Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Nine Years Can Give You Such a Crick in the Neck!

I loved dating. I know not a lot of people can profess that, but I really did. I think the difference is the purpose behind dating. I dated for fun and nothing more. I always knew I wanted to serve a mission, and so everything before that was purely for enjoyment and playing, and nothing more. Yet through that whole time, I always felt a little piece of me was hollow, empty, waiting for someone or something to fill it. There was a guy I dated, though never exclusively, for seven years. I loved him and I thought I was going to marry him. But even when he and I were together, I still had that vacancy, that hole in my heart. I didn't understand it, and didn't worry about it too much. Life went on, and I didn't marry him. Life took us in different directions, and we both found happiness elsewhere. But here is the weird thing. From the get-go, when Jeffrey and my paths crossed, that hole dissipated. It was gone, truly, completely.

Yesterday was our 9 year anniversary, and I am so happy to report that the hole is gone, and I am whole. (See what I did there? Ha!) Knowing that our anniversary fell on a weeknight, and more than that, a night Keith had scouts, we decided we would go out the weekend before, and on the actual night we would stay in and have some sort of stay at home date. We arranged babysitting, and everything was set.

Friday Jeffrey switched schedules with someone so he could get off work early. We took the kids to his parent's house, and we went out. We stopped by Cafe Rio for food, and that is where I had my first real dose of people watching. I was having a lot of top ligament pain, so I had to sit while he ordered the food, and I sat, looking out a window, and watched people go by. I learned that people watching is actually a nice way to say "watching people and silently judging them." But I did enjoy seeing mis-matched couples walking around. It was fun thinking of their stories and deciding if it was their first date, if it was, the probability of a second date, or if they were so comfortable in their relationship they didn't have to try hard anymore. It was a pleasant way to pass the time. Jeffrey eventually joined me, and I shared my observations with him. We hadn't really planned the evening out, and so while we ate, we tried to think of what we would do next. We talked about going to some museums, or I tried to convince him going to a trivia night would be fun, but ultimately we ruled out anything with a lot of walking, or anywhere that might have second hand smoke. We finally decided to go to the library and get some baby name books because Little Man still doesn't have a name. We sometimes jokingly refer to him as He Who Has Not Been Named.  We read for a bit in the library, but they were closing, so we had to find a new location. Because of my earlier introduction to people watching, we decided to just go to the mall and laugh. I thought we were going to be doing more people watching, but Jeffrey for some odd reason thought we were going to go laugh at the "stuff." I am not sure what he had in mind, but after walking for a bit, we realized we had completely different intentions, and they didn't exactly overlap. 

Since neither of us have seen the new Star Wars, and Jeffrey was beginning to feel a bit like a social pariah for having not seen it yet, and working and moving in high nerd circles, we felt obligated to see it. But here's the thing. Neither of us like going to the movies for a date. It isn't a real date, in our opinion. You sit, silently, in the dark, eyes focused ahead on something completely not even close to you. And heckling or whispering is frowned upon. I love heckling or making wry comments during movies. Because of these many things, we enjoy watching movies from the comfort of our own home where we can sprawl, pause, talk, heckle, or even turn off the movie if the mood strikes us. But, because we had nothing else planned, we went to the theater. It was packed! We should have figured, it being a Friday night and all. There was no where to park, and since neither of us wanted to see it that badly, we decided to forgo the crowd fighting and to just go somewhere we could talk. 

Which meant Denny's. Even though we are not fans of Denny's, they do give free refills on hot cocoa, which is very important to a sitting and chatting environment. Especially when we are not all that hungry. We went and were happy that we had beat the weirdos shift. That usually begins around 10, if I recall correctly. 10 o'clock is when all the weird people begin to populate the greasy spoon restaurants of the world. We reminisced about the time we had gone to Denny's and the cook quit and walked out while we were there. That was pretty funny. The service was terrible, but it was Denny's. What were we expecting? We talked, read some of the baby name books, but really we struggle with naming our children. There are so many criteria that it is very hard to decide! 

The baby can't be named after someone I dated, or even went on a date with, or I liked, or he liked me. Jeffrey's rules. Must I remind, I dated without abandon. Not that I was a player or anything, I just loved going out and having fun, so I went out and had fun as much as I possibly could. So that cuts down our selection significantly. Also, we have a very uncommon last name. Our poor children are going to have to spell their last name for the rest of their lives, so we don't want to give them a weird first name, or a first name that they will have to spell for people. One name to spell is enough! Finally, Jeffrey and I both grew up with incredibly popular names. To this day, I will be in public and someone will call out "Amy!" and several people turn around. When I was in 7th grade there were 21 Amys in my grade alone. It was a bit ridiculous, and we don't want our children to have to deal with that as well. So I check the Social Security registry for the popularity of the name, beginning 1900 and on up through the current year. If it is a popular name now, it is automatically crossed off the list. If it is on the rise, it is crossed off the list. For Keith, his name was something like 987. Faye wasn't on the list at all, nor was Beth (or, if you want to be technical, Everly wasn't either. And then some dumb celebrity had to go and name his daughter Everly the same month ours was born, and that name is now in the top 200. Dumb celebrities ruining our perfectly thought out name! Which is why we call her Beth). I prefer names that aren't on the list, but if it is in the upper 900's, we wont cross it off if we really like it. SO! That is our extensive baby naming process, which is why it is incredibly difficult to find names for our babies.

Back to Denny's. We discussed a few names, and then I pulled out my phone. The NY Times had published a list of 36 questions which lead to love. I figured it would be fun to go over some of those on our date. We made it to question 8 before we gave up. In those brief 8 questions we learned I know Jeffrey far better than he knows me. But number 8 stumped us, and we deliberated over it for a long time. "Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common." Anyone who knows us well knows that we have virtually nothing in common. The kids don't count. It was ridiculously difficult to find just three things that we had in common, and it made us think. Long and hard. After a lengthy deliberation we decided we both like to read, albeit completely different types of books. We both enjoy intelligent or intellectual conversation, and he is awkward and I love awkward. We may have been cheating a bit on the last one, but it took far too long to come up with that list. I am not sure how we work. We compliment each other beautifully, though. We balance one another out so well. We just don't really have anything in common, which is why date night is so incredibly difficult for us! Somehow, though, we work very well, and because of our differences, I think, we are so very compatible and happy with one another. 

And that was our big romantic date where we laughed a lot, and really did nothing, which was absolutely perfect.

And yesterday was heavenly, as well. Not only was it our actual anniversary day, it was Adrienne's birthday. Last week she had mentioned in passing that she was really wishing for a thick rich, dark chocolate cake. I don't like chocolate, but I decided I would make her one. It was ridiculously dark, and I thought it was gross.  Waaaayyyy too much chocolate in it. And it had a dark fudge frosting with it. She said she loved it, and I am glad she was so happy with it, but to me, the amount of chocolate in it made it boring and gross. Apparently I don't get on well in the chocolate lover's circles. But it didn't matter if I liked it or not, because it wasn't for me. Adrienne said it was divine, and I am so happy that she liked it, because it would have been a terrible waste of all those ingredients mixed with the chocolate if she hadn't liked it. In return for the cake, she helped me straighten up the kitchen because my ligament pain was coming back and I had to sit down or I would be out of commission for the rest of the day. After she went home I fed the kids a frozen pizza, took Keith to scouts and then the girls and I drove to get some Habit burgers. We got home, I put the girls to bed and Jeffrey and I began our most common date. We call it PBT. 

It comes from a Doctor Who episode where the couple decides to stay in for the night and have pizza, beer and telly. Although we don't drink, and we don't always have pizza, the message is the same. Jeffrey and I cuddled up on the couch, eating our burgers and watching a brilliant British comedy called Spy. After we had seen about 3 episodes we decided to turn it off and just talk.

Whoa, Nelly! We talked about grammar. I mentioned I don't like books that write completely in present tense. I find them to be flat. That statement, or opinion opened up a whole can of worms. After much discussion on the different types of writing that you can do, and why rules are important in writing, Jeffrey insisted on calling in our friend who is a middle school English teacher. He basically just backed up my statements, albeit much more eloquently than I did. But it ruffled my feathers a bit, because I feel like I am ignored a lot. Not necessarily by Jeffrey, just be people in general. And then Jeffrey began telling me about a show he had seen on Netflix. It was agonizing! I don't know why he even watched the whole thing. It was worse than a train wreck! Just listening to him tell about it, I was getting ridiculously agitated and riled up. It was silly, I know, but it is true. I think I was just tired and that is why I was so annoyed with it. We decided to go to bed. Jeffrey said it was very cathartic to talk about that show, as if freeing himself of the idiocy by passing it on to someone else. I thanked him very sarcastically for that. But the conversation had given me a headache.

Rule 1: Don't go to bed with a headache. If you do (and you are me) you will wake up with a full blown migraine! Which is exactly what happened.

Because of my anniversary, I woke up with a migraine today. Sort of ironic, I think. I couldn't figure out for the life of me what could possibly have triggered it. At the beginning of my pregnancy I had received a priesthood blessing telling me I wouldn't have to deal with many migraines during this pregnancy, and it was so true! I haven't had one for nearly 6 months now. It has been heavenly and such a miracle! But not today. I went through all the things we thought were triggering them, and I came up with a blank. I am using an old retainer for a mouth guard at night which keeps me from clenching or grinding my teeth while I sleep. I have been getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night. This baby has been awesome with that. No insomnia with this little dude! I take 385 mg of iron every day. For the past two weeks I have been using an app to help me remember to get all the water I need every day, and I have honestly been loving it. I have noticed a huge difference in how I feel, and it has been wonderful. So I am not dehydrated, either. Nor am I very stressed... or so I though. As I was talking with Jeffrey over the possible triggers of my migraines, he felt my shoulders. He said they felt like concrete. I carry stress in my shoulders, apparently. I have no idea what could possibly  be stressing me right now, but I guess there is some sort of hidden stress.  And then I remembered our conversation last night and how annoyed with it I was. I couldn't sleep at first because I was worked up and had really bad restless legs. Jeffrey eventually got up and went to sleep with one of the kids because my tossing and turning and grumbling under my breath had gotten so bad. Of course once he was gone I could sprawl, which calmed down the RLS immediately, and I soon drifted off to a deep and disturbed sleep about royalty being possessed and blood letting their babies to death. It was not a happy dream!

But still, I have to laugh right now. I want to be sleeping, but in an effort to relieve some of this tension, I am writing and recording all of this. Because writing has always been a way to detoxify and alleviate tension in my life. You're welcome. Besides, I needed to record about my wonderful 9th anniversary! Because I married such a wonderful man, who honestly completes me. 

As cliche as it sounds, I am whole and complete because of his opposite-ness. 

P.S. Jeffrey doesn't like me to take pictures of him, so I have to sneak them or I wouldn't have any of him at all. Which is why a lot of these pictures of him are so weird.


Unknown said...

Happy Anniversary!!!! I don't like popular kids names either, which is why ours are named what they are. Are your kids off on Monday? Do you want to go do something? I haven't seen you and Adrienne in ages!!

Unknown said...

Happy Anniversary!!!! I don't like popular kids names either, which is why ours are named what they are. Are your kids off on Monday? Do you want to go do something? I haven't seen you and Adrienne in ages!!

Susan Anderson said...

I think for the rest of the pregnancy, you need to speak up when conversations are making you feel agitated.


PS. And happy anniversary!! Very cute pics!