Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Six thousand, two hundred and five days

On Sunday, Love and Chunks and I celebrated being married for seventeen years.

Come to think of it, 'celebrate' isn't the right word. We noted its passing, smiled at each other, murmured 'Happy Anniversary' and got on with the day.  It's not one of the officially-recognised Big Ones, so there was no paper or copper or tupperware or ruby-themed gifts.

Like the wedding itself, the day was not one full of whizz bang sparkles, string quartets, satin-clad attendants or long speeches. The dress cost a total of twelve dollars for the material and Dad walked me out of the front door, down the driveway and into their magnificent back garden.  Ironically the hat cost ten times more than the outfit but stayed on my head for the grand total of two minutes before being blown off by the blasted Murray Bridge wind.

For someone known as being a bit of a clown and a show-off, no-one was more surprised than me at how nervous I felt.

I wasn't frightened about being married to Love Chunks at all but was terrified at having everyone's eyes on me. I wasn't a cute little size zero in sequinned lace who had always dreamed of wafting down the aisle to gasps of envy and amazement but was instead a puffy and becoming-sick* 26 year old who felt unglamorous, unable to smile and with all her intestinal workings frozen. That's why the only photo we've got framed is the one above; a rare shot of me looking happy instead of grim.  It's probably because I was staring at my brand new husband.

Three and a half years later, I had beaten the brain tumour, confounded the medicos and was pregnant with Sapphire.

From the very first moment we 'met', I've been dazzled at my first sight of her every day. Twelve years later finds that this hasn't changed in the slightest and I have to remind myself to actively listen to what she's saying instead of just thinking, "She's truly dazzling. How on earth did we make her?"

She says, "Thank god you've got Milly the dog, Mum, or you'd be hugging and kissing and pestering me even more than you already do."

We've had some terrific holidays together and there are no two finer people I'd want by my side when things get tough, hilarious, puzzling, adventurous, relaxing, sad, intense, chaotic and contented.

One of the many things I appreciated about LC was that we fell in love when I was the least attractive 'catch' in all senses of the word.

I was two stone overweight after living in London; owed a small fortune on my credit card with little chance of paying it off in a reasonable time frame; had no idea what sort of career path to pursue and drove a burnt orange 1971 volvo and regularly wore a dark green paisley-patterned corduroy shirt that he hated. "Bend over and touch your toes, Kath. Yep, like that. Now I've got a table and a table cloth."

The shirt didn't come when we moved in together, but neither did his speedos or black shellsuit pants.  From having a bathroom with a hole in the wall, snot-coloured carpet and a windsurfer stored where the spare bed should have been we've since moved to three different states, lived in seven different houses and, currently, our second country.

Like Sapphire he too constantly dazzles me. From small-but-considerate things like making me a cup of coffee every morning to picking up the shattered remains of a breakdown, he's been strong, understanding, tolerant and, most importantly of all, exceedingly kind. Those blue eyes are as variable in colour as the sky and it's impossible for me to get tired of looking into them.

Most people don't list 'kind' as a key quality they seek in a partner. You normally see 'a good sense of humour, reasonable looks, steady job and reliable' on the list, but kindness is essential for a life well-lived and loved. LC personifies kindness to me.

He has always been able to see beyond my Potato Face and inability to wear make up without looking like a bruised clown and I'm fully aware that when we watch terribly tacky video shows of old ladies falling over in creek beds and kids doing major stacks on their bikes, he gets more entertainment from laughing at me because I am genuinely unable to control the hoots and shrieks that burst out of my mouth.

He hasn't landed himself a style icon or a wealthy careerist either, but he's appreciative of my efforts to create a clean(ish) house, a full pantry and a social life and is always supportive of my various writing projects and enjoys watching how Sapphire and I muck around together as equals.

THIS is what he comes home to most nights...

...... and I'll be forever grateful that he does.  I love you, LC.

* Brain tumour was diagnosed three months after we were married.


Carlyy23 said...

Awww. :)

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

What a lovely post.

I'm shocked to read about the brain tumour but thank God you pulled through.


Anyway - congratulations to you and Love Chunks and may the next 17 years be peachy and fun (and of course the ones after that too).




Radge said...

One of my favourite pieces of yours, ever. It gives me great hope...

Christine said...

Congratulations... Kind is what does it for me, too. In such little ways but very real.

nuttynoton said...

Glad we could be there to experience that big day all those years ago. Strange how you make it sound worse than it was, we thought it was a great day and the"honeymoon trip" afterwards with us lot was an experience i will never forget. You have certainly been through a number of very very difficult experiences but have come out the other side and realise what is important in life. It is a good reminder to us all. Great post

Pandora Behr said...

Awww. Lovely post. Happy anniversary.


River said...

True Love indeed! I envy that a little...I love the way you two (three) love each other.
"Now I've got a table and a tablecloth". I had to stop eating my breakfast for a minute there because I laughed and almost choked.
Happy Anniversary for last Sunday.

The Elephant's Child said...

Happy belated anniversary. A true three way love story. Just gorgeous. Thank you. (A bit misty here but thank you).

aquascrap said...

Happy Anniversary and may the next 17 years plus be just as happy.

Don said...

Congratulations on the years together with your husband! Very happy to hear when people are together over 15 years and longer!

Sounds like, even with obstacles, the two of you are still happy with each other and in love!

Friar Don, OBR

Andrew said...


Kindness is much underrated, but not by me who likes very much being with a kind person.

Hannah said...

Incredible post. It cheers my soul to know that some people get to experience what you have. That it's not just a dream, but a reality for some. That gives me hope.

Thank you for sharing x

Nicole said...

Wow 17 years and still so in love! I too consider kindness to be paramount. My other half was so much so when we met that I worried he was too nice for me! I have since worn of some of that, but luckily it's still under there most of the time.

diane b said...

Congratulations for making it so far considering the traumatic challenges thrown your way. Al ovely tribute to LC and Saphire. Your love for them is a shining star.
We have seen some horrific big freeze photos of Geneva, hope you are keeping warm.

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks PM. The tumour was non-cancerous but produced some shocking migraines that took up most of the week and affected my eyesight. Oh and convinced my body that it was breastfeeding so that, if this was the middle ages, I could have been a barren wet nurse.

....hang on, did I share too much?

Aw thanks Radge! Nice to see you - I'm always stoked when you comment!

Thanks Christine. Kindness is always underrated, isn't it?

Nutty, I'd love to write about the honeymoon on the blog sometime too - would that be OK with you and your lovely one?

....I mean your WIFE, nutty, not any other part of you!

Thanks Pandora.

River, he's a quietish bloke but a right cheeky and funny bugger when he wants to be. Apart from watching funny home videos, it's him who makes me laugh hardest.

E-Child, I got a bit misty writing it and feel like I still didn't put across what I meant all that well....

Thank you Don and Aqua - be over to visit your sites shortly....

Yep Andrew, you get it. You and R have been together for longer than us, haven't you?

Hannah, 'sharing' is what I do. Probably too much for LC and Sapphire who frequently get embarrassed by my keyboard gushings.

Nicole, there's no such thing as 'too nice' :)

diane_b, thanks for your comment. As for the weather, it's been minus double digits for a week now. Most of us are bent double as we walk outside into the breeze and any thoughts of maintaining style amongst the normally-spiffing Genevoise is now abandoned for two layers of puffy coats, scarfes and beanies. Let's face it - no-one looks good in a beanie, especially when they come back inside and take it off....

Amanda said...

Congratulations, Kath & LC! 17 years is a Good long innings. The table/tablecloth also made me snort, he's a funny fella, that one.

Wally The Walrus said...

Kind is good.

Kind is what gets you through the long years... all that other stuff is what gets you through lust.

Mind you, a bit of lust is good too :) :)

Wally The Walrus said...

Oh... did I mention we're going to make 25 years in about another month.

As Mrs Walrus, says to The Chaps (aka the little Walrii): You get less for murder.

It still seems to me like its been about 4 years, and I'm still amazed that she wants to put up with me cos I know I'm a pain in the neck.

FruitCake said...

Diane is right - this is a lovely tribute which I almost feel privileged to have read.
How could one not be kind to someone who wears paisley patterned corduroy and drives a burnt orange volvo?

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks Wally. A quarter of a century, eh? That's around ----rushes off to find the calculator---- 127 Kim Kardashian marriages!!

Fruitcake, I think you're right. I got 'in' on the sympathy card first, which then turned to kindness! :P

LC said...

Firstly, I have to pick you up on the fact that your calculation of days doesn't take into account leap years.

Secondly, thanks for your kind words, which demonstrate your own kindness in elevating my qualities well above and beyond reality.

My girls are my life; and the only part of religions I have ever seen any point in are those that praise that which gives life.

Kath Lockett said...

LC, it's *you* who make me kind.

Vanessa said...

I like kindness. It is real and it is important.
Lovely post. My homme and I also celebrated 17 years but because our date is Jan 7 I never get my act together to write a decent post. We are off to my sisters wedding in Byron Bay tonight - a little weekend away for us to connect.

B Smith said...

My parents celebrate their 60th anniversary later this month.

The thing is, my older sister celebrates her 60th birthday in July....there's some funny maths going on there....

(and thumbs up to kindness - thing is, it's usually not on the "must have" list, but it's a big relief when one finds it there anyway)

Kath Lockett said...

Mucho congrats, Vanessa. I assume you'll be 'childfree' at the wedding and staying over, so it's the perfect time for champers, drunk dancing and then your own celebrations?

B-Smith, as my mother said, at least half of the weddings she went to the bride was 'halfway' along, which makes sense when engagements went on forever. I mean, you've decided that you love each other and want to be together (in all senses of the word), so why wait until the wedding night?

Imogen said...

Love, love, love this blog post! Happy Anniversary!

And thank all that is chocolatey for you pulling through a brain tumor - wow.

You are beautiful Kath - on the inside where it counts, and on the outside!

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks Imogen - 'beautiful' is not something you usually get called when wearing trakky daks, polar fleece and uggs!

nuttynoton said...

We have no objection to you blogging about your honeymoon as it was a memorable experience for us and certainly funny in places, I am sure you will make it much funnier than I can!

Anji said...

That was a lovely post. You sound like a 'comfortable' family.

Red Nomad OZ said...

Congratulations! And you're right about the quality of kindness - it's not one that regularly appears on Valentine's Day cards, is it?!

PS Great to see you in your trakky daks & uggies - you can take the girl out of Australia ...

Jilly said...

Happy Belated Anniversary Kath and Dean! Sorry I missed it. What a lovely post - you are truly an inspirational couple. I remember your wedding day fondly - we had fun getting ready and it was a 'real', beautiful wedding. AND you looked gorgeous too! All my love Jilly xxx