It’s been a while, hasn’t it. Sorry ’bout that, but between the malware/adware/underware o the computer that makes it nigh upon impossible to do anything without cursing and wanting to throw things, and the cold that morphed into bronchitis that turned into a raucous and debilitating cough, and the EXCITING NEWS about #3 and his sweetheart deciding to get married, well, I have been busy. Either coughing or cursing or cheering or researching lace options because….
#3’s sweetheart asked me to make her wedding dress. Or rather, #3 told her I could and she, being practical and recognizing the financial advantage as well as the cache’ of having a one-of-a-kind couture wedding dress for only the cost of the fabric, thought it was a fine idea.
In the mean time, the very idea that one of my sons is getting married has been emotional. I mean, this is the little kid with the long blonde curls and the big blue eyes and the charm and wait, isn’t he still 7 and likes mac and cheese from a box? Since when has it been acceptable for 7 year old boys to get married around here? Ok yeah we tend to marry young in the South but even here 7 is pushing it.
He’s not READY to get married!! But really, who ever is? Himself and I were 21 and 20 when we got engaged, and married just 6 months later. Were we READY? He didn’t have a good job, nor did I. He was a student in college and had no money, I was a steak-house waitress and had only what I made in tips more than he did. He lived in a shoe-box and I lived with my parents.
Now I look at #3 and his sweetheart. He’s 22 and she’s 20. He lives in a shoebox and she lives at home with her parents. He is a student and she works in a veterinarian’s office. When you put it all side by side, we were no more ready than they seem to be, and we have been solidly married for 27-1/2 years.
But who is ever ready? How much is enough money? When is it convenient or expedient or The Right Time? Some of the best times of our marriage were the times when we were down to $8 in the checking account, because it meant we could go to the Pizza Hut buffet. The prettiest Christmas tree we ever had was bought at half price because it was Christmas Eve, and it was very much the sad Charlie Brown type. The best gift he ever gave me was the box shaped like a button, made from scavenged materials because we had no money for buying gifts that year.
Struggles are important. They are the stuff memories and relationship muscles are made of. If everything is always wonderful, if you start out with the perfect house and the new furniture and shiny fabulous car and all those clothes, where is the struggle of scraping by and how do you learn to lean on each other when there is nothing else to lean on? I know my
child kid son and his sweetheart will struggle. I don’t fear for them with that.
Learning to live with someone, figuring out their habits and weirdnesses and noises are all apart of the learning curve. I firmly believe the learning should happen within the confines of a sanctified marriage relationship, one that makes it too difficult to get out of if you decide you can’t live with the aroma of the bathroom after the other one has been in there. Or the way s/he chews. Or farts in their sleep. Not that any of those things have ever been a problem here. Just examples off the top of my head. I remember when we had been married about 2 weeks. I woke up to find Himself changing the sheets on the bed, with me still in it. He was asleep. A couple of days later, I woke up in the night to the aroma of bacon and eggs. Himself was in the kitchen, cooking breakfast. At 1am. And he was asleep. Fortunately I assumed he had a very valid reason for those nocturnal activities, even asleep, so chose not to be terribly concerned. Eventually the nighttime stuff settled down and hasn’t happened for many, many years. I figure (in retrospect) it was the anxiety and stress of being newly married that caused it all. It could have been cause for a walkout, but it wasn’t. We were married, and the very idea of walking out wasn’t in our realm of thinking. Thank goodness for that, because several years later he would have his own reasons that would have had many men riding off into the sunset.
I am not a believer in ‘trial runs’ or ‘practice marriages’ or whatever you call it. Living together “to see if we’re compatible”. That’s nonsense. Like I said above, if you are living together to make sure there are no irritating habits, then you don’t have much of a commitment. If you want to live together in order to get whatever- regular sex, or share expenses, or someone to watch movies with- then be honest enough to say that. Don’t call it a practicing or a trial run, because marriage is not something you can take on a test drive, any more than borrowing a baby to see if you want to have one is a trial run for parenthood.
Anyway, the emotional roller coaster of realizing I might be losing a son, or I might be gaining a daughter, or maybe something in between, has been kind of rough. Mainly because I have no idea what to expect. The thought of one of my
children kids sons embarking on a…whatever you call it…my brain keeps comparing it to Magellan’s Voyage…is very exciting. I know it’s not like that because no one had ever done what Magellan did, and lots of people have been married, but it’s the first time HE has ever been married (and hopefully will be the last) and for him, that is a Magellan’s Voyage.
The whole making of the wedding dress has me in a loop as well, because 10 years ago I resigned myself to being The Mother Of The Groom, wearing beige and having nothing important to do, wedding-wise. Himself’s only role was to be signing a check for the rehearsal dinner. But now, I get to make The Most Important Dress she will ever wear, and that is a big responsibility. Yes, I am up for it, and am looking forward to it. I get to be a real part of this ceremony, not just the beige wearing mother-in-law. How cool is that?