Permit me to be sentimental for a moment.
This week marks eight years of S and I being together. It’s weird that eight years have gone by – I mean, that’s practically 1/3 of my life. How did the time fly by? How did we get so much older? (Or, the question S asks me frequently, how am I still listening to the same music?)
Eight years isn’t a milestone like 10 or 20, and we never celebrate this dating anniversary, but I found it to be different and important because it’ll be the last that we’re just a duo. Next month we’ll be a trio.
S and I met during college, in the fall of 2004. We had the lit class Contemporary American Popular Culture together. (Note: This class did not contain any contemporary American popular culture books – we read international detective stories, and it was awesome.) I sat next to him, and when he introduced himself, I had already heard of him. We were both involved with a few extracurricular activities that somewhat overlapped – in other words, we had mutual friends. He ran the campus movie theatre and performed improv comedy. I was in the circus, and recreationally did some film projects.
To this day, I still don’t know why he liked me at first. I had a rather crappy boyfriend at the time (we lasted 2 months – it was not good), I was late for class, and I made fun of him for using the word “ostensibly.” But, worst of all, I was always coming straight from circus practice, so I was sweaty, wearing hideous workout clothes, and more than likely bleeding from my ankles due to a missed trick.
The thing about college is that you make a lot of friends in class, but they don’t always last. This was before Facebook and Twitter, so if you wanted to keep in touch, you exchanged phone numbers, email address, or AIM screen names. Most people, though not on purpose, would fall by the wayside. You clung to your base group (my freshman year dorm mates, my circus friends), and lost others along the way. The thing is, I never lost S after that. Sure, we took Shakespeare together the following semester, but we didn’t share another class after. Instead, we became friends, real friends. We merged our groups together, and he became a frequent guest at my townhouse. I drove him around (he didn’t have a car in college), we had regular places we’d hang out at. He became part of my college family.
But we didn’t actually start dating until March of 2006.
Yeah, quite a bit of time later.
By that time, we’d helped each other through good times and bad. We’d seen each other at our best, our worst. It kind of just made sense.
So when we started dating, friends said “of course.”
And when we got engaged, friends said “it’s about time.”
And when we announced our baby, friends said “finally!”
Because they clearly all knew something we didn’t. But I think that unknowing that we shared brought us even closer together. I know that we took time to get here, and I know that i’m all the prouder of it. Of us. We worked hard for each other.
So I don’t know what the future holds, I don’t know how we’ll grow and change, especially with a third in the equation, but I know we’ll continue being just as strong, and just as…us. Because for almost 1/3 of my life, it’s what i’ve known. And for almost 1/3 of my life, what I’ve loved.