Today is the 9th anniversary of that day that Brad and I started "officially and exclusively" seeing each other. We had been dating since Halloween, I guess as much as you can "date" in high school, but it was December 7th 2000 that we had "the" conversation.
For our first official date, we went to see The Grinch (Jim Carrey version) at the movie theatre and then we had dinner a Burger King. I was 15 and he was 16 years old. Neither of us drove (he had his G1, but that means you need a G driver in the car with you) so we took the bus. I can tell you that we were extremely happy when he got his G2 later that winter so we could finally drive to our dates and to school etc. He came over to my house every single night after school.... and we've pretty much been inseparable for the nine years since then. We rarely do things separately, even down to the grocery shopping and house work. Because we went to elementary school and high school together, and then worked together for a couple of years, we have mostly mutual friends. The best man in our wedding is someone we both consider to be one of our best friends, separately and together.
We broke-up a couple times in high school, but it only lasted a day or two and we would be back together. We went to semi-formal together, I was his date for his prom and he was my date at mine. I saw him graduate high school (the year before I did) and then he same me graduate too. In grade 12, he was in college, but still often came to the school to take me for lunch, or pick me up and drive me home/to work.
We were together through college (although we were at different schools) and within a month of my college graduation we were engaged... and a year later we were married.
I was with him when his parents separated, when he wasn't speaking to his father or his father fiancé, when his brother was arrested and sent to jail (twice),when his aunt who is basically a second mother to him was diagnosed with breast cancer, and when his (and now our) niece was born. He was with me through the extremely turbulent times with my mom and step-dad as we tried to reform a relationship after a long separation, he was with me through my lay-off 3 months before our wedding, and he was with me through the turbulence that followed with my step-dad once again. We were together when we each got our drivers licenses; we bought our first vehicles together, moved out of our parent's houses for the first time together... and on and on and on.
We've grown up together in every sense of the word. After 9 years with the same person, you know each other better than anyone else in the world and you've been through lots of good times and lots of bad times. And although it's hard to believe that it's already been almost a decade together, it's also difficult to remember a time where we weren't together; where he wasn't the first person I needed to call when something good, bad or hilarious happens. I really cannot imagine what I would do without him. As much as he drives me crazy a lot of the time, he is my support system and keeps me going.
I think after 9 years I've decided that I kinda like him, and I think I'll keep him.