August 6, 2011

Two days ago, my husband and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary. I use the term "celebrated" loosely because not only did we stay home, we also spent half the day cleaning the house. My brother's family is in the process of relocating to Ft. Meade, Maryland, so that means they're staying with us in Virginia until they can find an apartment up there. Since they arrived last night--about three days earlier than originally planned--that meant cleaning could not be put off. Plus, we were unable to find a babysitter for our son, and he's still several years too young to do certain things--like sit through a three-hour Harry Potter film at the theater.

But our anniversary was nice in another way. My husband had taken leave from work, so we got to spend the day together. And after we went to bed that night, we stayed up late just talking. It was then that I discovered just why I married my husband.

You see, when I was younger, I never thought I'd find someone like me. I was always the outsider--the kid who wanted to belong but never quite did. My childhood "friends" were often quick to turn on me, take advantage of me, talk behind my back, or leave me out of the juiciest discussions. They repulsed my intellect, calling me "goody two shoes" and "teacher's pet," often to my face. It didn't help that my mom actually taught at my school for a while. Looking back now, it's a wonder I didn't grow up to absolutely hate people.

My husband had an identical experience. If he was teased as much as I was, he hasn't said. But the similarities are striking: on the fringe of every group, only one or two close friends, related better to adults than his peer group, etc. When we found each other, we were lonely and looking for something different--someone who understood us. I was still painfully awkward then, but at least he was able to see past that, unlike so many others. Does he understand me completely? No, and he'll admit it anytime. However, I think what pulls us together is what we see in each other that's so similar to what we each see in ourselves. Call it a crutch. We'll happily hobble along together a little while longer.

Thanks for reading.

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