Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What Can Happen in 9 Years

For the last 2 years, I've been saying to Kyle, "This is our year. This is totally gonna be our year." Friends, 2010 was NOT our year and 2011 was DEFINITELY not our year... but for once, I'm thinking 2012 might actually be the ticket.

Today is special to me for a couple reasons. One, before Kyle and I got married and had an "official" anniversary of June 20th, we had our anniversary of just being together (you know, the whole exclusivity, off-the-market game). Today marks nine years. Nine years! That's almost a decade, which is almost a third of my life of being with the same person.

Kyle and I met the first day we moved into the dorms freshman year. I introduced myself to him along with two other guys (who still happen to be some of my best friends to this day), but only walked away remembering his name (sorry, Trav and Jacob! I've got it now!). I feel I should mention here that I was dating someone else at this point. We were together the entirety of my fall quarter and he lived a couple hours south, so we did the long distance thing.

All I can say about that boyfriend is that he was one of the sweetest, funniest guys I have ever known... I could not say a single bad thing about him if I tried. But sometimes sweet and funny is not enough, right?

I spent a lot of time with Kyle (and Trav and Jacob), though just as friends. We had a sociology class at an ungodly early hour with the pudgiest Indian teacher known to man, so we'd meet beforehand at the dining commons and have breakfast (we eloquently called it "Breakfast Club"). On Tuesdays, bagels were served and Thursdays, donuts. Kyle really liked Thursdays.

I started to realize how much I looked forward to waking up at the crack of dawn every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Fall quarter came to an end shockingly fast and during winter break, while snug in my bed in Laguna, I had a dream. I dreamed that Kyle and I were hanging out on a couch holding hands and when I woke up, I remember feeling so calm and peaceful that I started to get a nervous tight feeling in my stomach. The nervousness came from realizing that this dream in my head felt so right in my gut, but seemed sticky when I considered reality. Breaking up with my boyfriend became a thought I seriously began to consider, not because I wanted to "trade him in for Kyle" or anything like that, but because I knew dreaming and thinking of this guy, who I had come to think of as one of my best friends, hinted at feelings that were not necessarily... platonic?

So I ended it with my boyfriend, which was hard because I couldn't give him any good reason for it. I figured if it was meant to happen with Kyle, it was meant to happen and I kind of sat back and relaxed about the whole thing.

Little did I know, Trav and Jacob (yes, the same two from the very beginning!) had heard of the breakup, sat Kyle down and told him to go for it (it being me, I guess?). My husband used to be a very shy guy, so they had to assure him they thought it was mutual.

They really had to assure him.

And luckily for me, he listened... and made a move on January 17, 2003 (the man's no Rico Suavé, but I can remember every detail of it, which I will not be sharing here, and it is a very sweet memory).

Here's the thing about having a blog: you get to filter every bit of your life that you write about. It's easy for me to talk about the love and the happy moments and sweet memories, but it's also easy to ignore the hard stuff, the gritty things people can gloss over when they talk about their daily lives.

Being with the same person for nine years has been no easy task because, let's face it, relationships and marriage are not easy! They take hard work and effort on both parts, forgiveness and acceptance and constant reminders of the good, the great, the love that's there at the root of it all. Focusing on the reasons you fell in love with a person is sometimes more difficult than dwelling on the things that drive you crazy about them. But if you can, if you can force yourself as often as you can to concentrate on the positives, relationships can really be an amazing, synergetic thing.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, thanks for putting up with my bullshit all these years, Kyle... it sure has been fun putting up with yours!  ;)  I love you, honey.

The other reason this date holds significance in my life is that it is the day we officially welcomed Moe into our little family! I've already told you the story of how we found him and decided he was "the one," but I haven't told you about the buildup toward his official appearance.

We met him and his foster parents at an adoption fair outside of Centinela Pet Feed at the very beginning of 2009. It was a set appointment through Forte Animal Rescue and apparently 7 other people/couples had already tried to get him. His fosters were a discriminating couple, and didn't want to give him to just ANYONE (this is a good thing, because sometimes the people who want pitbulls want them for the wrong reason); they didn't get the right feeling with any prior visitors. Luckily, they felt good about us, and once they had done a house inspection and he had met the neighbor dogs, we set his "move in" date for two weeks later.

I was in New York for work the entire week leading up to his arrival, and while I do love myself some Big Apple, the days dragged by because I knew what the end of the week held for me: my dog, Moe.

The plane ride home was excruciating. Since it was our six year anniversary, I swung by the grocery store on my way back to the apartment to grab a bottle of champagne in order to toast our togetherness and as a celebratory welcome to our new furry family member.

His fosters dropped him off, which I know was not easy for them; he had been a part of their little family for four months and they had grown to love him. It wasn't easy for Moe either. He was depressed (and I mean DEPRESSED) for about three weeks. He moped around our apartment and sometimes had to be goaded into getting out of bed.

It was like living with the pitbull version of Judy Garland, minus the major drug and alcohol problem.

I don't know when it clicked for him that he could be happy with us, but it did, and since then, he's never stopped smilin' and he's never looked back.

So you see, what seems like an innocuous date to some is truly a huge one for me. It is the day two of my soulmates came into my life to stay. For good.

And I am forever grateful for January 17.

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