I thought it might be a good idea to make a case for why I am still here working things out in the “for worse” part of my vows.
1) He is still here working things out. I am wondering if the real truth to longevity in a marriage is just timing. We have never given up at the same time.
2) No matter what we don’t agree on, we do agree on what matters most: God and our kids. It is easy to see something is working and SOMEONE is working on our behalf when we look at who our kids are.
3) Who would get the nieces? That’s a biggie. I don’t think we feel we have the right to destroy the entity known as Uncle and Aunt Us.
4) Who would get the friends? Well, I would of course. But it would be no fun to hang out with a bunch of married people.
5) He knew my Uncle and I knew his Mother. They are no longer with us.
Mostly though I think we owe our marriage to Virginia Mackey. We have never met Virginia Mackey. She has never met us. Years ago we were paid to sing at an Episcopal church in Indianapolis. It was not our church and we were young so I am sort of ashamed to admit it was boring for me much of the time. There were rituals and chanting and incense and things you could count on. Each week they would ask for prayer requests and people would name people on their hearts. Then the priest would say, “Are there others?” And after a pause he would intone those on his list of people to pray for, “Virginia Mackey, Jaunita Lemler, John, Wayne, etc…” I was first amused in spite of myself that we were STILL praying for the long deceased John Wayne. But when week after week went on and a year later we were still hearing the same answer to the question “Are there others?” My husband and I developed a Pavlovian response to that question. So now, whenever that question comes up (and you’d be surprised how often it does for some reason) we answer the same way, “Virginia Mackey et al”. So the other day we were heading out the door, not the best of friends these days, gathering our crap for some stupid errand and as I was locking up I turned and asked him “are there any others?” Simultaneously we started the list.
We have other silly things like that which I would not want to re-invent with someone else and I would not want to sail through life stifling the answer to that question because whoever would come next on that white horse to save me from the stupid human tricks my husband pulls (or I pull but remember the one with the blog is always right) is certain not to know the right answer.
Ok, two more stories, only one of them is sort of gross and PG13 rated. Years ago we were at the ob/gyn (you know to shut your eyes to the visual here, right?) because I had out patient surgery. This was a warm and gentle Mr. Rogers of a guy whom we adored. He was giving me my post op instructions and had obviously found a delicate way of warning his patients not to give in to their inclinations.
“Ok, now nothing in the vagina for 6 weeks”
Seeing that it was late November, Randy had the only obvious reply.
“Hmm…well then where ARE we going to hide the Christmas presents this year?”
(Hey, maybe that was too racy for this blog, but if Mr. Rogers can laugh so can you!)
Finally, this is probably one of my favorite stories. It was after 911 and we were at war. Day after day after day we were glued to the TV for the latest developments…or rather he was. I can only take massive death in small doses. I walked in to the room where he was grimly folding laundry while the news blared on, “There was a blast in Mosul today…”
I said, “Ohhhhh I love the comedy stylings of Blast and Mosul!”
Without missing a beat, my husband was dancing and singing (and rhyming!) in his best Jewish accent and of course the musical motifs of Klezmer music. For a time we would call each other “Blast” or “Mosul” (pronounced “MOY-Sul” by the way).
I think that we have forgotten in the daily-ness of our days to remember these things. I know it will not be fun to re-define a marriage in mid-stream (again, there have been no deal breakers…just frustration) if we keep forgetting to remember them. We once knew that in boredom, and surgery, war and death there was still something to be amused and entertained by and plenty of material to share with others. Maybe that is not what every woman wants every day of her short life on this earth but it is more than enough for me.