Monday, June 23, 2014

to blave

i wrote a post a little while back about marriage. true love. soul mates. and i feel like i sort of need to clarify. i said everyone deserves someone who "completes them," a la jerry maguire, but that would imply that you had some sort of void that needed to be filled, and that's not what i meant. both halves of a good marriage should be able to stand on their own. if you're looking for someone else to have "the answers," you are surely going to end up disappointed. that reminds me of this great quote from that movie the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind:

"too many guys think i'm a concept, or i complete them, or i'm gonna make them alive. but i'm just a fucked-up girl who's lookin' for my own peace of mind; don't assign me yours."

this has actually happened to me a few times. i guess it probably happens to everyone. people fall in love with the idea of you, which is a lot of friggin' pressure because there's no way you can live up to the platonic ideal of yourself. once they scratch the surface, "the real me" is revealed in all its hot, sweaty, squishy, hairy, naggy, messy glory.

that reminds me of another one of my favorite movie quotes from good will hunting:

"you're not perfect sport, and i'll save you the suspense. this girl you met? she's not perfect, either. the question is whether or not you're perfect for each other."

i certainly do not intend to send my son and daughter into the world on some wild goose chase for their perfect disney prince/princess fairytale. nobody is going to rescue you from the castle. nobody is going to save you from your wicked stepmother. nobody is going to set you free. nobody but yourself.

my underlying argument in my last marriage post is that (i believe) there IS such a thing as truly, madly, deeply. and that everyone deserves that. i don't think people should just get married because they are worried they won't find anything better, or their ovaries are starting to get moldy, or they are dangerously close to becoming a Cat Lady. i believe there is a person, or, more likely, a generous handful of people, who can increase the sum total of happiness in your soul. not who provide you the answers to some deep lingering questions about the meaning of life or your place in the world, but who push and inspire you to be your best self, and make your time on this earth better for being there.

my definition of a soul mate is someone who, ultimately, loves YOU more than the IDEA of you. and that is a pretty rare find.

and again. i am not saying it is perfect, or a fairytale. far from it. and i plan to share with my children the good, the bad, and the ugly.

the love of Mackenzie and Daddy Mack rose from inglorious beginnings. well. that's not true. it was pretty glorious. amidst the rice and beans and smelly bar mats of Fred's Mexican CafĂ© and Typhoon Saloon, we began a torrid, tequila-fueled love affair that carried us from the beaches of san diego to the beaches of the caribbean and back again. but even in the beginning we were not without our problems. i had left mr "perfect on paper" for mr. older, dark and mysterious bar manager guy and perhaps failed to cut DM some slack when the reality of him differed from both the idea of him, and the idea of my ex. meanwhile, DM was, by virtue of proximity, drawn into tension-filled family negotiations over whether or not i should adopt my kid brother as i ventured into to law school. add to that the fact that DM and i were attending different law schools in the fall, 500 miles apart. this was a lot to handle for two people who hadn't even been together a year. it proved to be too much. he cheated on me with a somewhat unfortunate-looking girl who smelled like stale cigarettes and old-man-B.O. we broke up.

i used to swear with such conviction that i would never, ever, take someone back that cheated on me. you can say a lot of things before they happen to you. eventually, we got back together. even then it was not smooth sailing. people always say the first year of marriage is hard, but i like to joke that our first year of marriage was a piece of cake because we had already had every single fight that one couple could possibly have in a lifetime. seriously. we once argued for literally 6 hours once over whether not DM would smoke cigarettes once our imaginary children were born. i guess, in my crooked little mind, i did not want to commit my heart again unless this was IT, so i wanted to make sure that all eventualities were accounted for.

ANYWAY. we made it through, with flying colors, if i may say so myself. we made two beautiful, if slightly insane and preternaturally stubborn little cheese-its. DM is my rock, my voice of reason, my cheerleader, my partner in crime, the angel AND the devil on my shoulder, my best friend. he's my prince charming-ish. in high tide or in low tide, he'll be by my side.

i'm sure, someday, down the road, there will be more fights to fight. and we will fight them with grit, tenacity, and frequent cites to prevailing legal principles. i am hoping there will be no more smelly beasties vying for a piece o' my hunka hunka burnin' love, but you never know.

on infidelity - i used to think that when you were IN LOVE (which is supposed to last FOREVAH-EVAH), you would never even LOOK at another person "like that." i still like to pretend in my mind that that is true. but now that i am older and wiser, i realize that is probably not a realistic expectation. my husband works with all women. he goes to vegas twice a year. he travels for business on occasion. there are going to be women who catch his eye. and i get that now. first of all, as much as it pains me to admit, i am no spring chicken. it's so sad. i'm so vain. i wish i could turn back time and freeze my physical self at the age of 22 forever. but that's not gonna happen, and vegas is chock full of 22 year olds that look better than i ever did. second, that feeling In The Beginning - where you're not sure if you're in love or you've contracted malaria? sadly (yet also thankfully), that does not last forever. and i can understand how, if confronted with that, you might be tempted to dive back into that (temporary) bliss.

but, i think of it like this. we knew this guy in the virgin islands. he was our "frenchy" landlord. he was a crazy, old, awesome, alcoholic. seriously, he put 151 in his coffee every morning. and i feel like i should mention, just for added color, that he had the "triple crown" of genital piercings. anyway. the first night we met him, he had picked us up at the airport with one of DM's friends. (we sat in two lawn chairs strapped to the bed of his truck with bungee cords.) we proceeded to pub crawl our way through st. thomas. on our second or third drink at our third or fourth bar, DM suggested we eat some food. and crazy jimmy replied, "are you kidding me? i've got $30 invested in this buzz. i'm not gonna go ruining it with dinner!" in this story - i'm the buzz. get it? you've put some serious time and effort into that shit, and you don't wanna go undermining those efforts by eating dinner, even if it does look inviting and delicious. (or, as was once the case, looks sort of like a troll doll in serious need of a V05 hot oil treatment.*) this is especially true because dinner, though possibly quite divine, will be over before you know it, and now you're sober and you have heartburn.

the officiant at our wedding - one of my mom's best friends - said during the ceremony, "you are now husband and wife, but you must wake up every morning and decide to be married." and that is something that we have to remember, in the midst of the chaotic monotony of "grown up life." decide, every day, to be married. and that is what me and my prince charming-ish will continue to do :)

Hobo Marriage Vows
We are in accord with the following:
1. You are the way you are, and, it's OK for you to be that way.
2. May my love for you always be greater than my need for you.
3. May I always do what's right even if it's not what I want.
4. To help you be a success in your way.

links i like:

The Lie and the Truth About Marriage on Momastery.com - i basically love everything this woman has to say. luckily i still get the butterflies, though admittedly, it is not the default state that it once was.

My Husband is Not My Soul Mate on Trustychucks.com - a friend of mine posted this recently and it is apropos. i don't buy into the whole "married to god/soul mates with god" bit, but i highly approve of her general message.

and of course this oldie but goodie: holy crap this really is a four diamond hotel - they have gourmet butt wipes (a post about marriage, kinda) by yours truly

* please excuse my spite. i have forgiven but i have not forgotten. oh but that does remind me of the best advice i ever got surviving any major speed bump in your relationship: if you really want it to work out, you can't keep beating the person over the head with the infraction, e.g., "omigod i can't believe you left the milk out, this is like that time you cheated on me, you bastard!" hopefully that does not include using said incident as blog fodder. and to that end... sorry it's been a while, but this post was held up under review by my content editor. ultimately it passed muster ;)

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