As part of this whole saying-yes-to-life thing I agreed to go to a dinner at a friend of Z’s house a few Fridays ago. And I told him to volunteer us for dessert duty. The next morning I asked him what he wanted me to make.
Z, “Nothing complicated.”
Me, “Actually, baking does relax me.”
Z, “That is completely untrue. This is you when you aren’t baking” And he stood there completely still with a blank look on his face. “This is you when you are baking.” He scrunched up his face. In a scary voice he said, “Don’t. Talk. To. Me. Leave me alone. I am very tense.” Suddenly he spun around and walked away. “I’ve got to poop.”
He was totally right. If I’m anxious I do freak when baking. But forget about all that. His silly little story cracked me up for days. I get that you might not agree it’s funny, but he wasn’t trying to make you laugh. He knows his audience, exactly what to say to appeal to me. And I adore it.
During our trip to DC one of my friends made an offhanded comment about Z and I having a passionate marriage. Or at least it seeming like that from what I post on FB. I was really shocked that passion was what she got from my posts which are usually designed to amuse. And I was worried that I was somehow fake-portraying a perfect relationship-what a very dear friend refers to as acting like the “smug marrieds”.
Z and I have a far from perfect marriage. We drive each other nuts daily. I’m a hideous nag, he could be a hell of a lot more careful about basically everything. But we also sincerely like each other. And I think that makes all the difference for me. When we almost split up around 7 years ago we didn’t like each other at all. It was a huge uphill battle to get back to get our friendship back. I actually like him a hell of a lot more now than I did the day we were married.
It is so easy to take the daily stuff in our lives for granted. I do it with him, our kids, our wonderful life constantly. But somehow the almost-end of our marriage and the slow climb back to a functioning relationship-you know what? Strike that. The transition to a functioning relationship for the first time in our mutual history had a big enough impact on me that I still revel in how much we enjoy each other. Don’t know if it’s passion (I mean, can passion include so many poop jokes?) but I’ll take it. Even with the irritating day to day stuff, even with the bigger stuff that we go to therapy to deal with. The intimacy and enjoyment I have with him is one of the best parts of my life.
I don’t believe in soul mates. I think I could be just as happy with thousands of people out there. Differently happy, but happy all the same. I also don’t take forever for granted. In fact, I live in constant fear that we’ll get lazy about being together, or one of us will change, or some huge life altering event will happen and we won’t be able to get past it and our relationship will end. Marriage is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And I’m including pushing two babies out of my vagina in that statement. A lifetime is very short, but the day to day stuff does feel like it goes on forever. Just because Z and I are happy now doesn’t mean we will be in 10 years. It’s a terrifying thought, but it keeps me honest. Yes, our marriage is the hardest thing I’ve ever done–it’s also the best. I hope I choose our particular kind of fucked up happiness for the rest of my life.