1. Fifteen years is a long time when you really think about it. How often do people stick with anything for 15 years? I’ve been driving for more than 15 years. I’ve been able to swim for nearly 40 years. Breathing for more than 40. I’ve been married for 15 and find it to be quite an accomplishment.
2. We are very different people than the 21-year-olds who started dating in the 1990s. At 21, we were mere babies, with so, so much to learn. At 21, you don’t have gray hairs. At 21, you can’t even rent a car.
3. We knew each other when we bought our very first Nokia cell phones but hardly used them, because we had land lines that worked just fine.
4. We were best friends before we dated. Our story starts with a bet, but probably not the one you’d imagine. We were taking a college biology class together. He slept every day. I paid attention and studied. Little did I know back then, he doesn’t have to pay attention to make a better grade than me. He’s incredibly smart. I bet him a weekend in New York that he wouldn’t make a better grade in the class. He did, and he came to New York the following summer.
5. It was while doing my internship in New York that I realized I wanted to move home and marry my best friend. I’m so glad he agreed.
6. I’ve never seen proof of that biology grade.
7. When he proposed, he told me a bunch of really nice things, but I had tunnel vision and couldn’t hear anything he said. As best he could, he reminded me later. He has a terrible memory for such things.
8. I used to get mad at him for not introducing me to people. I thought he was ashamed of me or something. As it turns out, he’s terrible at remembering names, too. If he doesn’t introduce me to you, that means he doesn’t know your name.
9. Maybe I need to see proof of that biology grade.
10. We always said we’d have three or four children. He wanted three, I hoped for four. High-risk pregnancies led to a change of plans. We have two and wouldn’t change a thing. Willingness to adapt to and accept change is key. (See #2)
11. He can build or fix anything. I’ve come to terms with the fact that, while it may take (a lot) longer for him to complete the task, he likes to do projects around the house and won’t ever hire anyone.
12. I’m a terrible housekeeper. He deals with it. The whole not hiring anyone applies here, too, but I’m working on him. For now, we’re letting our kids handle chores we don’t feel like doing. The Boy can start the lawnmower now, and even though she uses an entire bottle of dish soap, The Girl does the dishes pretty well.
13. I think his gray hair is pretty cute.
14. We don’t always get along, and I don’t have any sage advice to share. We have a common goal: to see this thing through no matter what. We talk about that often, especially when things feel tense. We try to go on dates as much as we can, and when we do, we try not to talk about the kids. We aren’t anywhere near perfect, but that’s okay. We’re us, and we make a great team.
15. Fifteen years! Cheers! To many, many more.