You know what kind of bugs me? And it’s not an issue with anyone else. It is clearly an issue with me. But here’s what bugs me…
Every wedding anniversary, the multitude of pictures that appear in my timeline showing the most beautiful brides in these picturesque scenes with a nice long Facebook message espousing all the virtues of their husband. To paraphrase:
“To the most wonderful man I’ve ever met in my life. You make the sun rise in the morning and at night, you hang the moon and the stars. You are not only ruggedly handsome and at your goal weight, but you also are the most amazing father to our children. The restraint you show with your burp and fart jokes around them tell me how much you respect and love me. I am forever grateful that you chose me to share your life. I know it’s only a matter of time before you cure cancer!”
So why does it bug me? Shouldn’t I be happy for other people’s happiness? Is it my fault that I have poorly trimmed bangs in my wedding photo and therefore will never display it on Facebook? Can it be helped after 13 years of marriage that we’re not at our goal weight? COULD YOU JUST STOP LOOKING SO PERFECT AND MAKING ME WISH I HAD YOUR LIFE?
And then I calm down and have a glass of wine. My husband and I sit around sharing the drama from our day and all of the online worlds I live in all day slowly disappear from view.
My husband is the one I’m thankful for.
When our anniversary rolls around, I don’t post those quaint and classic wedding photos. Mainly because we didn’t have digital back then. And of course, the bangs.
In fact, I don’t post too many pictures of my husband. He’s an adult with his own life and privacy. I will, however, give him credit for usually going along with my online world of madness. He’s a good sport and plays along willingly, especially if there’s a wine tasting involved. I don’t happen to think marriage is something to be discussed or dissected online or even (especially) in real life.
But I’m not talking about my marriage. I’m talking about my husband. He’s not perfect. He screws up plenty and he knows it. And sometimes I don’t let him forget it (he calls it clipping coupons).
The fact of the matter is that the further away we get from our wedding date, the harder it is to remember the early years. We forget about the time when we had butterflies in our tummies wondering if the other person felt the same. We forget that when we used to travel for work, we’d run up $500 phone bills on our calling cards because we missed each other so much.
And, like any married couple, we’ve been through a lot together. Just a week and a half after we got married, he went in for outpatient surgery. I was so incredibly worried about him and all the nurses thought it was so cute. I still remember him coming out of his anesthesia-induced fog telling me how he was going to make me the best soups and buy me a really nice car.
Two years later, I strapped full braces on my teeth, an attractive look for a married woman. In addition to the braces, I suffered years of crippling headaches where, at times, I almost lost the will to live. Anxiety and depression have also reared their heads over the years as I learn I’m not always the most go-with-the-flow kind of person. I’m moody, irritable, controlling, emotional, and just hard to understand (aren’t we all?) And he puts up with it all.
I’ve always said that I married a difficult man and then add “but I’m a difficult woman.” I figure it balances out.
We’ve been through careers and crises, love and loss, crazy diets and excessive meals. It’s been a lot of ups and downs and we now have a little boy in the mix. Although I’m proud to say I’ve created a mini-me, I can’t deny that genetically he is most certainly 50% my husband. Together, our crazy couple of two has become a quirky little family of three.
So why write this now? It’s not my anniversary. It’s not quite Thanksgiving (although some would call it the season of thanks). I wanted to post something on Veterans Day but didn’t want to seem too cliche. It was a day, however, where I really thought about my husband, Sean. I’m proud to say he is a veteran. In fact, I know that the work that he did while in the military directly saved the lives of Americans and has actually helped make this world a better place. You can’t say that about too many men out there.
He’s not picture perfect on Facebook but he’s the strongest, bravest man I know and he would move mountains for his family. And he’s a softie when it comes to animals. But what I’m thankful for most of all is that he loves me for me. Something I’ll never quite understand.