Mr. PKB and I have been through some tough times, y'all. Unemployment, food insecurity, underemployment, health, mental health, death, marriage, the whole shebang. In this last year, things have finally come together—we're both working secure jobs that we like, we are in good health, our families are stable, and we're paying all our bills on time without stress. We're also both moving forward in our artistic paths—his band is on the upward swing, my writing and fiber work is progressing satisfactorily, and we're both learning new things we love. We worked really hard to be here and...

...we don't know how to deal with it. We've been prickly with each other the last couple of weeks, and as I was thinking over the week on my way to therapy yesterday, it hit me: We don't know how to be together when we're not under stress. Our whole relationship was formed and shaped by stress and crisis, and now that those things are gone (for a while—life has ups and downs and we happen to be in an up), we have no idea what to do with all the mental space. Just like couples who are formed in happy times have trouble functioning when bad things happens and have to practice new ways of being, we have to practice new ways of not being in hardship.

Isn't that the most bizarre, fucked up thing?

So anyway, we've been all prickly with each other, and yesterday was our five year dating-aversary, the day when we decided to officially date each other, even though it was long distance. We made a reservation at a nice restaurant, dressed up, went and had not only several small and delicious and more-expensive-than-usual plates, but we split a fancy beer AND ordered dessert! (We usually just get an entree each and drink water.) And then we saw a movie. (Hunger Games. 9/10, would recommend on big screen.) The whole evening cost us about $100, which is a lot for us, but it was a really nice way to honor our relationship and take a look into the future and talk about where we wanted to be and what we wanted from life, the universe, and everything. (Conclusion: we want to be with each other, further along in our artistic careers. At that point, we'll decide on babies.)

I can't post the photo I took of us, but we're adorable, and we love each other, no matter how easy or hard it is. And it was a good evening to remind ourselves of it. Yay love and stuff!

(But now that I've posted this, the universe will balance out our contentedness with some sort of massive debt or horrible health nightmare. It's not hubris, universe! Do not go all Greek tragedy on meeeee!)