Tag Archives: marriage

“Maaawwwiiidge Is Whaat Bwings Us Togezzah Dis Day. . . “

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I can count the weddings in which I’ve participated on one hand.  Actually, on like two fingers of one hand.  Which is weird.  I feel like lots of women of my age and station have been in tons of weddings.  But I haven’t.

So, it was a huge honor for me when a friend recently invited me to do a reading in her wedding ceremony.  Two readings actually–  poems by May Sarton.

My dear friend is in her mid 70’s and she was finally marrying her partner of over 25 years.  Neither of them had been married before and it was a huge step for them.

I’m obviously a very progressive woman of the world.  Nothing much phases me.  Except Burning Man.  And people who eat their placentas.  No judgement, it is just where I draw the line.  But I digress.

Anyhoo, I’d always assumed my friend lived with another woman.  But she never brought it up, and I respected her privacy.  When she spoke of her partner, she would say “my family,” or “the family.”  As in, “The family and I went to the Cape last weekend.”  Despite our long association with one another of ten years working together, I could tell this was a delicate subject and I let it be.

About a year ago, my friend, I’ll call her Estelle, finally started referring to her mate by name.  And for the purposes of this post, I will call her Fran.

It made me smile.

I felt so honored that Estelle trusted me enough to let me into this part of her world.  I also imagined Estelle came of age in a time when one did not proclaim they were in a same-sex relationship.  It was actually something deemed perverse, something for which they could have been imprisoned, ostracized, ridiculed, or physically harmed.

For my friend, letting me into this part of her world was a huge leap of faith.

And then she leapt even further and disclosed she was finally going to marry Fran.  I was deeply moved to be not only invited to the wedding, but to be asked to read two of their favorite poems in the ceremony.  For months, I shared in Estelle’s joy, (and consternation at times), as she planned her wedding.  It grew into a three day event which gathered friends from near and far.  I volunteered my spousal unit to do the photography and thankfully, he agreed.

At a casual dinner on a beautiful summer night, I finally got to meet Fran so we could sit down with my husband and talk about what they had in mind for photographs.  Fran was just lovely.  She was sweet and humble.  We talked late into the night about our love for animals, their travels, and how they dreamed their wedding would be.

I arranged for my children to sleep out at my parents’ house on the night of the wedding.  I arranged this months in advance so that I could enjoy a lively night out with my husband.  Estelle asked me if Jack would be her ring bearer, having never even met him, but having a fondness for him from all the stories I’ve shared with her.  I told her I had not been planning on bringing the kids.

“Oh,” she said, somewhat crestfallen.  “Well, I guess I didn’t know how you would feel about having your kids come to a same-sex wedding at their young ages.”

This shocked me.

As well as Estelle knew me, there was still a part of her that worried her love would somehow cause awkwardness or offend us.

“Estelle!  Have you met me?” I practically shouted.  “I don’t believe in same-sex marriage.  I believe in marriage.  Plain and simple, and of course I am raising my children to believe in the same.”  I went on to explain that I would have been honored to bring the kids, but I didn’t know children had been welcomed and also I really just wanted a night out with the spouse.  She seemed relieved by this.  At least I hope she was.

It worked out that I had Jack with me when I went to buy a card for Estelle and Fran.  As I pawed through the stereotypical cards in the aisle at Target, I mentioned that I needed one for two brides.  “Huh?” Jack shrugged.

“Yeah,” I said.  “It’s two ladies who are getting married.”

“Oh,” said my eight-year-old son.

And that was that.

Jack did come with me to the rehearsal, and then to the rehearsal dinner.  He sat in the pew of the Episcopal church and played mine craft on my phone while we all went through the service and what would happen, etc.  He had grown bored of mine craft when it came time for the brides to do the kissing part.  While we all clapped and cheered as Fran and Estelle practiced a somewhat embarrassed smooch, I looked over at Jack who really had no expression of anything on his face.

This delighted me.

My son is growing up in a world that is learning kindness and acceptance from the get go.  Nothing about two women kissing in a church, as they prepared for their wedding was at all weird, gross, or unseemly to him.  This is so important to me.

I know there are many parts of the world that have not quite caught up with the notion that people who love, honor, and cherish each other should be together.  But I’m glad we are normalizing it in my little corner of the world.

The wedding was joyous and festive and went off without a hitch.  My friends were beautiful, blushing brides who danced cheek to cheek at the reception and kissed with huge smiles on their faces when people clinked their glasses with their knives.

Love makes the world a better place.

That is all.

In Bulk

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 I may have been bragging at work about how my husband brought home bulk paper products from a wholesale club.

Ok, I was.

And seriously, when I saw the hubz stroll in after work one evening with a huge-ass package of toilet paper under one arm, and a gigantic stack of tissues under the other, I had never been so in love.

It’s the little things, folks.

Lying in bed, after my long day, I found myself wondering if swooning over the hubz joining BJs and stocking up on paper towels was a little pathetic.

But, I mean, he did also get some enormous jars of the natural peanut butter.

I don’t write very much about my marriage. . .

I tend to focus on my children, my role as a mom, and my never ending waterfall of feelings about life.

My role as wife, central as it is to my existence, often takes a back seat to the rest of the maelstrom.

Maybe I don’t write a lot about my marriage because it is so good it would be boring to write about it.  Maybe I don’t want to jinx it.  Maybe it’s out of respect for the hubz privacy. . .  dunno, but I do think the solid foundation of my marriage allows me to wax and wonder about other things, to freak out, and to know I will always have a stable base to which I can return.

Don’t get me wrong, my husband does typical annoying things like leaving glasses all over the house, leaving stinks in the bathroom, letting the kids eat junk, and complaining about the way I hang pictures.  We bicker.  It’s not “perfect.”  And I’m certain I do a shit-ton of stuff that irks him, only he is a lot more generous and forgiving when it comes to not complaining about my, uh, quirks.

He provides for us with a quiet, unwavering stoicism.  And I don’t just mean materially.  He provides calm love, a sense of humor, and faithful devotion.

He also makes awesome pancakes.

So, when he does something like bringing home huge quantities of paper products, it says way more to me than just that he wants our noses and asses to be wiped.  It says he is being considerate of our needs and thoughtful of our comfort.  It says he is saving me a trip out to Target this weekend.  It says he is taking care of us.

My husband has never been a love-letter-writer or flower-giver, except maybe on our anniversary.  I’m fine with this now, but it used to make me feel like I was missing out on something.  Maybe I’ve just become overly pragmatic in my middle age, but I’ll tell you, the messages a load of paper products sends to me at this point in my life is sexy as hell.

I really love that dude.

Like, in bulk.

The Elephant Lady

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Marriage and motherhood is like being the person who trails after the elephants at the circus and cleans up their crap.

This morning I wiped a smear of shit off of the toilet seat before sitting down to use it.  It may have been from Jack, but I am more certain that it was the workings of my husband.

Is this what I have been reduced to?  Is my mommy-blog now a place where I bitch about wanting to pee in solitude or vent about stepping on legos and my battle shoveling stuffed Elmos against the tide?

That I have become so ubiquitous warrants a huge sigh and copious eye-rolling.

This week, I have been trying to practice what Pema Chodron calls “pausing”.  At random moments during my day, or when I am feeling particularly frazzled, I pause to take three mindful, deep breaths.  I try to think I am in the midst of  “Life As It Is,” and radically accept the ripening of my karma*.

But really?  It isn’t enough that I have to clean up my children’s shit (and I mean their literal shit), but my husband’s shit too?  Really karma?  Reeeaaaallly?

For the record, I have never minded changing my children’s diapers.  While Jack has been potty trained for over two years, Emily is still in diapers.  As wacky as it might sound, I think of diaper changes as a chance to be a mom, to care for my child.

The things that drive me crazy are when people are just thoughtless and sloppy.  It drives me crazy when it seems like I am the only one who knows how to put a can in the recycling, load a bowl into the dishwasher, or wipe pubes and shaving stubble off of the bathroom floor.  Speaking of the bathroom, it drives me crazy when my son sprays urine all over the floor like he is trying to put out  fire.  Even though she is still a baby, it drives me crazy when Emily dumps out a whole crate of toy food onto the floor and then just walks away from it.  It drives me crazy when my husband “tries to be helpful” by doing a load of laundry, only to leave it for me to fold at an inconvenient time.

It is like I got some super-secret-elite degree in basic cleaning when no one, least of all myself, was looking.  Maybe I got this degree in my twenties when I was stoned and dreaming of becoming a rich soccer mom, a dream that clearly has not come to fruition.

It is impossible to have conversations about chores because my idea of “Clean” and my husband’s idea of “clean-ish” are so fundamentally different.  Usually, I throw an affect-laden tantrum and storm off to elicit his response of dragging out the vacuum.  We argue about chores like 11 year olds to the point that I sometimes expect Mom to intervene.   Then I remember that I AM Mom.

I am a mom who is tired and overwhelmed.  I am a mom who just wants to walk through the apartment without feeling the need to pick up, straighten, wipe down, and put away everything I pass.  I am a mom who might just snap if she has to wipe up or flush anyone else’s shit on or in the potty one more time.

Okay, so I got that unflattering rant out of my system.  Deep breath.

Deep breath.

Deep breath.

It strikes me that maybe being the elephant lady at the circus isn’t such a bad thing, because maybe I would get to pet and talk to the elephants once in a while.  After all, being so close to a mammoth creature of such sacred beauty is a pretty special occasion.

Marriage and motherhood has its perks too.  Thanks Karma.

*I do not really know what “karma ripening” means or feels like, but I hope to one day.  And in the meantime, I love the way it sounds.