Category Archives: Marriage

Love, Lice and Football

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Getting ready for the Super Bowl today (which really means nothing except snacks and predicting half-time wardrobe mishaps) I remember being told that going from 2 to 3 children was like going from man-to-man to zone defense. Maybe that was part of the reason we decided to stop at 2. It makes me nervous to have our kids outnumber us!

After 17 years of marriage, I think my husband and I are a pretty good team though. For example, our kids have gotten lice a couple of times. Hey, it happens! The second time we were like a well-oiled machine. After noticing the offending critters, the quarterback called out the “lice play!” We burst into action. Kevin the engineer got out his headlamp, magnifying goggles and lice extermination tools. Quite a romantic look! I stripped all of the bedding and loose stuffed animals and started the endless loads of laundry. The refs signaled a touchdoooown!

So I suppose helping with bug eradication was not what I thought of as love when we were first dating. But I’m telling you, when Kevin makes lunches for the kids or cleans out the fridge that’s way more romantic to me than any flowers or candy. And I bet when I go out there to mow the lawn or check the air pressure in the car tires that’s pretty freaking romantic to him.

Today I’m thankful for love (not lice) and teamwork. And I hope the Super Bowl commercials are good…

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I’d Miss It If You Were Dead

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“I’m off,” my husband yells up the stairs. I wait a moment, knowing what will come next.

“Off like a prom dress,” he says proudly.

‘Oh-my gosh,’ I think, putting my hand over my face. ‘That hasn’t been funny for the past 10 years!’

***

“UGH!” I hear as I lie in bed. Uh-oh; I left my dresser drawers open again and Kevin has just walked into them in the dark bedroom.

***

Early in the morning as I take my first sip of coffee, I hear the dogs start to bark in the back yard and hear Kevin bang on the back door window to try to shut them up. They bark even louder. ‘Do we really have to go through this every single morning?’

***

Once again, Kevin trips over my shoes that I left in the middle of the side door entryway. I hear him sigh as he kicks them out of the way

***

These little annoyances could drive someone crazy. But they are also the things that we would miss. After the millionth time Kevin said the “Off like a prom dress” line I thought, ‘I would miss that if he were dead.’ Seriously, I can just imagine someone saying, “I’m off.” I would be waiting for the next line and so sad when it didn’t come.

It may sound kind of morbid but it’s become our way to lighten the moment and  insert some humor. When I do something that I know annoys Kevin, I smile and say, “You would miss it…!” It really is a good reminder not to waste our time on little frustrations.

And I’m sure if I were no longer around, Kevin would walk in the door each day after work without tripping and have a moment of sadness about that empty space. I’m not so sure he would miss the bruised shins from my open drawers though. I’ll work on that honey!

Here is Where I Belong

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Are there any happy 50 to 60 something women, and could they please write a book? I find myself reading many memoirs written by women in this age group and all of them have a husband who has died or been in a terrible accident or if their husband is still alive, they are currently going through a horrific divorce.

 

Don’t get me wrong, these are very well written books full of insight and humor. These women are strong and provide inspiration. But honestly, I would just like to find one book about a women who is incredibly, deliriously happy with her balding, slightly overweight and occasionally flatulent husband of 25 years.

 

I want to read about how she just adores brushing her teeth next to her hubby each and every morning and can hardly wait to see her honey each evening after a satisfying and intellectually stimulating day of work, only to have incredibly satisfying and stimulating dinner conversation together. And of course next would be, you guessed it, incredibly satisfying and stimulating sex.

 

I am 36, almost 37 and I’m getting worried. I have been married for 12 years, I think. I have to sometimes look at the inside of my wedding band to double–check the date of our wedding. I have 2 children and I tell myself that our lives are chaotic and busy now but when the boys go off to college, my husband and I will have so much fun reveling in our quiet, taking wonderful trips, enjoying our free time. Oh yeah, and having the energy and interest to have sex again more than a quick, “The boys are both napping. Do you want to do it quick?” I’m so sure we will have candle lit dinners every night and discuss matters of great intellectual depth and laugh at each other’s witty quips.

 

On snowy days we will curl up on the couch and watch movies for hours, and eat shrimp scampi right out of the skillet and then, so full of love and playfulness go outside for an impromptu snowball fight and then come in and of course, have incredibly satisfying and stimulating sex.

 

Ok, back to reality here.

 

I guess what these women are telling me is that I don’t have any idea what will happen in the next 20 years so I need to make my own reality now. Quit waiting for fun to find me. Quit waiting for romance to come galloping around the corner. Quit waiting for a calm peacefulness to descend from above. Quit waiting for my husband to mow the lawn (Seriously honey, it’s a jungle. We could lose a small child in there!)

 

These book women, my new friends, are telling me to embrace the chaos of now. Embrace my boys who most likely have just peed on the toilet seat leaving it wet for the next time I set my unexpecting butt down. Embrace my forgetful husband who may or may not ever mow the lawn. And yes, yes, yes, embrace my ever-imperfect self.

 

Now I do not believe that to embrace these things means that I always have to love them or even like them or even not hate them on occasion. I will still frequently concoct elaborate plans to run away to an ashram in India or a small cottage on a deserted beach in Mexico where no one will find me.

 

But in between these fantasies, I will snuggle and hug and tickle my boys for as long as they will tolerate it. Then I will show them how to clean the toilet seat.

 

I will light a candle for a romantic cereal dinner. I will lob a snowball at my husband’s head as we head out to work on a winter morning. I will buy some sexy underwear to put us in the mood and if we are just too tired and fall asleep after briefly admiring my sexy underwear, so be it. Sleep is good.

 

I will also make sure that we are making our marriage a priority so that we still like each other and want to spend time together when our kids have moved on to pursue their dreams. I will take my dream trip to Africa now instead of waiting for someday. I will follow my heart.

 

My newest best book friend Abigail Thomas in her memoir, A Three Dog Life, writes about a chronic longing for something, “What is it? What is it we are longing for?” she asks a friend.

 

“There isn’t any it,” he replies. “There is just the longing for it.”

 

Years later Abigail discovers what the longing is for. It is for the feeling of here is where I belong.

 

I don’t know what will happen in the next 20 years. I don’t even know what happen in the next 20 minutes, although there is a pretty good chance there will be messy yards and wet toilet seat involved. But there is also a pretty good chance there will be quiet moments, laughter, love and some awesome snowball fights. I will not keep waiting for someday, I will live now. Here is where I belong.