Fourteen years ago today, on a cold, drizzly, gray day, GI Joe and I got hitched. Many people said we were too young, which only served to tick us off and make us even more determined to prove them wrong (I'm talking to you salesguy @ Joseph's Jeweler circa 1997). And I think 14 years later, we have officially done so. Also? Because we got married so young and had kids so young, we'll be the cool, hip parents at our kids' graduation while all our kids' friends' parents will be hobbling around with arthritis and stuff, so we WIN. :)
To celebrate fourteen glorious years, we are...wait for it, it's SUPER exciting and romantic....going to Ryder's school concert!!! I KNOW!!!! Wasn't it so nice of the school to schedule his concert on our anniversary so our entertainment for the evening would be provided for?!?
Since we had the exclusive school concert on our actual anniversary evening, we decided to celebrate on Monday night by a dinner out at a really nice restaurant downtown. I even made a RESERVATION!!! I can't remember the last time (if ever) that I made a dinner reservation, because I don't think call ahead seating at Chili's or Outback counts. We got our fancy on, which means GI Joe didn't wear his uniform OR a hoodie. You guys, he really loves me if he gave up his hoodie for the night. The restaurant we went to was a French restaurant "without the attitude" according to the website. I'd read about it somewhere months ago and marked it on my calendar to make a reservation there when it came time for our anniversary dinner. Type A Planner much? I still don't really even know how to pronounce the name of the restaurant, Django, and when we ordered our food we just pointed to what we wanted on the menu instead of embarrassing ourselves and trying to say it. Listen, I took Spanish in high school so if you want to order at a Mexican restaurant or Taco Bell, I'm your girl. (Enchilada con queso or taco bravo. See? Ms. McPherren really did teach us something!) But at a French restaurant? Not so much. I just kept wanting to say "Oui oui" which I'm pretty sure just means "yes, yes" and not every question our waitress asked us was appropriately answered with a "oui oui". The food was A-MAZING. I had some seared sea scallops over lobster sweet corn mashed potatoes that were LIFECHANGING. I promise those mashed potatoes will live on in my dreams. We had planned to go all out and order creme brulee for dessert but sadly, just didn't have room for it. Lucky for us, it was a 30 minute drive home with a Cheesecake Factory smack in the middle, so by the time we hit the halfway point, we powered thru and stopped for a to-go piece of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake to share. We stopped and picked up the kids @ the inlaws and were home eating cheesecake on the couch while watching "Mike and Molly" by 9pm. Oh yeah, we know how to keep the romance alive and live it up. I mean, cheesecake+"Mike & Molly"? Fughettaboutit.
In addition to fancy French restaurants, cheesecake, and primetime television here are some other tips that have worked for us that I'll share with you...FOR FREE! I'm basically an expert considering that we've been married 70 times longer than Kim Kardashian and we're 3 years past the average lifespan of a marriage in the U.S of 11 years.
*Never talk bad about your spouse. I hear wives complaining about their husbands annoying habits, their shortfalls, etc, all the time. Ever heard the saying "negativity breeds negativity?" It's true, if you're always talking trash about your spouse, you feed that negativity and it magnifies what's wrong and diminishes what's right. And imagine how you would feel if your spouse was talking about you like that to other people? Personally, I'd be devastated. If something GI Joe does annoys me, I tell HIM about it NOT 15 of my coworkers at the lunch table. The opposite is true too, positivity breeds positivity, so if you're always building up your spouse even when they're not around, it helps you focus on the good and why you love them. I've had people tell me, "GI Joe must be perfect, I never hear you say anything bad about him." Of course he's not perfect, but neither am I (I realize this may come as a shock to you but I'm not..haha). But I love him and I'm proud to be married to him so it only seems logical to me to paint him in only the most positive of lights and highlight the reasons I love him. It's just common sense. Try it.
And you thought this was just a blog about farm animals and hillbilly kids?!? You just never know what you're gonna get when you come to this blog.
*We'll be a couple long after the kids are grown and gone so our relationship and each other comes before the kids, and we're not sorry. The kids know it too. They know that I'm their Daddy's #1, so if they're not treating me right he's not going to be happy and there will be consequences. It's normal to them. Too often, people give everything they've got to their kids and leave nothing for each other. While I love our kids with all that is in me, I didn't marry them, I married GI Joe and I'll still be married to him when they grow up and find a husband/wives of their own. I think we're doing our kids a bigger favor by not putting them first and instead setting an example of a solid, blissful marriage. The world needs less "the world revolves around me" people and more happily married parents. Oh it's getting deep up in here now, I'm stepping off soapbox now, let the tomato throwing begin.
*It's cliche but we've always lived by the "never go to bed angry" thing. I've read some psychologists and marriage counselors disagree but they're crazy and probably not happily married. The longer you stew on something the worse you make it in your mind and the more riled up you get, so get it out of your system, say what you need to say RESPECTFULLY, , resolve it and move on. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that GI Joe & I rarely fight and when we do, it has never lasted more than an hour. And the time it lasted an hour was because I just wanted to be mad for awhile so I went for a walk. By the time I got back, tempers had cooled, perspectives gained, apologies made, forgiveness (and hugs) given. Then refrain from bringing it up again, LET IT GO. There's no argument worth winning if it ends up damaging or ruining the best thing in your life.
I'm pretty much Dr. Phil without the accent and with a lot more hair. *Laugh, have fun, and communicate. Those seem obvious but sometimes it's easy to lose sight of those basic things in the stress and chaos of life. We get a big ol' kick out making our kids roll their eyes because we're belting out hits of the 80's and 90's while doing some mundane task or laughing at stupid things that happen like when he has to come pull me out of the ditch...again, or when I have to go rescue him because he locked his keys in his car...again. I also found out early on that being subtle in your communication is for the birds... and lesbians. Guys minds just don't work like ours do, so if you want something you have to just come out and say it, instead of this beating around the bush bit. You're just setting him up for failure and setting yourself up for disappointment, if you just expect him to read your mind or decipher your "subtle hints". If he gave you a really crappy birthday present last year because he didn't get the hints, then here's a thought, tell him no more vacuums for birthdays and instead you'd really like to get something more thoughtful and sentimental like jewelry or whatever it is that you want, even if it's a card. JUST TELL HIM.....NICELY. Hint: Do NOT say, "the last present you got me sucked and if you get me another horrible one like that I'm cutting you off and you're sleeping on the couch for a week." You get more flies with sugar than with vinegar, I'm just sayin'. ;)
I can only imagine the number of new readers Google will send my way from the paragraph above. Welcome!
Don't get me wrong, it's not all roses and peppermint mochas all the time, (although it was today because he delivered both of those to me at work today, altogether now..AWWWWW!), but I couldn't be happier and more in love with this guy, and it's been FOURTEEN YEARS. That's HUGE. And I'm 100% sure he feels the same way and that's even HUGER, because I am not the easiest person in the world to live with, with my sarcasm, sassiness, moodiness, bossiness and all. The real kicker is that I can't wait for the next 14, 20, 35, 50, 60 years either, even though I refuse to get any older than 34, which may make it weird when we're celebrating our 50th anniversary and I'm still 34, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, and we WILL come to it, as long as we don't die first. I'm such a ray of sunshine aren't I?
Fourteen and a lifetime to go, we've come a LONG way, baby!