Love does not consist of gazing at each other,
but in looking together in the same direction.
-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Growing up, I never really gave getting married much thought one way or the other. I guess I figured it would probably happen, but never that it must. And to be honest, that pretty much was always the way I felt about it. Even as a teenager, it didn't bother me one way or another that I never had a boyfriend. To be honest, most of my peers seemed incredibly young and immature, so I was just as happy to not have to deal with them most of the time.
The Tim and I met when we were freshmen. We became best friends before it ever occurred to us to "go on a date." And we never really talked about getting married, we just kinda decided it was the thing to do rather than be apart when he was going away for graduate school. Sure, we could have just lived together. But we figured we would probably get married at some point anyway, so why not just start that way?
During the past thirty-five years, we have had lots of laughs, many disagreements, more than our share of heartbreaks, and the usual ups and downs of any given person's life. We have both probably grown more patient with others, if less patient with each other. There are times when I'm certain both of us just wish the other would go away for a while, or shut up, or Just.Stop. We both realize that at this stage of our lives, that may happen sooner or later anyway, whether or not we want it to, and last forever. So it's always worth going on.
Once when I was talking to an unmarried friend, she said that she wished she could find someone, of course for the usual reasons, but also because she thinks it must be nice to just have someone there. I told her that there were plenty of times when we are both at home, but not necessarily talking or even in the same room, but that there was nothing quite as comforting as the feeling of "companionable silence" (I read those words in a book once, and they stuck with me). She had never heard the phrase, and agreed that it was what she was - in the end - wishing she could find.
So here we are thirty-five years later, different but the same. Living our own lives, doing our own things, spending each day as we nearly always have, with some slight variation. Sometimes great, sometimes awful, but always at least good. Laughing, crying, arguing, sulking, agreeing, ignoring, mocking, and obsessing.
But always - now and forever - looking in the same direction.
Happy Anniversary to my sweetheart.