I Always Feel Like... Somebody's Watching Me!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Two Solos, One Duet

Our wedding at the Pittsburgh Aviary in 2004

 This past weekend, Gregory and I celebrated seven years of marriage. SEVEN. For some readers, that will sound like an eternity. For others, you might be thinking, ha! try thirty!

 I get caught up in the numbers because:

(1) How can I be old enough to be celebrating my 7th wedding anniversary?
(2) I have never even stayed at a job for that long.
(3) The past seven years have literally felt like seven minutes. We were just on our honeymoon. Yet, we are surrounded by three small people that we have somehow given life to in that span of time.

Boozin it up on our honeymoon cruise!

 We attended a family wedding in June and friends of the bride were stalking the guests for marriage advice and memories for a video scrapbook. If I am like most people, I was dreading the moment the video camera came around to me for advice. It's so hard to quantify in words the concept of marriage and true partnership, let alone give someone else tips on how to do it right! There are some basics I know (fidelity, honesty, kindness, respect and humor), but many that I don't. I remember babbling something off the top of my head and hoping that I didn't sound like an idiot.

  I could spend this entire post gushing about all the ways I love my husband. He is kind, giving, thoughtful, patient, affectionate, respectful, hilarious, really attractive, a great kisser... and I'll stop there before the romance gets on your nerves. :) But what I am most grateful for? Gregory is my partner in every way. Having three little kids often gets in the way of our communication and time sometimes (or on a daily basis), but I know that he will do whatever it takes to make our life work together. We don't have the type of marriage where there is "woman's work" or "man's work"; we define those things for ourselves. So here is my public thank you and appreciation for all that you are, Gregory! You have brought me so much joy and I am thankful for you.

 As for marriage advice and what I have learned through seven years of partnership, there are two standards mantras that married couples hear. The first is that "you should never go to bed angry". To be completely honest, I think that advice is pretty tired. And Gregory will probably laugh at that because one of my faults is that I actually like to go to bed angry. Or more specifically, I like to process my anger and hold it in until I can get my thoughts into words. That doesn't happen automatically for me at bedtime. I could write you a ten page letter describing my feelings before I could actually tell you out loud. The fact remains that all people process disagreements, anger and resolution in different ways and I don't necessarily think that going to bed angry is bad for all couples. It's what you do with that anger in the morning that counts.

 The second piece of advice refers to the bible verse describing how the man and woman leave their parents and start a new family. If I have learned anything, this advice is crucial. It doesn't mean that you abandon your parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and grandparents: but when you get married (even without the thought of having children), your spouse should become your primary concern. Just like other relationships are special, the bond between you and your partner deserves it's own protection and recognition. It's part of growing up, part of forging a new life.

 But what the hell do I know?

 I know that we celebrated our anniversary with the new wok Gregory bought for me (us). We made green bean and zucchini tempura, banana mango daiquiris, thai chicken with cilantro sauce... and subsequently did not have any room for dessert. I can't wait to try the bamboo steamer.

 Gregory gave me a beautiful collage of pictures this past Christmas, with a quote that rings true for me every day....

 "A long marriage is two people trying to dance a duet and two solos at the same time." 

  Amen to that. Here's hoping to 70+ more years of balancing our solos and duet!

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