I have to take a second to say a great big thank you for all the e-mails and facebook messages. Thanks to you, I now have a happy little file of inspiration in my inbox with things you'd like me to talk about or questions you'd like addressed. I wish I'd started asking back in July when my brain was all tuckered out and too hopped up on sunscreen fumes to write very much. If you want to add to my pretty pretty writting folder (yes, that's really what I titled it. Go ahead, gather your chuckin' stones), feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What's the backstory on you and your husband? Any regrets in your relationship? Any advice?
The simple answer here is that Casey and I met in college.
And, frankly, it's a good thing we did. That whole thing about God's timing being perfect? I'm a believer, because if we had met in high school there is no way we would ever have become a couple. We were about as dramatically different as it was possible to be, what with me being all captain of everything and valedictorian; Casey wasn't quite so inside the box. 16 year old Melissa would for sure have put on her best Clueless voice and been all, AS IF! (Okay, that's a slight exaggeration, because I was never that girl, but we definitely didn't run in the same circles in high school.)
Not to mention, he was a California-Boulder transplant with hippie-liberal parents while I grew up in conservative Littleton with a mom who would have liked nothing more than to find room to the right of Rush Limbaugh. We're West Side Story with a little less lip synching.
About the only thing we had in common was that we were both music nerds. I was studying to be a music teacher (until I remembered that I like music, and in order to continue liking it I had to study something else) and he was just a nerd. Our eyes met across the plumed hats and brass section of the CU marching band. There's a cheesey simile about our hearts beating in synch like drumbeats here somewhere, but I can't quite get there.
It wasn't love at first sight. We were super different, and if we'd met at any other time I'm not sure either of us would have given the other a second glance.
But that's not how things played out. And somehow, it has been the absolute best move either of us ever made. Because, despite all our percieved differences, we're actually remarkably similar. At the risk of being a bit over the top, we're two sides of the same coin.
The best part about our differences is how darn compatible they are. Instead of creating problems, the ways in which we are different compliment each other perfectly and make us an incredibly in-synch, united whole. He's the cream to my coffee, for sure.
Regrets? I don't think either of us has very many.
Here's a weird one for you, though: we both regret our wedding. Maybe regret is too strong a word, but if we had it to do over again, we'd do things much differently. The great big hoopla and hefty chunk of cash. The nearly two years we saved for the hoopla. As it turns out, we so didn't need it. We were just ready to be married and really begin our lives together.
If we could do it again, I think we'd find a happy medium between the elopment (which I loved, by the way) and the big to-do. Maybe one of those surprise weddings where the guests are all, oh no, not another boring random event and then suddenly the bride rides in on a Harley in flames of wedding epicness and everybody's minds are blown with unexpected awesome. Okay... so we might not be those people either. But really, we needed something much more simple and speedy. Hashtag firstworldproblems, right?
On a serious note, I love the question about advice. While we're nowhere near a place where we'd pretend to have it all figured out, the best advice we can give is to fall in love over and over again. To choose each other anew every single day, and to realize that your partner has the option of chosing you. Even if you followed Beyonce's advice and put a ring on it, that doesn't make it a sure thing. We each have the responsibility of living every day in a way that makes the other person want to choose us again and again.
A husband or wife isn't a parent; it's not a relationship that we are born with, but one we seek out. One we select - out of all the other relationships that could have been - because it makes both parties the best version of themselves. That's what you owe to your partner: the best version of yourself. When it's easy and when it's hard; when you want to and when you don't. When you're happy and when you're not. The very best of what you have to give, even when what you have to give isn't very much.