seven months.


seven months, originally uploaded by shaunaforce.

Late this morning — actually, pretty close to noon — the Chef and I left our bed and walked into the kitchen. Yes, we slept in late. But mostly, we lounged together, all morning long, listening to Breakfast with the Beatles and reading the newspaper. We both work hard — ten-hour days sometimes — so it was a welcome relief to finally have a Sunday with nowhere to go, no friends to see, no activities planned. We could be for each other.

When we finally emerged into the kitchen, the Chef took a look in the refrigerator. “Honey, I’ll be right back,” he said, his voice echoing into quiet down the stairs. I made us some strong coffee and checked my email. A few moments later, I heard him come into the kitchen as I typed away at the computer. When I turned toward him, I saw him pull two champagne flutes out of the freezer.

He had been to the store, to buy us navel oranges, and a bottle of champagne. While I ran over to kiss him, grateful for every moment, he squeezed some orange juice, then poured us mimosas.

“Happy anniversary, baby,” he grinned at me, clinking our glasses.

Oh, this man. How did I get so lucky?

Today is our seven-month anniversary. Last month, I posted the essay about us getting married. Today, our celebration has been more private. I am told that after we have been together for ten or fifteen years, we might not mark every 26th of the month. But you know what? I’m pretty sure we will. Because we were in our late thirties when we met and therefore lived most of our lives alone, because we have both been through hard times enough to appreciate the lives we have, and because we are both just ecstatic little kids at living those lives — we are going to keep celebrating. Every morning, we say I love you, the first moment our eyes are open. And every day, we say what has moved us. We are not waiting for later. He makes me tear up with his constant thoughtful actions, he makes me laugh hard seventy-four times a day, and he makes me the best food I have ever eaten. How could I not love this man?

We clinked our glasses and drank our toasts to each other. And then he set out to make us breakfast: gluten-free eggs benedict with prosciutto and hollandaise sauce made on the spot. Oh god, I cannot describe it. Eggs benedict in a restaurant never tasted like this.

And the rest of the day? Grocery shopping. Cleaning the kitchen (as you can imagined, this one is well-used). Eating a gluten-free cornbread I made up on the spot. Walking in the early darkness, through snow that has just begun to fall.

And at the moment, he is putting the finishing touches on a pork tenderloin he has been marinating for hours, in meyer lemons, ginger, clementine juice, tamari sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and cilantro. I am writing by his side, in the kitchen. He just dipped his finger in the reduction sauce he has made from that marinade (plus rice wine vinegar and chicken stock) and ran over to me to let me taste it. I felt like a baby bird, being fed from above. That taste — earthy, slightly sweet, unexpected depth, layers upon layers of surprises — it tastes like him.

It doesn’t require much to be happy in this world. It certainly doesn’t require a lot of money. We’re not rich, in cash at least. But in living? We feel like millionaires.

Anyone who tells you that living gluten-free is deprivation? Tell that person to change her mind. It’s just being alive.

Happy Anniversary, baby. I love you, forever.

12 comments on “seven months.

  1. Elle

    Shuna and the Chef,
    Congratulations on seven months. Continuing to value the miracle of real love that is shared is not ever too much and I’m betting you will celebrate each 26th of the month for years to come. Most of us don’t value each moment, each day. Having lost my son in an auto accident seven and a half years ago, I learned it the hard way. It wasn’t that I didn’t stop and smell the roses or fresh bread baking or laughter of my kids, it was just that life seemed a whirlwind and I struggled to keep up with all of the things that I was passionate about. The good news is that my Sweetie and I made it through the grief together and still wake up each morning thrilled that we are together. It’s amazing what you notice and appreciate once you really get it that life can stop, just like that, at any moment. The world is so full of beauty and good people and great things to eat. It is a delight to share your experience of it all. You write so beautifully. Your words are for gluten free and non gluten free folks. Thanks.

  2. shuna fish lydon

    Look! Someone called you Shuna!
    they are always calling me Shauna! But I never thought it would go the other way around…

    “Anyone who tells you that living gluten-free is deprivation? Tell that person to change her mind. It’s just being alive.”

    I think this sentence could be changed to suit all of us, gluten-free or anything else. Living life through the eyes of depravation can sometimes be the fear we get used to, instead of the fear we relinquish.

    Good on both of you for knowing how precarious life is. There’s never enough time to say goodbye. So I agree there’s always time to remind someone how much they mean to you.

  3. RA

    My husband and I are relative newlyweds, but we’ve been together for over four years. We still commemorate every 1st of the month, which is when we started dating, and I think it’s even more fun to hear those random numbers as they come up. Happy 37 Months? Who says that? We do! And I’m glad that you will, too.

  4. Anonymous

    What are you waiting for? Marry this guy, it only gets better. My husband and I only dated 6 months, and we’ve been married 17 wonderful years. We were married 6 months and one day from our first date. Congratulations on your happiness and your future!

  5. Anonymous

    we dated for three months and then married, that was 11 years and 2 (very naughty) children ago.

    I hate to ask, but am curious: you keep a mixed-diet household? how do you avoid x-contamination? one day if you could talk about the technicalities of that …

    Elodie

  6. Anonymous

    Girl I can’t wait until you marry this boy! You guys are so uber cute. My personal pet peeve is when people say b-o-l-o-g-n-a like, oh you two are such newylweds, you can’t possibly keep up that kind of stuff after years of marrage. I want to SCREAM: “Yes I can, and I will b/c we are madly in love. You are a grouch.”

  7. RainCityGirl

    Oh Shauna…this post brought me to tears. My parents celebrate the day they met every year and they have been married over 50 years now. I wish you both the best! Even though I’m not gluten-free I read your blog and enjoy your writing very much. Have a wonderful Holiday.

  8. Anonymous

    Ahhhhhhhhh such a warm and cozy posting. After 35 years with the same guy I love reading about lovers who just love to love each other. Good for you guys.

  9. Shauna

    Greensunflower,

    Thank you. I just can’t help it — the love for him just spills out of me onto the keyboard!

    Anonymous,

    Oh dear, I wish that everyone could have one like him. But no cloning allowed. That would grow very confusing for me!

    Elle,

    The Chef and I both cried when we read your beautiful comment. My goodness, the strength in you. I cannot imagine losing a son. That you and your sweetie have survived it to be stronger together, and to live more fully because of it? I am humbled by it.

    Shuna,

    I know! I was so excited that someone called me Shuna. I’m honored.
    I agree, my dear — precarious is the word. However, I think there’s never enough time to say hello, as well.

    Ra,

    I love it! No one makes diamond ads for Happy 37 months, do they? That makes it more ours. The other day, the Chef said to me, “I met you 31 weeks ago.” That meant more to me than seven months, actually.

    Anonymous,

    Tell truth, we already feel married. I’m so clear that we are going to be together for the rest of our lives — and we stay awake to each other every day to make sure that is true — that the wedding itself feels unnecessary. We are only waiting for this summer so we can have everyone we love around us and have a huge, summertime sunshine party!

    Bengali Chick,

    I agree! It drives me crazy when people look at us and say, “Oh, you’re just in the honeymoon stage.” As though the norm in life is to be closed to each other and mumble. Silly! Good on your for knowing!

    Raincitygirl,

    Thank you! 50 years. Wow. Your parents certainly gave you a wonderful example of loving. Thank you for reading.

    Lynn,

    35 years! Wow, you people are amazing. I can only imagine how deep the love must be after all that time together. Thank you.

  10. Brett

    Long time reader, first time posting! Just wanted to let you know that I absolutely love reading your blog (though I discovered recently that it’s soy and nuts– not gluten– which has made me ill over the past few years). Thanks for all of your cooking tips and adventures, but even more so for posts like this. My parents have been happily married for 26 years– but it’s good to know that other examples of real love exist. Your stories and writing gives me faith, in love, in warmth, in good food and laughs!