Over the course of thirty years together, Peregrin and I have come across occasional female friends who, for whatever reason, don't care as much for me and think he's the bee's knees. Inevitably, we have a conversation initiated by them about how Peregrin and I met. This topic can come up in innocent discussions, too. But, with certain women, the underlying message is that Peregrin is too good for me, why is he with me, why does he stay with me, and other questions that might explain how this wonderful man became my husband and then actually stayed with me for a lifetime. These women see Peregrin as he is now, after ten, twenty or thirty years of hard work together; they see what a gem he is now, and they want one just like him - or him.
To these women, I say, "Tough!" Nobody gets to thirty without effort. And nobody stays together for thirty years without reason. We met when we were eighteen years old, married at nineteen. Do you honestly think either of us was much more than potential at that point? We got here together, supporting each other through thick and thin, crying together in hard times and celebrating the bad with the good. And, trust me, there were a lot of difficulties in that space of time that required both of us to grow and cope and learn to laugh. You can't take that away. You can't find it in someone else's life. You can't fake that kind of bond, borrow it, or steal it. There are reasons why he and I trust each other and it has a lot to do with what we've survived as a couple. I wasn't the me you know now, back then, and neither was he. If you want him, you'll have to wait till I'm gone and then work YOUR butt off to be worthy of him.
In each other's care, we discovered science fiction and our own fantasies, raised two and a half children, played games together, survived death and depression, kissed on stage, moved twenty times, suffered through illnesses and despair, learned each other's foibles, traveled alone to faraway lands and returned to inviting arms. We've been poor together and wealthy with love. To quote The Princess Bride: "You can't harm me. [Peregrin] and I are joined by the bonds of true love. And you cannot track that, not with a thousand bloodhounds. And you cannot break that, not with a thousand swords."