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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Scared Rabbit's Guide to Marriage

It’s a word I’m scared of, or at least scared of writing about. But I’m celebrating my wedding anniversary this week and don’t want to be shy or coy about that today. Still, it wasn’t on the list of things I’d thought I’d achieve–at least not at my wedding.

(Full disclosure: second wedding). I kept thinking, is this something I can even do? Seeing the light in my young son and soon to be husband’s eyes made me want to do it. But that didn’t mean I thought I could.

Marriage. What does it mean? Some people say “journey” or “commitment” which always sound like euphemisms to me. Some are repulsed by the idea of living with someone until they grow old or of monogamy. Others race to the altar, desperate to rid themselves of even the idea of being alone.

And some want the ideal of marriage but know that crumbles the very second you get home from the wedding. Why? 

Either we’ve seen too many movies or not enough. In the end I think it comes down to wanting someone who really knows you, flaws and all, and loves you madly anyway; and someone who feels like your own skin, only better. A best friend with sexy parts that can still make you laugh on a bad day. Not to mention soulmate.

Say what?

If you walked into a store and ordered a product like that, what would they tell you? "Can you invent one?" 

I guess you can always try. But at our wedding (pictured above), I wanted to try something new. We read a story to my son about a prince and princess who figured out that instead of being everything to each other, they could find their best selves. Doing so would give them the ability to enjoy (rather than save) each other. The story resonated with me and I've always tried to keep it, floating somewhere, throughout the marriage. Has it worked?

I think it has, she says, having just had  a really fun weekend with her guy. (We also made vows before the official ceremony, promising not to die (!) and to always have fun. So far, those promises have held.)

So, Jenna, is there a takeaway here?

I have absolutely no idea. No books, articles or links to recommend, either. The only thing I can really give you (beside my ramblings) is a quote from a Marlene Dietrich film: “Love is like gambling. If you’re not lucky, you shouldn’t even sit down at the table.”

If you do sit down, though, I hope you find someone as kind, funny and wonderful as I did. Looking back on it now, I should have bought more lottery tickets, because this gamble somehow, (against all odds) turned out well for me.

Am I crazy? Probably, if only in thinking I could win at that table. Lucky for me, I did.

Family photo