Yesterday was my 8th wedding anniversary, so please excuse me for entertaining a little nostalgia trip (I promise I’ll keep the mushiness to a minimum). Somehow it doesn’t feel possible for this much time to have passed since my husband and I tied the knot (I think we both agreed it feels more like 5 years–how’s that for abstract?), but this is probably a good sign for relationship longevity. We’ve been through a lot as a couple. Over the years, we’ve transitioned from friends to friends with benefits, significant others, roommates, fiances, and finally to husband and wife. We’ve lived in 7 apartments and 1 uncle’s basement in 3 different states. We’ve survived undergrad, grad, employment, underemployment, and unemployment–with all the usual associated states of financial (in)stability. Our lives have changed greatly since we decided to make it official. Now we’re both a bit older–although perhaps not wiser–and a whole lot more comfortable with both ourselves and with each other. But we’re still having a grand old-time driving each other nuts and from my vantage point, it looks like we’ll be making mischief together for a very long time to come.
I have to admit that there was a time (as in all significant relationships, really) when it wasn’t so certain that we’d end up together. I watched him on stage with the local cast of the Rocky Horror Picture Show for about 2 years before I ever said my first nervous hello to him. I thought he was dashing as the Criminologist in his old Coast Guard dress jacket and downright adorable running around the stage in his underwear as Brad. I was a shy, sheltered college student who quietly indulged in a little crush every few months when I had time to attend a show. I never expected anything to come of it and I’m pretty sure that nothing would have come of it if a bad break-up and a suddenly empty summer hadn’t emboldened me to join the cast as a tech person. Suddenly I was crossing paths with that cute guy all over the place, but my shyness was the thickness and consistency of a cinder block wall. I could walk up to him and say hello, but I could never seem to figure out what to say next. Sadly (or possibly thankfully now), these pitiful attempts to strike up a conversation barely registered with him. I think it was mainly that my timing was bad and that mousey tech chicks don’t tend to stand out much when surrounded by rainbow bustiers, filmy white slips, and french maid costumes.
And things would have ended there if it weren’t for the swift thinking of a mutual friend/cast mate who swung into action when half of the expected attendees to my 21st birthday party didn’t show up. Hoping to stave off my impending birthday disappointment, she immediately hopped on her phone and rounded up several cast members to fill out the room. And lo and behold, one of the people was him! (Years later he claimed that he had no idea who I was at the time but that he came because of the promise of ice cream. Moral of the story, folks: Never doubt the power of ice cream.) But thanks to my friend’s quick dialing, the miraculous hand of chaos, and some heretofore unknown inner courage, I ended up having my first real conversation with the guy I was smitten with. The path from that first real conversation to a wedding ceremony is long and winding with many stops along the way, bits of which may be end up in this blog some day. But that night I had no clue what was in store for me, I was just proud of myself for finally daring to make an impression.
After the party ended, I went home and opened the new cd given to me by that same lovely friend with the quick dialing skills. It was Fountains of Wayne’s under appreciated master work, 1999’s Utopia Parkway. Their special brand of nerdy power pop and quirky lyrics were just the thing to appeal to the angsty late bloomer that I was. And in the years that have passed since that night, there is one song in particular that has stuck with me. Every time I hear it, I am transported back to the days when I acutely wanted to be liked by someone I believed was out of my league… the man I have now had the supreme luck to have spent the last 10 years with.
So here it is, the very first song I ever associated with my wonderful husband: Fountains of Wayne’s Red Dragon Tattoo. Enjoy!
I love you, Monkey!
One last thing: My husband and I have been contemplating getting matching tattoos for the last few years. Completely independent of my love of this song and its association with my husband, he suggested we get the constellation Draco, which is his Chinese zodiac sign. How’s that for ironic? Thinking of making mine red…