Ah, But We Were So Much Older Then, We're Younger Than That Now

Sean and I don't really do anniversaries. I was going to try and say something lovely to explain this, like "that's because every day with this man is like an anniversary," but I think the reason is more that we just have so damn many of them, having got together three times and broken up twice since 1998. This past January marked five years of solid, constant, no-seeing-other-people dating, but prior to that it's like we thought we were in our own personal episode of Laguna Beach.

But I always remember April 13, eight years ago, which marked our first official "let's be boyfriend and girlfriend" conversation. Do you remember having one of those? It's almost like a very carefully orchestrated, nerve-wracking dance, where you're both tiptoeing around each other with your breath held and your fingers crossed, not quite sure whether the other one is suggesting what you think they're suggesting. I'm fairly certain my diary entry that night said "I HAVE A BOYFRIEND!" in three-inch tall capital letters, and I'd find it for you and tell you exactly what I'd written, but I've a feeling neither of us would be able to stomach it. I'd probably die of humiliation before I could finish typing the first sentence, and you'd be vomiting all over your keyboard immediately. And those are a bitch to clean.

So since I've already written a fairly sappy post about Sean and our relationship, I thought I'd commemorate April 13 2006 with a series of moderately embarassing photographs instead, in which I reveal that not only did I used to overpluck my eyebrows into thin little arches, but also that I once flirted briefly---though certainly not briefly enough---with a very unflattering shade of blonde. Feel free to make fun of us, I won't be offended; that picture up top, taken last weekend, is to show you that we both turned out fairly normal in the end. It also finally reveals to my brother Tom that that's where his old Sublime t-shirt has been for the last few years: in Sean's closet.

Here is the earliest photograph from our courtship that I could find. It's from one of our very first dates, probably in late May 1998, when I was eighteen. Don't worry, the entire date didn't take place in the Walgreens parking lot---I'm fairly certain we went out to dinner first---but I was obviously of the opinion that to be truly WACKY! and FUN!, I would have to do something crazy and wild, like climb inside an empty shopping trolley and have my picture taken.

Please note: this is as close to my natural hair color as you are ever likely to see. Also, check out the little clip at the side---someone had obviously been watching too many Winona Ryder movies that day.

The next summer, I discovered highlights---and lord, did I DISCOVER them. I used to drive thirty minutes up the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut to have them done in this Indian woman's basement, and I'd say "blonder, blonder!" and then I'd pay for them with my babysitting money. As a result, I spent most of the summer of 1999, looking like this:

When Pretty Co-Worker Elle saw this picture this morning, she said "oh, you're wearing Birkenstocks!" Sadly, though, even though I desperately wanted a pair of Birkenstocks that summer, the shoes in that picture are faux Birkenstocks, PLATFORM BIRKENSTOCKS even, made by Skechers and picked up half price at Marshall's. I was spending all my money on terrible highlights, you see; what else could I do?

Later in the summer of 1999, probably mid-September to be exact, Sean and I had our second break-up (the first had been in March, though we'd got back together by May.) The only reason we really broke up was because I was leaving for university in London, and we both thought I'd be better off with the freedom to do tequila shots from the belly buttons of strange men in bars, should I ever feel the urge to do them. (I didn't.) This Polaroid was taken on our last evening together, and I would totally make fun of Sean's fisherman hat if it didn't make me feel incredibly sad to look at this picture of poor hopeful, tearful me. I want to reach inside and tap myself on the shoulder of that woolly green sweater and say, "hey, don't cry, it's all going to work out! Seven years from now, you'll own a couch together, and you'll fight about whose turn it is to make the coffee in the morning, and you'll see each other every day!"

In 2002, with my hair longer and darker, we went to Las Vegas and got married.

No, not really, we just stopped a passerby and had them take this picture, which we then immediately sent to both our families, with the subject line "Guess what?" Sean's mother apparently didn't believe us for a second. She said "Oh please, Holly made you wear a tuxedo to her housewarming party. She'd never let you get married looking so grizzly." Which is true; I did make him wear a tuxedo to my housewarming party, but only because I wanted to wear this vintage 1960s prom dress I'd found in a thrift store. I don't have a picture of that, so here is a picture of Sean in his THIRD type of hat instead. 2002 was apparently the year of the beanie. And also that olive green sweater; look, he's wearing it in the Vegas picture too!

Eight years ago today it was Easter Sunday, and in a house in Connecticut, Sean and I were nervously figuring out our future. We've come an awfully long way since that halting first conversation and even though we don't really do anniversaries, the significance of today's date hasn't escaped me. Eight years of loving someone is an awfully long time of loving someone. And despite the break-ups and the fighting and the nose hair and the snoring and the GOD, WOULD IT KILL YOU TO CLEAN THE BATHROOM FOR ONCE?, this much is absolutely and unequivocally true: every single minute of it, I've loved him more.

1
Meg
Apr 13, 2006

Oh, that last picture is beautiful. It really, really is.

And I did the highlighting thing, too. I have no idea why. They have since been obliterated and now my hair is coffee-coloured (as we have previously established.)

And the clip? Yeah, that too.

I have yet to find my Sean, though.

Well, I do have a Sean, but he's my brother, so... yeah.

Happy one-of-your-anniversaries.

2
Meg
Apr 13, 2006

(and the title made me smile.)

3
Lissa
Apr 13, 2006

That was touching with just the right amount of humiliating pictures to make us laugh.

4
Irony Queen
Apr 13, 2006

Very nice! And so timely, as I've been musing about how to have an anniversary with someone when you've had several goes at it. (Ok, I had to look up how to pluralize "go." But dictionary.com tells me "goes" is proper.)

5
barbie2be
Apr 13, 2006

holly, you and sean are both just too damn freakin cute for words. i feel honoured (notice the british spelling) that you would share your story and sort-of anniversary with us out here on the internet. :)

6
Sheryl
Apr 13, 2006

Aw, happy sortofanniversary!

7
lindsay
Apr 14, 2006

so sweet! now go do amalah's meme. you see I don't get out much... refreshes madly.

8
jenny lee
Apr 14, 2006

yvonne made me come over here. no really, says so on her jornal thinger.

:) now you're stuck with me reading. lucky you.

9
Jemima
Apr 14, 2006

You guys are so sweet. I may cry. And I almost swallowed my tongue when i scrolled down and saw that wedding chapel. I was all, "What?! That bitch beat me to the altar!? WHAT?!" No, not really, but I did almost swallow my tongue. Nice hungover look though, Sean.

My favorite picture is that piggyback one. Y'all both look so incredibly high school and adorable and, um, Reality Bites-eque. (sniffle)

10
StampyDurst
Apr 14, 2006

O.K. I have to admit that I scrolled down slowly. When I got to the wedding chapel picture, I thought, "No way. That girl has such an organized refrigerator and designs such cute purses. She would never get married at some random wedding chapel without at least a theme. And, dear god, promise me that's not a bottle of white zinfandel." Now, if I thought that after only a few months of reading your blog, I'm sure your parents didn't fall for it.

At any rate, thank you for sharing this lovely story and admitting to your blonde phase. One day, I too, hope to have the courage to post a hair retrospective. Oh yeah, and I hope to have a really hot, creative boyfriend too.

11
StampyDurst
Apr 14, 2006

Oh, yeah. I loved that Jemima's first thought was, "That bitch!"

12
ku nkiko
Apr 14, 2006

*tears and slobber and drool and more tears*

13
Lynn
Apr 14, 2006

Will you please stop making me cry?!?

Seriously. Stop.

(You've got yourself a man who looks mighty fine in hats. Lucky girl.)

14
s@bd
Apr 14, 2006

Seriously now, are those your real boobs? Dammit!
Gorgeous. Smart. Funny. Skinny. AND a great rack?!

DAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMIT.

ahem.

15
Nothing But Bonfires
Apr 14, 2006

Why, thank you, s@bd. However, please remember that I have STILL BEEN FRAMED AS A WAL-MART SHOPPER. IN PRINT.

16
Mir
Apr 14, 2006

Excuse me while I go die alone with a dozen cats.

17
jenny lee
Apr 14, 2006

hey mir, you want 2 more hehe

18
lizardek
Apr 14, 2006

Cockles: utterly warmed

19
Marly
Apr 14, 2006

Loved the not-quite anniversary story (and the Bob Dylan reference!)

20
Emily
Apr 14, 2006

He's a keeper!

And if it makes you feel better, on my very first date with Dave (March of 1995), I decided we needed to stop at K-Mart so I could ride the mechanical horse outside for a quarter. Idiocy must be a true sign of lasting love and friendship!

Congrats on eight years of happiness!

21
Chris
Apr 14, 2006

My first date with my husband involved a ZZ Top concert (it was at a giant music festival with 10 stages and, honestly, NO ONE BETTER was playing at the time). Yes, I have legs and know how to use them!
Happy Aprilversary to you two.

22
jes
Apr 14, 2006

thoughts:

pic 1: "her boobs. so large! THEY LOOK SO LARGE! i don't recall them looking that large in other pictures. would it be wrong for me to go back and scan other pictures to see if they are that large in the other pics, and i just never noticed?"

pic 2: "so innocent. especially with that barrette."

pic 3: "very punkrock. i'm almost expecting to see her wearing a leather studded jacket and smacking her gum."

pic 4: "wow. she looks so young and cute! and he looks...would she hate me if i confessed that i thought he resembled KFed in this picture, what with the hat and the scruffiness and the white t-shirt with baggy khakis and his head titled just so?"

pic 5: "um, yeah. that's just wrong, on so many levels. i could never believe this about someone who owns a hot pink Kitchenaid."

"also, i'm still totally jealous of that hot pink Kitchenaid."

pic 6: "see? her boobs don't look as big in this picture. and is she cold? because he's wearing a sweater and beanie and sneakers with his fists tucked up half-inside his sleeve, and she's wearing a thin cardigan and sandals."

pic 7: "aww, they're so cute and happy. and if i were a man, i'd totally be jealous of Sean right now."

23
wordnerd
Apr 14, 2006

You guys are freakin' adorable. Here's to many more!

24
samantha
Apr 14, 2006

Your relationship (and mine!) is proof than many breakups can make for a very happy couple. Y'all are gorgeous, and your boobs EVEN MORE SO.

25
Gretchen
Apr 14, 2006

Aww, that is so sweet. By a startling coincidence, Ben and I are at the eight-year mark too! March 12, 1998. That was the day we met for a date at a wine tasting, then he took me out for Chinese. We have been inseparable ever since. And I love him more today than I did, oh, even on our wedding day.

Sean will NEVER clean a bathroom. Trust me on that one.

I should also mention that those highlights are from hell, but I once turned my hair ORANGE trying to go BLONDE, so who am I to talk? And also that I am wearing REAL Birkenstocks today. They are not orthopedic looking; they are the Papillio kind, off-white with a charming orange floral print. GO BIRKIES. I am also wearing an orange nursing tank with "I make milk. What's YOUR super power?" on the front. Which is obnoxious, so I've put a sweater over. Wait'll you have kids and wear nursing tops! The boys love them because you tug a hooky thing and boom, NIPPLE. Exposed in a little cutout hole. Yuck, I know, but Ben finds it charming.

Happy eight years, you crazy kids, you. Who knows what eight more years could bring? Maybe you'll have three children like us. Hmm . . .

26
jenB
Apr 14, 2006

you are one hot mama. i would go and get my nails did with you ANYTIME! cute cute cute couple. actually HOT couple.

xoxoxoxoxo

27
shawna
Apr 14, 2006

i am in love with you guys. yay for 8 years of it all... where would we be without lessons?

28
Nothing But Bonfires
Apr 14, 2006

Well, when he DOES clean it, he's all Bathroom Nazi, down on his hands and knees with a toothbrush, scrubbing at the space between the tile and the skirting board. It's just the (in)frequency with which he does it. Fair trade, though -- I've probably only changed the kitty litter once.

29
Liberal Banana
Apr 14, 2006

Super cute post. I was just lead here yesterday via Amalah and I'm already so jealous of your uber-cuteness and your British accent. (And the boobs. Because I? Have none.)

Can't wait to read more! Happy anniversary!

30
DM
Apr 14, 2006

You guys are so cute together. I love it. The pictures are adorable and you have to know that you're made for each other when he'll push you around in a shopping trolley (that sounds so much more better than cart so I'm stealing it).

31
Nancy
Apr 14, 2006

Pardon me for saying something so indelicate, but Holly, you are pretty stinking hot! (as is Sean! not to leave him out!)

I loved the post. DK and I met when I was 16 (he was *gasp* 20) at a writing summer camp at a boarding school and proceeded on down the long road of young, bright, hopeful love, with its ons and offs, long distance, bad hair colors (me: black hair. let us never speak of it), sappy letters, horrendous poems, hard talks to finally, against all the odds, make it to, uh, what year is this, fourteen years this summer. Your pictures and stories are wonderful -- I'm feeling the love, yo.

32
SportyChick
Apr 14, 2006

...so I guess there's hope for me and my may-again-be-my-boyfriend (we're working on deciding if to do a do-over) after all!

Great story. Happy next 8.

33
Susan
Apr 15, 2006

Sweet jesus, I don't know what scared me more, the blonde or the pretend wedding. Because OH MY GOD don't you dare go get married without inviting the Internet.

You know we will send good presents!

34
Susie
Apr 15, 2006

Why is Sean Ethan Hawke and you are Winona Ryder? Except I watched Reality Bites the other day and Ethan Hawke is the biggest over actor but yes I did take that cool polaroid piggy-backed picture. And also you should one day blog about the time I left him a hilarious voice mail.

35
Susie
Apr 15, 2006

And how white are Sean's teeth in that last photo? Seriously he looks like Bon Jovi!

36
Jemima
Apr 15, 2006

Yeah, I was noticing the teeth too! Sean should model for Brite Smile. Then he could afford for you to never shop at Wal-Mart again, and you can just be a kept woman.

37
sweetney
Apr 18, 2006

helloooooo hotness!

38
Tom
Apr 18, 2006

2 things, and both about Sean:

1) I DONT Believe he still fits into MY sublime T-shirt! I think I bought that when i was 12! Keep it, it would only make me look fat!

2) Sean has suspiciously white teeth. Readers, let it be known that Sean is a whizz on the old photoshop. Enough said....haha.

39
Caroline
Apr 18, 2006

Interesting how the history of a woman's hair becomes just as compellng as the history of her relationships.
Lovely picture at the end!