When I was a teenager, 19 years was, well, a lifetime.
When I was in my 20's, 19 years was a really REALLY long time.
In my 30's, 19 years was still a really long time, but I could stretch my brain to encompass the concept.
Now, I'm in my 40's.
And next week is the 19th anniversary of our first date (with epeepunk, obviously).
Now, I've known him for ... uh, lessee... 43 minus 17 is 26... yoiks! More than 25 years, I've known him. And I can still remember the first time I saw him, sitting there on the back of his parents' sofa, all brown and teenager thin and the cute teenager 'stache. I can also recall thinking 'dang, he's cute' followed promptly by the All Grown Up arrogance, I'm in COLLEGE, I'm moving in with my BOYFRIEND, I'm so BEYOND that high-school teenager cute.
Yeah. hahahahaha. Life is funny, ya know? And his babeness just got better with time, too.
26 years later, I still get the yowza stomach flip if I see him unexpectedly, like when he walks around the corner of the house when I'm gardening and calls my name. Mmmm.
He's still able to cut through my crap without mangling my ego on the way. He's still willing to work on 'us' the way we started out - intentionally. He's still the best team-mate I've ever had, like our brains connect and we pass stuff back and forth (though we grind gears getting started on new things, finessing the fit is part of what makes it work so well, and yeah, there's a little sputter sometimes when we pick up something that hasn't been worked on in ages, too... and then we hit the groove, and it slips into seamless again). For two people who were certain they'd kill each other in a couple of months without constant communication effort, we're doing pretty well.
Actually, the only times we suck at being with each other is when we forget to communicate, which seems to be an issue for everyone not just us... so, eh, we know the deal.
We've been through so freakin' much together, too. I can't count them all. It's been a long long way together so far. Hopefully a long long way to go, too.
Some of my favorite moments, just because I know he's going to read this later:
Looking up on the ballroom floor to see him walk through the opposite door, and realizing that WHOA, he's gotten a lot older at college, and uh, whoa... and the half-second delay before my feet were able to join in with the clump of college women who pretty much sprinted across the floor and skidded to a stop around him to say hello and check out the new punkier look (kilt included, but mmm, boots, and mmm, leather jacket, and hey, I didn't know you had an earring!).
Watching him at a dance party, when he was back home from college (graduated). Most of the dancing was done and we were hanging out afterwards, him on the sofa in the corner reading a book, and a friend of mine glancing up at me, then him, and saying, 'Still waters run deep'. Hmm, speculation begins...
Him looking me in the eye and telling me without any hesitation that it wasn't funny when I'd passed out (while having a nerve-severing injury tended), it wasn't funny at all. Lying there on the ground as my body tried to stabilize itself, looking at him and realizing that he had no fear of being afraid for a friend, no ego or bravado required in telling it as it was. He was just emotionally honest, concerned, and fully present. No small 'just', that.
Sitting up late at night on his bed in his apartment, talking, and talking, and talking. Particularly the conversation where we discussed exactly how we'd talk to our kids about sex. WAY before we were engaged, even.
Waking up that one morning, with the sun shining in the window onto both of us, and realizing I had been hit by the proverbial speeding train, I had it bad. Smiling and feeling that bliss for a glorious moment before realizing that, um, I didn't think he felt the same way back. CRAP.
Watching him lost in the process of figuring out our reception music. Listening, adjusting levels, flipping through the lists of our favorites, thinking it out, trying again. Creating rhythm and flow for each tape, taking the task seriously. I still love those tapes.
Sitting next to him on the wedding bench, knee touching his. I don't even remember saying the vows as clearly as the feeling of his knee against mine. Still remember the vows, though - we had to memorize them (Quaker wedding).
Emptying stuff out of his parents' attic, and finding yet another thing he'd grown up with that was the same as my own childhood - the same books, the same toys (not even usual ones). Over and over, touchstones of his experience being tandem with mine, even separated by distance.
So many times, working nearby while he worked on something, sweaty and speckled with sawdust or debris or paint from some task, noticing his hands or the way he braced his legs for some physical effort or other, and admiring the completely unconscious ease, the physical competence.
Knowing that I was never going to be able to push this baby out, that I was failing at the task, it was just plain never going to work... looking to him as my anchor, in desperation, and seeing his eyes fill with tears as he saw the top of our firstborn's head. Watching him glance toward me with such humility and awe, and knowing all the way to my core that I was not failing, I was succeeding, because I could see it in his eyes.
Coming home from work and finding the house silent. Peeking around the corner into the living room to see him asleep on the sofa, Mr G collapsed against his shoulder, both out like lights after a long day of playing and watching Rockford Files reruns.
Him shaking his head yet again because I'd picked out a movie to rent that we'd seen before (and which I could not recall seeing), and him being able to tell me what date it had been that we'd seen it on, when, where... amused, but not hurt by my total inability to recall things we've done together. (I remember the conversations, he remembers the activities.)
Walking in the door from work, and having him start the conversation with, 'Quit. Quit your job. Just quit. We'll find a way to make it work.' Even though I hung on until I was laid off, having him respond to the daily soul-suck with wanting me free of it was so good.
That time he confessed he was watching this hot college chick walk past our house, mmm, boots, long skirt, mmmmm... and then realize, wait, that's my wife. Heh. Oogling your wife out the window. Tsk.
Getting a call from him at work, an hour into my day, to apologize for the fight we'd had that morning. Moving to problem-solving, taking blame for his share of it, not taking blame for the parts that weren't. Never willing to let the apology wait, or the unhappiness sit.
Sitting at a work event, listening while I politely but clearly disassemble someone's argument (they made the mistake of expounding opinions without knowledge on something I knew a lot about), and when the other guy tried to jump back in and insist he was right (in spite of the chapter and verse I could cite), saying, 'Hit him again, he's still standing.' That sense that he enjoys my competence, knowledge, and capacity to make my case, very sexy.
Standing in the door to the kitchen, watching him pitch baseballs to the kids, over and over.
Him checking in with me to make sure we're talking about the stuff that is important to me, even though he is up to his neck in information and people and talking and is sooooooo done, so done with interacting. Making sure he's not losing something important about me and my cares in the process of surviving being an introvert doing extrovert work day in and day out.
And a whole bunch of sex ones, but I'm not writing those out. :P
Ninteen years, this Friday. Happy Tuesday, babe.