, I was at a house party hosted by a guy with wild eyes, head-banger hair and "FUN" tattooed in large, cartoony letters across the front of his neck. There was a live band in the living room and copious amounts of unidentifiable alcohol being served out of red plastic cups. I was 19 and, well... 19. We'll leave it at that.
At the party, I met a swooningly handsome guy with bleach-blonde hair, Union Jack boots and charm so thick it'd coat the back of a spoon. His energy was warm and good-intentioned. His smile was a beacon. I was smitten.
I'm leaving out chapters of important details and heaps of relevant information, but our party encounter in the summer of 1999 led to phone calls, which led to visits, which led to dinners, which led to kissing, which led to dating, which led to moving in together, which led to getting married in the summer of 2002. I was 22, he was 25. We were kids who loved playing house together.
As we enter our sixteenth year of coupledom, we've reached that stage of familiarity-bordering-on-telepathy that long-standing partners have. We've gone so far down the road of togetherness, the briars that line the well-worn path of marriage have surrounded us and closed us in. We know each other better than we know our own self.
And even in knowing each other to the Nth degree, there are still plenty of moments when we see each other in a new light. The shift in habits. The newfound opinions. The fresh speckles of gray. They're all welcome disruptions within the continuity.
And it's a good thing I find his disruptions so damn charming.
(A huge THANK YOU to the ever-affable Rick Cummings for his guidance and light sorcery.)