Meet me at the alter in your white dress…

I did exactly that 3 years ago today. Today Josh and I are celebrating 3 years of marriage in style.  It seems fitting that we would be hanging out with Orangutans in Borneo on our anniversary.  There hasn’t been a lot of “normalcy” since I met Josh in out teacher preparation course at Arizona State.

On the first day of one of our classes, Josh approached me and asked me if my name started with a “T”.  I looked at him like he was crazy and said, “Noooo. Why do you ask?” He then asked me what church I went to. Haha–he had seen the cross tattoo on my ankle. At the time I was dating someone so I sort of avoided him for a while after that–too cute to just be a friend (wink).   A few months later I found myself single and ready to mingle..

Our first “date”, if you want to call it that, sort of set the stage for what kind of relationship we would have.  I was at a wedding reception with some of my Somali friends.  It is the kind of thing where you can just bring people–not invite required.  I gave Josh a call and asked him if he wanted to come down. He did, and it turned out to be a very interesting party–bride was kidnapped by her family, everyone rushed outside (well, everyone but the few of us non-Somali guests) for a fight, and then soon came back in and returned to the dance floor.

I was giving Josh a ride home that night (his friend had dropped him off) and I made a joke about continuing to drive west to the beach (6 hours away).  Josh said something along the lines of, “why not?”  So we did, arriving just in time for sunrise.  We ate some breakfast and began driving back to Phoenix.

Our first adventure together--the beach.

In my exhaustion/elation I missed one of the directions.  Neither of us noticed for…well…a really long time.  By the time we realized what had happened, we decided it would be better to reroute through…Nevada.  We eventually made it back after 12 hours.  That evening, we had planned to go to an Invisible Children campaign.  So, we grabbed our shelter (a cardboard box we had grabbed off someone’s driveway–we asked first) and headed to the high school football field where it was being held. We each wrote a few letters to congressmen and the sorts and then fell asleep– our feet sticking out the bottom of the box.

The next year and half was filled with road trips, backpacking, graduation, a trip to South Africa, and then a wedding.  Since then, we’ve lived in Arizona, Cape Town, Seattle, and Seoul.  We’ve had some difficult times and some crazy fun times.  We’ve shed tears and we’ve laughed.  I’ve learned more about myself in the past three years of marriage than I ever expected to. I can be:

  • controlling–actually, we’re going to do it my way.
  • borderline crazy at times– AAHHHH, I’m so about to pull my hair out!
  • anal retentive–um, there’s a crumb on my counter!
  • defensive–what? you think I’m over-reacting????
  • prideful– I AM RIGHT!
To name a few… The biggest challenge I’ve faced in marriage is learning to let go.  Let go of my need to have everything my way all time.  Let go of the need to be right all the time.  Let go of the need to be in control.  I’ve learned that I can not put another person in charge on my happiness.

Yosemite National Park--Summer after we met

Hanging out at the tip of Africa a few months before our wedding

Marriage has also taught me a few things about marriage (go figure).  First, it can’t be done in isolation.  Marriage is not just about two people.  Having supportive friends and family has proven to be crucial.  I feel fortunate to have grown up with positive models for marriage.  Not just my parents, but my aunts and uncles, as well as my friends’ parents.  Having strong women in my life that can “call me” on areas where I need to grow and things I would fair well to let go of (like not have a conniption because Josh doesn’t do the dishes a particular way).

Wedding Day--we had an awesome party

This is moments before we lost our path in the mountains of South Africa. It was a cold, scary night in a cave.

Easter in Seoul--picnic, rock climbing, and sword fights with our little friend (and two of our big friends)

After getting married, the strength of the women around me began to seem so much more important.  I had never lived with a male other than my dad and brother and I was quite surprised to discover just how different we really are.  At first I thought I might have married a crazy person (he was probably thinking the same thing), but after discussing this concern with other women, I learned that we’re not crazy, just really really different.  It’s looking like learning to understand these differences in order to love your spouse  more fully might be a life long endeavor.
Okay, do you have your wine glass ready?   I’ll give you a minute…ya back?
To Marriage!  (clink, clink, clink)
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6 thoughts on “Meet me at the alter in your white dress…

  1. Clink, clink, clink! What a perfect write up! I am smiling ear to ear. To marriage: the institution where you LEARN to Love.

    Enjoy the ride!

    Love,

    Julie

  2. Bethany

    That was a pretty awesome party. Can’t believe it’s been three years. Also can’t believe how long you claimed you weren’t “dating” him 🙂

    • mjorgey

      I can’t believe it’s been three years either. That’s 10% to 30. Wow. We were pretty funny about the “not dating” thing.

  3. Shawn

    Melissa- You have done a nice job of describing the Stombock XX chromosome personality traits! I think many of your female relatives could relate to your description of yourself. Personally, I found I began to morph after having children. It is difficult to “do it my way” when you have three young females all saying “NO – do it my way”. And I must say I lost some of the anal retentiveness after children as well. When I compared the crumb on the counter to the 15 loads of laundry stacked on the floor, the laundry won every time. Perhaps now that our little girls are grown and gone I will regain some of the original traits – and then again, perhaps life (and our home) will never be the same:)

    LU

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