Short Walk down a Long Aisle
We had images of white picket fences, farm animals and puppy dogs. Well, the only white picket fence around here is the one down the road and it is fairly dilapidated. And farm animals? Please. You can take a city girl and put her in the sticks, but she is still a city girl. The only farm animals I want to have are the ones neatly processed and served on my plate. As for puppy dogs, well, we're working on it. (Tank Cletus Otis Brutus Figaro Finnagan Hoss Ralph, Mommy loves you. But we really need to settle on a name for you or we might have a problem when we are out in the park!)
The reality of marriage is slightly different than our hazy romantic visions. Reality involved student loans, credit card debt and a 600 square foot home out in the middle of nowhere. Reality is three kids, two miscarriages and one granite marker. Real life meant watching a father struggle to live, and another father become crippled. Reality brought with it two mother in laws who dislike each other and a gaggle of inlaws to complicate family gatherings.
But all in all, the reality of marriage is better than what either the hubs or I pictured. Sure, my beloved was heart broken to realize marriage doesn't involve me wearing a french maid's outfit every night and serving his every sexual craving, but the fact that he gets laid on a semi-regular basis is enough to keep him happy. And me, well, truth be known, I was a little disappointed when I learned that my man didn't develop bulging biceps along with his newly found beer belly, but I am happy knowing that he doesn't complain when I spend a small fortune on shoes and nasal piercings.
That short walk down the long aisle produced a married couple who love each much more now than the day they took that stroll. Because now, when I sit on the toilet and my ass touches the freezing cold water because my darling hubs has forgotten to put the lid down, I know that he loves me. And when he goes to grab his last beer to settle in for the game, and discovers it has already been drunk - by me, well, I'm sure he knows I love him dearly.
Because nine years means we can steal each other's beer. Nine years means we can walk around naked, not comb our hair and pick each other's zits. (Ok, I can't do that last one, but it's a nice thought.) Nine years means pillow fights, chasing the kids around the house while making monster noises and munching on popcorn while watching lame "age appropriate" movies. Nine years means letting the little battles go, so you can focus on the really big war. (Usually, involving a mother-in-law.)
If I had to do it again, I would. In a heart beat. Because every tear shed these last nine years has been followed by a hearty smile. Every argument has been chased with compassionate love. (And let's face it, in nine years, there hasn't been an argument that I haven't won.) The 600 square foot house was replaced with a larger, prettier home. Filled with kids, toys and love.
So I toast you dear hubs. And I look forward to the next nine years. Because I figure there is still time to train you to pick up your own damn socks and learn how to put the f&*king toilet seat down. And maybe, if I'm really lucky, I can get you to put the cap back on the toothpaste. And I promise, one day soon, I will buy that french maid outfit. I might even wear it.