Thursday, September 2, 2010

10 Years

Tomorrow marks Z and my 10th wedding anniversary.  We are going to be all fancy and go to a hotel.  Of course I chose the hotel based on availability of room service so I don’t have to actually go to a restaurant.  Ten years of marriage has not managed to make me un-crazy. 

What I have learned during a decade of marriage:

We have hurt each other and disappointed each other in ways I couldn’t imagine in 2000.  And I think I know why.  You can’t go 10 years without hurting and disappointing yourself.   Or your family.  Or your closest friends.  There is no way you can go that long without doing it to the person you are closest to in the world.  Doesn’t make it OK, but it does make it forgivable. 

Being comfortable enough around another person to erase almost all boundaries is a beautiful thing.  Fuck “mystery” in a relationship, Z has rubbed my back as I threw up, he has sat next to me in the ER as a crude doctor held my stool sample up to the light and remarked, “Well, that’s gross” (and that was during month 4 of our relationship), he got me through my colonoscopy from prep to recovery, you get the picture.  There has been a lot of gross stuff that I’ve been grateful I didn’t have to weather alone.  And even after seeing one another at our very worst we still like to have sex.  With each other. 

Therapy saves marriages. 

Even if you do all the right stuff and love each other really really hard there is no guarantee you will be able to work it out.  That reality scares me to death.  Z once said to me he thinks we don’t have anything to worry about.  If we were gonna split we would have done it in 05.  We decided to stay in the marriage, and we are here for good.  I don’t think it is that easy.  The reality that so many marriages end in divorce is always at least in the back of my mind.  Sometimes it is right up at the front.  It helps me remember to do the work most of the time.  Not all of the time.  I can be a grade A jerk and I’m a bear to live with.  Z puts up with a lot.  He can also be a royal pain in the ass.  We both put up with a lot. 

Marriage is a shit load of work.  You should never expect it to be easy.  People who think love is effortless are foolish romantics.  If it was easy people wouldn’t get divorced. 

When we got married I was 23.  Think about the 23 year olds you know.  Are any of them mature enough to be getting married?  Do any of them know, really know, the repercussions of such a huge important decision?  I would love to give my 23 year old self a vigorous shake for being so stupid.  It is dumb luck that we made it this far.  Dumb luck and a lot of work.  At the same time I am grateful that my life with Z started when I was so young.  We have managed to grow up together rather than apart, but again I think luck has a lot to do with that.  So I guess I want to shake myself and also thank myself.  Which would be really confusing for 23 year old me, so I’m glad it can’t happen. 

Loving someone is the easiest thing in the world.  Liking them takes an enormous amount of work.   

Marge Simpson was right, you totally can change someone!  One of my proudest accomplishments is somehow making Z love bathroom humor.  He might have been a bit uptight back in 98 when we met, but the influence of the very crude Cordano family slowly wore down his prudishness.  It took a really long time; it probably wasn’t until 07 that he really started to loosen up.  But man has it been worth it.  He cracks me up on a daily basis. 

I am hopeful that we will spend the next 10 years together.  And the 10 after that.  And the 10 after that.  And the 10 after that.  Until we are really old.  Because I love him more today than I did 10 years ago.  Because he is a wonderful, interesting, intelligent, hilarious, adorable man.  I love you Zekers.  

To those of you who attended our wedding: I am still sorry about how hot it was.


  1. Karen, I love reading your blog. So thoughtful and so true! Happy Anniversary to you both! Enjoy your evening out!

  2. you are hilarious. and that was a lovely post about marriage. and i was two weeks into my 23rd year when i gave birth, and MY GOD

    fuck that madness.

    congrats to you two, here's to many many more decades.

  3. Another excellent post and you both look beautiful in that picture. Never understand why people get married in the summer--everyone I know who has had 98+ degrees. Enjoy room service! Another nice thing about it is that you can be as messy as you like and you don't have to listen to other people's bullshit conversations.

  4. Karen, thank you thank you thank you for sharing this. It made my cry over my teacup. Gross. Happy anniversary to both of you - have a wonderful, wonderful evening together.

    Also, nice job with the bathroom humor. Necessary, I think.

    ALSO, best relationship story I've heard recently: the couple has a coffee table book of different poops and what they mean, and they open it to the appropriate page every time one of them goes... amazing. (Did I just get awesomer or way weirder?) My sister got me a poop book for our bridal shower. Amazing.

  5. AMAZING post. Thank you for sharing!

  6. awesome post. thanks for the brut honesty (and strength!).

  7. Karen! Your blog makes me feel better about people, like there's still realness in the world. I admire that you're not afraid to sugarcoat things. Also, I turned 23 a week before I had Max this year, and I can honestly say that everything is a million times more work than I anticipated. At least. I feel in my heart that its worth it and I hope I will be celebrating this love in 10 years as wel:)

  8. you just get radder and radder.

    and it is so easy to love someone, but liking them can be a challenge. up until this stage in my life, i've never found that to be so true.

    so glad i found your blog.