Four More Years (of Marriage and Obama)

Four years ago tonight, Misty and I were married. Later in the evening, I toasted President Obama’s first White House win with, “Yes, we can! Yes, we did!”

Four years. We’ve been together the same amount of time President Obama has had some variation of “president” before his name. But I’m not going to write about that. It’s tempting. In fact, it’s so damn tempting to write about how our lives have changed over the past four years just like the country has that I’ve spent hours trying. Draw that easy parallel between the national recession and the struggles of the past four years. When I say struggles, though, I don’t mean like the partisan bickering in Washington. I mean the real ups and downs of life we’ve experienced, like most people do.

A brief list of the things Misty and I have overcome (or continue to deal with) over the past four years:

My cigarette addiction. (Misty may not have felt like she had the worst flu ever, but she took great care of me, even after I admitted to milking it.)
Mental health issues.
Legal issues.
Unemployment.
Underemployment.
Lack of insurance (resulting in thousands of dollars in medication costs)
My last-surviving grandmother’s death
My last-surviving grandfather’s grave illness and the fact that my parents — and especially my mom — have been forced to take on full responsibility for keeping him as healthy (and alive) as possible.

The above probably sounds incredibly selfish as it mostly has to do with me, but that’s the point. Misty has always been there for me. Through all that and more.

We’ve also experienced some serious highs:

Traveling to out-of-the-way places in Texas and the South
Reconsidering our lives and where we want to be and go
Sharing and learning from one another (who knew I was interested in design? or that IxDs even existed?)
“Living” in an apartment in NYC briefly
Connecting (and sometimes reconnecting) with (new) family
Laughing
Spending Sunday mornings on the back deck drinking coffee and reading the Times with our fur-children

I’m going to stop there. I don’t need to make the lists of equal number. The good things that have happened to me over the past four years because of Misty far outweigh the problems we faced, we continue to face and we will face. It isn’t the length of the list, but the substance — the weight — of each experience, issue and delight.

If you want a connection with the national election, there it is: The things President Obama and those of us who work for policies with which he agrees have accomplished far outweigh the recession from which we’ve been fighting to free the nation. The same goes for our marriage. We keep fighting — together, no matter what.

Barack Obama hugging Michelle

There’s a reason this picture has broken so many records on Twitter and elsewhere. For me, it perfectly expresses my feelings for Misty. You can’t look at it without seeing the joyful relief of a husband in full embrace of his wife. His face says, “It ultimately doesn’t matter. I have you.”

And also like the national election, nothing stops. Nothing ultimately changed. The president is the president, Republicans run the House, Democrats run the Senate, the same policies and issues that confronted them before the election still do. Similarly, the issues Misty and I faced yesterday, if they weren’t put to bed, will be faced today and tomorrow. We’ll meet them head-on, as we must. And we will move Forward.

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