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Posted June 8, 2012 | comments Leave a comment

Years of marriage bring a lot of stuff

Three or four microwave ovens, countless outdated cell phones and more than one digital camera, various cooking utensils that have been lost, melted or just worn out ... These are just some of the things we've worked our way through in the past 10 years.

Friday marked exactly 10 years since my husband and I gathered with our closest friends and family in his grandparents' backyard for a ceremony that would mark the beginning of our life together. We were both 19.

It doesn't seem possible that it's been 10 years, but isn't that what they all say?

There are the emotional milestones, for one thing. I graduated college and entered the working world in that time. We bought our first house, our first brand new car. We've seen job switches and promotions. Most importantly, we became parents.

Looking back, it's hard to even comprehend all the ways we've grown up, and grown together, in the past 10 years, or all the things that have changed.

Then there are all the memories. Most of my favorites revolve around the trips we've made. Planning ahead has never been a strong suit for either of us, so most of our vacations were done on both short notice and without a lot of extra cash. We honeymooned, for instance, at Myrtle Beach State Park and slept with a big rock in our tent when the camper next to us turned out to be a single man in a suspicious-looking white work van. Then there was the weekend we camped on Hatteras Island and survived 70-mile-per-hour winds in our tent even though the surfer dude next to us literally tossed his in the dumpster and drove home.

Surprisingly, though, I haven't been reminiscing so much about these things this past week as I have the physical stuff we've used and accumulated over the years.

Perhaps it's because, coincidentally, my brother's bride-to-be just had her bridal shower one week ago.
As I watched her tear open the packages of Keurig K-Cups, Rachel Ray skillets and bakeware and more, I thought back to the day when, starting from nothing, I opened my own shower gifts.

K-Cups may be the hottest gift now, but at my shower, I received three George Foreman grills.
Amazingly, 10 years later, from time to time I still prepare dinner in the one we kept. Though they're a little worse for wear, we still use the same bath towels we received as shower gifts. Our dishes and silverware are still mostly intact, as are various candy dishes, wine glasses and a punch bowl that rarely see use.

Other gifts haven't survived as well. The microwave lasted about a year. Nonstick skillets don't last forever either. We've worn out a waffle iron. A framed picture of a duck still hangs in our bathroom, but the frame is broken from when it fell off the wall at some point or another. My prized Betty Crocker bridal edition cookbook has a loose spine and too many grease stains.
In 10 years we've seen a lot of things come and go.

Not much these days seems built to last, but I think our marriage is off to a great start.

• Contact Jessica Wiant at jessicawiant@gmail.com.

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