When you are the kind of person who says things like, “I’d rather have an engagement car than an engagement ring.” (Practical to a fault? Maybe.) you really hope those words are taken to heart.
You don’t say these things lightly and you don’t say them to be dramatic or facetious. You say them because you mean them.
And just to be clear, when I say, “you say them” I mean, “I say them”.
I mean what I say and I say what I mean and, despite the obvious (possibly blatant?) blog reference, I really do try to temper my words with kindness. You simply never know when the words you speak will be the last words someone hears.
I know this sounds like a very heavy or dark thought, but this is what I think about when I leave someone with a good, squeezy hug and an “I love you”. I assure you I reserve it for people I really do love. No need to worry about the crazy lady hugging random receptionists and telling cashiers that she loves them (at least not so far), but really, would that be so bad? (Well, yes. Admittedly, it would be very weird, but the world needs more “I love you”s and hugs, wouldn’t you agree? But I digress …)
Just think about it, though, if you will. Think quickly back to the last argument or squabble you had with your beloved. Was it something major or minor? Was it an earth shattering, we have got to get this figured out or we are doomed dilemma? Was it a Til Debt Do Us Part repartee? Were there skeletons jumping out of all the closets, demanding to be buried once and for all?
Or were you bickering about butter*? Was the last straw the last empty TP holder? Was yet another can of green beans about to cause you to come undone? Maybe more mustard made you mad?
Whatever it was, I’m willing to bet that if you didn’t run screaming from the room, it was simply not that big a deal. Forgotten. Forgiven. Moving on.
I would hate (and I reserve that word for very special situations) for the last words I say to my husband to be something to the effect of, “Oh for the love of all that is good and holy (wordy much?) why did you buy more mustard? NO MORE MUSTARD EVER!” (in my best Joan Crawford) or “Why can’t you just put the stupid bathroom tissue on the roll for once? I wouldn’t expect it to be done the *right* way or anything, but just once! Gah!” *heavy sigh* *Hermione Granger eye roll*
I mean, picture the ridiculousness of it all.
Can you imagine if your last conversation was about mustard?
I can’t control when that last conversation will be, but unless we are laughing about the multitude of shared ridiculousnesses (Totally made up a new word just then! Go me!) throughout our many, many, many years together, I hope to heavens that it is not about mustard.
We have already had so many.
Better yet, we have conversations about everything. There is no greater joy than talking with someone who really listens and cares about what you have to say. It’s a gift to still be able to talk into the wee hours, solving the problems of the world. There are certainly enough of those lately to keep us talking for a very long time.
It is an even greater gift, to be able to make each other laugh out loud on a daily basis. Not just polite oh-you-told-a-good-one-honey-insert-laugh-here laughs, but knee-slapping-belly-laughing-can’t-catch-my-breath guffaws.
There is nothing like the thrill of being able to make my husband laugh his big, LOUD, booming laugh. It’s especially awesome when I catch him off guard with a quip or a real zinger of a pun.
When he “gets me good”? I go silent. I can’t help it. Blame genetics. My face turns as red as a tomato, my mouth flies open like a Muppet, but no sound comes out. My shoulders shake. No. My shoulders laugh. Tears stream. This happens more than I care to admit. Often during family game nights.
Seriously, the last time we played Munchkin with the kids (Thing 1 & Thing 2) I was laughing so hard that we had to take a break. Thing 2 came to console me and my shaking shoulders. (She is so kind!) And just when I would start to feel mellow enough to play again, I would start giggling and that was it! Back to the silent, shoulder shake I’d go!
It’s not that everything is perfect (There’s a silly word!). Not at all.
Throughout our time together we have had to face adversity, just like any couple that is together for a long time, but thankfully we have always come out the other side a bit wiser, a bit stronger and with our senses of humour firmly intact.
I am just thankful that for the most part our collective ridiculousness has kept us laughing.
Now, I feel compelled to share with you my (engagement) rock.
Oh yes, after all the practicality and mind melding and seeing eye-to-eye on “stuff”, of *course* I received a rock.
I don’t know what the secret to a long, happy marriage is. I don’t. I won’t pretend to. I am way too practical (and honest) for that.
What I do know is that when I say something and the person I love most in the world** believes me, I feel respected, honoured and loved.
It’s been 15 years and I can tell you without hesitation that there is a LOT of respect, honour and love happening around here.
I got a rock.
I couldn’t be happier.
*Butter has a special place in my marriage because when we were first married, I gave my husband a greeting card that showed a cartoon man looking into a fridge that was filled to the brim with little packages of butter. On the inside it read, “Hon, where’s the butter?”. Hah! Still funny to me after all these years.
**My husband. To be clear.