Monday, February 18, 2013

I'd Marry Him Again

Hubby and I thought hard about what to give each other for Valentine's Day. I wiped out the refrigerator and put away empty milk bottles (that have been sitting on the counter for weeks), and he came home early from work. True love people, true true love. 
a friend's facebook posting on February 14, 2013

This December my husband and I got to spend a long weekend in Las Vegas without our kids. We were at such a happy place in our relationship, and I was so excited to be getting on an airplane for a getaway with my man, that I had the urge to do some grand gesture to express my love for him. Like, something crazy. And what I kept thinking was, "We should go get married!" 

I listen to a lot of country music. And in country music, when you're madly in love, you run off to Vegas and get hitched.  (How did the whole getting-married-in-Vegas thing start? Because as it stands now, Las Vegas is definitely not geared toward helping people stay married. I mean, the strip clubs, ample ways to lose the family fortune, not to mention an ad campaign that endorsed adultery. But I digress.) 

I am a fan of grand and crazy gestures. At the risk of sounding like a De Beers diamond commercial, I'd like to show Jeff that I'd marry him all over again. But what I have discovered is that marriage is not really built for that. Or perhaps my marriage isn't, having married an architect, which means my spouse's mind is one part creative and one part engineer, but all parts definitely have their place, time, and prudent duration. 

When I expressed to Jeff my wild desire to get married in a Vegas chapel (I would have done it, truly!), the idea didn't exactly melt his butter (sorry, more country music influence there).  I made him drive me to the seedy side of Vegas to take a picture at a chapel for this blog, and that actually seemed quite lame to him. But he did it, God bless him. Here's proof: us at the Chapel of the Flowers; note the 7-11 sign right above the roof line. This was my husband's love gift to me: taking me to do something that he thought was kind of stupid. While smiling.

In our actual wedding 13 and a half years ago, not a spontaneous event but a traditional church affair that took nine months to plan, we picked Phillippians 2:1-4 for our pastor to speak on. I, at age 21, was focused on certain phrases in the passage:  being like-minded, being of the same love, being one in spirit, concepts which sounded both practical and romantic. 

My pastor, being actually married, focused on phrases in the same scripture like looking to the interests of others instead of just your own; he said this would be played out when the dishes were dirty and the baby was crying, we were both tired, and we both had to get up and go to work in the morning. 

He was right. These are the other love gifts in our marriage: I do the dishes, the grocery shopping; I cook food he likes; I book the baby sitter (or grandparent) for date night once a month. He takes out the trash; he pays the bills (after making the money) and balances the checkbook; he puts the kids to bed so I can go to a 7 p.m. Zumba class. 

This is how marriage works, not just for us, but for everyone. I reference my friend's  facebook post, above. She has five biological kids, and a foster child, last time I checked. I would imagine she and her husband show love to one another every day by working together to stem the chaos to which their lives could easily succumb. They are choosing -- and this is the key -- to see these small chores as the love tokens that they are.

And yet, it can't all be taking out the trash and cleaning the fridge. We need romantic gestures, too. I offered Jeff a back scratch on Valentine's Day evening and he looked so surprised and pleased that I was ashamed of myself. In his vows to me in our wedding he talked about how much he appreciated back rubs, and in my housewifely fatigue, I have sorely neglected him in favor of lying down flat on the couch and watching American Idol. He'd probably rather I left the dishes, conserved my energies, and gave him a neck rub. 

I want to love my spouse. Really love him. I want us to feel in love, and express it to each other. Perhaps this is why I listen to so much country music. No other musical genre devotes so much ink to marital love. Here's a piece of my current favorite country song by Lady Antebellum (download it on itunes. It's so good!). I dedicate it to my husband, who doesn't usually read my blog and would be embarrassed if he did. But I like romantic gestures, remember? And my man knew that going in. So this one's for you, baby, just a bit late for Valentine's Day. We're still meant to be.

I leave him sleeping as I rise early
Always up before the dawn
The house is dark, but I see clearly
Kettle sings a morning song
The bacon's frying, babies crying
I soak up the sights and sounds
Minutes turn to days and I wish that I could slow it down

If grease is the soul of the kitchen
And coffee the drink of the gods
Routine too perfect to mention
Time is a thief I would rob
We're meant to be, baby, hold onto me
I'll never not be your girl
'Cause love is the heart of the world

Oh, and hope is the soul of the dreamer
And heaven is the home of my God
It only takes one true believer
To believe you can still beat the odds

We're meant to be baby hold onto me
You'll never not be my girl (I'll never not be your girl)
'Cause love is the heart, love is the heart,
Love is the heart of the world


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. :) It's so good to see the love in the little things and those sweet grand gestures... I LOVE the idea of a spur of the moment wedding in Vegas! Your friend with five kids and a foster baby sounds nuts, wink wink. :)