Sunday, April 11, 2010

Musing on a year of marriage

We were both skinnier when we first got together. Me because I was recovering from a big grief that had left me unable to eat, and C because he lived a bachelor life, which meant baked bean jaffles for dinner and a bean bag as his only furniture. I was preparing for a massive hike (which you can read about here if you're interested), and knew he liked walking, had roamed the streets and bushland of Canberra in his years here. We did a couple of walks together, up Black Mountain (when he refused a dinner invitation), and then up Mt Tennant (when he didn't refuse). The photo above was taken at the very top of Mt Tennant, from the firetower up there, and it was before we got together. It's funny, we're not even touching.

A very short two days later it was on, our first 'date' was a late night drink at Tilley's. The next day we chucked sickies (we worked at the same place, the emails that circulated: "Isa Menzies will not be in today"; "Clinton Paine will not be in today" were akin to a public announcement), and walked up Mount Majura. We followed that up with dinner at Tudo. It was a good day, except C tripped over the dog and cursed her. I wondered then if they'd ever get along. Little did I know...

Little did I know then that what was just "good for now" has ended up being great for four years, with the legs to (hopefully) go a lot futher; little did I know then that, even though she spewed with anxiety the first night he stayed over, my dog would come to be HIS dog! Little did I know then that we'd move into a tiny cottage in Ainslie, and add a rabbit and chooks to the menagerie; and little did I know that it was possible to be myself while being with someone who adored me, that I could actually live the life that I wanted to - even if that meant being on my own in another country - and that here was someone who would support me in that. There was a lot I had no idea about, four years ago.

After you get married, a lot of non-married people ask you if things have changed. We'd been together a relatively short period of time. To get engaged after 2 1/2 years together is quite quick these days! So I'm not sure if the changes are part of growing into the relationship, or actually attributable to marriage. But yes, things have changed. It's so subtle, about the only concrete thing I can say is that our attitude to money now is that it is very much a shared resource. We always took the attitude that 'it all works out in the wash' in the first place, but now it's much more "what's mine is yours", even moreso than before. I asked C the other day what marriage had changed for him, and his reply was hilarious: "Before, I wasn't sure what to call you - my partner? My girlfriend? Now I can call you my wife." In typical Clinton fashion, it's very logical. He also says that this is a stronger association, and that our relationship feels more permanent.

Today marks a year of marriage, and four years together overall. I wonder if I will ever stop marking the dual anniversaries? It's not like the 3 years we spent together before this last one count for nothing - we moved in together after only 6 months, got the rabbit, built the chook house, created the garden beds - all before we ever thought of getting married. It will be interesting to see how it feels throughout the years.

Anyway, if you're interested, there's some pics of how we celebrated our wedding/general anniversary as husband and wife.

Friday gets to be an Anniversary Dog; she doesn't seem too happy about it!

We used our wedding china for the first time - a lovely gifty from Vicky & Michael made our breakfast just that little bit extra special.

Mmm, pancake stack!

Shadow the chicken wants to see what's happening inside

Clinton picked a bouquet from our garden - one bloom for every year we've been together

Picnic at the wedding site on Mt Majura. The weather was even more unpredictable than it was on our actual wedding day, though they say "Happy is the bride who is rained on", and I stand by that!

The wind blows the umbrella inside out, but I'm enjoying the Moet too much to care, really. Check out the fingerless gloves - they give me a hobbo Mary Poppins look!

This lichen will stay and grow and mature for years to come, much a like a good marriage

We did give her a treat, but she seemed to enjoy chewing on sticks.

The sun came out at last - hurrah! Happy anniversary!

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