Today marks my one-year wedding anniversary. Well, technically, it’s my one-year marriage anniversary, because for me, a wedding and a marriage were two very separate events that happened about 10 months apart.
The Diploman and I got married in Guangzhou’s Civil Affairs Bureau No. 3 last June. As is part of the story we both tell today, we had to rush to dragon boat practice afterwards, and because the translator had taken so long with our documents, neither of us remembers very clearly exactly what vows were read.
I’ve learned a lot about myself this past year, and a lot more about this relationship that I thought I knew so well already. Marrying someone is like riding a bike. I know, I know, they say everything is like riding a bike these days, and in the end only riding a bike is like riding a bike. But hear me out.
You’re on training wheels for what seems like forever, and finally one day, after you’ve thought about it for awhile, you take them off. You ride. omgeveryonelookatmeimriding!
It’s new and exhilarating when you’re on two wheels. You fall off, a lot, at first. There’s some skinned knees and some scratched elbows. There’s a lot of bruised egos, a lot of figuring out what exactly is the best approach to stay on course. There’s a lot of wobblying around, but then you find the payoffs are huge. You get to go fast, you get to be free. Most of the time it’s great, but then you’re reminded that it really sucks when you fall. And there’s never an easy fall, mind you – there’s always pavement and gravel stuck in your skin and ooof, it’s so hard.
But you and your bike, your trusty bike, it takes you places. It takes you on adventures. Sometimes down a wrong turn or two, but somehow you always end up at home. You get to know how it moves, you push its limits, you find new friends because of your bike. Your horizons are expanded, you can see more of the world, and you start to understand new things. Because you know how to ride a bike, you know you can do other things, as well.
The diploman has had his bike since he was sixteen – it’s his trusty (and rusty) yellow Diamondback mountain bike. One of the pedal straps is missing, there’s a lot of paint scratched, he wore through the brake cables this past year, and in the end, he’s really the only one that can ride it because he knows exactly how it works.
I can only hope that, if bike years are converted to human years, he’ll keep me around just as long.