Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Now thankful for things I once hated

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak to a young bride as she prepared for her upcoming nuptials. In my infinite wisdom of ten years of marriage, I was able to pinpoint one of the strangest aspects of marriage I had encountered thus far:
"The things I once hated about him, I now love." 
And I think this makes for a wonderful Thanksgiving post. Maybe you can relate.

AN 80-YEAR-OLD MAN TRAPPED INSIDE
I often joked in our 20's that my husband was clearly possessed by the 80 year-old-man inside of him. He was always thinking of things I didn't think of! If you go back to the buffet for more goat cheese, you will get sick. If you tell someone you will be there at 9, you shouldn't show up at 11:30. If you are going to get a Master's degree, get a professional one. You cannot buy a puppy when you are about to go on tour.

It was SO. BORING! I didn't get it.

Now that we have IRA's and 401k's and I can take my kids to the Please Touch Museum and order extra treats without a care in the world, I am so very grateful that the girl who often had about $8 in her checking account decided to hook up with this guy. He makes me feel confident in the rules of the game. Knowing I'm dressed appropriately and not making a total a$$ of myself has its perks. I'm a bit sorry for him that he never got to wear fuchsia socks and birkenstocks to the local jazz fest, but something tells me he was never gonna do that.

FREE PARKING
Even, just this Sunday, I circled a few blocks in Center City looking for free parking before the half marathon. I had an overwhelming sense of defeat when I had to pull it into a little lot and pay the man $20 to not watch my car all morning. I harkened back to my first half marathon luck and cursed my fate as I headed out on the run course.

Although I now find it a sick challenge to find free parking wherever we go (or, at the very least, think far enough ahead to bring a coupon and find some kind of discount), I many times have declared I was going to break up with this man because of his obsession with it.

I think that if I had asked him when we first got together, if he could receive free parking for the rest of his life, no matter where he went, or marry me, he would have most certainly chosen the free parking. Maybe he played too much monopoly in his childhood and believed there to be some secret pot of cash lurking in the alternate side parking area, or maybe he is, at the very core of himself, cheap as hell. What's most probable, and what he would probably say, ironically, since he manages shopping centers and parking lots for a living, is that there is no inherent value in the parking, so why should he pay for it? When a lot exists down the street, but he could just WAIT IN HIS CAR FOR 55 MINUTES for free parking on the street, he would always choose the latter. I got to the point where I would wave to him from my apartment window and refuse to wait in the car with him, even though I hadn't seen him in days and was looking forward to our date. Dates which, by the way, could never start before 7 pm because we were never quite sure if he would make it to the 6 pm side of the street, or the 7 pm side. It was like getting a golden ticket if I was miraculously graced with my then-boyfriend's presence before 7.

I think all of this has changed, by the way, with Mayor Bloomberg's campaigns. He not only filled the coffers of the parking lot operators, he may have also saved a couple of marriages...

NO GRAY AREAS
Speaking of when we first started dating, we had a long distance relationship. This only lasted a few months, and we had a plan down the line to be in the same city, but I thought, for those precious first months, being the swinging single that I was, what would be the problem with me dating a few guys up here, and him dating a few girls down there? Nothing naughty, just social time, really. This was not an option for him, and he declared his intentions. And knowing his dating history like I did, I knew this to be absolutely true. There was no gray area. It was 100% or 0%. So I complied. Oh so many men in the NYC were disappointed that year...[hardy har har.]

Now that we have been together for fourteen years, I could not be HAPPIER and more relieved that he is this type of guy. There ARE no gray areas, people. There is no sext-ing and casual dinners and flirty glances across the room. He's all mine and I'm all his. We are stupidly in love and devoted to each other. This is a great sense of comfort as I approach my 40s. I have my ups and downs in my career, my weight, my parenting, but in my marriage: nothing is shaky. This is the foundation for my world and probably the thing for which I'm most grateful. NO gray. (Except on our heads.)


So there you have it...another sappy post about this guy. Gross. Try not to puke up your turkey!!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 

I'm also so grateful for all of you, whoever you are, 
that engage with me in this conversation of life. 
Have a great weekend.

What are you thankful for that you 
NEVER thought you would be?

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