Picture it–(Sicily, 1947)–just kidding, it was probably around 1980-1981. I was roughly three or four years old. I lived in a tiny place in the frozen tundras of Alberta, a province in the great forested wilds of a country named Canada. The town was called Tin Town. Tin town was basically rows upon rows, huddled up to the street, of small mobile homes with some geniuses idea to use metal sheets on the roof and outside. Metal sheets, guys–I don’t know if any of you have stuck your head inside an oil drum while someone cranks out a drum-beat from Pantera upon it, but it’s pretty much what it sounds like whenever it rained, sleeted or hailed.
These were the “lower ranked” military housing, set below the much more majestic actual houses on a far off hill where I assume the higher ranking Canadian military families all drank expensive water and had expensive parties or something.
It is night. (Remember: you’re picturing this with me.) Our tiny little tin coffin is darkened and silent as the night cloaks all in stillness. My father–a long time sufferer of a horrible back and gout-ridden feet, often slept on the couch at night as it was more solid and more supportive than the bed. In our tiny little metal box, my room was at the very end of a short hallway that looked right out through the kitchen and into the living room; facing the living room’s large picture window. Below the picture window was the couch. And on that couch was my father, arms crossed over his chest, feet crossed at the ankles and grey-wool sock covered feet peeking out from under a blanket. I knew he was fast a sleep because it seemed as if he were sawing the winter’s worth of aspen trees for kindling. AKA: Holy mother of Odin, my father could out-snore a drunk bear.
And so, like most three-to-four year olds, I had gone through my list of Things I Could Do To Avoid Going To Sleep such as the number one hit: I Have To Pee, and, I Have to Pee Again, as well as, Read Me Another Story! and my favorite, I’m Hungry! as well as the other not-as-well-known usual night time favorites. Having annoyed the living fuck out of my parental units so much that they fell asleep, exhausted, obviously ignoring my needs–I felt rather betrayed. And upset. And so, I began:
Today is the infamous day, in the year of oh lawd, 2017, when my husband, Shawn and I celebrate 8 years of official marriage. Actual we gotta piece of paper ‘n everything! marriage, as opposed to use getting together back in 2003 and from then on our simply referring to one another as husband and wife married. Our love is fourteen years old today and if it were a teenager in today’s world…Jesus, I would feel pretty torn up being a teen this year, also with the added befuddlement of hormones, brain development, and figuring out your place in this society…Anyway, I got a little side tracked, as you do, when you have the attention span of a gnat. Oh. You don’t? Oh..But let’s move on.
In celebration of 8 official years of marriage, I would like to share with you the eight reasons why I love Shawn.
8 reasons why I love my husband, a celebration of full frontal geekery:
You know how sometimes we all have ‘off’ days? Where our emotions or brain or hormones simply show up and trash the inside of your head then duck out and leave you with the mess? The first 6 years of being together, this is what Shawn had to deal with….everyday. Why is that important? It’s important because during those years I was absolutely, 100% unmedicated as well as still not diagnosed with severe depression and Bipolar II. For those of you not familiar with BP II, it’s just a much slower, surfer dude BP. You still get the manic episodes, but maybe once a month–maybe every two months. My manic episodes involved doing every fucking thing all at once as well as having hare-brained schemes for shit that made no sense but at the time I was very into it because my brain is a little broken. The depressive episodes meant not doing anything . A polar (see what I did thar?) opposite of the manic. And these could last months and months with little breaks in between. During the weeks I was PMSing I was a mess. Not even a hot mess. Just a mess. And so I had, basically, an off day for six years of our relationship. And it was pretty awful. As some of you who suffer from the same things, or have a loved one who has to go off their meds for whatever reason–or has an episode and goes off their meds–I can hear you making understanding nods. And see, this man didn’t drop my broke-brained-mountain self. Instead? He stayed. Through all of that and the medicated part.2. We have our own married language. We finish each other’s –sandwiches–sentences. Sometimes, I think we may actually be semi-telepathic or something. There can be days where I will quietly crave a food, or think about a certain song stuck in my head and I won’t say anything about it but BAM. Shawn will look at me funny one day and go, “Y’know, I’ve been thinking a lot about : indian food/pizza/chinese food/going to ___ and getting ___” and I will yodel like a dork: “I HAVE BEEN THINKING THAT ALL WEEK! OMG!” We speak in old MEME tongues often. Our cat will sit a certain way and we’ll look at it and at the same time blurt: “He should buy a boat,” or, “these aren’t my glasses?” and, “but that’s none of my business.” Sometimes we don’t even say a full MEME or hilarious Thing We’ve Seen Or Read. Sometimes I just say a single word. Just one! And he gets me. YOUUUU COMPLEEEETEEE MEEEE!3. Apparently my blanket hogging, snoring, space consuming ass is, actually, missed when it doesn’t get into bed on time when he does. He tells me that he can sleep, yes (and boy I still wanna punch him in the face with love at how quickly this man can go from wide-awake to literally snoring in 3 minutes or less!) but that if I am not in the bed, it’s a fitful sleep. That he wakes up and notices I’m not there a lot. During the first year of finding new meds to treat me brain pan, he used to physically get up out of bed and come find me. He’d peek around corners, hair stuck up as if recently gently electrocuted, eyes half glued shut and mumble: “Y’alright? Y’okay? Y’doin’ okay?” just to make sure. Interrupting your own precious sleep simply to check up on someone? That’s love, yo.4. I fail. A lot. I failed in getting a job. I failed in school. I failed at the invisible Housewife standard that some people hold where I’m apparently able to whip my house up into sparkling clean tingting sound-effects shine whilst drinking wine out of my crystal glasses that NEVER EVER BREAK and eating chocolates from paris. (Maybe that’s just my imagination.) At any rate, I don’t work. Lucky for me, he got the chance to work from home so I’m not left alone. (Because one time, I decided to step on the glass stove to paint–and the stove broke, but my foot didn’t??? some how??? but there was glass everywhere. Like…Glass dust.) Despite the fact that this part of our relationship is wildly out of balance he…just do. Like Shia Labeouf’s tired meme, he JUST DOES IT. He goes to work. He gets dat money. He spends it all on keeping a house (that I don’t clean very well) over my head and food (lots obvs) in mah belleh and food for kitties and birds and does it all because he can and he wants to. I guess, if you look at it my way, I didn’t fail when it comes to husbanding!
5. We equally hate socializing and yesterday when we early celebrated our anniversary by seeing Wonder Woman and eating Indian food, we went home and things got really exciting if ya know what I mean. Wink Wink. Nudge Nudge. …..we napped. That’s right. We romantically napped together in a food coma. Awww yisss.
6. We are both Star Wars nerds. He is more inclined to the tech side. I love the stories. We both know shit just got real however whenever one of us says: “I love you more than Star Wars.” Awww hells yeah, it’s romanticle time!
7. Neither of us can be trusted to go into any pet store to purchase supplies for our cats in case of Adoption Days. We literally cannot say no. To kittens. To one eyed tom cats with half an ear
and multiple scars and broken tails to old grumpy hissy spitty cats that like to hide. We are not allowed near any cat adoption days anymore and we certainly are not allowed to know their name or give them a name or else good bye heart, good bye forever. Shawn used to be able to go and get cat food, kitty litter, etc–but ever since the day he almost broke because of a fluffy white siamese kitten that would not stop staring at him–he has decided that we will henceforth purchase cat food and kitty litter and toys via Amazon. And as much as that means I won’t get to fondle kittens….I think it’s a very good idea. And what that means is, we’re both cat people. And I love that he loves cats. And gets me. I am the rare married crazy cat lady.
8. He loves me. I am not a good human. Or at least, I wasn’t. I was not an easy person to love. My mental health made barriers, made issues that weren’t there, made arguments that should have never happened, happen and made me, as I’ve described before–a little blob of hurt, confused spite–that lashed out for seemingly no reason. It took a lot to love me then. But he did. He loved me even when he should have given up. He loved me even when I floundered. He loved me when I was at my absolute worst, morning breath and all, and he loved me when I got better, too. He loved me when I stayed in bed all day and could barely get the energy to wash myself and he loved me when I went through the house like a whirlwind with a scrub brush. He loved me when I stood in the middle of a pet store and cried because we couldn’t afford to save a third cat, when we already had 2 (the apartment we were living in at the time, had a 2 large pet restriction.) And he still loves me. I’m not sure what I did to deserve this. Actually, I’m pretty sure I didn’t. But hey, if there’s hope for me then there’s hope for everyone.
There are a million more reasons why I am celebrating our marriage today and everyday. But this page won’t hold a million. So I showcased 8. Here’s to us, honey. We did it! We survived! Let’s keep that up!
April 2nd, huh. You missed out on the really fun shenanigans that often happen during April fools by only a day. That means that, depending on how you felt and how dad felt, April fools jokes were still going to be played whether you wanted them or not. I don’t remember all the April’s Fools the two of you played with me and with each other. The only one that really stuck out in my mind was when, in my early teens, my mother pulled me aside with stillness in her features. She bade me sit down and said, “I have something important to tell you,” with low words. I couldn’t read her face. I couldn’t figure out if I had gotten into trouble of it I’d done something–all I knew is that burbling, wordless fear started crawling around in my brain trying to find anything that I’d done wrong recently.
“Uh. Okay,” I said.
She was in her favorite rocking chair. She leaned in close and put her hand over mine. And then the stoic mask she’s worn earlier slipped with her one-corner-of-mouth smile as she said: “You’re going to have a little brother or sister!”
And of course I start flapping my arms around lik they were made of two week old celery that’s not dried out enough to be bad, but certainly rubbery. “REALLY?” I asked, in that sub-sonic woman’s voice reserved for newborns, puppies, kittens, and those moments that happen in your favorite move. It’s at this point that I notice my mother’s smile turning to smirk. It happened slow; along the left hand side of her mouth it would begin to curl a little downward, showing laugh-line creases. Then her eyes, once steady, became glittering with the laughter she withheld .
She came clean to me and reminded me of the date: April 1st. I was disappointed, but not mad. It was, for me and for her, a trifling little April fools between us that meant no hard.
April is coming.
April fools and then
My mother’s birthday.
You are my little planet, my earth. Hard packed from the way my feet pace back and forth in your heart–worrying about the things you’d never think of. Because really, they aren’t things that were meant to be worried about. Do you think I will die first? What will happen if you do? You know, I cannot live without you. I would have to go right after. You watch as I say these things and wring my hands as old women in markets haggling over the price of life. Your earth is soft and cool; never too hot or baked from Floridian sunrises. I like to bury my toes deep into you, because I know that through you…I will grow.
You are not a rock. I hope you will never be a rock. Rocks are too hard, too tough. They feel stress fractures and before you know it they’ve split and grown harsh edges to cut with.
You are the grass covered hill waiting in the shadow of a sunny day to cool me. So I can lay down in long plants, watch the clouds of your mind take the shapes and forms of love for me. And I feel nothing but peace. If it rains, I’ll just roll down the hill a little bit, until the worst of it hits the side.
I would have marked you a Knight. But there are problems with Knights, too. So bound up in rigid codes or behaviors. So wrapped up in their armor that sometimes they forget there’s more to see of the world outside the slit of a visor.
You are my little planet. My cool grass. My soft hill. My reason. My husband.
Once upon a time there were two phat geeks. They met and fell in love in a magical way over a series of ensorcelled tubes before meeting face to face. Their life was filled with cats, birds and the Land of Internet. They lived humbly for a long time with their parents and dreamed simple dreams. When they were able to, they rented a small space away from their parents in a hot and treacherous jungle named BugLandia, occasionally called Florida. The space was fine at first, but then they found three little green and blue feathered souls that needed rescuing and then the space wasn’t so much space as it was living in a giant bird cage with bird cages within it.
They dreamed of a place of their own with just a little more space. Not much. Just a bit. They never ever in their wildest dreams thought they could afford anything really nice, like some of the other castles and fortresses in BugLandia, so when they began looking the looked at rustic little cottages that needed much roof-thatching and rebuilding.
They had an awfully hard time of it. Every choice was either too much expense to fix or missing important things like…toilets…entire kitchens. Walls.
It was a long journey on Sundays Untold for what seemed like forever–three–months and they kept saying, “Maybe,” to the magical lady who showed them these places but ultimately it turned into no.
And then one day the planets aligned an a unicorn came down from the misty heavens leaving a trail of sparkles and those little marshmallows from that cereal with the leprechaun that has a lot of issues with his charms. The sun parted and harps played and they found The One.
They found a place to call home. Something far beyond their wildest dreams and perfect for them.
With the enchantment of their own pudgy feet they moved from their tiny place to the castle.
And they called this land, “The Phat Cave.” There were no sudden or inevitable betrayals.
They lived weirdly and phatly ever after.
On April 25th 2013 we finalized an offer on a home and moved out of our apartment. I am so happy and tired and tirappy I could explode into glitter bombs.