Ten years ago today, I married my College Sweetheart. CS and I had been together for nine years at that point, since our first week at St. Lawrence University. I proposed to her just before Christmas break of that very first year, and we’d been planning the whole thing off and on since then.
(If I had it to do again, we’d just give everyone candles to hold, instead of sticking to our original idea of candelabras.)
The following day, CS was weepy from the emotional release of it all. We both knew that we’d never be able to get that collection of loved ones together in such a way again.
We didn’t have the money for a honeymoon, not even a stay in a bed and breakfast in the Finger Lakes, like we’d originally planned. So we just sort of made our honeymoon a staycation.
The following year, I left my abusive job and started working at a big Wall Street law firm. Which was fortunate, since the wedding had put us badly in debt.
CS had a job at Broadway.com, selling group tour packages, which kept her close to the theatre world that she loved, and often scored us comp tickets when shows had seats to fill.
I thought that the desperate scrambling of my early twenties was over, and that my life had finally, truly begun.
Then 2008 happened. When I look back on my life, I suspect that I’ll be able to point at 2008 as one of those points where everything changes.
CS is getting married again in December. Red Molly and I are invited. It’s for the best; the problems we thought we’d solved by the time we got married proved to be insurmountable after all. She lives out in Yonkers now; Broadway.com and free Broadway tickets are a distant memory, but she does her best to stay involved in the theatre.
The Wall Street law firm is still there, but it’s a pale shade of its former self. They were heavily involved in the credit swaps that were at the heart of the Crash, and they were hit hard. Then in 2012, they got washed out of their offices by Hurricane Sandy. I wasn’t there for that, since I got laid off in – you guessed it – 2008. Until I got hired at my current job two months ago, I had gone six years without permanent employment (there was one year where I thought I had it, but it turned out not to be so “permanent” after all). So much for an end to desperate scrambling.
My 38th birthday is on Sunday. Tomorrow, I’ll be celebrating it with a bunch of friends, food, and creepy movies (to celebrate Halloween as well). I’m looking forward to it. But I can’t help but be afraid as well. I look back ten years ago, at that version of me that I can barely remember anymore, that version of me who believed that divorce, fat, hernias, and long-term unemployment were things that happened to other people, and I hope that these next ten years go a little better.