Friday, January 6, 2012

A letter to 20 year old me...

This post is dedicated to the man who "loved me less yesterday than he does today."*

Chris surprised me with tickets to see Robert Earl Keen at the House of Blues on our 15th anniversary.  It's the Little Things** that made it a perfect night.

  1. House of Blues has crazy quilt stage curtains.
  2. The opening act was really good.  I'm looking forward to hearing more from Kacey Musgraves.
  3. Robert Earl Keen was playing in Houston on my anniversary.  There is no one I'd rather see in concert.
In the glow of my perfect anniversary, with Gringo Honeymoon playing in the background, I was thinking about that pair of toddlers (Seriously, how has this worked?  We were babies.) that jumped in the deep end together on December 28, 1996.  Thinking about everything I didn't know makes me smile/laugh/cry/cringe.

Here are some notes to 20 year-old me...
  • Your cooking repertoire will need to expand beyond Rice-A-Roni and chocolate chip cookie dough.  It will, but not before your first Thanksgiving meal is a disaster.
  • You will fight over some spectacularly stupid stuff.  Your first big married fight will be over who gets which dresser drawer.
  • You will have some pretty wimpy medical moments together, including your first joint trip to the ER to... wait for it... remove a tick.  Clearly, you will not be birthing your children at home.
  • At least 80% of the time when he's mad, it doesn't have anything to do with you.  If you're in the car, you can up that to 95%.  
  • When he hurts himself, just walk away.  You'll feel cold-hearted, but in his version of the universe, that's the kind thing to do.
  • Don't start an emotionally charged conversation after 9:00 p.m.  You are not night people.  
  • Don't pout if he doesn't hold your hand in church.  Seriously, that's sad on so many levels.
  • When you're in a fight, try to see things from his point of view.  Don't just listen to gather ammo.
  • Never underestimate the extent to which you can misunderstand one another.
  • Let him take care of you.
  • Sometimes he's not trying to be mean, he just has no idea what you want.
  • You are difficult to live with.  I know that deep down you don't believe that, but you are.  Everyone is.
  • A few years from now he's going to figure out that, sometimes, proving he's right is not worth it and hugging you is the wiser course.  Everyone will be happier.***
  • When you can manage it, this marriage works best when you're looking out for his best interests, and he's looking out for yours.  The difficulty is in figuring out who goes first.
  • Years 3-6 are going to rip out both your hearts and chop them into little pieces.  Neither of you will be the same.  But those years will be redeemed.  Good will come of them.
  • He's going to be good for you.

    He'll talk you out of

    "Fixing" the haircut you hate by yourself
    Getting a second dog (the first one will push you over the edge by kid #2)
    Giving away the children
He'll talk you into
          Backpacking Europe together
          Giving up Diet Coke
          Calling friends when you're lonely



* Chris feels that the fact that this statement is logically equivalent to "I love you more today than I did yesterday" is somehow relevant. 
** One of my favorite REK songs is It's the Little Things (about you that piss me off).
*** This point might possibly be included in an unbloggable note to 21-year-old Chris. 


  1. Summer, I love you guys both SO MUCH. I'm so happy I was a part of that day in 1996 and that we're still friends now. How did you get to be so wise? I'm sure you weren't the smarter one when we were roommates at A&M.

  2. I definitely agree with the end of your comment. I really thought about using you as a reference for the "I'm difficult to live with" statement. So glad we've stayed connected.

  3. aside: the first * is really like, 50% of the reason why I love the two of you together.

  4. I LOVE this (I love your whole blog) and I wish we could hang out in real life. : ) Happy anniversary!!!!

  5. Papa says: How did my daughter get to be so wise? If only the 15 years from now person could advise us, but what would be the fun in that?

  6. I've only been married for seven years but your letter made me laugh at all the learning I've had to do in that time. You really nailed it. It took me longer than I care to admit that I really am difficult to live with. Thanks for the wisdom. Happy Anniversary!

  7. I meant "It took me longer than I care to admit for me to admit to myself that I really am difficult to live with." Sorry.

  8. Love, love, love this. And I love you, Chris, and my four wonderful "greats!"


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