10 year dating anniversary

Today marks 10 years since Brian and I started going steady.

On our first official date, it was a frightful blizzard so one of our best friends drove us to a restaurant (and picked us up) as though we were high schoolers. In fact, we were quite young, just twenty-one. At dinner, I ordered at least five things because I get hungry when I'm nervous. Brian recalls being taken aback by how much food I thought I could eat. I still feel guilty that most of it went untouched, because once we started talking, I couldn't focus on anything but him. In the weeks leading up to that night, we would meet off campus to study in the quiet confines of our university town's public library. He gave me his number on a scrap of paper after lunch one day to set up our next study date. I clutched it tightly between my fingers so an errant breeze wouldn't steal it from me. He and some friends would sometimes knock on the window of my basement bedroom after the bars closed, so I'd invite them in for some godawful student snack like fried meatballs on a plate. One wintery night, we sat facing each other, kneecaps touching, and admitted we liked each other a whole bunch. We stayed up talking all night and he walked home during icy dawn. He walked down my back steps and looked back with a final smile and I knew I was done for. Before all this, we were friends for three years, until one day I saw him and thought, "how did I never notice what a hunk he is?" It took me months of heart palpitations and butterflies and being so lovesick I thought something was physically wrong with me to get up the courage to tell him I liked him. Bracing myself and telling him I how I felt was the most defining declaration of my life, because it earned me a partner who has since shaped the course of my days, and illuminated each successive year. It's been 10 years of love and friendship, simple everyday life and wild adventure. Brian, I adore you, now more than ever before.

I took a journey back through time in my external hard drives to find a favourite image of us together. Instead, I found a lot of snapshots of casual moments that I will cherish forever. I can't believe how bad my hair and outfits are in some of these shots. And the self tanner, oh lord the self tanner. In my defence, some of the images were taken at costume parties. But for real, I applaud him for staying by my side throughout some of these hair phases.

And our most recent photos together, taken this spring and summer by our friends Sophia (left) and Mark (right):

 And these last two by my sister-in-law, Carolyn.

 Cheers to the next 10 years!