On First Anniversaries & Forever by Meg Keene You guys are normally a very good influence on me, with your kind comments and thoughtful emails. But recently, things went a little south (my fault, not yours). Since we’ve been discussion cold feet and divorce and wedding anxiety on the blog, I’ve started getting a lot of emails of the freaked out variety. More specifically, they are emails that detail the reasons why you might be freaked out about marriage. Lines of thought include, “Forever is terrifying,” and “Think of all the things that can go wrong in a lifetime together,” and “What if we don’t get along in 30 years,” and the more general, “Oh my God I’m scared.” I didn’t have cold feet pre-wedding, but sometime right before our first anniversary these emails reached critical mass in my brain. Suddenly I started looking around thinking, “Well, sh*t. Forever IS a long time, and oh my God what if we DON’T get along in 30 years?!” Lucky David, right? So when we woke up the morning of our anniversary and David said, “Do you think it will be just like this on our 50th, but we’ll just be creakier?” I thought, “OHMYGOD! This goes on for another 49 years????” Logically, 49 years like this last year would be fantastic news, but freaking out does not respond well to logic. Needless to say, I’d picked a fight with David before breakfast. We did not, however, have a horrible anniversary. Sometime during that afternoon, as the freaking out reached it’s peak, I had a realization. It was this: my marriage isn’t for forever, my marriage is for today. Which is to say, of course we freak out when we ponder questions like, “How long is forever?” and “What if we don’t get along in 30 years?” Those questions freak us out because A) They don’t have an answer, no matter how long you think about them, and B) There is nothing we can do to solve the problems they pose. They are, in a sense, totally useless (but terrifying) questions. What we can do is look around our life and figure out how our marriage is doing today. If it’s good, it’s good. Stop freaking out and breathe it in. But if, for example, you’ve been freaking out all day about the nature of forever, it’s quite possible that you’ve also been an asshole all day, and your marriage, achem, might need a little care right this very second. Which, on the evening of our anniversary, we gave it. So, perhaps more useful than my revelation, I give you my easy recipe for a fantastic anniversary. We had our fantastic anniversary in Rome, which was borderline ridiculous (though the kind of ridiculous I’ll take), but it turns out we could have had it anywhere. My Recipe: One bottle of prosecco One ipod wedding playlist to listen to Slow Dancing or hand holding to your romantic wedding song (ours was not our first dance song, actually) Then dancing around the room like a lunatic to the fast songs Electric slides encouraged One nice dinner (out or in) One bottle of wine One nice slow walk home (trashed) And that, my friends, is how we took our marriage one day at a time on August 9, 2010, on a very hot night in Rome. After a pretty imperfect day, it was exactly right. Meg Keene Founder & Editor-In-Chief Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.