There really is someone for everyone
The Aspen Princess
Guess what? Ryan and I are celebrating our seventh anniversary Tuesday.
I know people talk about the “seven-year itch” but I am starting to realize in my old age that most people have no idea what they are talking about. Either that, or I am just really lucky.
Everyone says marriage is hard work. I got news for you: Marriage is easy. It’s a lot easier than being single, that’s for sure. It’s hands-down, no contest the greatest joy of my life.
Listen, I cringe and shudder to think about my life before I met Ryan. I am straight up ashamed of the way I behaved, for how desperate I was in my dalliances with men who were about as capable as being in a relationship as a deranged housecat. I don’t know why I had such a penchant for guys who were damaged goods. Or maybe it was because I had chosen to live in a mountain town where most men go to avoid growing up and were terrified of anything or anyone who would come between them and their next big powder day or night out at the bar. These guys I loved so much and believed I could change haven’t changed one bit. Most of them are still single and still haven’t figured out that partying every night is called alcoholism and that the bald spot on the top of their heads is bigger than they think it is — just take the hat off and look.
Still, I have to take responsibility for my own behavior, which, looking back, was both totally unacceptable and utterly horrifying. I would literally throw myself at the feet of these guys, and the drama was ceaseless; the tears and the drunken rages and then the desperate acts of affection. I’d cook elaborate meals and make these extravagant gifts. Once I painted a mural on the wall of one guy’s office when he was out of town and I’m not even a painter. I think there’s a song about that, “the lowest highest point.” I just call it rock bottom.
The fact that I was so crazy was a bit of a mystery, even to me. I had no excuse. I wasn’t abused, I didn’t come from a broken home, I had no history of substance abuse or an eating disorder, and alcoholism doesn’t run in my family. My parents are not only still together, they are still in love. They have one of those love stories that’s too good to be true. They have been together for almost 51 years.
That might be why, on my wedding day my dad’s toast began with, “It’s not every day you give away your 41-year-old daughter.” It was a long wait for him and an even longer one for me.
For five years, I lived alone in a little one-bedroom condo above a motorcycle shop in the Aspen Business Center with my psychotic dog Sebastian, a chow-lab mix also known as Psycho Paws who was a lawsuit waiting to happen between all the doors he tore down and the dogs he attacked to the people he “nipped” in the ass trying to protect me. I remember driving into town once, hungover, hopeless and heartbroken, thinking, “How long is this going to go on for?”
My friends were all rooting for me, saying things like, “You could meet the right person tomorrow and your life could change in an instant.” Or, “As soon as you stop looking, that’s when you find someone.” But what they didn’t get is I was living in a small town that was a resort town at that. I had met everyone there was to meet, or so I thought.
I met Ryan when I was almost 39 years old, in the least likely place to meet your husband, and at the least likely time. It was apres ski on New Years Eve at the Sky Hotel bar. I had just been through a humiliating breakup and was just trying to survive the holidays alone and New Years was the most dreaded of them all. I had decided I would go skiing, get drunk, and go home and be in bed by 9.
Then I met Ryan.
The weird part about it is all our friends knew each other. I don’t know how it is we’d never met before, or maybe we had and it just wasn’t the right time for us to take notice. It was love at first sight in a very big way, and I remember just waiting for time to pass so people would believe me when I told them I’d found the one.
We were married two years later on top of Aspen Mountain in a wedding fit for a princess. I wore a gown by Claire Pettibone and shoes by Dior with perfectly loose blonde curls draping down my back. The last seven years have been filled with heart-busting love and I have seen all of my dreams come true: a home nestled deep in the mountains, a blonde baby boy who is absolute and total perfection, and of course, the prettiest little pug in the world.
Now that I have everything I ever wanted and especially since I have, at long last, become a mother, I understand a little more about my younger self. All I ever wanted was to love someone. I wanted to take care of them, to tuck them in at night and nurture them with beautiful food and create a beautiful home for them and hold them in my arms and push their hair off their face to comfort them. My heart was empty and now, it is full.
If you still haven’t met your person, know there’s hope. And don’t listen to anyone or anything but your heart; the only itch I have is to find out how amazing the next seven years will be.
The Princess is this-close to her wedding day weight. Email your love to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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