Saturday, February 14, 2015

Because I didn't buy a card and you never eat the chocolate I give you

Child 3 asked me a question today that I gave the best answer for and made me seem like a parent who completely has it all together. OK, actually I flubbed it. Stuttered and did that stupid parent thing where you say what do you think the answer is honey? And the question was what is it like to be married. And I answered first that it's exactly what you think it is, and then I said what do you think it's like because I thought for a minute she might say it was like this.

But she said she thought it was like being with the love of your life every moment of every day. Yep. Nailed it. Except that you don't spend every moment of every day together. And it's not like this all the time. Or actually even some of the time or ever at all. Husband and I never waltz, not even at the Marine Corps Ball where mostly they line dance and do the Electric Slide. And I don't own any ball gowns that sparkle and if Husband ever wore epaulets, I would not be able to make it to the ball because I would be laughing so hard I would cry all my makeup off.

So now that we've debunked the Happily Ever After myth, what is it like being married? And the answer is I don't know. I can only try to describe what it's like to be married to Husband which is I hope what you meant because I don't know what it is like for anyone else to be married. I only have my own experience to draw from. So here I go.

You know that montage scene in Up that makes you cry and shows Carl and Ellie's life together and it's lovely and touching and makes you want to be friends with cartoon characters because they had an awesome marriage and Ellie seems like so much fun? You know, this one?

Image result for montage from up

Yep. It's like that. Only I don't wear yellow and we never go on picnics and life is waaaaay slower than a montage and they don't show the parts about stomach flu and hospital tests and car crashes and there is no soundtrack  unless you count NPR constantly playing in the background and our house is totally not as clean as theirs and we don't have armchairs. So, it's not really like that at all. But if you took all the beautiful and fun and exciting parts of our marriage, they would make a lovely montage. And you could set it to "It Had to Be You" by Harry Connick Jr. which is our song. So, Husband, here are some of the moments I would pick to show what it's like to be married to you.

The time when we had just met and went ice-skating with friends and Husband held my hand and swung me around in a circle.

That drive up the canyon when Husband said he loved me for the first time.

Watching Sister 2 catch the bouquet.

When I almost died in Korea and Husband carried me to the hospital in his arms.

That time when we found out we lost the baby and Husband held me all night while I cried. And Husband cried, too.

When I yelled at Husband for watching the NBA playoffs while I was in the hospital in labor with Child 1, after 40 hours. Of labor. Just saying.

When I yelled at Husband for chatting with his dad on the phone while I was in the hospital in labor with Child 2 and he was supposed to be counting while I pushed and instead talked to his dad.

When we had the best. birth. ever! with Child 3 and nobody yelled even once.

The day we moved into our first house.

And then the day when we moved out of it 8 months later and drove across the country to our new home.

When we found Child 2 inside the Christmas tree and she knocked it down and broke every single ornament and we laughed and laughed.

When Husband taught Child 1 to ride a bike.

That time when the sweet potatoes in Asia were yellow and the casserole for Thanksgiving looked like snot and the children loved it.

That time we lost Child 3 for a minute when she was 1 and we searched all over the house and found her playing in the bathtub in her Sunday dress and tights and shoes completely happy. Oh, and the bathtub was full of water.

Husband eating lasagna for every single birthday for 22 years. (Except for the one he was in Afghanistan.)

When we brought The Dog home and she hated Husband and tried to eat him.

When Husband passed the Foreign Service Exam and then I did.

All those times Husband tried to give my visa applicants advice and they looked at him like he was crazy.

The most romantic dinner ever in Bali that also included the children in our private villa with the pool. (Can we add that one in twice? That was awesome.)

The cruise where Child 3 got freaked out by the child care employees because they went on an alien hunt and Child 3 was scared of aliens under her bed for years.

When Husband and Child 2 used to sing karaoke together--usually Queen songs.

That time Husband left for Afghanistan.

That time Husband came home from Afghanistan.

The day Child 1 graduated from high school.

There is way more to come later because we're not done and life isn't a movie.

So there you have it, Child 3. 22 years is a lot to put in a montage. I'm sure I'm forgetting some things. I deliberately left out some things. What it's like to be married to Husband is sometimes fun, sometimes hard, sometimes joyful, and sometimes scary, but always, always good and I wouldn't trade a minute of it for everything. Except the Afghanistan explosion incident. That I would give up freely. And maybe The Dog. We could cut her out of the montage altogether, although then Child 1 would never forgive me.

But the honest answer is, being married to Husband is better than a brownie. Does that answer your question?


  1. Wait, dad was talking with grandpa while I was being born?

    - Child 2

  2. Yes, darling Child 2. But he hung up after I yelled at him to hang. up. the. phone! To be fair, you did take 13 1/2 hours and 2 1/2 hours of pushing, so he was probably tired and bored of counting. Still, all he had to do was count. I did all the rest of the work. :-)

  3. Best. Montage. Ever.