Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

11 Years- April 23, 2016

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Last month when my grandfather died my mom called to ask for a picture of me with Grandaddy at my wedding. “Well, I think the only one I have is in our wedding album,” I replied. “That’s fine,” she said. “We’ll set it out on the table at the visitation for people to view.” She carefully opened it to a large photo that made up the entire layout of one page. You can see us as bride and groom out of focus and my grandparents in the foreground. I love this photo and this page of our album. It’s beautiful to me.

wedding album

After the visitation the family was sitting around chatting through our grief and exhaustion after losing the family patriarch. We flipped through the pages of my beloved book. We giggled at the shot of my cousin with two champagne glasses and marveled at how brown my husband’s hair was the day we wed. My man is a bit more salt and peppered these days. For the first time I looked at the pages and couldn’t believe the young bride I saw. I shook my head and said, “I look so young!” I do look young. It was eleven years ago.

We always discussed what we would get from the house in a fire. The answer was always the same, “The kids, the dog and the wedding album.” My husband even said as we left for the funeral, “Are you sure we don’t have another photo? I hate to take the album. What if something happens?”

It’s like he was predicting the future. The night after the funeral we stumbled back to our hotel room. Our hearts were heavy and our bodies felt even heavier. With everyone off their schedules, we were a sleepy, surly group. I wrangled the children into bed in a strange place as he unloaded all our luggage from the car. After the kids were down he said, “Did you get the album out of the car?” I told him I left it because I couldn’t imagine anyone would take it. He found this answer to be unsatisfactory and grumpily stomped down to the hotel parking lot. I stifled my laughs when he angrily returned two minutes later to get the car keys. When he returned his anger went from peeved to furious. When I asked what was wrong he said, “I dropped the album and busted the corner!”

wedding album damage

My heart sank when I saw the bent and torn edge. We spent a great deal of time and money designing the layout of our album. These pictures were taken in 2005, before the “cloud” was a mysterious thing we all counted on to backup our memories. So they are archaically saved on CD-roms like it’s the dark ages. The album is tangible proof we got married. In a home with small children we don’t display many “nice things.” The album is the exception. It’s out with the instructions to not let anything happen to it. He explained that in his frustration of carrying a bunch of my junk that I had left in the car, it slipped from his hands and hit the pavement just right. He was mad at himself for losing his temper and hastily grabbing everything. He was mad at me and my automobile sloppiness. (Which is a continual point of contention in our marriage. But, I’m getting better!)

Here’s the thing. I’m not going to fix it. First, it would be expensive. Second, I’m just going to leave it.

That ding to our pristine book is kind of a metaphor for being married eleven years. Gone is the newlywed luster of our first decade of marriage. It’s wrinkled like the creases we have around our eyes now. On April 23, 2005 we were so shiny and new in our gown and tux. We had not yet weathered any of the changes and choices that make up a marriage. Money, graduate school, demanding careers, our parents’ divorces and separations, buying and selling houses, pregnancy, babies, children and family deaths. We’ve experienced more. So has our album.

I like our creases and dents. They have a story to tell, just like us.

11 years

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Well Done- November 26, 2015

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

My husband woke up Thanksgiving morning with a sparkle in his eye and some extra swagger. It was swagger fueled by peanut oil and propane. We did no basting, we did no roasting. Greyson was gonna fry the hell out a turkey this year.

I giggled at his enthusiasm and swooned at him in his flannel and denim. I thought he looked particularly fetching out on our driveway, beer in hand, eyes never moving from the blue flame he had so carefully created. He warned me about oil splatters as I took his picture.

Greyson frying turkey

He had researched. He had seasoned. He had massaged and pampered this bird the night before. 40 minutes was the goal. 40 minutes in the fryer to achieve the golden sparkle that would ensure moist poultry. I was in the kitchen when he stuck his head in the door from the garage. “Oh, my God!” I wasn’t prepared for what he plopped on the counter.

burnt turkey 2015

We think the coup de gras for this bird may have been the 42 or 43 minutes in the fryer. We may never know. It actually wasn’t that bad. We salvaged it. After we peeled off the charred skin the meat was okay. A little dry for a fried turkey, but not inedible.

via GIPHY

He laughed, but his eyes told the story of a sad defeat. Defeat on a day in late November we’ll remember as a really fun Thanksgiving with our friends. Greyson said the bird looked “like Satan’s butthole.” See, he did cook the hell out of a turkey.

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TV Soul Mates- May 8, 2015

Friday, May 8th, 2015

tv soul mates

We’ve had “Undercover Boss” on for several hours tonight. You know, just…on. Occasionally we’ve looked up from wrangling children, answering emails and sorting mail to wipe a tear as a boss helps a single mother or pays for an employee’s education. My husband knows I’m psyched about “High Profits” on CNN, because who wouldn’t want to follow the journey of a couple of twenty-somethings navigating the new industry of legal recreational marijuana while getting wildly rich?

We know we have the new “Saturday Night Live” and the new “Last Man on Earth” on Hulu ready to go another night this week. If “Goodfellas” comes on one night or if it’s Harry Potter Weekend on ABC Family, that may go out the window and our channel will change. Next month when Season 3 of “Orange Is The New Black” is on we will stop the world for an hour a night. It’s a great part of our marriage.

We don’t like to say we’re “soul mates.” I’ve always thought that term was rather silly. We feel it lessens the commitment we made. We choose this life together. We choose to be committed. Fate didn’t magically make us “soul mates.”

So I don’t believe in soul mates, but I do believe in “TV Soul Mates.” Marry your TV soul mate. Seriously.

We like to watch a lot of the same stuff. My TV soul mate sat with me the night they found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in that boat after the Boston Marathon bombing. We live tweeted together as CNN gave us the play-by-play. We like the State of the Union Address, ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries or the occasional House Hunters. He just changed it to the special “Saturday Night Live in the 2000’s.” Why not? The more Tina Fey, the better if you ask me.

We also have an understanding about televisions in our house. We only have one that works. We use the iPad to watch other shows. We don’t have a TV in our bedroom. It’s just our preference. You and your TV soul mate have to have that kind of understanding.

We don’t always agree. I groan every time he turns on THE SAME DUMB MOVIE we’ve seen a million times. He turns on “Joe Dirt” or “She’s Out Of My League.” I remind him every time that those movies will end the same way. They are just not the same edited for language on Comedy Central. Come on! But, I’ll watch them with him. In turn, he makes fun of me endlessly for my fascination of the Duggars on TLC’s “19 Kids And Counting.” He laughs, but will stick with me during “Dance Moms.” He knows what’s up with Abby Lee Miller and her craziness.

You don’t have to agree all the time, but as TV soul mates, we indulge each other. He let’s me panic about kidnapped women and family homicides while watching “Dateline.” I glaze over during the NFL Draft as he panics for the Denver Broncos and takes to Twitter. We like indulging each other a little. It’s what you do for your TV soul mate. Plus, it’s 2015. Your TV soul mate can always roll their eyes and disappear behind the laptop. It’s part the indulging.

More than anything, TV time at night is our time together. We can talk. TV spurs our conversations. As much as it’s fun to have total control of the remote when he’s away on business, it’s lonely. Television is so much better with a soul mate.

 

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A Decade of Apologies- April 27, 2015

Monday, April 27th, 2015

10 years of marriage

This morning my husband lost his temper for a second and raised his voice, urging us out the door. He got our son strapped in his seat and made his way back towards me in the garage. As I walked out he stopped and said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t need to yell.” “It’s okay,” I said.

It WAS okay. I meant it. He WAS sorry. He meant it.

Then tonight he got on me for yukking it up with my sister on the phone and talking about adult topics within earshot of our daughter. I didn’t even think about it until he brought my inappropriate behavior to my attention. I sighed and said, “Sorry, I’ll watch what I’m saying around her.”

I WAS sorry. I meant it. He knew I did.

This week we celebrated ten years of marriage. Someone asked me what advice I had on having a good marriage. I laughed because I really don’t feel like an authority at all. We just happened to find each other when we did. But, if I had to give any advice, it’s this:

Say you’re sorry and mean it. Don’t say it to pacify the other. Mean it when you apologize. If you’re the spouse accepting the apology, truly accept it. Don’t hold a grudge about it.

 

That melodramatic movie from the ’70’s got it all wrong. Love means ALWAYS having to say you’re sorry. It means saying it over and over again and meaning it each time. I am a flawed human married to another flawed human. Then we went and created two little flawed humans. I can think of no better example for them than to admit when we’re wrong, apologize, and forgive.

If there is anything I’ve learned in the past ten years, it’s that. Happy Anniversary, Greyson! There’s is no one I’d rather be a flawed human with than you. Here’s to many more years of apologies.

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All I Got- October 10, 2014

Friday, October 10th, 2014

My children do not care that I slept just a few short hours last night. They do not care that the music was loud and the beer was plentiful and I’m not the spring chicken that I was. No, they want breakfast. One wants breakfast from my boobs. They want attention and toys. They want to watch “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” So, I’ve been up with them even though I so badly want to be curled up in my bed.

It’s okay, though. It’s okay because I’m sitting here listening to them play and repeat Daniel’s life lessons with giggles. “A friend just wants to play with you!” I’m sipping coffee and basking in my happy. Yes, my brain is fogged, but I’m happy.

I’m happy because last night the moon was full, the air was cool and I had the privilege of singing at the top of my lungs with some of the best people I know to celebrate my best friend. Greyson turned 40 yesterday. It was awesome. That’s all I got, and it’s all I need.

Our friends at the Zac Brown Band concert

Zac Brown Band concert October 9, 2014

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