Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Two Years

It's been two years that I've been married. For kicks, I thought I'd revisit my thoughts surrounding the first year of my marriage. 

I took my vows on 4/20/09
Posted Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Usually, I do the dishes, take out the trash, clean the bathroom, and generally straighten up the apartment. In exchange, Chris does the laundry. Lately, however, my husband has been sleeping late, which means if we want our turn in the laundry rooms during the weekends, a competitive time for apartment laundry-doers, we have to get in early. In other words, I have to start the loads.
Yesterday, I hauled four loads down to the laundry room at 5AM, and as I threw clothes into the washer, something brushed my fingertip. It was a cluster of receipt paper in a pair of Chris's jeans; I pulled it out, mildly disappointed that it wasn't money, and noticing that there was no trash can anywhere, I held on to it.
When I got back to the apartment, I went to place the paper by Chris's keys, but then I noticed the writing. I got flashbacks to men I've dated, whose pockets would likely contain a girl's phone number. Maybe two. It wasn't that I suspected Chris, but the scene itself had that bitter nostalgic taste.
As I looked at the papers closely, I was immediately jealous. Chris's first love mocked me in her foreign language. Yes, friends, Chris had furiously scrawled all over these papers--math equations. He was practicing Entropy on the backs of found receipts. At one time, I would have laughed, but now, after six years with Chris (six months married), I simply smiled. My husband is a workaholic.
I will never understand Chris's passion for Entropy, but I do appreciate it as he appreciates me, typing away with no regard for human life or existence around me, hours at a time. Right now, I think we're perfect for each other.

Friday, November 13, 2009
Chris is currently on a business trip, the second this week, and I miss him. This could be considered evidence of his workoholism, or merely evidence of his company's trust in him as a representative. Either way, it's difficult for both of us when he travels so often: it means my schedule must adjust accordingly, to take proper care of the animals and ensure travel arrangements are in order. It means he is worn out and constantly making preparations. So, does this feel like a burden to me? Well...
Again, I miss him. But not too much. You see, I don't think love should be contingent on 24/7, in-your-face contact, but rather on a consistent amount of support and UNCONDITIONAL love. Sure, the husband has a few habits I'd like broken (fantasy football, TruTV...). And sure, there are a few things he wishes I would change (The amount of time I spend on the computer, the fact I don't cook, the fact that I forget to put on my wedding ring because I'm not used to wearing jewelry...) Moreover, I still find mathematical equations scribbled on loose sheets of paper; but hey, that's love in this house (apartment).
So far so good, right? Yeah, I think we're good. We're good. 
Verdict: ___________
I'll post on this again at the one year mark. 

Monday, April 20, 2010 A Meditation on Marriage: Year One

The first thing I learned about marriage is that it's not at all the way anyone, especially married people, told me it would be.  It's been a year, and now I wake up each morning and put on my wedding ring without thinking, just the same way I brush my teeth and put on my shoes before leaving the house.  But other than this, what's really changed?

Chris and I had spent six years living together before taking what some people refer to as the plunge, and when we both woke up on the morning of our wedding day, we agreed that we would not change; we were happy, and we entered matrimony with cautious optimism.  When I say cautious, I might mean anxious, scared as hell.  Let me be clear, I wasn't worried that I wasn't marrying the right man nor was I concerned that Chris wasn't in love with me.  What worried me were the numerous divorces I'd witnessed, including my own parents divorce, and the pathetic statistics attached to lasting marriages.  What was marriage doing to people?  The union itself seemed to have the power to consume the most passionate relationships I'd witnessed and I worried about it's destructive powers.
Truthfully, we were doing it for practical reasons, to ensure we could take care of each other and commit to each other under the imposing umbrella of society.  We were partners, and willing to do whatever to prove this to the world, but marriage was mysterious and everyone's advice: contradictory, conciliatory; as their wisdom, warnings, etc... worried us both.
OK, OK, so what's changed?  What's changed is, I suspect, the same changes that would have occurred had we not married.  We have only become closer and more connected on an emotional level.  Sure, we have arguments, usually just because one or the other of us is in a bad mood; and there are certain days we're both in bad moods and these fights turn to uneasy silences.  But here's the thing, they never last.  Wether or not we find common ground on a matter, we always discuss it, and we discuss it soon after we argue, and as a result, the subject of the argument finds it's place on the totem pole, far below our commitment, married or no.
So, communication is good.  Practically, change has occurred in the form of combined debts, combined assets, combined paperwork, and this is messy.  But, perhaps given the fact that we both earned masters degrees under the Bush regime, we owe a lot of money, and therefore don't fight over money (a thing we don't yet have).
I have to say it, the mysterious nature of marriage isn't so mysterious anymore.  It's surprisingly comforting, and it's taught me to wear jewelry regularly, but other than that, I'm proud to say, the plunge was nothing to fear after all.  Sure, some would say, we're still newlyweds, but we're still taking risks together, for the good of each other, and I doubt we'll stop.
Over the weekend, for instance, we shared the cake we'd frozen (as was suggested to us by a friend) a year ago, and, equally worried that the icing wouldn't hold up as well as we had, we toasted with bite-sized pieces of defrosted cake and took another plunge, hoping, wishing, cautiously optimistic that we wouldn't get food poisoning.  So far, so good.

The beauty of today, April 20th, 2011, is that I'm still happily married. 
The practical reasons, ironically, haven't panned out too well. Chris's insurance hasn't been very good at all, and I haven't changed my name, so sometimes we still have to explain that we're married.
Yep! We're still here, still in love, and I don't have any disgusting, old cake to eat to prove it (neither of us suffered from food poisoning, but Chris's stomach was a little achy after that cake last year). Sure, as we age our ears have grown and little lines are forming around our eyes, but ears just give a person something to pull on when nervous, and most of the lines are from smiling. I can honestly say, at the two year mark, I have no complaints. Then again, I hear the three year marker is make or break ... knowing that our marriage is not guaranteed to last is the very thing that keeps us (me) thankful to have each other (him). (Yes, I'm talking for Chris. I can do that. We're married, after all.) 

So here's to another year! To the love of my life! (It must be harder for him than me. Luckily, he doesn't write.) 


  1. What a sweet post, Jen. Happy anniversary - and to many more. If you were together for six years before, you've got it covered :-)! I celebrated my 10th last November. It's nice to have a partner who's in it "with" you. Congrats!

  2. Thanks, Melissa. It was a great day :)

    A happy, happy 10th to you!

  3. What a wonderful post. Sometimes the sarcasm and bitterness is thrown around so much in blog-dom that it's nice to see something full of hope and practical idealism ( i don't know if that's a real phrase).

  4. Jen, that was such a beautiful post. Happy Anniversary!

    Jennifer, you would be surprised by how much sensitivity is hidden behind sarcasm and bitterness....


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