Katie and I have been married 10 years.
Some people joke that their marriages feel longer than they are. 10 years? More like 100 years. Hey-o. Ba-doomp-ching.
The joke is that marriage is a chore. That being close with somebody is painful. Hard and annoying. Marriage takes work. Relationships take work. Etc.
I’ve seen my fair share of marriages that take work. And that don’t work. I grew up watching Mom and Dad destroy theirs. And I’ve watched countless people enter into destructive and damaging relationships. Myself included. People can be so terrible to each other.
Katie is not terrible to me. And I hope I’m not terrible to her.
Real talk. The last 10 years haven’t felt longer than 10 years. They’ve been a blur. I can’t speak for Katie. Because I’m a handful. But I cannot imagine having a better relationship with anybody than I have with her.
I’ve written about my wedding a number of times. I’m pretty sure I tell the story in Determined Weeds. Those memoirs blur together. So I can’t be sure.
Katie and I were married on a Sunday afternoon. October 23rd, 2011. We stood in a backyard in Robbinsdale, Minnesota. Her cousin’s house. My dad, a certified minister (and certified nut job), performed the ceremony. Just kidding about Dad being a nut job. He’s certainly strange. But not crazy. Not certifiably, anyway. About 75 of our closest friends and family attended that ceremony.
My mother was still alive. Barely. Mom and Dad walked me down the makeshift aisle. I’m happy that happened. Katie’s parents did the same for her. Man, I love those people.
Dad came up with a makeshift wedding. An improvisational wedding. It was kind of Christian. And kind of Jewish. Dad’s a Jew-for-Jesus through and through. I stepped on the same glass that my parents used in their wedding ceremony. In the 70’s. That glass was forty years old. It’s 50 now. It hadn’t broke when Mom and Dad got married. Dad always told me that was an omen. A portent of the pain and suffering to come. The glass broke when I stepped on it. I have the shards in a box in my office on campus. Because that’s where I stored my sentimental keepsakes when we moved to Pennsylvania.
We held the reception in a Thai restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis. A few blocks from our house. Sen Yai Sen Lek. I miss that place. My mother drank a bottle of wine and ate about 17 cupcakes. On a Sunday afternoon. Say what you want about her, that woman knew how to celebrate. Celebrate in the most self-destructive way imaginable.
Katie and I drank champagne. Ate cupcakes. Went to work the next day. Devoted educators. We spent a weekend on the North Shore a few weeks later. And a week in Portland that summer. Unconventional honeymoon. Unconventional wedding. Unconventional relationship too, I guess. But I’ve always been convinced that we should be husband and wife. And I think she feels the same. Fingers crossed.
So my marriage hasn’t felt like 100 years. It’s felt like a blur. What have we accomplished in the last decade? Funny you should ask.
Two children. Solomon is 7. Samson 6. Two brilliant and beautiful boys. Loud and chaotic boys. You give them all the energy you have and they still need more. I guess that’s the way it goes with parenting. At least the way we do it.
We’ve moved to Central Pennsylvania. Made a go of it in State College. We’ve been out here six years now. It still feels like we’re a million miles from home. But we’ve settled in here for the moment. As I make my way as a professor. An improviser and a writer too. Who knows what is next for us?
I do know this. I’m not done. 10 years have been great. I suspect we have about forty more in front of us. And then there’s the afterlife and whatnot. I plan on living for a long, long time. In this world and the next. I’m not sick of Katie. Not even close. I hope she feels the same.
So, happy anniversary, Katie.