John and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary on Friday. 1) Yes, we got married on Cinco de Mayo, shut up, and 2) gosh, sixteen years. This was an occasion for which I had a terrible time finding the right card, let me tell you. Most anniversary cards are spectacularly gooey, festooned with chirpy/insipid romantic declarations and zero mention of the far-more-important issues of compromise and forgiveness and sacrifice and fuckups and repair that accumulate along the way, not to mention all the heartbreak and limitations of being human, even (especially?) a loving human. I mean, long-term marriages are packed with so much heavy-duty adulting I feel like that’s what should be acknowledged as opposed to flowery-script soulmate poetry, but I suppose “Let us recognize the complex and sometimes-shiteous terrain we have navigated together while solemnly exchanging no-whammy fist bumps for making it this far because damn” might not jive with the soft-focus clinking champagne glasses.

Well. After sixteen years, no card is needed to express what I feel above all else: I’m so deeply grateful for this beautiful, messy, amazing life we’ve built together.


16 Responses to “Sweet 16”

  1. jennbb33 on May 8th, 2017 10:31 am

    We’re going on 18 this September, together 20 in July. VERY precarious these days…. congratulations on your anniversary!

  2. Jenny on May 8th, 2017 10:48 am

    Happy anniversary to you both!

  3. Tara on May 8th, 2017 10:53 am

    Happy sweet 16 indeed! I, too, fail to find the right verse that encompasses “Thanks for putting up with my bullshit, not that you’re a treat all day every day, but I’m probably far worse and overanalyzing this and taking a sweet moment like celebrating our relationship and distilling it to an awkward therapy session. Love me anyway?”

  4. Karen Pappel on May 8th, 2017 11:00 am

    Oh I so understand looking for that perfect card to say what you really feel…fought with that for years. I am so happy for you both – Happy Anniversary to you both and here’s to many more happy anniversaries together. <3

  5. Pat on May 8th, 2017 11:48 am

    I LOVE this — so true but I’ve never heard anyone else say what I think. If you have traversed the rocky terrain of marriage for more than a few years you’ll agree! next challenge is when your kids are full into teenage years, and total shits — try buying a ‘hallmark’ card that doesn’t make you feel like a fake. I always went for the funny card — now that they are adults I can finally find one that suits how I feel about them!

  6. elizabeth_k on May 8th, 2017 12:25 pm

    Congrats and yes — totally — we’re coming up on 10 and it just feels like the card should say: We knew NOTHING and still know very little, and yet, LOOK! WE MADE IT THIS FAR. Celebrate the miracle — and congrats.

  7. T. Glasgow on May 8th, 2017 12:51 pm

    Happy Anniversary you crazy lovebirds!!!!

  8. dani on May 8th, 2017 1:09 pm

    let’s make that card and sell it.

  9. M on May 8th, 2017 1:46 pm

    This is exactly what I needed to read today, so thank you for sharing it. Your perspective truly is a big deal for me today.

    Also – congratulations. That is such a milestone and well worth celebrating!

  10. anne nahm on May 8th, 2017 2:03 pm

    Happy Anniversary!

  11. Donna Brubach on May 8th, 2017 9:07 pm

    Love to you both and a ton more years together!!!

  12. Jen in Germany on May 8th, 2017 10:50 pm

    Congratulations to you both!

  13. nonsoccermom on May 9th, 2017 9:35 pm

    Our 16th is next month and this shit is HARD. Challenges are resolved and then something else surfaces and we’re busy with the kids and don’t have time to talk. And just tonight we had a long discussion/pseudo-argument about how I don’t listen to him or consider his opinion on “the big stuff”. Sigh.

    In other words, I hear you. Congratulations on sweet 16!

  14. Em on May 10th, 2017 10:53 am

    Happy anniversary! So happy for you.

  15. Mary Clare on May 11th, 2017 6:04 am

    Happy Anniversary! You summed up marriage well: messy and beautiful. You don’t get through long-term relationships with a heavy dose of both of those adjectives. Best wishes for this chapter!

  16. Mary Clare on May 11th, 2017 6:05 am

    I meant “without” a heavy dose… =)

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