Yesterday, I was thinking about the awful time Henry and I were in my ex-friend Keri’s wedding. This was back in 2003 and we had been together for two years at this point, but fought like we had been married for 22. Sometimes I feel like we really, actually hated each other and I wonder what made us stay together.
Anyway, I texted my brother Corey because he was at that wedding too and I figured he would have some embarrassing pictures that I could post here. As usual, above and beyond, Corey!
All I really remember of this night was getting trashed (Keri’s step-dad passed me a bottle of blackberry Schnapps under the table, in addition to whatever other liquor I was knocking back) and being forced to AWKWARDLY dance with Henry. And I mean AWKWARDLY. It was like the two of us had NEVER TOUCHED before. So uncomfortable and embarrassing and the wedding photographer ate that shit up. “Erin, over here!” he’d call out gleefully, and I’d fall for that shit every last time.
Anyway, Corey also found this picture of Henry and me hating each other, Christmas 2002. (Very similar to the other random holiday picture I posted on my birthday.)
I don’t think anyone thought we were going to last back then. I know I sure didn’t.
These pictures made me think a lot about what I like to refer to as The Dark Pit. Henry and I started out as a secret. For me, secrets are FUN. Exotic. Scandalous. OK, fine, we WERE a scandal. Let’s just call a spade a spade. But as soon as we weren’t anymore, it was like, “Fuck, now we have to get to know each other? Now we have to be a regular couple?” And there were other extenuating circumstances that really snuffed out our flame, you guys. It was kind of sucky for awhile there. But, something made us stick it out.
I remember going to Coachella with him in 2004 and fighting so much that I actually had rage blackouts. There is very little that I remember from that long Californian weekend, and if you know me and my ridiculously vault-like memory, you know that’s a big statement. It’s amazing one of us didn’t bury the other in the desert that weekend.
It’s kind of mind-boggling that Chooch was planned, when I think about it. Because our relationship was fucking rocky and schizophrenic. I was also a lot crazier then. But I actually sat down with Henry during the summer of 2005 and said, “I want to have a baby. Do it.” And even after Chooch was born, things were still…blah. I recently read something that I wrote on LiveJournal in 2006 about how I wasn’t sure if I even knew what love was. I don’t think Henry and I loved each other. Not really. And there were so many times I almost left, and he almost left, but laziness got the best of both of us and we stayed. We dealt. I got a job working nights so we barely saw each other.
It shouldn’t have gotten better. But somehow it did. I don’t remember EVER looking at him the way I do now. (Adoringly! And with way less disgust and contempt than ever before!) Maybe I needed to grow up, I don’t know. Maybe it was because I hated MYSELF so much back then. But suddenly, something changed and the last 5 or 6 years have been completely different from the first 6 or 7.
OK, fine. I can actually pinpoint it exactly: it was Game Night 2007 and we were playing Catchphrase. All Henry said was, “Um….female singer…” and I cried, “CARLY SIMON!” And it was motherfucking CARLY SIMON. You know who can pull that mind-reading shit off?! Soul mates. That’s who. We even dreamed of cabbage at the same time once.
OK, maybe that’s not exactly what made our relationship take a turn for the better, but it was definitely when I began to realize he’s my BFF. I guess I never saw him that way before. We communicate way better than we used to and we have way more fun now. Which is crazy considering how OLD Henry is.
You guys, I asked him last night how annoying he thinks I am, and he said 99% of the time, I DO NOT ANNOY HIM. You know what that means?! HE HAS FINALLY LEARNED TO LOVE MY QUIRKS AND PECCADILLOES. It takes a special person to be able to handle me, and he does it with patience and panache. I mean, anyone who could put up with the whole Erin/Christina saga is a fucking saint.
Or…maybe this is just a really sweet way of saying that he has finally earned his Masters degree in Blocking Out Erin.
This whole post could just be a super adorable way of me admitting defeat, but I guess I kind of like that motherfucker now. Enough that Chooch is always groaning, “Ugh, stop kissing!” Maybe not getting married was the trick.
(LOL J/K. I STILL WANT MY FUCKING WEDDING.)
(Now Henry is going to read this and think I cheated on him.)
Bonus! Here’s Janna, Lisa and me at the aforementioned wedding in 2003:
ETA: Henry just read this and leaned over to presumably say something nice to me so I freaked out and punched him in the crotch.