From the Road Trip Test to the Seven Year Itch

On the Heightened Experience of Being Married, August 23, 2016

Seven years ago today, my wife and I were married on a hillside overlooking an olive orchard in Tuscany, with a family friend officiating and a guest list that included five children, six adults, a couple of pieces of rusted farm equipment, and a spectacularly timed performance from the setting sun. Our first date had taken place just seven months before, but by the time we made it to that hillside we were pretty sure about what we were doing, in part because those months had included some of the most intense moments either of us had experienced in our (no longer quite so young) lives.

While we hadn’t intended our courtship to serve as a crucible, tempering us against whatever difficulties might lie ahead, it had something like that effect. And because it involved a slightly insane three-week trek across high-summer Europe, our anniversary always puts me in mind of a piece of advice I’d gotten years before: that one should always administer the Road Trip Test to a prospective partner before taking the momentous step of marriage.

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