May 29th, 2012
Sunday Henry and I celebrated eleven years of marriage by gorging on red meat and tippling mescal while I blew my fluey nose into cloth napkins at Boa in Santa Monica. Here are one wedding day and 11 anniversaries:
We married at the Biltmore in Santa Barbara on May 27th 2001. And I wasn’t even medicated. I had however, due to nerves, lost eight pounds. When I went in for my fitting two days before the wedding, they had to basically sew my corset to my non-existent breasts. My seamstress sighed in exasperation, “The fat ones getter fatter and the skinny ones get skinnier!” We had 100 Mormon relatives and 100 Catholic relatives. I think you can guess who used the open bar.
Here we are on our first anniversary:
What a difference a year makes. Here I am a swollen,tepid brunette one week away from birthing my first baby, Clare. We’re already exhausted. I’ve been on bed rest for three weeks because my placenta started to fail, which was freaking scary. Henry’s reaction has been to stuff me with bean and cheese burritos as though preparing a spring ham for the spit. In this photo Henry is saying: “What the fuck are we getting ourselves into?” I am saying, “Shut the fuck up and smile.”
My waistline is back! We’re dining at the former Bastide on Melrose Place. What I don’t know is that Henry’s suffering from a blinding migraine. He doesn’t tell me in order not to ruin our evening. It’s fantastic because I talk incessantly without interruption while he just nods, smiles wincingly and intermittently vomits in the potted palms.
I’ve recently given birth to Bridget. So I think it’s a good idea to cut off all of my hair because that’s so sexy. Fortunately Henry will take me however he can get me. In this photo, being parents of a one-and-a-half month old and a 23-month old, we haven’t slept in weeks. We’re teetering on the brink of madness.
Me: “Am I crushing your legs?” Henry: “What legs? Everything’s numb below the waist.”
I’ve lost 15 lbs. due to IBS (Irresistibly Beautiful Syndrome — oh alright Irritable Bowel Syndrome). I’m in constant pain for about 8 months and see a million doctors. Finally my gastro sends me to a psychopharmacologist who gives my bowels anti-depressants. They become much happier. The only thing that gets me through this time is Henry rubbing my back every night.
We’ve just got back from living 6 months in Toronto while Henry wrote and produced family classic Firehouse Dog (go buy it – we get residuals!). I’ve decided to go brunette for a year so Henry feels like he has a mistress.
We’re heading to a swanky Hollywood producer’s 50th birthday shindig. Little do we know said producer is going to renege on half of Henry’s paycheck. Had I known I would’ve tried to stock up on extra foie gras and filet mignon skewers by stuffing them into my Spanx.
Henry: ”Why are you hiding behind me?” Me: ”It’s slenderizing. Do you think we look older than when we got married?” Henry: “Not you since you drink the blood of virgin choirboys.” Me: “It’s just so refreshing!”
We’re with the girls at the premiere of Unnatural History, a TV show Henry worked on that year. This was a cool day as the girls got to see acrobatic monks and eat from candy buffets until their heads spun while they spewed green Now N’ Laters. I decide to keep the pith helmet and wear it to bed.
We’d meant to go to Amalfi, Italy (site of our honeymoon) to renew our vows with the kids, but the economic crisis struck and we had to scale back our ambitions to a weekend at the San Ysidro Ranch where we ogled Conan O’Brien and Kyra Knightley and even one another. For some reason we appear to be lobsters in the photo above.
Today is two days after our eleventh anniversary. Trite but true when I say I can’t believe how fast it’s gone, like an out of control locomotive helmed by Denzel Washington and Chris Pine heading downhill toward a small village of nuns and one-legged orphans.
Along the way we’ve had our girls, we’ve gained and lost and gained weight, we’ve lived abroad and stuck close to home, we’ve taken our girls to Ireland, England, Canada, Hawaii, Wyoming, Utah, Washington State, Cape Cod, Ralphs, Big Lots, Trader Joes, Smart N Final and the Wine Barn (for mommy).
We’ve had our scares. Clare almost died in the womb due to intra-uterine growth restriction, she had infant hip dysplasia due to being breach, wore a Wheton Pavlik harness for six weeks, she’s broken two arms (one requiring surgery and a metal pin) and split an eye open (requiring Derma Glue). Bridget’s had a bacterial infection that landed us in the ER for eight terrifying hours where we thought she might not make it.
We’ve had our losses, Henry’s father, Bob, my stepdad, Guido and my grandma, Sue. Henry’s younger sister has had strokes and two brain surgeries. We’ve pulled together as extended family and these difficult experiences solidified our bonds. I knew my mother-in-law loved me like a true daughter when she boxed my ears during a family trip when I was speaking in an annoying Brogue.
We’ve had writing work and been unemployed for stretches. We’ve been sexually bored and had to step up our game. We’ve been stressed out, freaked out, full of ourselves, excited and hopeful. There are times we’ve been like roommates and had to work to fall back in love.
We’re in the thick of it. Our life. Together. What I know for sure, after 11 years of marriage, is that I married a uniquely wonderful man (what other husband would let his wife run nude on the internet?) and that no matter what life throws my way I’ll be okay as long as he is in it. Kisses to my Henry. Between the two of us, you’re the better man. Thank you for marrying me. xo S
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