Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Love Story: Part 2

In case you missed Part 1, you can read it here!

Recently, some juicy bit of celebrity relationship gossip flashed across my Facebook newsfeed and, as is often the case, it started me down a path of deliberating on the important things in life; like my marriage and why it’s awesome.

After a solid 10-15 minutes of devotion to my thoughts, I started browsing Pinterest and lost track of them.

The thoughts stuck with me and I started taking more careful notice of the events that happened with such ease in my marriage – and more importantly why it is so sincerely important that they continue to happen with ease.

I began to pick apart the keys to my happiness. Why does our relationship work? Spoiler Alert:  I have no ever lovin’ idea. While there is no secret recipe for success, having a marriage that lasts isn’t a total shot in the dark, either.

At its onset, my relationship had what some people may call, “a snowball's chance in Hell” in resulting in a marriage – let alone one that will last forever. I bet there was at least one person in attendance at my wedding that thought (and maybe still thinks) we were destined for divorce.

But we are married – ‘til death do us part. 

Married!  At the ripe ol' age of 21.

Senior Prom.  My Mom-Mom made my dress.
When Aaron and I met, we were seniors in high school. Mature, worldly, smart, good decision making, 17 year olds. We were totally good friends for , like, AT LEAST 3 or 4 weeks before we started making out – a solid friendship foundation is of the utmost importance. Both of us were packing the, “serious relationship knowledge” arsenal of… well… 17 year olds. We dove in.

The. Very. Best. Decision. I’ve. EVER. Made.

I mean that with all of the emphasis one-word sentences can convey. Probably more. 

Looking back as objectively as one can look back on their own life, it makes very little  logical sense that Aaron and I are very happily married. Anyone who knows me, knows I am never without a plan; because uncertainty gives me anxiety, not because I’m smart.

Aaron entered my life at a point where my plan was as follows:
  1. Get into Parsons School of Design.
  2. Live in New York for 4 years (it’ll totally be like FRIENDS) while studying photography and taking the best photographs ever seen. I’ll definitely be able to make money part-time this way.
  3. Graduate and be a fashion photographer or maybe a photographer that works on the set of SNL. 
  4. Be fabulous at one of the aforementioned jobs.
  5. Get married when I’m 30, yup, 30 is good.

    I’m not EVEN bending the truth here at all, folks. I very literally had decided that the above list of 5 points was how my life would go. It was probably written down somewhere – that’s how I knew it was a good plan. It still makes me proud to this day that I totally nailed #1 on that list. The rest went to shit pretty immediately after I moved to New York. 

    Aaron and I before our "Senior Dinner" shortly after we starting dating.



    After our graduation in an over crowded un-air-conditioned gym.  Niki with the photo bomb before it was cool.
    View from my very temporary NYC bedroom.
    Aaron and I had decided that after FOUR  (seriously!?) months of dating that we would stay together – long-distance will work (said no one, ever)! I packed up and said goodbye to Aaron (thinking of that morning still makes me want to vomit), and everything else I’ve known, and drove with my parents in my Mom’s conversion van to the city that never sleeps.

    I moved into a BEAUTIFUL, brand new, dorm apartment building that was supposed to be for upper classmen and graduate students. Somehow, me and two other doe-eyed freshmen got lucky and ended up in an 8th floor apartment with unobstructed views of the Empire State Building. There were 4 other (yes SEVEN total) girls that split the three bedrooms, full kitchen and living room. Despite the fact that living with 6 other people sounds like a nightmare, I felt pretty awesome – until I didn’t. I’ll spare you all of the crying-while-walking-down-the-street-details and cut to 6 weeks into the semester when I’m calling my mom and writing my dad a letter explaining why they need to drive back to New York City and bring me and the contents of my 8th floor apartment HOME! 

     For the record, my dad called me immediately upon reading the letter and said, “Why didn’t you just call me?  You could be home already. If you are unhappy – whatever the reason – I will come get you right now.” A couple of points worth mentioning here:
    • I was afraid of disappointing my dad because I wasn’t following through – that was self created, I came to discover.
    • I’m certain that my dad knew I was coming home because of my high school boyfriend of 6 months – regardless of whatever other nonsense I wrote in that letter.

      Stay tuned for part 3!