Earlier this week, Luisa and I were lying in bed contemplating the fact that we have now been together for 19 years. With my head tucked into her shoulder and my arm thrown comfortably across her chest, I asked, "All those years ago, did you ever think we'd make it this long?" Her answer came quickly - "No."
I smiled and said, "Yeah...me neither."
I met Luisa when I was 24 and filled with all sorts of romantic ideas about love and relationships. I expected poetry and rose petals strewn across my bed. I wanted to feel that we were destined to be together. I felt we should spend large portions of our day staring into each other's eyes. I thought that I should be able to act like a total whack job and still get the girl.
Basically, I wanted to be the adorably quirky star of my very own lesbian romantic comedy.
But life isn't a romantic comedy. It doesn't unfold from a script and there are no guaranteed happy endings. The truth is that you build a life with someone a day at a time and hope for the best. Sometimes, it works out and sometimes it doesn't.
I wish I had some trade secret to share. I could tell you that love, respect and hard work are the keys to maintaining a long-term relationship but I know some relationships end despite all of that. So, I don't have answers.
What I do know is that, somewhere along the line, I learned a few important lessons:
Poems are lovely but I really want someone who is willing to tie a giant volcano to my car without complaint.
Clean sheets are just as amazing as rose petals.
Staring into each other's eyes is boring. I'd rather have a well-crafted cocktail and a smile.
You have to be nutty in moderation to keep the girl.
Sometimes, our kids ask us if we'll be together forever. We both know that the easy answer would be "yes". After all, we have done pretty well so far. But, neither of us ever make that promise. We say that we love each other and hope to be together for a very long time. We know we can't predict the future. Our 19 years together have proven that.
So, Happy Anniversary Luisa! Thanks for the volcano thing and the clean sheets and for enduring all the crazy things I do (though I am disappointed that you scratched out "live rattlesnake" on the Target list earlier today).
Tonight we celebrate!
(And yes, I did make the reservation even thought technically that falls under "business" which is your domain but whatever.)