We've reached an almost perfectly balanced level of understanding, of compromise, of intimacy. We've reached that point where we'll go for a drive or go to a restaurant and sit in the that comfortable "married people" silence. He knows that all it takes for me to melt is for him to call me "Lovely" - as in: "Thanks, Lovely!" or "Oh, Lovely, don't worry about it!" or "Lovely, you are the greatest wife in all of humanity and I will cherish you forever and always and probably write you a song someday even though I don't really know how, and also, you have such a flat stomach and sparkling eyes!"
(Okay, maybe that last one is a stretch, but whatever. A girl can dream.)
He understands how important a clean kitchen is to me, and has grown to find my slight hypochondria and constant state of worry quite endearing (well, one can only hope). I've learned to deal with his inability to keep his side of the closet organized, and his almost complete ignorance when it comes to the inner workings of the female mind. (I love spouting the line from Titanic: "A woman's heart is a deep oooocean of seeeecrets!" But you have to say it in a gravely, old-lady voice to get the full effect. Obviously.)
I think that at this point, we just get each other, despite everything. It's a good, comfortable place.
And yet, at the same time, I have moments where I'm in mourning over our former selves - the ones who would stay up until the wee hours of the morning just talking about nothing and everything, the ones who couldn't walk anywhere without reaching for a hand to hold, the ones who would steal kisses at any possible moment, the the ones who still had a bit of mystery about them. The shameless flirting, every kiss feeling like the first, always working hard to impress the other, those giddy feelings of a new love and wondering what the future held.
I guess that it's always going to be difficult to realize that your relationship has passed the point of being young and exciting and new. Once you've hit three years, there really isn't any mystery left. You've done so much together, you know all the secrets and quirks and irritations of the other. You've experienced the ugly days, the sick days and the grumpy days. You've had the fights, and have learned how to make-up. The glamour began to fade the first (second, third, fourth) time he saw you cry, face puffy and mascara clouding your vision - and whatever glamour was left surely expired the first (second, third, fourth) time he farted in your presence.
You're no longer newlyweds, but simply husband-and-wife.
That's not to say it's a bad thing, because the feeling of security, unconditional love and comfort that this marriage brings me is absolutely priceless. It's just that sometimes I wish I get wistful and miss how things used to be - in the beginning.
Last week, Jay and I were at the film festival, enjoying free food and drinks galore. As I was busy inhaling some banana-walnut gelato, I noticed a guy who was sort of leaning on a wall over by a doorway. A couple seconds passed by, and a girl come around the corner, walking towards him. He gave her one of those, 'come over here now' fingers, and she smiled, gladly rushing over to his side. He took her face in his hands, brushed her hair away from her cheek and gave her a seriously intense kiss. Call me lurky, but I couldn't stop watching. I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped, because I was all, "Um, movie moment, anyone? What the heck?"
I turned to Jay, who was happily chomping on an empanada, and told him to look at that couple. "Look at that guy! He's totally macking on his girlfriend, right now! It's like he can't keep his hands off her!" Jay just shrugged and made a rather disgusted face when he finally turned to see them. I was aghast. Now, I'm usually not a fan of extreme PDA, but this couple didn't seem inappropriate - they just seemed so in love, like they couldn't stand another second with their mouths apart. "Why can't we be like that! Seriously! Geeze! You haven't even held my hand all night! It's depressing! We're like that old married couple who never touches each other in public!" He gave me this look, as if he was deciding whether or not this was one of those "girl tests". He sort of laughed at me, gave me a half-hug and said, "Oh, Lovely."
I, of course, melted. So, it worked.
I do miss the days where the romance was fresh and exciting. I always will. It's tough to know that none of our kisses will ever feel like those first kisses, and that if I attempt to steal a flirty glance at my husband from across the room he'll probably just give me a look of concern and wonder how many glasses of wine I've consumed.
But then, the other night, as we were reading books in bed before going to sleep, I had that sudden rush of happiness. I put my book down and curled up against his chest. "We're good, right? I mean, this is good, right? Even though we aren't doing anything big and exciting? We had a good day?" Sometimes I just need him to validate what I'm feeling, so I ask a big rush of questions. Just to make sure we're on the same page.
He wrapped his arm around my shoulder and smiled. "Of course," he said. And he's right. What we have is definitely what I'd consider to be "really something". It just takes moments like that to truly realize it, I guess. And I'm very thankful for that. I think that every girl needs to realize that just because something changes, it doesn't mean that it's any less wonderful than it used to be.