No, I haven't been doing this for 6 years, but today marks 6 years that I have been married to Beloved. Now, this should give one pause. I've had 6 years with an amazing woman (The most amazing one on the planet, truth be known, though I do admit a slight bias).
Consider, she speaks both English and Japanese, she has lived in three different continents, visited four, and has plans to see the rest someday. She has attended university level schools in the UK, the US, and Japan (None of which are considered slouches in terms of academic rigor). In a country that values form over function and places the husband as the 'face' of the family, even if the power for the house resides with the wife, she has taken on both roles and performed them both with grace and excellence. She has given birth to two very bratty sons who, unfortunately, are also cute as puppies and thus are able to get away with being brats and has retained her sanity (more or less), and of course she has managed to put up with ME for 6 years and THAT takes some doing.
Seriously, I'm an overly large brat of an English teacher who thinks he's funny and I'm not nearly as cute as my sons to get away with it.
To give you a sense of this woman's strength, let me relate to you a story. Shortly before we were married, my Beloved decided that she wanted to climb up Mt. Okuhotaka in the Japan Alps, Japan's third highest mountain. To make a long story short, we started up in a rain storm that grew into a blizzard and I found out that my rain gear, wasn't (I should have had my mountain man card revoked for that one). Soaked through to the skin and freezing, not sure as to where the mountain hut was ahead of us, I set up out tent, wrapped myself in the emergency blanket, and sent my (then) fiancee for help.
Alone, in a snowstorm, on the third highest mountain in Japan, she ran up the mountain, up the snow steps, to the mountain hut and then came to a screeching halt outside the door to compose herself so not to panic people. She gave the rescue squad directions to where I was and waited until they hauled my sorry rear into the hut.
And then spent the night apologizing to me and asking me to punch her for almost getting me killed when it was my mistake.
Beloved told me when I returned from America that 10 days as a single mother about killed her and she doesn't know where my mother found the strength to keep on going alone for so many years after my father's death. Personally I think that should, God forbid, something happen to me, she would not only survive, she would thrive.
Now I ain't saying she's perfect. She has her faults, like smacking her husband when Team USA wins, and she has this unreasoning prejudice against root beer and cinnamon, plus we have had to have words about her habit of treating the top of the dresser as the dresser when it comes to her clothes (I don't object to my wife's underwear per se, and sometimes it's fun to see it mixed in with my clothing, but not when trying to fish out a tie to get to work on time), but all in all...
Wow... just wow... I might tease her about the legendary strength and stubbornness of Choshu Women (It's said that the Lords of Choshu were unafraid to wander off to battle with all of the samurai leaving the castle manned by the city's women because they knew no one in their right mind would dare attack the place during that time), but I have married a very brave, very strong woman and I'm still not sure just what I did to deserve such a beautiful creature to call my own.
So Beloved, here's to 6 years, and hopefully many, many more.