Sometimes- just sometimes- this whole womanhood/ emotional rollercoaster/ hormonal whirlwind just blows! Trying to find the bright side to it, not having much luck. Would one of you purveyors of *the positive* help me out on this one?
Now, on to our story:
Fifteen years. The big one-five. January 28, 2006, Husband and I went on a very long drive to meet up with his parents, who were living in Southern Utah at the time, for dinner. In early December, I had come home after three months on a mission to San Diego. I was trying out Prozac for the first time, working at my old job at an insurance agency, watching as the ink-scab worked its way off of my freshly minted tattoo, sporting a new hair color, and thinking I had life pretty much figured out. (!)
On the drive home from dinner, Husband pulled off the deserted highway onto a dirt road, parked the car and asked me to get out.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
Was he going to kill me? Was he going to leave me there and drive on?
Was he going to propose?
He took my hand and we walked for a bit in the snow. He stopped, got down on his knees and asked me to marry him. He had been wearing one of my silver rings, which he slipped off his finger and on to mine.
It wouldn’t have occurred to me to do so much as hesitate to say “yes!”
Yesterday, as I was driving with the kids to surprise Husband at the airport, I had this amazing idea- to re-enact the whole thing! I would dye my hair red, find a pair of overalls and a grey ribbed turtleneck, (you know, like I was wearing in 1996,) drive off to the middle of nowhere, and do it all over again!
I dug through my stuff and found two mixed-tapes that I had made around that time, and found the very silver band that he had given (back to) me.
I texted my hair stylist to see about the hair color.
I tried to think of a long deserted road where we could share our moment.
None in my recollection. Besides, have you seen Deliverance?
Overalls? Ribbed turtleneck?
No time to shop today.
Spontaneity sure loses its luster with age.
So instead, we got a sittter. We got into the car to go out to dinner, and backed smack into the sitters car as we were pulling out of the driveway.
Took a few deep breaths, and started over. Anniversary. Got it. (Tonight was one of his “typical man” moments, having no recollection of the date of our engagement. He switches from “typical man” to “gay guy” a little to easily- to suit the moment.)
I played the tape, gave him the ring, and cried like the overly emotional woman that I am as I asked him if he would stay married to me.
And he said yes. And I didn’t detect a hint of hesitation.
We ate japanese, and cupcakes, and wandered around TJ Maxx- like we used to do- dreaming of all the towels and cookware we would buy if we had any money- and had a most fortuitous shopping experience. (Just tonight as he was washing out our tea kettle -which we had purchased at TJ Maxx many many years ago on clearance- he dropped it and chipped a large chunk of the enamel off. Lo! and Behold! What should they have on the clearance shelf tonight? You might have guessed, and you might be correct- A fabulous replacement tea kettle. This one is orange. And it was on CLEARANCE! One of the great things about living in a small Southern town is that very few people know a good thing when they see it. I once scored a Christmas Portmeirion canister for $19!! Christmas Portmeirion on clearance? Yes, please!)
*It’s so easy to get sidetracked when talking about bargain Chantal.*
The best part was that we didn’t really *do* anything. We just were.
What started out to be a borderline disappointment turned into a wonderful, very pleasurable evening.
There is so much choice in life. Not just in who to marry, or where to eat. But in how we react, or what emotions we give energy to. Happiness, contentment, disappointment, all show up at our door at one time or another. Which do we invite to stick around and share a scone? (the pastry- not the deep fried sort.)
I remember my Mom teaching me about choice in regards to emotion, but somewhere along the line I lost that lesson. I have become a slave to my impressions and false emotions. Ideas and emotions are not stark reality- but they can become such if we make them so. I have become a slave to my disappointment in the changes in my marriage. This fiercely deteriorating emotion has been my constant companion, staining the most precious moments with its dark negativity. What was a joyous occasion yesterday to see Husbands face as we surprised him after his business trip quickly turned painful as I was overcome with shame for feeling a physical response to his kiss.
I forgot in that moment that I had a choice. I didn’t have to feel like an insecure 15 year old. I’m a grown woman, who is loved and adored by her (albeit gay) husband. I can get fired up by his (in know this is nauseating, but) *intoxicating* scent. Feel it and enjoy it. So, I am going back and remaking that memory- soaking in the goodness and light and extreme pleasure as my husband- MY Husband- expressed his joy and affection for ME- HIS Wife.
It will take practice. But just like I am learning so many other things in this life, it will come more naturally over time. And who knows? Someday I might just be satisfied without reminding myself to be so.
We are good. We are happy. We are well.
We are together.