In high school I saved movie stubs and hockey pucks from Friday night dates with older boys. I kept the mementos in a shoebox at the top of my closet. When I removed a photo of a recent ex-boyfriend from my nightstand I added it to the box. By the time I left for college it was full.
I’m not a very sentimental person anymore. Maybe because my shoebox was too full, or because I would’ve been embarrassed if someone found those things in the back of my closet, but most likely it’s that I started to push pretty hard against prototypically girly things.
This morning Timehop reminded me that Tony and I have been dating for two years. I hadn’t forgotten, I just hadn’t thought about it a whole lot. While most of my friends are celebrating wedding anniversaries and pregnancies, it feels a little odd to get all sentimental about two years of dating.
I used to catch him staring at me all doe-eyed from the passenger seat while I was driving. “You’re not ready for me,” I would tell him. I had a six-year-old, a dog, a cat, an ex-husband and a mortgage. That’s a lot of baggage for a man who had never been in a serious relationship.
It has been 104 weeks. He taught Ellie how to use a lacrosse stick. We separated our dogs when they tried to bite each other’s faces off. We found a house to rent, and now a second one. We traveled together, cooked together, had a cancer scare, and learned about grinding teeth, sleep talking and who orders food first at a restaurant. So I’m okay with getting sentimental.
My parents still celebrate their dating anniversary and the anniversary of their engagement. Loving, arguing, listening to and caring for someone every day is no small task. It takes a shitload of work that never looks like The Notebook or Cinderella.
So we should celebrate dating anniversaries and the first time we had sushi together and the first baseball game we went to. It’s okay to get sentimental about it. Because sometimes we need a reminder to step out of the day-to-day to appreciate the relationship we’ve been working on; an excuse to say “hey, you’re not so fucking bad.”