Fifteen Years: A Shared Dream

Fifteen years ago tonight, my best friend Lisa and I made official a journey that we’d begun months before. On an amazing (but freezing) night, in front of all our closest friends and relatives, we shivered through our vows and then celebrated until the wee hours.

Fifteen years isn’t a jaw-droppingly long time, I know, but we’re still going strong, in an age where lots of marriages don’t last. I think a big part of why is that we don’t have to retreat from each other when we dream—we have the same passions and the same aspirations, so we each have, in the other, a partner who understands.

These days it’s a lot easier for people who march to the beat of a different xylophone to find each other—and, in fact, uniqueness seems to be genuinely celebrated in a way that it wasn’t when I was much younger. But back before the internet allowed us nerds to figure out we weren’t alone, things were different. That I found someone in my daily life who shared my love of reading in general and science fiction in particular, and even someone who shared my decidedly unhip appreciation for Disney . . . is little short of miraculous.

Lisa has a ferocious pride in the things that make her an individual—I’ve learned a lot from her in this regard. We’re just a couple of happy freaks, and if you don’t like it you can go be sour somewhere else.

But our shared interests—which most people find mind-bogglingly coincidental—pale beside our shared passion for writing. I know so many writer couples where one spouse won’t read the writing of the other. More than that, I know writer couples where one spouse has to feel vaguely ashamed of not having left silly dreams of being a writer back in childhood where they presumably belong. Lisa and I never have to hide our dreams, never have to feel ashamed. Instead, we’re always cheering for each other or egging each other toward the next accomplishment. And if one of us lets the dishes or the laundry slide so we can get more writing done, well we both understand. Would we both be as close to realizing our dreams if we didn’t have each other?

I don’t know how other people do it. All I know is I’m incredibly lucky to have found someone who gets what makes me tick, and who values what I value.

I still feel like the best years of my life are in front of me. I can’t wait to share them with the woman I love.

Wedding (Reception) Picture

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15 Responses to Fifteen Years: A Shared Dream

  1. Marlana says:

    Happy Anniversary to one of the coolest couples I know. A wonderful post. 🙂

  2. Joe Iriarte says:

    Thank you!

  3. laird sapir says:

    Happy Anniversary!

  4. Joe Iriarte says:


  5. Fifteen years ago “tonight”? I thought it was something like 3am. 😉

    Happy Anniversary.

    What were we all looking at in that picture? None of us are looking at you two.

  6. Joe Iriarte says:

    Nuh uh. The ceremony began promptly at nine pm. The reception ended around 2:30. 🙂

  7. Further proof of how much of Florida I have blocked out of my memory. Your wedding was almost the last thing I did in the state before I left.

    Actually, yeah, now I remember leaving the hotel in the evening. I must be mixing up the temperature with the time. I actually thought it was 4am, but maybe it was 40 degrees.

  8. Lori Dyan says:

    I love hearing about couples so in love – for the long haul…Happy Anniversary!

  9. Annie says:

    Awesomely awesome 🙂

  10. Joe Iriarte says:

    Thanks, and thanks for dropping by!

  11. Joe Iriarte says:

    Forty degree is about right, Banai. 🙂

  12. Lisa Iriarte says:

    Yep, exactly 40 degrees, I believe. Brr.

    So, of course I feel totally outdone and am too tired to blog at this point.

    So, um, ditto?

    Love you!

  13. Lisa Iriarte says:

    Almost forgot. Love this line:

    Lisa has a ferocious pride in the things that make her an individual—I’ve learned a lot from her in this regard.


  14. Rina says:

    Another thing you guys have in common- you’re both talented teachers who share your time and knowledge both in and out of the classroom. We appreciate it! Congratulations on 15!!

  15. David Flor says:

    The memory of that night is something I won’t forget.

    It is kind of staggering to think that the young, little flower girl at the ceremony is soon entering her Senior year at Duke University. How time flies. 🙂

    Happy anniversary to both of you, and here’s to many, many, many more years to come!

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