Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Mawage is what bwings us togewah today.

When I first signed the contract for our wedding photographer, I didn't really care about my "11x14 Portrait." I was fairly certain I was going to hate it. Having no family mansion with accompanying portraiture to speak of, I didn't want a giant image of myself/my husband staring back at me through an oversized frame. I figured since this photographer did a lot of detail shots of the day, we'd be able to find some innocuous image of the bouquets or something that would work. I was somewhat surprised when we both wanted that upclose shot of us in the light of the church's stained glass. I mean, sure, WE LOOKED HOT, but there was the whole "Hello, almost life-sized younger self, what's up? I'm currently changing so would you mind looking away." Creepy.

Yet occasionally, I find myself staring at us. I'll go in to my dresser to swap out my jeans for the day's errands or something and I'll see it. It's always propped up on the dresser, but like anything else (including dust bunnies and cat hair) it can be quite invisible as the daily grind wears on. After this weekend, I saw it again. Maybe it's the nature of the beast; maybe it's just the nature of this beast; but I definitely got reflective as I stared at our slightly younger faces and realized how naive we must have looked as we processed down the aisle. Seriously, WHAT WERE WE THINKING? We really were in love. We'd been together for three-and-a-half years at that point, so this wasn't a fling we could write off. But you can't know how cold it is in the waters of Cape Cod until you step in. And let me tell you, it's #@$%^& ! cold.

The analogy breaks down there since you can't know how incredibly awesome it is to be married until you GET THEE HITCHED. It's all about the trade-off. Sure, it might be the good season talking, but I love being married to Hubster. The last few weeks have had their challenges, but our desire to set aside our pettiness and love each other fully and selflessly has made them the best of our relationship. [So far.] Hey, we've had our moments of unparalleled stupidity. We've both lashed out and been happy to be mad and determined to remain so. When we've "got it together" we're still whiny and needy and human. But I love this human, and he loves me. We love each other enough to respect each other and each other's desires, ambitions, dreams, and idiosyncracies. We love spending time with each other. At the end of the day, that's . . . GAH, WORDS . . . "superlative" about covers it like a miniskirt covers legs but it's the only thing that comes close.

With all the sweetness, it surprises me how the negative emotions of anger and discouragement that well up when we hit a wall would feel less gripping. It seems wrong that their force isn't attenuated at all. I refuse to believe some platitude about "not feeling as deeply positive without being able to feeling deeply negative" either. Shouldn't emotions be subject to context? If most of our life is great, then this one issue should be minor in comparison so that one emotion, though present, should not be A Presence in the circumstances. Maybe it's just that emotions are harder to trace through the labyrinth of memory, hormones, and subconscious realities. The anger and discouragement was there last night, in all its vicious glory. As we talked over the issue, it was hard not to feel permanently stymied - I mean, haven't we gotten further on the issue? Why did it have to feel like square one?

That may be one big part of why everyone prattles about how much WORK it is to be married. They're not just talking about running a household together because then you'd basically have the same problem as 20th-century roommates and 19th-century housekeepers. They're not just talking about working on a relationship because then you'd have the same problems as junior-highers going steady and you know, yourselves before you got married. It's not just the friendship, the sex, the mildew, and the scheduling conflicts - they're talking about the whole shebang rolled into one small word: marriage. I've thrown my lot in with you until I pass from this, the only life I know anything about. The impact of a shared future alone is enough to make me run screaming in the other direction from this man who insists, INSISTS, that washing pots in the dishwasher after they've been used to cooked rice will get the startch off even though it hasn't worked the last ten times he did it. Work is staying for the eleventh. And not braining him with the resultant startchy pan.

No matter how you come into the Holy Bonds of Matrimony, it's going to be different than what you imagined. With so many of my college friends engaged, it's hard not look at them the way I stare at that portrait, laughing to think of all that's happened and all that will happen. I'm sure I'll read over this entry in five years and think: "Wow, I was still naive a year and a half later." The joy of this life and my marriage to you, Hubster, is that I'm perfectly fine with that. Honestly, I can wish nothing finer for all my engaged friends everywhere.


Hans said...

To the Notorious E-A-P:

I've often thought about that transition that happens somewhere between newlyweds and thirty-somethings. When do we stop being young and start being old?

But then again, that is one of the most pleasant thoughts I have when I think about marriage. Sure, the now and youthful times are great, but I am also excited for the years, where two can look back and realize they have lived more years together than apart.

I love your blog. You write so well, and you and "Hubster" are so wonderfully open and honest (and HELPFUL).

rachel said...

I told him he should read this post.

Mair said...

See, this is why we're friends, and why I miss you. This post seemed so natural for me to read...and it almost felt like we were conversing face to face...and at various times as I was reading, I imagined you talking and me sitting up straighter, leaning forward in agreement and antipication for when I get to say, "Yes! I totally agree, and here's what I have to add!" Anyway, I really enjoyed reading this. I concur completely with everything you said. Really, I can't say it better. Nicely done. Let's talk soon. I miss you.

CharlesPeirce said...

"I've thrown my lot in with you until I pass from this, the only life I know anything about."

Beautiful post.