I’ve heard it said that the secret to a long term marriage making it through the rough times and surviving is summed up only in the idea that neither one of you pull a suitcase down from the attic on the same day. There will be hard times, there will be days when you pretty much decided that you can’t take anymore of his particular brand of asshattery, or he can’t possibly be subjected to your asshattery any longer (it’s not you babe, it me). But it really does condense itself down to just that basic idea: Don’t Give Up On The Same Day.
After almost 12 years, some of them involving the toughest things I have ever been through,along with the typical bumps in the road….wedding day (fa la la), kids (what the hell were we thinking?!), and moving….lots of moving, I can share a little bit about my personal journey and how we’ve survived more than 10 Mid-February honey-bunch-sugar-plum-pumpy-umpkin exchanges and why these days I really could care less about V-Day.
Almost 12 years ago (in May, actually) I started dating someone I’d met while out dancing and we hit it off well. For the first 9 months, I’m sure we were insufferable until we moved in together. I can say that for the first several months we ….umm….didn’t go out much. We spent a lot of time at his apartment, but I can tell you the first movie we went to see was “The Horse Whisperer” and the first slow song we danced to was “Love of my Life” by Sammy Kershaw and Teri Clark. And that “our song” has always been Goodnight Sweetheart by David Kersh.
We were the affectionate, in love, over the top romantic couple that made most people around us retch. But we went through a lot that is sort of earmarked for destroying people, and marriages. Especially if either one of them were young and vulnerable. Paul and I lost a little girl about 2 1/2 years into our marriage and, simply put, it flattened us each individually. But we came back…after years of hurting, we reached to each other and not away, and that proved to be just as important of a point as the not giving up on the same day thing.
So, I have to wonder sometimes about the not being over-the-top romantic tendencies I have now. Does that mean I don’t love him? No, and I also believe that it’s not about being in love for 40 years, it’s about finding reasons to love that person and fall in love with them over and over. By nature, and experience, I have become the kind of person that internalizes everything…both good and bad (leading to my d.h. to ask me to please start writing again, apparently I am more livable when I’m writing). Do the people that express love in loud and outrageous way have something I’m missing? Or is it really okay to just love quietly?
Which bring me back to this ridiculous pink and red Hallmark holiday. Is it really designed for those that have been together less than six months and are therefore in the still nauseating stage? I think so. I don’t think my d.h. needs a reason to buy me chocolates, diamonds, or flowers. In fact, I’d rather he did it for no reason at all. It’s kind of like doghouse flowers…don’t wait until you screw up to do something nice. Love me a little bit every day. Then I have no need for a silly heart shaped holiday.