When we met, I had been living alone for two years, after having roommates at different times since moving here. It was nice not having to cohabitate for the first time in my life -- keeping my own schedule, doing what I wanted, decorating my living quarters the way I saw fit (meaning lots of movie posters).
By the time we met, I was 35, a number considered middle-aged for a single person. I had accepted the idea that I was never going to marry; there would continue to be significant (and not so significant) others in and out of my life, but none that would stick.
And that was OK. Life was good: Cable TV; pasta three times a week; catching up on Alfred Hitchcock movies I had somehow missed over the years (almost all for good reason). Spending entire weekends without speaking to anybody other than when ordering Chinese spareribs and fried rice. Not only could I get used to this, I already had.
Then I went to a party one evening, where I met a woman who, as I was to learn, also had accepted that she would never marry. Eventually, we spoiled each other's plans. Within two years, were on a beach in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, reciting our marriage vows before our mothers and a seagull or two.
9,125 days have passed since then, which isn't that many when you consider it's been a quarter-century. 219,000 hours. One child. Lots of laughs, several tears, too many times getting lost on roadtrips, countless times when we simultaneously thought, I'm glad I married you. My wife said it to me this morning; it always take me by surprise. If you knew me, it wouldn't take you by surprise.
We always knew we had made the right decision, but it wasn't until some years ago when it became clear. Out of the blue, my wife said, "You know, I always thought love meant being tense all the time. Then I met you."
I knew exactly what she meant.