21 Years


October 9, 1993

21 years ago today, Eric and I got married. We sort of eloped, although our parents knew it was happening. We’d called to tell them, and since we were already engaged, they weren’t surprised. In fact, when I called to tell my parents, I said to my dad, “I have something to tell you,” and he immediately said, “you got married!” I said, “no, not yet — this weekend,” and he answered, “I knew you wouldn’t wait.” We dressed in green and expected to be there alone, but our roommate Randy showed up at the last minute with a disposable camera, the only reason we have any pictures of the event at all.

Eric lived in Colorado when we first started dating and I was in Oregon. He was getting his graduate degree in Philosophy, and had left with no plans to come back. However, during his first summer break, he came back to Oregon to stay with his parents so we could date for real, after months of letters and phone calls and one week long visit when I flew out to Colorado to see him, to figure out what this “thing” between us was, if it might have legs — (he told his dad later that as soon as he saw me get off the plane, he knew he wanted to marry me).

We were engaged by the end of the summer and I moved to Colorado. Our original plan was to return to Oregon the next summer, after Eric finished his graduate degree, and have an actual wedding with guests and a cake. But it became clear right away that it was going to be too hard to wait, that we didn’t want to wait — we wanted to be married, now, so we found a place and a person who could do it and we did it.


flowers from Eric

21 years. I’m not even sure how that happened, how living our life together day by day has already added up, amounted to that. In some ways, it feels like this last one was the hardest won. We’ve lived through some really difficult things in the past few years, some I’ve told you about and some I haven’t. We’ve had long talks about what we want the next 20 years to look like and have had to negotiate differences of opinion. One thing we always have to mediate is the nature of two introverts in partnership, how isolating it can be if we aren’t careful, how content we are to be alone, both together and apart. He makes me laugh, he’s my comfort, my soft place to land. He’s my favorite, my family, my best friend, the problem I chose to have, the choice I make over and over, day after day.

21 thoughts on “21 Years

  1. Mary

    Congratulations to you, Jill and Eric. Long-term marriages, are always hard won, I think, and because of that, all the sweeter. Enjoy one another. And continue to laugh together. It makes all the difference.

  2. Jen

    Happy anniversary! 21 years is a very long time, a wonderful thing. I love that – “He makes me laugh, he’s my comfort, my soft place to land.” After so long on my own (almost 36 years), the greatest struggle Matt & I face is my letting him be my comfort & soft place to land. 2.5 years in & I’m still struggling but he is incredibly patient so I have great hope 💙

  3. Rita Ott Ramstad

    There is something just so sweet and good about two people who make that pledge when they are too young to really know what it means, and they grow together in spite of all they didn’t know it would mean. (Or is it because of?) Congratulations to both of you. Seems like ’93 was just a few years ago to me.

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      We had no idea what we were getting into, but we absolutely knew from the start that we didn’t really have a choice — this was it, this was the thing, this was right. ♥

      1. Rita

        I wish I had been able to know/find that when I was that age. But thankful to have found it at all. I know just what you mean, now.

      2. jillsalahub Post author

        This was actually my second go at it, Rita. I was married for the first time at 18, so I made all the mistakes early, did every single thing wrong with someone else first, knew what I was looking for the next time, and as an added bonus, I was still young.

  4. justine

    I love this “my best friend, the problem I chose to have, the choice I make over and over, day after day.” — CONGRATS on 21 years. I’m married only 2, but we’ve been together for 12… and it really feels insane that time goes by in a blink xo

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      It goes so fast! I remember when we got to five years, we could hardly believe it had been that long already, and THAT seems like it was only a few years ago. ♥

  5. Alane

    happy anniversary to you & eric. tomorrow (10/10) i will be married 22 years. i was 26, don 35. we married at the golden nugget in las vegas; made a whole weekend out of it with family & friends. for various reasons, some thought we wouldn’t last….. but here we are, still together. 🙂
    has it been easy, no; has it been great, yes; we’ve had fun, fights, laughs….. that’s marriage, that’s life. wouldn’t change a thing.
    may you & eric have many more years together, enjoying each other & life together (and w/the dogs!) xo

  6. drestanol


    So beautiful! Congratulations to you both!!

    Elena Estanol Ph.D., M.F.A. Clinical Director Licensed Psychologist Sport Psychology Consultant www. synapsecounseling.com (970) 692-4253 Sent from my iPhone


  7. Pingback: 26 Years | A Thousand Shades of Gray

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