Listening to their family and friends toast them and their great friendship-into-marriage transition, I felt absolutely flooded with envy. Instead of celebrating my friends and their happiness, I was suddenly awash in my own unhappiness and insecurity about my own marriage. Because Rob and I? Did not start off as friends.
I realize that that italic makes it sound like we started off as enemies, screwball-comedy-style, but that certainly wasn't the case either.
When Rob and I met, we simply had nothing in common apart from long periods of involuntary celibacy, the desire to get married some day, and a mutual friend who thought we should be together (possibly to remedy the first two commonalities).
Five years ago today we were married at the Seattle Justice Center. I carried a bouquet of miniature roses purchased at a grocery store on the way to the courthouse, and I remember placing it on the conveyor belt to pass through the X-ray machine. We took our engagement rings* off before the ceremony, only to put them back on in lieu of our wedding rings, which we'd either decided not to bring or forgotten (I don't remember which).
It was a funny, strange day. Looking back, it was a pretty good representation of us as a couple.
Five years later, Rob and I still don't have much in common. Owning things together and having a child who is biologically related to both of us helps put us on the same team (in theory, at least). We certainly know a lot more about each other, but I wouldn't say we're friends.
I wrote this last year, and it still holds true (emphasis added):
[T]hings are tougher in a lot of ways, but I like us better.
Things are tougher because we don't have that starry-eyed "Oh, thank God you're here to keep that horrible Alone Monster away" thing going on that was so consuming in the beginning. We have more serious discussions and disagreements. But we're also better at problem-solving together, better at supporting each other, more comfortable letting our idiosyncrasies and hypocrisies and obsessions show. Five years later, I can genuinely say I enjoy spending time with my husband.
On the one hand, it sounds like a "better late than never" story. On the other, it's just the perfect ending to our screwball comedy courtship: we are, in many ways, completely wrong for each other, and that's exactly why we ended up together.
Happy Anniversary, Rob. You're the imperfect person for me, and I like you. (I might even like-like you.)
*Rob also had an engagement ring. It was sterling silver and I had something sappy engraved on it that I will not repeat here.