The First Wedding Anniversary


Yesterday was our first wedding anniversary and we celebrated via text because Luisa is currently in South Africa and I am here at home:

Vikki: Happy wedding anniversary!

Luisa: Isn't it tomorrow, the 27th?

Vikki: No. Today.

Luisa: Or was it the 26th?

Vikki: Today, the 26th.

Luisa: Well, happy anniversary to you too.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned our upcoming anniversary and she said, "We're not going to celebrate that one though." It was a statement not a question and I agreed that a celebration wasn't necessary but that the anniversary was noteworthy. We then engaged in a little game of Rank the Anniversary by Importance though our lists differ. We agree on the number one spot because we both want credit for all our years together (21 years on April 17, 2015) but we are split on the second spot. For me, the legal wedding takes that spot but for her, our commitment ceremony that took place in 2000 gets it. There is, of course, no right or wrong answer but I was surprised that the legal recognition of our relationship was at the bottom of her list.

In a way, it's fitting that we have different views on this because I concluded last year that the wedding meant everything and nothing at all.

Regardless, I look back at our wedding--a word that I am only becoming comfortable using as time passes--as a great time. I still can't completely articulate what it meant to me so it shouldn't surprise me that Luisa's feelings about it are equally complex. Our kids' view of that day is clear--their parents got married. For them, it remains an iconic moment in our lives and one that should be celebrated. Or they simply want cake. As they listened to us rank our anniversaries, we had to explain that the wedding was important but it was only one of all the moments that have made our lives together what they are.

We can mark our family life by the big ones...

April 17, 1993 (the date our relationship began)

October 7, 2000 (the date of our commitment ceremony)

July 4, 2001 (the birth of our first child)

March 4, 2005 (the birth of our second child)

October 26, 2013 (the date of our legally recognized marriage)

Each date is like a foothold in the climb. The next milestone will be our 25th anniversary and maybe after that it will be Vikki's First Hip Replacement. I don't know what lies ahead but I plan to keep on taking note and celebrating the passage of time, even if it's simply texts with emoticons: a heart (mine) and two beer mugs clinking (hers).

Happy belated third ranked anniversary Luisa! I'd do it all over again if I could. Actually, can we? I do so love a good party.



The Thought That Counts


Luisa was in Washington D.C. on Valentine's Day which was fine because we don't really celebrate Valentine's Day, except for showering our kids with love and chocolates and special notes. The truth is that we didn't really celebrate Valentine's Day before kids either. I am a hopeless romantic but Luisa is not and, over time, I've accepted that she's not going to write me love letters and that she'd rather have a cup of coffee she didn't have to prepare than a poem. I've even come to enjoy that we don't celebrate these sorts of things. There's no pressure and I can be lazy without guilt.

So, this year, she was out of town and I made her a little Valentine card to give her when she got back. When she arrived home, I gave her my card and she said, "Did you get mine?"

I hadn't.

She told me she had bought a card and tucked a little treat inside and mailed it to me from D.C. because she wanted me to know she was thinking of me. I was touched and she said, "Maybe it will come tomorrow."

It didn't.

As the days passed, I suggested that she hadn't put enough postage on it to cover the additional weight caused by the Jelly Bellies she'd included. Yes, by this time, she had already revealed the contents of the card. She assured me that she had, in fact, put sufficient postage on it.

More days passed and we decided that someone somewhere was eating my Jelly Bellies and enjoying my love note.

Luisa has been in Africa since March 4th and I've been here at home. It's been gray and cold and I've been tired and spread too thin. We haven't been able to talk very often because of the time difference and our busy schedules so I've also been a little lonely.

And then, last Friday, I received a slip of paper in our mailbox that said I had a letter waiting for me at the post office. I turned the slip over and it said it was from Luisa and that there was insufficient postage. One month to the date, my Valentine had arrived.

So, yesterday, I went to the post office and paid $1.34 to get my overdue Valentine. It's amazing what you can get for $1.34 these days. I got a love note from Luisa, a box of Jelly Bellies and the gift of being right. I also got a story which is what I love more than anything.

The Untold Hardships of Bi-tech Relationships

Since January of 2012, Luisa and I have been dealing with a very serious issue in our relationship. No, it is not the fact that she slurps her coffee when she's distracted with the iPad in the morning.

No, it's not that I continue to leave a secret pile of dirty clothes on my side of the bed.


We've been dealing with the fact that we are a in a longterm, bi-tech relationship.

Prior to that fateful day in 2012, Luisa and I both had Blackberry phones. She had one through her job and I had two - one through my job and a personal one so that I could goof off without my activity being tracked.

We exchanged bon mots* via Blackberry messenger and we spoke the same phone language. We would skip through meadows of wildflowers, our Blackberrys held towards the sky and, with a knowing smile, we'd say, "Is your track ball sticking too?"**

It was a time of great harmony but limited capability.

After I switched to the iPhone, my life changed dramatically. I had quick and easy access to the internet! I could Instagram! I could watch videos more reliably! I could listen to Nicki Minaj!

I held the world in my hand.

I was drunk with gadget power though it was sobering that I had left Luisa behind and our text messages were a constant reminder. Our exchanges were forever tainted by the lime green bubbles of text messages instead of iMessages.***

Ugly Text Messages

Of course, there were other problems too. Our calendars could not synch.  She constantly asked to use my phone for directions and to access iPhone-only apps for our kids' soccer teams and I did not like sharing. She couldn't look at my Instagram pictures and help monitor our son's Instagram account. And, I shudder when I say this, she could not play Candy Crush on her phone.

We were straddling a cultural divide.

I knew she was jealous of the endless virtual opportunities I held in my hand. I could tell by the way she'd look at me that she too wanted to experience the touch-screen life, swiping her way through app after app. She eventually got a fancy new Blackberry  with a touch screen but it still wasn't the same.

We were struggling under the unique challenges of our bi-tech relationship but the technology gods heard our prayers and, last week, Luisa received word that she would be receiving a new phone - an iPhone 5c!

Her new phone arrived yesterday and we are at peace. We can speak a common language once again and the world is now as it should be . How do I know? The blue bubbles of iMessage tell me so.****

photo 1

When asked what I was most looking forward to now that Luisa has an iPhone, I said "It will be easier for her to share her work calendar with me!" But what I really love most are those blue bubbles. The blue bubbles are so pretty.

*Our mots are rarely bon as evidenced by the screencaps of our text conversations.

**I have never seen Luisa skip...through a meadow or otherwise.

***Luisa was the only green bubbler in my text list and it bugged me. Also, the green is so jarring!

****Yes, we really are the world's most boring texters.