The Minimalist Marriage: 21 Years of Awesome

minimalist marriageOn Wednesday, Sporty and I will have been doing what we do for 21 years. We’re different enough to keep it interesting, yet similar enough for it to work.

Yin and yang and all that good stuff.

I don’t buy into that ‘she completes me’ stuff —I’m plenty whole on my own—but what I know for sure is that life would be spectacularly boring if Sporty wasn’t around to share it with me.

(Sometimes you’ve gotta channel your inner-Oprah to get your point across.)

You get a car, you get a car, errrrrybody gets a car!

We’re still crazy in love and completely smitten, yet, in spite of this, we very nearly forgot our most important anniversary. And it’s not like it’s any old anniversary, either. 

On Wednesday, July 4th, it will be 21 years since we shared that first kiss on a dance floor in a raucously queer nightclub on the seedier side of Rosebank.

How even is that possible? It feels like five minutes ago, not two decades. Also, did we really hang out in nightclubs?

Apparently, yes. We also drank tequila and smoked cigarettes.

The Teething Years

I’d love to brag and say ours was always an easy minimalist marriage, but no, it took effort to get us to where we are now.

We were learning about ourselves as much as each other and things got scratchy at times. Heads were butted, words were slung. Learning and growing, I think is what they call it.

We threatened more than once to call it off, but then we’d remember that nobody got us like we got each other and we’d commit to trying harder and doing better.

Slowly but surely, we improved. Mostly of our own accord, but sometimes with a little counseling help from our take no prisoners couple’s therapist when things got especially tricky.

In case you were wondering, especially tricky is blogger parlance for fucking hard. 

What she lacked in bedside manner, Ms. TNP more than made up for in expertise. Truthfully, that woman saved our vegan bacon on more than one occasion.

Minimalism Changed Everything

The learning and growing continued and each year proved better than the last. We just never seemed to tire of one another’s company.

This was particularly novel for me, as I’ve always been inclined to prefer my own company.

We still had issues and arguments though, but I figured that’s what being married was about. I mean, it couldn’t just be plain sailing, could it?

Apparently it can. All you have to do is sell all your stuff and pay off your debt.

Yip, it’s actually that simple. Stuff and money (or lack of it) make life stressful and when you’re stressed you pick fights.

How else are you going to let off steam?

The Need for Adventure

The thing about long, happy relationships —or maybe it’s also an age thing, I don’t know— is that it’s easy to get stuck in a routine.

There’s a lot to be said for routine. It can get you to gym on a regular basis, help you eat well and ensure you meet your deadlines.

But there’s a reason Paulo Coelho said, “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.”

He’s not kidding, routine can be lethal if you take it too far. And we definitely took it too far. Fortunately, we came to our senses before we lost them completely.

We untethered ourselves from life as we knew it and embarked on an off-the grid adventure on a permaculture farm.

Life was hard, but the vegetables were delicious.

Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

One way to test your mettle as a couple is to extricate yourself from your comfort zone. After leaving city life behind us, we made it our mission to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

I’m happy to report that we did just fine. The more uncomfortable things got, the stronger we became as a couple.

After the teething years, it felt good to be so in sync with one another. Life was hard (venturing beyond your comfort zone is rarely a cake walk), but the harder it got the more we enjoyed it.

We felt alive.

Where to Next?

As I write this, Sporty is working overtime in her cubicle and I’m sitting in bed drinking red wine and eating partially burnt potato chips (I left them in the oven too long).

We’ve settled in the city again for the next year at least. After that, who knows? So long as my Excel lovin’ cubicle workin’ hotazhel wife is with me, I don’t care.

She’s funny, interesting, kind, sweet, smart, cute and ridiculously sexy. I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am that she said yes to my unplanned, off-the-cuff marriage proposal.

Where to next? Anywhere Sporty is, that’s where.