One of the many longstanding jokes in my family revolves around anniversaries of the wedding variety. My parents had friends many years ago who were celebrating one of the anniversaries in the 30-range. Someone asked the husband how many years they had been married. His response was priceless:
“Thirty-six long, miserable years.”
What made this priceless was that he said it in front of his wife. I don’t think she talked to him for several days after that. It was also priceless because we’re pretty certain he was kidding, but we weren’t sure.
I have an anniversary of sorts today. It was four years ago at the beginning of May that the mister and I chucked the pills and began planning for whether I would work after our child was born. We all know how that went.
In that honeymoon phase, I was looking forward to a brief fling with conception before moving on to the solid relationship of parenting. But, as the months dragged on, conception played hard to get and stopped returning my calls. Eventually, my number found its way to the red-headed stepchild, infertility. IF and I have now been together for quite some time, and, in fact, I learned later that we were together from the beginning of my journey to junior(ette). We’re joined at the hip (or more precisely, the pelvic area), inseparable, two peas in a pod, bound but hopefully to be put asunder by at least one man, if not more.
And, when people ask us how long we’ve been together, I will answer, “four long, miserable, wonderful years.” I don’t think I need to explain “long” or “miserable”. But wonderful?
I’ll be the first to admit that my usual feelings about IF are not that it is wonderful or even palatable. Usually, my feelings begin with a four letter word. But, on this, our fourth anniversary, I feel compelled to say something nice about my constant companion. So, I will say thank you.
(warning: statements below have not been approved by the FDA and are solely the rather saccharine opinion of Mrs. X. Individual results may vary.)
Thank you for helping me exercise my sense of humor.
Thank you for making me a better writer.
Thank you for making me more empathetic.
Thank you for forcing me to find new hobbies and interests.
Thank you for pushing me to be more social and find more friends.
Thank you for showing me that bad things happen whether I deserve it or not and they are not a statement about my worth as a person.
Thank you for teaching me that life can suck and in ways that are unimagineable, and I can make it through and still be happy.
Please forgive me, though, if I actively work on getting a divorce from you. I don’t want to grow old with you and I don’t want to have you as my companion on the porch of a retirement home. I don’t want any more anniversaries.