A Decade Together
December 28, 2016
This is the story of us…
In 1996, when we were in 6th grade, Mitch moved to Fayette (a small town 8 miles from where I grew up in West Union) and started attending North Fayette Middle School with me. I had an instant crush on him. So much so that he was a main topic in my dairy, and in my journal. In fact, there were numerous pages where I had written ‘Ashley Bass’ in bubble letters. Unfortunately for me, he didn’t feel the same way. Mitch began dating another girl in our class and that relationship continued until he moved away in 1998 when we were in 8th grade.
In 2000, the 2nd semester of our freshman year, Mitch and his family moved back to Fayette. He started school with me at North Fayette High School and we had study hall together. We were also both in track and a relationship between us formed. We started dating – which pretty much consisted of flirting in study hall and holding hands after track practice. Very romantic, I know.
The relationship was short-lived and he broke up with me that summer when his family moved to Cedar Falls. We both finished high school, me at North Fayette and him at Waterloo West and we really didn’t stay in touch. After high school I moved to Cedar Rapids to attend Coe College and Mitch joined the Army. Before he left for his first deployment in 2003 he attended one of my volleyball games at Coe and we hung out at our friend’s apartment at Kirkwood. It was the first time we had seen each other since he moved to Cedar Falls back in 2000 and I honestly didn’t think I would see him again after that.
Fast forward to the summer of 2006. I had a friend request on Facebook from one Mitch Bass. The simple thought of him gave me butterflies in my stomach. I called my best friend since the 5th grade, and the Matron of Honor at our wedding, and said, ‘You’ll never guess who just added me as a friend on Facebook.’
Shortly after our friendship on Facebook happened we started messaging back and forth. His status was ‘engaged’ so I sent the following, very uncharacteristic, message…”I see your status says you’re engaged. If that’s true, congratulations! If not, I’m single too.’ Well, to my happy surprise he really wasn’t engaged. It was a joke with his buddy’s girlfriend. We had many late night conversations after that; our longest was four hours. We reminisced, shared stories, and talked about everything and anything – from our shared love of The Princess Bride and The Goonies to that time he threw a hot dog at me back when we were in middle school.
We set a time to meet up at my apartment at Coe. I was so excited and nervous to see him. I truly never thought I’d see him again. We watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S and talked. And then…we kissed.
We talked and hung out pretty much every day after that. And on June 28, 2006 he asked me to be his girlfriend. Fast forward 10 ½ years and that’s the story of how I married my ‘kind-of’ high school sweetheart.
In October Mitch and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. And this past June, Mitch and I hit 10 years together…an entire decade. 10 years is a long time and after 10 years I can say that I am still madly in love. We’ve had some really great times and some really bad times; many ups and just as many downs.
I’m no relationship expert, but being with someone that long teaches you things. First off, don’t compare your relationship with ANY body else. And don’t compare your spouse with other spouses. Just because your friend sends you weekly snapchats of the beautiful flower bouquets her husband sends her, and you can count on one hand how many times your husband has bought you flowers, it doesn’t mean your husband doesn’t love you. Appreciate your spouse for what they DO…don’t fault them for what they don’t.
I’ve learned that it’s okay if you don’t always agree with each other and that it’s okay if you’re not into PDA. Remember that married people disagree sometimes and there’s a chance you might go to bed angry at one another from time to time. It doesn’t mean your marriage is falling apart. Sometimes you need to take a break and ‘sleep on it.’
Mitch’s and my marriage isn’t perfect. But at the end of the day, we still choose each other. A house, a dog and a beautiful daughter; I couldn’t imagine going through this roller-coaster we call life with anybody else.
Loved You Then, Love You Still, Always Have, Always Will