Thirteen Years.

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 8.442% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

Every year, on this day, I am filled with quiet amazement. Thirteen years.
Had you polled my friends back when I was twenty-five, I don’t think you would have found a one of them who would have thought I’d get married… and if I did, they’d probably have thought that any marriage I was involved with would have shredded itself in bouts of psychodrama.  I was infamous for having slept with over eighty women back then, which seemed impressive to some, but the truth was closer to “Charming enough for eighty women to let him into their bed, enough of a neurotic mess that none of them wanted to stick around.”
Yet here I am, a husband of thirteen years.  And I am still amazingly, dazzlingly, in love with my wife.
It’s been said about writing that a good novel is so big, the writer has to grow to meet the challenge of writing it.  Gini is a woman so wonderful that I’ve had to grow considerably just to stay married to her.  Because she deserves the best from me.  We fit.  She’s witty, and she deals admirably with my many depressions and setbacks, and she’s competent, and she’s genuinely compassionate in her work as a bankruptcy lawyer.
I love the scent of our bedroom when Gini’s been sleeping in it, the pillows suffused with her.  I love the way we look up from the Internet to trade bad jokes and news.  I love the way we both get so psyched when the right movie comes on television.  I love the way we turn into douches at dinner, discussing taste profiles and declaring who won the meal my getting the better dish.  I love the way we still hold hands freely, lovingly, wantingly.
Yesterday, I was talking with my therapist about a bump we’d had on Friday, where she’d hurt her ankle while I was out on a date, and Gini wound up feeling abandoned.  And I told him how I was mad at myself because I should have seen it from Gini’s perspective, and been better to her, and my therapist noted how unusual it was that I was angry for not being compassionate enough to my spouse.
But why wouldn’t I be?  She’s been compassionate to me.  If I ever appear wise in my writings, it’s because Gini is there to guide me.  If I appear to grow over the years, it’s probably because Gini needs me to be a better person. She’s such a part of my world view that it’s hard to imagine what I’d be like without her.
In the past, when I dated women, I changed grudgingly and with cost – sure, maybe I’d try to act differently, but you owed me.  My Star Wars-loving wife, however, is different.  I know how much she wants me to be me, so growing into a better human for her is effortless.  If you’d told me thirteen years could pass this pleasantly, and politely, and with such fucking hot sex, well, I wouldn’t have believed you. As you can see from my essay on the day of our wedding, I was cynical – but Gini made me believe in love.
Thirteen years is the longest time I’ve been with anyone.  I hope it’s thirteen more.

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