Thursday, May 31, 2012

20 Years with Hun!

I haven't had much to say lately, weird for me...

Anyway, yesterday was Hun's and my twentieth anniversary, WOOT! I thought that I would tell you our story.

We met in 1990 in Ms, Hardman's Jr. year Geometry class. He sat in the back corner by the window and I sat in the other back corner by the door. He will tell you that I was staring at him from across the room, I was actually staring out the window (that's my story and I'm sticking to it ;-) It took me most of the year to figure out who he was. It wasn't until a friend of mine told me that she was going to a dance with him that I put a name with his face.

I don't need to flirt I will seduce you with my awkwardness...

I was quiet and awkward in high school so when I decided to check and see if he was in fact the Roger that my friend was interested in, we had our first conversation, here it is verbatim.

Me - "Are you the Roger who's going to the dance with Danielle?"
Hun - "Uh yeah"
Me - "Oh"

Then I turned and walked away. No introductions, no "hello" zip.

Fantastic huh? It's a good thing he's into weird, awkward chicks.

Our first "unofficial" date was the Jr. Prom. Hun went stag and I ditched my uber-annoying date after I got there (he didn't care) and hung out with Hun. Our first official date was June 6, 1990 to see Total Recall, oh Ah-nald you're so romantic. Roger proposed senior year on my birthday and we got married about eighteen months later on May 30, 1992.

Heather's Observation: the amount of money spent on the wedding is inversely proportional to the length of the marriage.

Nah, I don't know if that's actually true, it just seems to be a phenomenon that I've noticed.

We had our wedding in the church we attended. The reception was in a tent behind the church. An elderly gentleman did our photos, all of the ladies of the church did a fantastic buffet of finger foods. A friend of a friend made the cake and a friend did the flowers. My voice teacher sang for us. I happened to be working at a bridal shop at the time so I worked for my gown and veil. My cousins Jon and Betsy gave us our honeymoon at their lovely B & B.

It was a great wedding. The people who loved us were there and a lot of them participated by bringing food, making favors, setting up, taking down, all kinds of ways. It was a nice celebration. It came to $1,200, take that Kim Kardashian.

Oh, and I'm still apologizing to my sister for making her wear the bridesmaid dress I chose. It looked like Victorian wallpaper. (Sorry T)

"Everyone who said it wouldn't work is dead now" Tink Bigelow.

Jim and Tink are friends of my parents who also got married at ages eighteen and nineteen. They've been married fifty-six years now. Yes, we did encounter some resistance to getting married. We spent the first few years of our marriage being annoyed at the "you'll never make it" pronouncements from some corners. One person actually recommended to my husband that we get a pre-nup. Think about that with two broke high-school graduates... Kinda funny. I will say that now that I have a daughter who is ten I can see their point.

We did stop regularly seeing the people who said we wouldn't make it, I mean, who wants to subject themselves to that kind of negativity? Unfortunately that has lasted to this day. It began as a conscious decision on the part of Hun but even though we no longer harbor any annoyance, we've never really re-established the relationships. It's a cautionary tale: be careful how you treat your loved-one's potential mate. If you were unkind and they get married then you might lose the relationship.

I tell my kids a version of that all of the time: "be nice, when you're an adult no one has to spend time with you."

Twenty years later, we feel we've proved them wrong.

I love you but I don't really like you... how is that possible?

Hun and I didn't like each other for the first five years we were married. I was manipulative, he was occasionally mean. We were stressed out. Never let anyone tell you that marriage isn't hard. We finally said the d-word after we found out that we were expecting Isaac. I remember sitting in an empty classroom at our college and saying "What are we going to do? We can't keep going like this." It was at that moment that we agreed that we didn't matter anymore, we were bringing a new person into the world and he deserved two parent's that loved each other.

So we shaped up.

OK, it wasn't quite that easy. We had to learn how to talk to each other and how to be patient with each other. It was work! It was worth it though.

My family likes Roger better than me...

Besides, if we got divorced, my family would have said "Heather! What have you done!" My mom and my sister would probably take my side, but everyone else... My dad thinks the world of Hun, my Grandpa loved Hun like he was his own so does my grandma. Hun lived with my great uncle and aunt for awhile and they loved him too. My cousin took Hun to New Zealand for two weeks. This doesn't bother me at all because I like him a lot too ;-) What can I say, I have good taste.

He dug his parent's basement by hand.

This is what I tell people when they ask what Hun is like. He's the sort of person who spent three years in high school with a shovel, pick ax, and a wheelbarrow digging a basement. That's a lot of dedication right there. At eighteen, he got a job working at a hospital so we could have insurance. He has always believed that it is his responsibility to provide for us. That's a pretty rare trait in an adult, never mind an eighteen-year-old. He consistently puts us before himself.

He puts up with me, a flaky, disorganized, fairly quirky wife. He's kind, patient, and  very funny. He's a great dad and a great husband and I have no illusions that I was the one who made out better in our marriage. He's one in a million and I'm blessed to have him!

Children learn what they live.

I'm sure that one of the reasons that we've had a successful marriage is because we both had parents and grandparents who modeled successful relationships to us. Roger's parent's have been married around forty years. My parents have been married for more than forty years. All of our grandparent's reached fifty years. They all had difficult times, they all pulled together when things got tough rather than pulling apart. They all treated each other with love and respect. They were teams. No matter what, they had each other. That's what we saw and that's what we do.

We've been through some tough times and we've had some sadness, I once had a friend who spends lots of time with Isaac tell me that raising Isaac, who is autistic, is a real testimony to the strength of our marriage. I had never thought of that as a test. Who knew? Through it all, we've always know that we could rely on each other.

So here's to twenty years with my best friend and favorite person! I hope to have way more than twenty more :-)

See you tomorrow!
H

10 comments:

  1. What a good story you two are having. I too married a teenager, but was a considerably older woman at 21 myself. He dug his parents a basement? By hand? I can't believe your sister wore that dress. She must really, really, really love you. Funny I don't see any Laura Ashelyesque clothes in her wardrobe lately...

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  2. happy anniversary, heather! 20 years, and you're still going strong. hooray! your honey sounds like a wonderful man. he's very lucky to have you.

    here's to your next 20!

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  3. Jennie steadman galbraithMay 31, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Aww, that's nice Heather. Congrats you two! It's fun for me to think I knew you both way back then! (and you weren't nearly as awkward as you claim!) or maybe I was too awkward to notice!

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  4. Beautiful, Heather, and true! Happy Anniversary!

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  5. hApPy AnNiVeRsArY to you both!! but really, how is it possible that it's been 20 years?!? much love to you both and here's to another 20+ years :).

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  6. 20 years what an achievement. Congratulations.

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  7. Thanks guys!

    Jennie, I think we were all awkward. I remember feeling awkward... It's good to know that I didn't come across that way though, you surely didn't!!!

    Haras, my love, we have pictures of you at the wedding :-)

    Joy, T still mentions that dress to this day. Just ask her the next time you see her ;-p

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  8. How sweet! Thanks for sharing; I am loving the proliferation of 'love stories' on blogs these days... such unique stories behind each one, and what better way to get to know one another? :) Congrats on the anniversary, and God bless your family! :)

    ~Jess @ The Colorful Ones

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  9. 20 years!! congratulations. Hun is lucky too. We all need a bit of quirk in our lives (that's what i hope my partner realises!) Here's to 20 more!!

    your writing style is so engaging and real. i love it. thanks H xx

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    1. Thank you Leah! I know that your partner realizes that, quirky is the best way to be :-)

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