Monday, January 31, 2011

No longer newlyweds

While Paul and I have vowed to stay newlyweds forever, the part of newlywedom that we most want to hold on to is the holding hands at the grocery store, Paul getting my door for me, playing in the snow, acting young, being in love.  And we have continued to do these things even with our new addition.  But there are some newlywed habits that we have dropped.  It's the sign we've been married for over a year.

We no longer count how long we've been married and announce to it who ever is close enough to hear.  Sure, in 2009 every month after May on the eighth day I had to re-proclaim my love for Paul by telling my boss and coworkers that it had be exactly one, two, three, four months since I'd been married.  I see this on facebook all the time.  New brides post on their status something to the effect of:
  • We've been married for exactly two weeks!  Love ya babe!
  • One month and twelve minutes ago I married the man of my dreams.
  • I'm making pizza for our six week anniversary!
  • Next Tuesday I'll be celebrating three months of marriage!  I hope he buys me a gift.
And when asked how long they've been married they are all to eager to answer:
  • 128 hours!
  • 10 days!
  • 57 days!
  • 4 months, 3 days, 6 hours, and 17 minutes!
But Paul and I are old now and when asked how long I've been married I say, "a while" or "coming up on two years."  It's all a game of rounding now and on the eighth of this month you can be sure I won't be updating my facebook to let everyone know we're having our 21 month anniversary or that there's 138949 minutes until our two year.  I grew out of that like all newlyweds do.

Last night I realized there was something else we've grown out of.  Full-time listening.  As a newlywed every word your partner speaks is the single most important thing they've ever said, at least since your twelve day anniversary.  I remember how closely I listened to Paul talk about food or his favorite color because they were all clues on how I could make his life most wonderful.  He'd mention in passing how he likes a good sharp cheese or the color green and two days later he'd have a plate full of forest green macaroni and cheese, made from scratch with the sharpest of cheddar.

Well. . . times have changed.  Paul no longer accidentally drops hints.  He drops them on purpose.  For weeks he's been mentioning sweet potato oven fries and I finally put them on the menu only because he was with me as I wrote the shopping list.  Otherwise, I'm sure I would have forgotten again.  I suppose I'm not as attentive as I use to be.  I was feeling a little guilty about that.

But last night as I ranted about my disdain for wasabi I ended my monologue with, "You know what I mean?"  I listened to the silence as Paul, who had been half-listening, missed the question completely and continued his evening routine with out a reply.

It reminded me of a trip to IKEA that Paul and I took when we were dating.  We sat in some rocking chairs placed side by side and dreamed of life as an old married couple.

"Ethel!"  Paul shouted in a crusty old man voice.  "Have you seen the dog?"

"What did you call me?"  I shouted back.

"What?  Speak up I can't hear ya!"  He hollared.

"There's no need to shout.  I'm not deaf!"

We both laughed at how cliche our little scenario seemed.  And then he took my hand and we sat and rocked in those two parallel IKEA chairs until a small group of shoppers crashed through our dream world.  We vacated the area so they, too, could have the opportunity to sit and dream of retirement.

See?  We are getting ever closer to that day and working our way right on the newlywed-oldywed spectrum, hitting our "still young and in love but we're getting lazier" milestone.  And while it's refreshing not to have to keep track of so many numbers, perhaps I should pay a little more attention to Paul's hints.  Who knows, I could shock him with some sweet potato fries!  It'll be another gift for him as I work on becoming virtuous.

P.S.  Paul's birthday is on Sunday and I have no idea how I want to decorate his cake.  Ideas?

P.P.S.  Happy 2nd Anniversary to Alissa and Chad! (Also on Sunday.  Makes it easy for me to remember, no?  Silence.  You were only half-reading this weren't you?  Silence.  I rest my case.) 

1 comment:

  1. haha. awww, you remembered! or maybe you remembered because I posted it on my facebook. I doubt you'll think of us every year when it's Paul's birthday.

    If counting how many weeks and months you have been married means you're a newlywed then we stopped being newlyweds before we made it a month! Counting years is good enough for us.