Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Still the One

Leaning against the wall of the master bedroom in the House on the Corner is a portrait-sized copy of the picture that illustrates today's post. We did not order this enormous print, but the photographer had used it as a display model in his studio and when he went out of business he sold it to us for the cost of the frame.

In my mind I named this portrait Young Bride and I've always loved it (even though we've never bestirred ourselves to find a nail and hang it up) because it is composed of 90% sentiment and misty dreams and 10% of what was running through the bride's mind: The bride was thinking "Un-focus your eyes--that's how you get that wistful gaze going" in a most calculating manner. I had waited 29 years to be the blushing bride, and that girl with the un-saggy neck might look young and naive, but she had known exactly what she wanted in a husband and had waited a long time for him.

I wanted a husband who was smarter than I am, and who did the right thing even when it was inconvenient or difficult. I wanted someone who made me laugh. I wanted a man who worked hard and followed through. I had waited for a partner who thought I was the bee's knees and wasn't embarrassed to tell me so. I had looked for someone who would be a good dad, even if the prospect of that role was scary to him. I wanted someone who treated his mother well, because that's a good indication of what kind of husband he would be.

I wanted someone who made my pulse pick up when he walked into the room.

Thirty years ago today I walked down the long church aisle toward the man who fit all of these requirements, but Young Bride didn't know that man came with bonus attributes. She hadn't specified warm hands, perfect for holding. She didn't consider how safe she would feel riding with a husband who was a good driver. She didn't consider how important it was that he be a sports fan, but not a fanatic.

When Boy#1 and Lovely Girl were married a couple of weeks ago, they asked their two sets of parents to write blessings that would be read at the ceremony. They gave us a 250-word limit to sum up everything we wished and hoped for them--obviously they knew I could have gone on and on until the candles had guttered out--so I tried to condense what I've learned in 30 years of marriage into one pithy thought. It turned out that the pithy thought is this:

Marriage is not always sentiment and misty un-focused eyes. Sometimes it's messy and difficult, because marriage involves human beings and their messy, difficult feelings and needs (and hormones). But any bit of effort put into building a life together (even if that life is occasionally messy or difficult) is worthwhile and never wasted. This life, this marriage, is worth it.

Young Bride, you were right to wait for the right one. 

Happy anniversary, Husband. You're still the one.


  1. Please, please tell us how you and incredible husband met :)

  2. Happy anniversary! Your children have a wonderful example of what marriage is all about.