There was a time when Mark and I counted the months we’ve been together. We used to sneak a little peck on the cheek every 16th of every month. Then we stopped doing that, and started to count the years.
It’s difficult to believe that we’ve been together for five years now, and married for three. We met in 2011 when Stephen introduced us. Then in 2013 we married. Now it’s 2016 and the 16th of August passed us by, and we didn’t do anything except sneak a little peck in the morning.
In years past we would have had a visit to a restaurant, or gone to the pub. This year, Mark roused from the sofa to give me a quick one with a smile and a “happy anniversary”. I felt a bit sad about it, but also a bit relieved.
It is difficult to convey conviction and certainty through mere words. Once words are put down on paper, half the work is done by the reader of them, and whatever the reader brings will influence the meaning of the words. The reader can also not be sure about how much the author of the words is fooling themselves. Or how much the author is trying to deceive the reader.
So, despite that, my analysis of us so far is this. Despite external chaos and difficulties with the future, particularly following the EU referendum verdict and Mark’s prospect for science learning and experience, the bit of it that is us feels more secure than ever.
It’s practised, worn to a comfortable level so that it’s like a pair of walked-in favourite shoes. It’s not this new thing that gives blisters, and it’s not this worn-out thing that should be replaced.
I’m not given to believing in utopias or foolish idealism, particularly since my parents divorced. I don’t think there is much that lasts forever, and I sometimes doubt that even this we have will. But I also feel completely secure in it, and there’s nothing within us or without us that can change that.
So now, two weeks after the fifth day of our anniversary of being together, it seems inconceivable that there won’t be a fiftieth day of our anniversary one day. And Mark will still be there to rouse out of a sofa to quick me a quick smile and a quick kiss and wish me a happy one.
He will just rouse a bit slower, and there will be more grey hair involved. What the future holds is uncertain. I don’t bank on a predetermined future. I have what I dream it will be, but don’t count on those dreams coming true. But whatever the future will be, I’m certain he’ll be in it. And isn’t that great?