Friday, September 25, 2020


It suffices as the name of Pearl Jam's debut studio album, so it surely suffices as the title of the tenth anniversary blog post. 

Ten years ago, we got married on a sunny, warmer than normal day in late September down the shore. This month we have been together 18 years and have known each other for 30 years. Sticking to the marriage years, we've gained three dogs and lost one; bought a shore house; physically lost two parents, two grandmothers, great aunts and uncles, aunts and uncles, and many friends; relied on people rooting for us to succeed and said goodbye to people rooting for us to fail; had damage to our house from
a tornado and tangled with quite a few water damage incidents; created dog languages; engaged in 92727383924737 battles of Thermostat Wars; owned at least eight different cars; locked ourselves out of houses and cars a shocking number of times; painted rooms over 20 times; re-did two kitchens; visited South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, California, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, the Bahamas, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Mexico, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Maryland, Massachusetts, Louisiana, South Africa, some locations multiple times and other places I can't think of at the moment; lived through some very fucking serious life threatening times due to addiction; experienced a life reconfiguration via sobriety and are still married because of sobriety; established traditions and when they no longer fit modified or established new; weathered years of financial struggles; watched countless shows; argued about the same shit a million times; laughed about the same shit a million times; learned new things about each other; existed in two different houses; endure(d/ing) two separate campaigns for public office; and so many more big things that seem to be the entire world when they happen but are not as easily recalled as the stupid, inconsequential, you never know when you're making a memory things. 

It's cliche but it's true. When the past 10 years flash before me, it's those slivers of memory not attached to any large or special event that make the reel. Life is indeed in the moments.

This year has been so, so fucking different than I thought it would be. Than the world thought it would be. I have always been and will always be very real about marriage in all spaces I occupy. I am not the person you see on the internet saying I love you more every day or I can't live without you. Neither of those things are true, so I would never say them. What I can say is that we are together for a lot of reasons, many of which are not immediately apparent if you only know us individually or if you know both of us on the surface only. One of the reasons we work so well together is that we cover each other's deficits. This year, my deficit was fucking huge as I operated at about 25% capacity for most of April and May and six months into this way of corona life I am still at 25% on bad days. MFD has stepped it up to 150% to 175% and been an amazing partner. There were a lot of years, especially early in our marriage, where I felt like the partner carrying it all, and it was nice to drop my basket and have it picked up handily this year. And nice in our 10th year of marriage to know that things have changed for the better on a lot of fronts since that warm September day in 2010, and certainly on that one. Growing together is the key.

I was looking through wedding photos this week and thought who are these people? We were so different then. Our lives are almost entirely different now. We have been so many versions of ourselves in all the time we've known each other. We lead an unconventional life for a married couple. We are apart a lot. We give each other a lot of leeway to be who we are as individuals. We didn't have kids and we're happy about it. At this point I feel like you could throw a stick of dynamite in between us and I'd make dinner using the fire while MFD lit a cigarette from it and we'd go on discussing whatever we were discussing and yelling at a dog to stop it. 

Here's this year's collage of photos of us from every month of the last year - see this anniversary collage in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
1) September 25 - last year's anniversary we went to dinner at Las Margaritas with a gift card, then went to Target. I know. It was amazing.
2) October - Halloween
3) November - A fishing beach day 
4) December - The only month where I have no photo of us together
5) January - New Year's Day, always...this year's will not be at the Mummer's parade for the first time in a while
6) February - Drive By Truckers concert 
7) March - On my birthday, visiting Aunt Carrie and Uncle Jim in Florida before the world shut down 
8) April - Packing food for Recovery Houses at Caring for Friends, a MFD initiative 
9) May - The only picture not taken by one of us - thanks Evan Leslie Images for this porch portrait
10) June - a Sunday night ignoring the world in the North End
11) July - Hitting the beach after work, which was a solid for us the days MFD was at the shore this summer
12) August - tide pool sitting
13) September - one of our days off after Labor Day

Happy 10th Anniversary MFD. I am writing this in advance so while I might love you more today than yesterday, chances are that I don't, but you knew that. We don't have big plans, but we might eat outdoors at a restaurant for the first time since March 16...and that place might be the place we got married. 

Happy happy birthday to Amanda! Love you!

And happy weekend to the rest of you!

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