Fourteen and Comfortable

This week is my fourteenth wedding anniversary, so I’ve been reflecting on our married life and have come up with one word to describe it:  comfortable.  My warped humor prevents me from writing a reverent tribute to the man who has managed to put up with me for all these years.  Nothing I write will be proper commendation for his sacrifice 🙂

Here’s a bit about my hubby:  he is a neat-freak.  His motto: “everything has a place.”  I knew that about him from the beginning, so it wasn’t a total shock to see it in action when we first moved into our house.  He took great care to perfectly arrange everything sitting on our countertops.  After he walked away from an item, I would come behind him and move it slightly.  I almost couldn’t stifle my laughter when he’d come back in the room and halt in front of a moved item, stare at it and then slide it back into place.    

My behavior must sound terrible, but in my defense, my ornery streak was as obvious as his compulsive straightening.  In fact, he told me early in the relationship that my smart aleck attitude was one of the things that attracted him to me in the first place.  Yes, my dear husband is a sick man 😉

Having children has forced him to lighten up adapt and accept a new definition of neat:

Family Room Floor - Not a Neat Freak’s Paradise

His attire has changed, too.  B.C. (Before Children) my husband dressed in twill shorts with a black dress belt and tucked-in polo shirts.  I urged him to loosen up – you know, go wild and wear the shirt un-tucked once in a while.  Or, throw caution to the wind and not wear a belt.  It took years to get him to wear sweat shorts when we went hiking – and even then, he insisted on tucking his shirt in.  It took a few more years for that to go, too.  Now, his wardrobe looks like this:

My survival has depended on me evolving, also.  When we were first married, the entire house would be scrubbed every week – with bleach even.  (Now bleach is reserved for special occasions.)  Mopping has given way to challenging the kids to get all the black spots off the tile with Clorox wipes; the kids clean their own bathroom (while I avoid looking); and vacuuming gets done when the build-up of playground sand, woodchips and animal hair make it hazardous to walk through the house. 

I used to tuck my shirts in too, but two children (and no abs) later, I’ve come to the conclusion that tucked in shirts are over-rated.  In fact, most of my dresses don’t get wear time for the same reason.  I suspect my self-consciousness about my midsection is like my other flaws – it feels like the whole world is staring, but in reality, no one cares.

Neglected Dress. Hasn't Been Out In 2 Years.

Even though I do still make myself look decent for work, the transformation that happens once I’m home is amazing (horrifying).  Within ten minutes, I’ve gone from presentable to deplorable.  My hair is harnessed by a claw clip and the skirt and dressy shirt are ditched for jeans and a t-shirt, or worse – pajamas.  Like my husband, I have acquired quite a selection of work out-type clothing, however, mine boasts a brighter color palette.

Love Pink. Obvious?

There is so much more I could write about our relationship, but, lucky for you, this is a blog post – not a novella – so I’ll leave it at this.  We may be prime candidates for TLC’s What Not To Wear, but our clothes are comfortable, allowing us room to stretch, relax and enjoy life without pretense; just like our relationship.

What one word describes your closest relationship?


38 thoughts on “Fourteen and Comfortable

  1. dorcas April 12, 2011 / 7:14 AM

    Congratulations Janna. May the both of you have many more wonderful years ahead.

    • jannatwrites April 12, 2011 / 4:15 PM

      Thanks, Dorcas! I appreciate your well-wishes 🙂

  2. SuziCate April 12, 2011 / 7:20 AM

    I love comfortable in clothing and relationships…that’s where there is real beauty! Happy anniversary to you guys and many more!

    • jannatwrites April 12, 2011 / 4:20 PM

      Comfortable is a nice place – in between being overly concerned with appearance/behavior and the other end of the spectrum (not even trying).

      Thanks, SuziCate!

  3. Tori Nelson April 12, 2011 / 7:26 AM

    Haha! The Dude is the SAME way. I asked him if he would be more comfortable wearing a t-shirt to an outdoor birthday party. It was 90 degrees outside and he was wearing slacks and a button up shirt. He looked at me like I had asked him to sport a skirt!

    • jannatwrites April 12, 2011 / 4:21 PM

      Be careful what you wish for, or you could have tons of sweatshorts and t-shirts in your future 🙂 It’s the little quirks that are intriguing (or annoying, depending on the day!)

      Thanks for stopping by, Tori.

  4. Aligaeta April 12, 2011 / 7:53 AM

    Comfortable is a nice place to be. Happy Anniversary.

    • jannatwrites April 12, 2011 / 4:23 PM

      Thanks, Aligaeta. I’m glad you visited today 🙂

  5. Carol Ann Hoel April 12, 2011 / 8:57 AM

    Another enjoyable read from Jannawrites!

    What one word describes my closest “human” relationship? Blended. We have rubbed off one another’s rough edges, and our relationship withstands the journey. Becoming one only takes a lifetime. Blessings and Happy Anniversary!

    • jannatwrites April 12, 2011 / 4:27 PM

      “Blended”…I like that. I’m glad you have the strength of a “blended” relationship, Carol. Thank you for visiting and leaving your kind words.

  6. Hilary Clark April 12, 2011 / 9:28 AM

    What a lovely post about marriage! And comfy clothes. 🙂
    Congratulations on 14 years together!

    • jannatwrites April 12, 2011 / 5:37 PM

      Thanks, Hilary! Here’s to comfy clothes…oh, and fourteen years 🙂

  7. Debbie April 12, 2011 / 12:53 PM

    Congratulations on 14 years of marriage to a neat-freak (we’re not easy creatures to live with, as you seem to have found on occasion!). Raising my toast glass to many more years of bliss for the two of you!

    • jannatwrites April 12, 2011 / 5:44 PM

      Ah, so you’re a neat-freak, too? It can be frustrating at times, but there are benefits, too. I know that if I leave dishes in the sink, he will break down and load them before I do 🙂 Thanks for the well-wishes, Debbie! I’m hoping for many more happy years also.

  8. SAS Fiction Girl April 12, 2011 / 1:51 PM

    Congratulations on your 14th, Janna!
    Your East Coast readers are booking flights to your town for cake and champagne at your house this weekend. Do you think you’ll have the family room cleaned up in time? 😉

    • jannatwrites April 12, 2011 / 5:49 PM

      Thanks, Jen!

      Um, well, I hate to break it to you, but our family room in that picture was clean (you should see it right now!) Cake, champagne and clutter go together, right?

  9. nrhatch April 12, 2011 / 2:23 PM

    Congrats! BFF and I have been together for 30 years, and married for 26. Our relationship is relaxed and comfortable with a lovely ebb and flow to it. If his optimism flags, I cheer him up. When mine flags, he returns the favor.

    Celebrate in style . . . or curl up in your pj’s and enjoy a pizza!

    • jannatwrites April 12, 2011 / 5:53 PM

      Congrats to you, Nancy – 26 years is an accomplishment! I’m so glad that you and your hubby balance each other out.

      We’ll take the relaxed route of celebration. There’s nothing wrong with cozy 🙂

  10. widdershins April 12, 2011 / 3:23 PM

    One word eh? … hm-mm … Complimentary. Not as in paying each other compliments, but complimenting each other’s strengths and weaknesses, quirks and peeves, talents and abilities.

    Congratulations on hitting the big 14!

    • jannatwrites April 12, 2011 / 5:58 PM

      Complimentary is nice. Finding someone that can strike a nice balance with us is certainly a huge plus.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your one word, Widdershins 🙂

  11. clarbojahn April 12, 2011 / 4:46 PM

    Congrats, Janna. I was married for 16 years to my late husband and 15 years to the present. I haven’t taken time out to evaluate this one yet but for you I’d go with widders,
    complimentary. He ‘s brilliant to where I’m not. He’s calm when I freak out and he’s my partner in good and bad. I’m glad I got a good one. 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 12, 2011 / 6:02 PM

      That’s a lot of years of combined marriage, Clarbojahn. Thinking of one word is hard, isn’t it? Complimentary is a good adjective, and I’m glad it fits your relationship!

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  12. Cities of the Mind April 12, 2011 / 4:58 PM

    As someone who rarely makes the nine month mark in a relationship, I am in awe of your staying power. That straightening thing made me laugh. I used to have an OCD manager I’d play that very same game with.

    • jannatwrites April 12, 2011 / 6:08 PM

      Hehehe. I can relate to you, Connor. Six months was my max until the boyfriend I dated before my husband. That one one lasted two years (should’ve been 1 year, but I was too lazy to end it.) If you find someone that’s right for you (and you want a longer relationship) it’ll just happen 🙂

      It’s so fun to mess with OCD people. It’s only funny because I don’t have that problem 😉

  13. pattisj April 13, 2011 / 10:20 AM

    I keep seeing your name pop up in blog comments, so had to find out about you. Congrats on your anniversary! Our husbands apparently have the same favorite color–gray. (is that even a color)? lol I think he’s left the shirt untucked once in awhile, on Saturdays, when he isn’t going anywhere. Progress, right?

    • jannatwrites April 13, 2011 / 8:58 PM

      I’m glad you stopped by, Patti. I’ve seen you on several blogs, too. (I can’t remember which ones, but I know for sure I saw you on SASFiction earlier today.)

      It seems there is no shortage of gray clothing for men, in all different shades. I have managed to get some pops of color in his athletic wear shirts, so that is a good thing. And he did get rid of about ten of his gray shirts at the beginning of the year, so we’re moving in the right direction!

      Since your husband usually tucks in his shirts, I don’t think he can be accused of being sloppy 🙂

  14. 36x37 April 13, 2011 / 10:27 AM

    Congrats on 14 years of matrimonial bliss! I laughed out loud at the photo of your hub’s winter and summer wardrobe. (So clever!)

    Here’s to many more years of growing and adapting happily together!

    • jannatwrites April 13, 2011 / 9:02 PM

      Yep, with such choices, my hubby doesn’t spend much time pondering what he should wear each day. I’m anticipating the day when he will dress in color instead of gray scale 🙂

      Thanks for the well-wishes, 36×37! I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. Good thing he doesn’t read my blog, right?

  15. Melissa April 13, 2011 / 11:07 AM

    Congratulations! 14 years! Wow!!

    The transition from belted shirt tucker inner to the man with two colors in his wardrobe made me giggle for about two minutes.

    • jannatwrites April 13, 2011 / 9:06 PM

      Thanks, Melissa! At his current rate of change, I expect he will be mowing the lawn shirtless in 8.5 years and find nothing wrong with wearing ragged wife beater shirts to the store in just eleven more years. Yikes!

  16. chlost April 13, 2011 / 9:05 PM

    Congratulations on your anniversary! Before you know it, you will be at 30 like we are. The marriages that make it, I think, are those where the people can be real with each other. It is hard to keep up a facade for 14 years…….you know each other well. And here, neither one is a clean freak or neat freak. Scary.

    • jannatwrites April 13, 2011 / 9:10 PM

      It’s strange how time is: sometimes it seems so slow, but other times I have to count out the years because I can’t believe so many slipped away. Some days it isn’t easy, but we just keep at it. I do hope we make it to thirty and beyond, like you have!

      Thanks for the congrats, Chlost! I’m glad you stopped by 🙂

  17. crumbl April 15, 2011 / 12:43 PM

    Congratulations on 14 years, JT. I’m only 6 in on this one. Funnily, LRHG and I are very relaxed … I wear my T’s untucked, I wear shorts as much of the year as I possibly can, I almost never wear socks (my footwear of choice is Topsiders … who wears socks in Topsiders? The same people who wear socks with sandals and Bermuda shorts?). I spent a lot of years in the button down world … I can be showered, shaved, dressed in a suit and tie and out the door in 15 minutes, but that’s not who I am any more.

    We’re not dirty, but we’re cluttered. Neither of us obsess about it. LRHG comes home from work and slips into her jammies. No worries. We eat dinner in bed watching TV (on the computer … I download most everything we watch), and we eat late … 8 is early.

    It’s a lifestyle that works for us.

    • jannatwrites April 15, 2011 / 8:28 PM

      It sounds like you have a good, comfortable relationship, Crumbl. I’m glad you seem to have similar views on your relationship and your environment.

      I still try to look at least semi-presentable when I leave the house, but I don’t get all dolled up to go to the grocery store or anything. When my husband is wearing his black and gray, I feel kind of silly dressed up too nice. His attire gives me permission to relax a bit. (But sometimes I feel like wearing something nice, so I do it anyway!)

  18. crumbl April 16, 2011 / 6:29 AM

    We have our moments, too, JT. Like me, LRHG came from the corporate world and had to do the puff and fluff and power suit every day before walking out the door. She’s in a much more casual apparel environment now, but she likes to play dress-up once in a while … I don’t mind, so whenever the occasion warrants, we indulge her and both dress up.

    Ever notice how you carry yourself differently when you’re more formally dressed? Weirdest thing, but it’s certainly true for me.

    Yeah, we’re pretty comfortable together. Same tastes in most things … some of my music drives her batty, especially when I crank up the amp and play along, but we don’t fight over the remote … yes, she actually gets to hold it sometimes … we like, for the most part, the same foods, the same activities (other than garage saling … why spend money, even if it’s a pittance, to make someone else’s crap your crap?), we have comlementary skill sets, so it works pretty well.

    • jannatwrites April 16, 2011 / 7:59 AM

      I understand perfectly what you say about clothes affecting how we feel. When we are scheduled to meet someone outside the company, I dress a bit nicer – I feel more confident. Likewise, when I’m sick, I resist the urge to slouch around in sweat pants and a baggy T-shirt – I put on something bright (usually in red or bright pink) so I psych myself into thinking I look better than I feel 😉

      There’s a short list of things about my husband that drive me insane, but I try to avoid focusing on the negative. I keep reminding myself that everyone has their quirks and he’s got the most important things covered. I’m jealous that your wife gets to hold the remote…my husband will take it with him when he leaves the room so I can’t get my hands on it. That would be one of the things that drives me crazy!

      • crumbl April 18, 2011 / 2:32 PM

        I think we all have to accept that there’s that short list of things in every relationship … just so it doesn’t become a LONG list. Not only does she get to play with the remote, she has a TV of her own, with her own remote (she smokes, but only in one room and we’re working on that) BUT … she doesn’t get to play with my computers! 🙂

        • jannatwrites April 18, 2011 / 9:54 PM

          I need my own TV 🙂

          I imagine handling the smoking would be difficult, since you are a non-smoker. Hmmm….now I can’t recall if you said you were a nonsmoker or if I just assumed that…

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