Maybe I didn’t realize when I set up the whole wedding-anniversary-two-weeks-after-my-birthday thing that I would be quite affected by two some-what monumental celebrations in one’s life, all happening within such a short time of each other. I mean…34 years young AND Year 1 of Marriage in 2 weeks.
But really, what’s the big deal about 34? It’s not a life changing year. It’s not even cool like 33, which can at least be lucky or doubled or doubled luck. It’s not 35 which is when I’m supposed to have a crisis of some kind. Nope, it’s just 34. Boring, overlooked, shapeless, listless 34.
But for me, 34 was a big deal. It meant that I was no longer in my 33rd year, which was one of the best and worst years of my life.
And to commemorate this shift in time, something unusual and special transpired….Roy and I went away together…alone…for only the second time in our time together.
Roy rented a cabin in Jenner, California, which is a tiny, sleepy, beach-side town where the Russian River meets the Pacific. As basically every house in Jenner is a rentable location, we had lots to choose from, but landing prophetically in the “Fanny Jewel” room, (Fat bottomed girls you make the rocking world go round!!) we spent 48 hours being together, away from it all.
And there’s something to be said for having no cell or wifi service. It’s crazy liberating. Like we were no where and everywhere all at the same time. No one needed us, no one could need us, we only had each other, the dog, and MONK (thank god for marathon television…sometimes we just need to veg out).
But what we did get to do was be together. That’s sort of new for us. I know…4.5 years into our relationship and we’re still getting used to being with each other 🙂
We took a drive up the gorgeous HWY 1, to which I got semi-carsick (as usual) and landed at an isolated hotel where the dog and I got lost amongst the sand dunes, and couldn’t find Roy for the better part of an hour. We stopped at a random roadside deli, where we were accosted by the “sandwich artist” to hurry up and “pick our meat”, and then being accidentally charged $50 for our trouble. We sat out with our lunch on a small strip of grey sandy beach, where we watched the dark waves roll back and forth, and let Kings eat driftwood and dig holes until he passed out. Dinner was by far the most entertaining, with the wait staff in tuxes for the 6 tables present, serving us delicious food and wine, when they remembered to do it. It was like the Twilight Zone with no death or creepy music.
It was enchanting and liberating. I celebrated turning 34.
AND THEN WE HAD A PARTY AT GRACELAND!!!
There’s nothing more “Giovanniello” than a party at Graceland. Complete with kids, dogs, Coors Light in a can, tequila, bbqing, Yo Gabba Gabba, costumes, pie, and big hair. I was really touched that so many people turned out, and felt a sense that life was “coming together” once again and the slate had been wiped clean.
But our First Wedding Anniversary was a real testament all around. Roy and I had literally and figuratively fought tooth and nail to make it to this landmark, knowing that we’d either give up and be like Kim Kardashian, or make it and be like the Newmans. We wanted to be Paul and Joanne.
We were lucky enough to be invited to Tahoe with our best family friends, and spend our anniversary on a steam ship circling the Lake, complete with sunshine and cocktails. We had no where to be, no one to impress. All we were required to do was being happy, and be even happier with each other.
So we did. And it felt good.
I know so many people will find my interpretation of marriage to be beyond bizarre and backwards, but I don’t care anymore. Roy and I have built this relationship from the top down, and have been as successful as we could by simple trial and error. I don’t know how else to make a relationship special and cherished. We had to work for it. Every day. And because of that, we see it in a different light than most.
Roy gave me as our “paper” gift a book he made out of colored construction paper, filling all of the many pages with quotes, statements, stick figures, song lyrics, reminders of our time together.
It felt like we had made something actually legitimate and real, when I felt like I wasn’t paying attention. Reading through every page I came to understand that the treasure of having a marriage, of being with one person, is all of the little things. Neither of us are perfect, God knows that I’m so far from that ideal that the Devil has a welcome mat with my name on it. But Roy reminded me that he chose me – crazy and all, and that the respect I have for that decision has increased 10 fold.
Incidentally, we shared our anniversary with our friends who celebrated their 46TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY…and I felt like we had come no where 🙂
I’m looking forward to September. I think we have a lot of look for this year…stayed tuned kids, this is about to get interesting.