Reality Checks: Dating & Marriage
With Valentine's Day upon us, I struggle with the sensitive and gooshy side it brings out in some people. The day filled with random love quotes and perfectly edited photos, all adorned with fancy gifts and boxes of chocolates, well quite honestly, makes me uncomfortable.
I've never been very sentimental or romantic, nor do I like roses. (When I die, it will say in lieu of flowers, please celebrate my life by buying yourself a cheeseburger or icecream (or both). Actually, scratch that. Get yourself a Wendy's frosty and fries, and be sure to dip the fries in the frosty, while you drive, with the music blasting and windows down).
I digressed. Anyway, I love "love," just not in the Hallmark sense. So instead, I thought I'd share my take on dating and marriage to celebrate alongside each of you romantics.
DATING is wearing makeup to bed and jumping up to brush your teeth before he wakes in the morning.
It's using the bathroom after he leaves and pretending to not hear the noises that escape as he uses it while you're still there.
It's laughing hard at his jokes and showing up on time excited.
It's liking his friends and agreeing to meet them out at their usual hangout.
It's lingerie or nothing at all, and his favorite sweet perfume.
It's traveling and skinny dipping and experimenting with places and positions.
It's imagining what your children will look like and planning a wedding day.
MARRIAGE is walking down the isle afraid, but trusting and believing he's the one.
It's wearing makeup when you have time to, even though he compliments you more when you don't.
It's new business ventures and sacrifice and compromise.
It's fighting and forgiving. Again and again.
It's praying for children and planning for them, thinking you'll know how it'll change you, only later realizing you didn't have a clue.
It's seeing your husband in the eyes of your children, and loving him even more for being a present father to them.
It's using the bathroom with the door wide open as you discuss each others day, while your toddlers play with toilet paper and ripped up magazines next to your feet on the floor.
It's pajamas covering stretch marks and cellulite, with house shoes and a messy bun.
It's owning a successful bar and still being proud of your alcoholic wife.
It's secret stashes of chocolate hidden all around the house so you never have to share.
It's finding a sitter and planning date nights, similar to how you use to, but way better.
It's cuddling before bed wearing compression socks, kissing goodnight, then putting your ear plugs in before rolling over to your side- (because he snores, and quite frankly ear plugs save marriages).
It's getting it in when you can get it in. Scheduling is welcomed and not seen as unromantic. Location and position don't matter nearly as much anymore as frequency does.
It's laughing out loud at all the noises you hear escaping the bathroom at night- sometimes from being entertained, but usually from being grossed out.
It's meeting friends out less, and binging on Netflix together on the couch more.
It's stepping over stuffed animals, and tripping on dog bones, while fumbling through homework assignments bitching about how hard preschool is these days.
It's racing to soccer practice and struggling to make a mortgage payment, then worrying about putting gas in the car while later getting dinner on the table.
It's burying parents and pets and sending kids off to college, then laying in bed, finally, to an empty, quiet, house.
It's reminiscing about parents and pets and all the old memories, saddened that you both rushed to be together, finally, in an empty, quiet, house.
It's a partner willing to take a punch for you, but more importantly willing to push you back in the ring.
It's balding and aging and slowing down to wrinkles and illnesses.
It's praying to God He takes you first because you can't imagine going a day without him, but then praying to God He would take him first as you'd worry about how he'd manage living life without you.
It's a commitment everyday and a choice to show up.
It's brutal and messy and uncertain, but also beautiful and strengthening and comforting.
Happy Valentine's Day friends. Keep on loving.