Happily Ever After? After What?

Oh Julie! It’s just like we imagined! Today marks 17 years of joy! I am married to a beautiful woman with superior genetic potential who passed her best traits to our offspring! You are married to a man who is smart enough to get a decent job and dumb enough to go to it every day. It’s perfect!

Hands

Remember when we were first discussing marriage? I must have been 18 at the time…so wise! So ready for life! And you, just a year younger and going to college with me. We wore matching Carhartt jackets. How sweet! We looked at rings and we set a date and we bought some major appliances and then before you knew it we were all married and stuff. And that’s when the magic is supposed to happen. The magic. The wedded bliss. Happiness forever! Remember that honeymoon we didn’t go on because we were flat broke? Remember stretching a $5 bucket of fried chicken for a whole week with a little help from Ramen? Remember when we couldn’t even afford the Ramen and that homeless guy heard us arguing in Aldi and bought us a package of sausages with his food stamps? Remember telling that story to Joe and Peggy who then showed up at our house with a box of groceries so we could eat? (That was the last time we had cream of wheat in our house.) Remember the fights? Remember the time you were so angry you punched the refrigerator? Remember when I worked as a janitor at night while still a full-time student and I didn’t sleep for days at a time (and I had to re-take Microbiology with Dr. Singh)? Remember when we were both so sick we couldn’t get out of bed for about a week in that house we rented with the rotten kitchen floor and the broken sewer pipe in the basement? That was exactly the picture I had in mind when you said, “I do”…and that was just the first year! Happily ever after!

You are still the girl of my dreams but it’s not always dreamy is it? You know, that odd day when the sink is full of dishes and there is nothing to eat and I notice only too late that we have run out of toilet paper. Those days I might wish the ever after was a little different. But that’s part of the deal. Part of living with another human.

And here we are. We still don’t have enough money. We still get sick every year. We still fight. We still go short on sleep. There seems to be enough food though (especially eggs). I’m ready for some richer…some better…some health. But I remain by your side. I love you. I love only you. This is so much harder than we thought it would be when we were kids but I’m glad I’m facing it with you. We don’t always agree but I know we are on the same team. Side by side. Equal partners. Friends.

I know 17 is not a big number but it is a big deal to me. I love you Julie boo.

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4 thoughts on “Happily Ever After? After What?

  1. Those painful, early days make me wish I could have been around to make it easier, but the pain is important, too, and rescuing you might not have been the best for you. The last week I have been thinking about Jim Elliot’s quote, “Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.” It includes all these days, months, years. When I die, I don’t want to have wasted the daily life.

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