A first and fourth anniversary

After four years of marriage, we have learned that what we have in common—which is a lot—is not nearly so important as the love we share.

Susan decorates our anniversary cake.
Susan decorates our anniversary cake.

This year being leap year, Dustin and I celebrated our fourth—that is, our first—anniversary. Part of our celebration was our family trip to Iceland, but as I’ve been planning for the last four years, we also had a little anniversary shindig at our house. A reprise, if you will. We invited some friends, mostly people from our ward, over to celebrate with us. We ordered some food from Whole Foods, which is where we got a lot of the food for our original reception. Since the quesadillas were so good the first time, we decided to spring for them again, and we were not disappointed.

The repeat reception included a cake which I made myself. I have also been planning, for the last four years, to learn how to make and decorate delicious and beautiful cakes. I never got around to that, but the cake tasted pretty good, and it looked okay, too. I probably could have done a better job had our anniversary not fallen on a Wednesday, which left me very little time after school to do it right. (We considered having the shindig on a Friday or a Saturday, but it seemed silly to wait four years for our actual anniversary to roll around, only to have a party on a day that is not our actual anniversary.)

I’ve been thinking about how Dustin and I ended up together. Not too long after we got married, we realized that we had far more in common than we had recognized before. We both have the same thoughts on recycling and avoiding excess packaging materials. We both think it’s kind of cozy to go to bed while someone else is still up, reading in the living room, or to wake up and lie in bed while it rains. We both really like trains! That should have been obvious, but it wasn’t until after we got married that we discovered that we had both dreamed of taking an overnight train. I had always thought that I was just sort of an old-fashioned weirdo for wanting to ride trains around, so I kept it to myself.

Another strange thing we have in common—one we were just discussing this morning—is that we have both wondered about colors. When I was little, I thought there might be other colors on other planets, colors that we don’t know about yet. Now I know that there probably aren’t. But Dustin and I have both wondered whether everyone actually perceives colors the same way. We all call that “red,” but maybe my brain registers that color as the color that you think is green. There’s no way to know! These are the kinds of bizarre conundrums that Dustin and I think about.

It’s interesting that we didn’t realize these things before we got married. After all, people usually want to know that they have something in common with the person they’re marrying before the ceremony. Well, we already knew we had some things in common. We just didn’t realize how much, or how detailed and miniscule some of our commonalities are. But, really, the important point here is that we didn’t get married just because we had things in common; we got married because we loved each other and wanted to be together forever. It’s love and commitment, not similarities, that make or break a marriage. So far, so good.

This article appeared on page 2 of Issue 6 | April 2012.

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