A lot of people write about young love or new love. Tonight, I had to write about our love - which isn’t young or new. But like a whiskey aging in a barrel, it’s only getting better.
“Are you two newlyweds?” She shouted at me, over the band.
“Newlyweds?” I must have raised an eyebrow.
“We’ve been watching you two. He doesn’t see anyone else in the room. We figured you were just married.”
I looked at him. He smiled - one of my favorite, whiskey-all-day smiles - and pulled me closer to finish our dance.
Oh no... when we were newlyweds I was a size 2. I was full of the confidence that comes from lack of living and certain we would never be more in love than we were right then, on our wedding night.
When we were newlyweds, that was well before he had seen me...
Seen me laughing so hard I spit coffee out all over my shirt. And crying so hard my whole body trembled with my tears.
Before he seen me transition from a careless, never-say-no to fun undergrad to someone that keeps a written planner and three calendars on her at all times.
It was before he seen me slim down to train for marathons and nearly double my body weight while growing his child (twice). It was definitely before he seen these stretch marks he swears he doesn’t notice.
It was before he’d seen me step up onto a stage to steal an audience, and watched me fall down onto the floor when it all has been too much.
He’s seen me sick. Fat. Thin. Ugly. Pretty. Strong. Weak. Happy. Angry. Sad. Scared.
Tired. Really tired. He probably sees me tired more than anything else...
But not this night. This night, hours away from home and the farm and real life we aren’t tired. We have rewound life for a single night, back to when our only care in the world was loving each other.
Back to when we were newlywed.
Only, now it’s better. Because we aren’t clueless, hopeful newlyweds praying this thing works.
The curtain is gone now.
Now, he definitely sees me. All of me. (Stretch marks included.)
And tonight, in this little bar crammed full of people, with a band playing all the right music, we aren’t kids, praying it works anymore.
Now, we know it does.
I answered her. “No, we’ve been married almost 11 years,” I said.
“To each other?” She laughed, shook her head and told us to have fun.
Here’s to love that ages like good spirits. 🥃
Kate Lambert grew up in northern Illinois, not on a farm but active in FFA and showing livestock.
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