Tag: college

What Marriage Needs

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I’ve been in love with my husband for fifteen years. This past August we celebrated seven years of marriage. He is the ying to my yang, calming force, and favorite partner-in-crime. Our history is worth sharing.

I met him in college.  Our love story begins in a crowded and dark fraternity house basement near a keg of Keystone Light. He sported ugly red Adidas sneakers, a God-awful bright yellow Northface jacket, two silver studs in his ears, and a mischievous smile. For me, it was love at first sight.

Those fashion remarks are what happens when I look back upon our initial interactions fifteen years later. Sarcasm aside, he wore all the things one would wear in 2003. Plus, he wore them well. And at that moment, and even now, I recall his powerful presence.

From early on it was clear we were different. But our differences elevated and encouraged one another. Together, we marched through our twenties.

But if I could tell my sorority-self one thing fifteen years ago it would be this: remember.

It’s entirely too easy to forget our beginning.

Currently, we’re in the hamster wheel. We’re running, spinning throughout our day, changing diapers, teaching manners, working hard, demonstrating good teeth brushing, preaching kindness, encouraging effort, and everything else under the blistering sun known as parenthood. And while we sit down to talk, swap stories of napless preschoolers or stubborn toddlers, relay random encounters, or dabble in heavy real-world debates and dilemmas, we’re tired. Sometimes in our exhaustive states, we forget about the keg of Keystone.

Why is the beginning so important? Because when we lose sight of where we started, where we are doesn’t mean as much, and where we’re going is void of inspiration.

We had a big argument yesterday. We were tired from a long day and weary from an even longer week. And we had forgotten to do the thing all marriages need, which is to remember.

This phase of life is every emotion and then some rolled into magic, mystery, and mayhem.

But I’m taking us back to that fraternity basement. We remember. Now, we refresh.

Before Cupid invades us with heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, long-stemmed red roses, or overpriced greeting cards, remember. It’s the key to happily ever after.

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The Fire of Friendships

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I’ve got this friend who is the Christina Yang to my Meredith Grey. Or maybe I’m her Christina. Honestly, I don’t care about the titles or the roles because it’s what the relationship stands for that is the fire behind all things. She’s my person.

I met her at 18. I was fresh out of Buffalo and alone. Right before homesickness got the best of me, she stepped in. She became my Garden State guru. She welcomed me into her home, got me to go beyond my comfort zone, and made me recognize that the best friendships give us something we’re missing and desperately desire. We call ourselves twins. But not because we’re alike. We are different. We’re Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito. 

I’m convinced she’s proof of divine intervention. She entered my life exactly where and when I needed her and I’ve kept her close since our earliest introduction. She’s about to go someplace else and it’s scary. For her, it represents a complete shift from everything she’s ever known. For me, it’s something similar. What it boils down to is this: I’ve never known New Jersey without her.

In a weird way, I’m convinced this needed to happen. Because the thing is that scary change is the fire of friendships. It’s what shows us what we add, what we lack, what we give, and how we grow.

And while this might feel a little Oprah and Gayle, it’s actually just us. To my first college friend, one of the best I’ve ever known, I say this: you are fire. Thank you, friend.