By the time Shane and I were well into our relationship, neither of us could remember an exact date when we started dating. We still don't have a lot of clarity on who said the words "I love you" first.
As you might remember, it was on a random evening in 2011 when I was having a particularly bad day that I opened myself up to a conversation with the school nerd, a conversation that unexpectedly carried on into the early hours of the morning. Sometime after that initial conversation, perhaps a few months later, I knew that I loved this boy. I'm guessing he felt the same way too because otherwise, he'd have to evaluate certain life choices he made in the years that followed.
It's very uncharacteristic of me to not remember exact dates to celebrate later on, so when I realised a few months into our relationship that we didn't have a set relationship anniversary date to celebrate, Shane spent a few hours scrolling through our significantly long chat history to determine the exact date on which that first conversation took place. Since then, every year, we've been celebrating the 9th of May as our special anniversary date. And as luck would have it, in the year 2015, that date very conveniently turned out to be a Saturday so we even managed to officially get married on our fourth relationship anniversary.
Today, our parents are celebrating our third anniversary back home. To us, however, this day marks not three, but seven years of commitment. In these seven years, we've been through quite a lot starting from the frustrations of a long-distance relationship and the family drama upon deciding to be together, to the debt we incurred after finally getting married and the adjustments we had to make with each other upon discovering one another's annoying little quirks. But despite everything, I can somehow still manage to say with confidence that it's been an easy ride. Being committed to each other for seven years has somehow been the easiest thing we ever did. Because no matter which way the pendulum swung, we were always stubbornly and unyieldingly committed to being a team first.
So as long as we remain fucking stubborn, Shane, I think we'll be fine.
To celebrate this year, we're traveling to London together for a live TV appearance I'm about to make later this evening. I make it sound like we planned for things to turn out this way but let me assure you that we didn't. Because despite how much we both love Meenal, we'd rather not have her third-wheeling on our special day.
When the proposal for this TV interview came about and we got into talks about the dates on which both Meenal and I could fly down to London, 9 May turned out to be the only day in the foreseeable future when we could make this work. At first, I was a bit dismayed because I was expecting to travel alone, leaving Shane behind on our anniversary. But the minute Shane heard about this, he just started making plans for our "anniversary getaway" like it was going to be just another holiday.
I was quick to point out that this was by no means a leisure trip, that we'd be traveling mostly for work, and that we might not even end up spending a lot of time together. His response to all of that was, "We'll have anniversary breakfast together at our favourite restaurant at the airport, then we'll get you a book from the airport bookstore, and then we'll spend about an hour an a half reading and talking on the flight. And that's a good place to start, don't you think?"
We board in about two hours and I know for sure that in those two hours, we'll be doing the first two of the three things Shane listed to get me excited for this day. But I'm already certain that today is going to be a good day (despite the fact that Meenal's going to position herself right in between the two of us in every pic we take).
So here's to us - to seven years of being unyieldingly stubborn together and to three years of continuing to figure out how to live harmoniously under one roof. Take me back to 9 May 2011 and ask me to relive this relationship from scratch, and I will gladly do so even in slow motion. And not just once or twice, but seven times over.