Wedding Bliss Photo. I was so stressed (the food was running low, someone was yelling for the pizza delivery number), Joe has already started to have a good time, and Cole perfect, of-course.
December 23, 2000.
It was my wedding anniversary today. If Joe had not fallen victim to the “until death do us part” portion of our marriage contract, we would be celebrating 12 years of wedded bliss…or one of us would have been in jail for killing the other. It could have gone either way.
This past summer, my sister-in-law’s mother (whom I just love) had a heart to heart with me and basically said that I had better get busy and find someone to marry—after all, I wasn’t getting any younger—and that Cole would be leaving for college before I knew it and I would be alone. ALL ALONE. She then became worried that she had offended me (after she pointed out a few strands of gray in my hair). She hadn’t in the least; it had all been said before, and from people who cared about me far less. And, of course, my own sweet Mom agrees. Being a mom, I get that having her only child in a wonderful, caring relationship would be very reassuring, in case she doesn’t live forever. (Ha. We are not even going there. Thank me.)
The simple answer is: I don’t have suitors lined up waiting to propose, and I can’t imagine going on a date. I remember years ago going on a coffee date and glancing at my watch and being shocked only 15 minutes had passed since we sat down, because it felt like four hours. My mother would say I was being a big baby—so would my sister-in-law’s mother—but I’m telling you, this coffee date was excruciatingly painful. The guy was duller than the dullest dishwater. I think this one coffee date scarred me for life.
Interestingly, Joe and I found each other over a cup of weak tea at a Jungian event. We never dated. We went out, fought, broke up and went out again, repeating the same pattern for a year or so until finally we had a baby and decided to get married. I have no idea how people suffer through the dating process and find a mate. It’s torture.
Marriage is hard work. I married in my 30s and had plenty of time to look around, observe and confirm what I already suspected…marriage is not all Champagne and wedding cake. However, until I was seriously committed to Joe, I had no idea how much work it really is. The advice I always handed out so liberally to my friends about how to handle their spouses was woefully inadequate in my own practice. I never suggested, for example, that the best way to get your partner’s attention might be to swing a lamp at his or her head. (Before you feel too sorry for Joe, remember that he was the one who said that if he had known fate was going to hand him me, he would prayed for the calling to the priesthood when he was a kid.) I’ve also noticed that if a marriage survives those first pivotal 30 years, couples start to surrender to the marriage process. Not because of love—although that of course is a part of it, and I’m not just saying that to be nice—but because at this point they have a three-decade-plus investment in each other and are tired of fighting about toothpaste tops and replacing the TP. This phase is usually identified by one spouse or another saying something like, “We realize what is important now.” But I don’t have 30 years to invest in forging a relationship.
Fine. You’re right. I am afraid. I am living through the “until death do us part” portion of my marriage vows, and it sucks. So for the time being, my relationship status is still “married.” Ot at best “it’s complicated.” However, If you know someone who is interested in marrying an odd widow with one teen and a houseful of tail waggers, who does not cook, have him call me. I dare you. Ha.
While I was having my nails done today, “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” played on the radio. At Starbucks, the song “Imagine” started to play as I waited for my coffee. (To understand the significance of these songs, click here). Poor Joe even in heaven (I’m certain of it. I think) our relationship is complicated.