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3:56 p.m. - 2011-03-28

How about that? In that weird way Time does the accordion, today is the fourth anniversary of my first date with Mick. Seems like an impossibly short amount of time to have fit in all the stuff we've done. I think, "Wait, it's only been FOUR YEARS? We've been together for waaaay longer than four years. We've bought and assembled furniture together! Been to the shore I don't know how many times. Paid off cars! He went completely bald and I got fat! We got married for Pete's sake! No way would I marry somebody I've only known for four years." But apparently I did.

I think it's a good thing that life before Mick seems so dim and long ago. And that our life together feels like such a done deal. An 'It's always been this way' view.

Of course I know some of that is just me. My top mind is like a magic slate.

"All finished? Okay. Zip! All gone! Next thing, please." Yet like that magic slate, all the scribbles and impressions are still carved into the waxy stuff beneath. In my murky depths I know all the marks and scars are still in there, prodding me along unacknowledged. But I don't think much about the pictures from before. They hardly seem real. I live in the picture that's here right now. Maybe it's from growing up with a life of constant upheaval. The configurations and players in my life shifted around all the time. By the time I graduated from Hometown High I'd gone to nine different schools, lived in 12 different houses/apartments, had had seven combinations of parents, had one whole sister, two adopted ones, two half-brothers, and best I can reckon there had been seventeen other step-siblings. Hell, I was on my third last name when I met the ex-husband and I was only 18 years old. I learned right quick to roll with it and be where I was at the moment, nevermind how it had been last week or five months or three years ago. All gone.

Yearning for how it used to be was pretty useless too. I lived with Big Mother and if she said we'd always been at war with Eastasia, well we had. If our chocolate ration was going UP to 20 grams and even though I knew damn well it had been 30 grams just yesterday I'd best act pleased and grateful for getting 'more' chocolate or the consequences would be gruesome in the extreme.

What? You thought Orwell only applied to government? Nuh uh.

So to that end, I've always been with Mick.

Only this time it truly IS a good thing, a massive improvement. Don't need doublethink to believe that.

Tonight we're going to an Irish pub for dinner. I've only been to this place once before and that was catered a Christmas party 16 years ago. But in regular life the place is known for its ginormous slabs of prime rib and the best mashed potatoes on Earth. It's one of Mick's favorite restaurants and the only reason we've not been there together already is he is forever indulging my capricious yens for Asian and Greek and greasy spoon diner and Mexican and southern soul food. Tonight, though, my mannie insists on taking me (and Wolf) out to a place that's homey and sturdy and specializes in his kind of grub. Not because he's sick of my slightly more exotic fare, only because he also knows that with all my culinary wandering I also lurve a hefty slab of cow. And in the Hudson Valley there's none better than this place's.

Also it's a bit of a throwback tribute to our first date, which was at a diner, and I'd impressed him by not pretending to be one of those salad eating chicks and had ordered a huge burger with a side of batter-dipped onion rings. Then proceeded to demolish the entire plateful while keeping up a witty conversation, making him blush several times, making a friend of the waitress, swearing like a sailor, and doing this wearing a white shirt that was as pristine at the end of the meal as it was at the start. Mick told me later that he'd never imagined he'd meet a woman who could be so kind, funny, classy and smart, and yet was so earthy and honest about who she was and what she liked and who made zero apologies about eating like a gavoon. On a first date. Said I'd shown him all he needed to know and it was a done deal for him before we even got to dessert.

I'll be honest here and say it took a few more dates before I twigged onto the great guy I'd stumbled onto, but as you can see it worked out in the end.

Four years. Too short to be believed, yet forever because it's right. ~LA

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