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.
- 128 hours!
- 10 days!
- 57 days!
- 4 months, 3 days, 6 hours, and 17 minutes!
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.)