Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be married to Mike. We met when we were both very young, 18 and 19 years old respectively, and we both fell very hard for each other. We were each others’ first loves, but it was more than that. Somehow at such an ordinarily romantically unstable age, I knew I’d found my soul mate.

When two people meet at such a young age and spend formative young adult years in an oppressively religious environment, they essentially date in a fishbowl with everyone telling them how to conduct their relationship, when they should get married, and when they should break up.

We broke up. Neither of us was ready to get married, and that seemed to be the only option for people in love in the church. Ah, youth.

However, we couldn’t quit each other. What we had together was so unique to each of us. Not only were we best friends, we could never stop loving each other. We got back together. Broke up again.

God, we were so young. Instead of dating a lot of men during our break-ups, like I probably should have, I just pined away for him. I didn’t want to date anyone else. My early twenties were spent in a swath of melancholy loneliness, partly praying we’d get married, partly just crying a lot. I was addicted.

No time reminds me of how lucky we are to be together like Christmas time. For about five years of my life, I would listen to all the lonely and romantic Christmas songs and want nothing but Mike. My birthdays, which happens to fall on Christmas Eve, would be spent in tears, wishing on every birthday candle that we would end up together. I knew I’d never have another relationship like that, and I couldn’t let it go. My poor family probably considered disowning me during those years.

When we got together for the last time five years ago, it was tentative. We were both hurting, and though neither of us knew it, I was well on my way to becoming an alcoholic. Mike stayed with me when I went off to rehab for nine months, something I fully didn’t expect him to do. During that time, we both realized how unimportant everything else was in comparison. We were meant to be together.

Want my lonely-heart, torture-yourself, addicted-to-you Christmas playlist? Here you go.

Just don’t make too much fun – remember, I was hurting and young and in my life is over if we don’t end up together kind of love.

Joni Mitchell, “River”

I’m so hard to handle 
I’m selfish and I’m sad 
Now I’ve gone and lost the best baby 
That I ever had 
I wish I had a river I could skate away on 

Joni Mitchell has a way of describing things that I didn’t even know I was feeling.

Vince Vance & the Valiants, “All I Want for Christmas is You”

Take back the holly and mistletoe
Silver bells on string
If I wrote a letter to Santa Claus
I would ask for just one thing

And ask for it, I did … every … single … year …

Kitty Wells, “Christmas Ain’t Like Christmas Anymore”

It once made me happy but now it makes me blue
There’s something about Christmas that starts me missing you
No, I don’t have the spirit as before
No, Christmas ain’t like Christmas anymore.

This one is old school sad, back when country music was the ultimate expression of romantic suffering.

Shedaisy, “Come Home Soon”

And I sleep alone
I cry alone
And it’s so hard livin’ here on my own
So please, come home soon

This one is a little rip-your-heart-out dramatic, but then, I’m a little rip-your-heart-out dramatic. Also, it features terrible rhyming lyrics, but when you’re hurting you care naught for such incidentals.

Elvis, “Blue Christmas”

I’ll have a blue Christmas without you

The classic of Lonely at Christmas songs. I don’t really need to explicate further, do I?

One happy family...and the dog.

Together at last. One happy family…and the dog.

– – –

My Skewed View

Comments

A Romantic Christmas — 50 Comments

  1. This is beautiful, Natalie. My heart is aching for those painful years you were apart. You were obviously meant to be together.

    I’ve never heard any of the songs except the Elvis one. They’re beautiful.
    Kate Hall recently posted…My Week in TweetsMy Profile

  2. Oh you had to go and pick Come Home Soon to yank at my heart strings lol. I love this post and re-living your and Mike’s amazing journey together. I am so blessed to have been able to watch you two grow together and become the amazing couple you are today. I love you both and am so glad you get to spend another Christmas together and many more to come!!
    Shannon H recently posted…Almost Home!!My Profile

  3. I absolutely loved your take on the Mixtape theme this week… I went so.. so… dark.. in comparison.

    What you said about dating in a fishbowl where everyone tells you how to conduct your relationship really touched on a nerve for me… Except for in my case, I got pushed toward marriage way sooner than I ever should have had any business considering it.
    nikkiana recently posted…Twisted Mixtape: Obsessive Love SongsMy Profile

    • Well, it can be a rather dark topic, lol. I was just feeling all sappy and sentimental…
      And I’m so, so glad we weren’t pushed toward marriage, as neither of us were ready. I’m sorry that’s not the case with you. 🙁

    • Ah yes, the church relationship. Sigh. Heaven forbid you meet your soul mate before the age of 22… 😉
      I like Christmas music, but I am selective about it. I like to think I have good taste, but then, doesn’t everybody?

  4. Well why do I want to say FINALLY! I am so happy for you that things worked out. I know you had a lot of struggles, but the fact that you made them through together is amazing. I am also glad that you can actually still listen to those songs. They make me want to take a deep jump without having any memories attached to them! Except Blue Christmas, I don’t know why… love to sing that one!
    Thanks for playing your mixed up tape with us!
    JenKehl – My Skewed View recently posted…Twisted MixTape 37 – Just Because I Haunt the Same Old PlacesMy Profile

  5. I didn’t know that you guys met so young. I already loved you both, and this story makes me love you even more. Yay for young love becoming grown-up love, and forever love. I’m smiling for the rest of the day because of this post.
    Samantha Brinn Merel recently posted…First SnowMy Profile

  6. Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’ is so beautiful! I’m happy for you have your Mike back where he belongs. I am also with my first love again. We reunited after my divorce. We were apart for 20 years. We fell in love at 16 and 17 so I understand the dilemma of being ‘too young’ to make it work. Thanks for the beautiful Christmas music. 🙂
    lisa thomson recently posted…The Gifts of Imperfection-Book Review & GiveawayMy Profile

  7. I don’t think I could have listened to those songs if I didn’t know how your romantic ending turned out. Like you, I have to remind myself of how lucky I am. Have a wonderful, un-lonely holiday, Natalie!
    Dana recently posted…A Jew in DecemberMy Profile

  8. I can’t relate at all, being in hardly any relationships and jumping for joy when the one’s I *were* in, ended. BUT, whenever I hear these Christmas songs, they get to me, and I think of how sad I’d be if Greg and I had broken up and the holidays started rolling around. I’m glad that all those years and tears ended up with you two being together!
    Ericamos recently posted…Now Presenting, Mrs. BrownMy Profile

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